As we’ve mentioned before it’s about time for another ‘clash of the titans’ in the never ending web browser wars. Raja Rao of our QA team had previously built a sweet AJAX client testing framework, so we decided to pit the major browser’s current releases and nightly builds verses one another. Who will go down in this first round?
Before you go “Wait, is this particular article just Firefox vs Firefox – aren’t newer versions expected to preform better anyways?” think of it as just a warm-up to instill confidence by beating personal records in preparation for some looming, ugly battle-royal. Plus the gym was destroyed last time we had them all in one place, and our graphs just get too cluttered, so you’ll have to come back for other matches like IE7 vs IE8b and Safari 3.1 vs Safari 3 nightly builds.
FF3RC1 clearly won every test, so Mozilla deserves a pat on the back for advancing their browser. While completing little web-client actions there was often barely a difference. However, where heavy rendering had to be done the improvements were significant – in some places half the rendering time or even three times as fast!
|What’s the test harness?
We used a customized OpenQA Selenium setup to calculate time-taken rendering a page after clicking a particular button/link. Test machines were running AMD Opteron 1.8GHz Dual-cores with 2GB RAM against ZCS 5.0.6 GA RHEL4.
When we compare other browsers we will be using the same set of saved actions. Try it out yourself and discuss it in the forums – if you’d like some other testing ideas you might play with the other commonly used benchmarks like VeriTest & SunSpider.
Think working on complex AJAX apps is cool? Head over to the developer section in the community forums and see if you got what it takes. Who knows, you may just decide to come join us.
*As always performance will vary based on system configuration, network connection, and other factors like account data and preferences.