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Web browser grand prix 2: running the linux circuit - Clear Glass Ashtray - Glass Liquor Decanter by grass lawn





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Web browser grand prix 2: running the linux circuit - Clear Glass Ashtray - Glass Liquor Decanter by
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Web browser grand prix 2: running the linux circuit - Clear Glass Ashtray - Glass Liquor Decanter


 
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Last week we showed Opera 10.60 to be the world's fastest Webbrowser. That was in the Windows world. But where do Chrome,Firefox, and Opera stand in Linux? Today we find out. Adding theWin 7 results, we'll also learn which OS has the speediest browser. Alright folks.

Today we have a special treat for you. The last twoWeb Browser Grand Prix stories received tons of reader-basedfeedback. But the comments in the first article resounded onequestion more loudly than the others: what about browserperformance in Linux? Ah, that's a good one. Hot on the heels of Web Browser Grand Prix 2 , we bring you The Linux Circuit.

Using the exact same test systemthat we employed last time, we installed Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (LucidLynx) and the three major cross-platform Web browsers: GoogleChrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera. Not only will be be declaring awinning Linux-based browser, but we'll also be comparing theresults to those generated under Windows 7. Because the top threeperformers in Windows 7 happen to be Opera, Chrome, and Firefox, wecan declare a winner that spans both platforms as well. Dromaeo Drama Over the past two articles we've had a little bit of controversyconcerning Mozilla's Dromaeo JavaScript Benchmark. In the first WebBrowser Grand Prix, Opera 10.50 scored far better than the otherfour Web browsers.

Since it didn't affect Chrome's win either way,I decided to let Opera's highly dubious score persist. Chrome fansdidn't seem to care, but Opera fans definitely let me know that thescore is just swell, and I shouldn't be questioning it. In lastweek's sequel, Opera 10.60 again received an incredibly high scorein the Dromaeo JavaScript test. That time, however, I disqualifiedOpera from the benchmark. Despite Opera 10.60 still handily takingthe speed crown from Google Chrome, Opera fans really let me haveit because of Chrome's slight edge in overall performance(including non-speed-related tests).

Now, just to set the record straight, the decision to remove Operafrom the placing in the Dromaeo JavaScript benchmark did not affect the final outcome of the overall winner. If I had notdisqualified Opera, making it the first-place finisher for thattest, Chrome would still have been the overall performancechampion. Though Chrome's win would have been by the absolutesmallest possible margin, a quantifiable lead would have existednonetheless. I don't like making these calls.

I'd much prefer foreverything to go smoothly. But stuff happens, and sometimesexecutive decisions need to be made. Less than a week later, hindsight shows the decision to disqualifyOpera as the right call. We have since contacted the three partiesinvolved: Mozilla (author of the Dromaeo benchmarks), Opera, andGoogle.

Below is an excerpt from a statement made by Mozilla's vicepresident of engineering, Mike Shaver: Until recently, the Dromaeo benchmark, especially as regardedregular expression performance, was very susceptible tooptimizations specifically targeted at those weaknesses. AJavaScript engine that was specifically altered to accommodatethose tests could see astronomical score improvements byeffectively subverting the work that is supposed to be done andtimed. Google brought this bug to our attention and requested that we fixthe test. We agreed to, since it was clearly not testing anythinguseful. That test fix was completed last week.

(In the interimthey added specific code to V8 to also "game" that aspect of thebenchmark, for competitive reasons. Well, there you have it. Whether or not Opera intentionally 'gamed'this benchmark is still up in the air. Without access to the sourcecode, no one outside of Opera would know for sure. An Opera repoffered the initial idea that Profile-Guided Optimizations (PGO)may be to blame for the high Dromaeo scores seen in Windows.According to Opera, its OS X version (which doesn't yet have PGOenabled) does not achieve absurdly high scores in Dromaeo.

Thecompany had no results available for its Linux version, and the repdidn't know whether or not the penguin had PGO. Without any Linuxdata from Opera, we cannot further determine if PGO is truly theculprit. In the meantime, we are still waiting to hear back fromthe developers in Oslo for an official explanation for the highDromaeo JavaScript scores. As far as Google is concerned, thanks to Chromium, Mozilla has thesmoking gun on the company's Dromaeo shenanigans. In the lastarticle, I reported that Chrome 5.0.375.89 also yieldeddramatically high Dromaeo JavaScript scores--much higher than thescore that got Opera disqualified.

Mozilla and Google bothconfirmed that the 5.0.375.70 and 5.0.375.86 scores are bunk. Thefinal version of Chrome that was tested and published (5.0.375.99)scored 290.72. Google contends that a caching feature, added to5.0.375.70 but then removed in 5.0.375.99, was to blame. TheMountain View company did nothing about the high Dromaeo scoresback then, even though they were aware of it, because Opera hadn'teither.

According to Mr. Shaver, the test fix was put into place shortlyafter our last piece was published. We have since re-run theDromaeo JavaScript tests on both Opera 10.60 and Chrome 5.0.375.99using our Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit test system. Opera now gets ascore of 211.5, while Chrome still earns around 290.

NeitherMozilla nor Google have reason to doubt the Chrome 5.0.375.99score. While the Opera disqualification from our previous piecestands, we'll update Opera's Windows 7 Dromeao JavaScript score toreflect the 'real' result in the charts for this article. With this brouhaha behind us, and without further delay, let thebenchmarking begin!

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