Firefox 2 took on FF3RC1, Internet Explorer 7 took on IE8b, so who’s duking it out in round 3? Safari 3.1.1 vs SF nightlies.
Some might be thinking it seems like a shorter gap in browser versions – why not Safari 3.0 through 3.0.4, or even 3.1 to show greater self improvement? First, we opted for current supported release vs betas. We did use Firefox 220.127.116.11 and the most up-to-date IE7 we could find for previous matches. Secondly, since we planned this series 3.1.1 became GA, so we decided to do Safari 3.1.1 build 525.17 (which was at least pushed to the masses) vs WebKit r33940 (the open-source browser engine packaged close to Safari 3.1.1 build 525.20).
But as you can see Safari clearly doesn’t need the moral boost anyways:
You know the drill: We used an OpenQA Selenium setup to calculate time rendering a page; across the same set of saved actions such as logging in, composing and viewing messages, navigating around various folders, switching between our many apps, and even changing options.
Those might not look like huge jumps, but Safari builds have been churned out so fast – and nothing on that graph is over 2 seconds. The older version only wins in a handful of cases, but that could easily be due to other test-harness factors when your dealing with 1/100th’s of a second.
You can grab the nightlies (currently WebKit r34581) here. Or grab the current Safari GA by heading over to Apple’s site.
*Test machines were running AMD Opteron 1.8GHz Dual-cores with 2GB RAM against ZCS 5.0.6 GA RHEL4. As always performance will vary based on system configuration, network connection, and other factors like account data and preferences.