I actually installed the beta version of Internet Explorer 9 on my Windows 7 box. My first reaction was “hey, this looks a lot like Chrome”. Even Firefox 4 steals heavily from Chrome, so it is pretty clear where the thought leadership on browsers sits.
I will give Microsoft some credit. IE9 is a lot snappier than all its predecessors. It only has two major annoyances. First, the URL box is way too small. Second, I don’t like the notification popups in the bottom center of the screen. If something needs my attention, don’t bury it at the bottom of the screen.
Rendering is pretty good. ExtJS 3.3 looks good in it, unlike Firefox 4 which had a few CSS issues. Google recently updated their V8 Benchmark Suite, so I ran Chrome 7 versus IE9 just to see how they compared.
Chrome 7 gave me these results on my silly-fast 6-core AMD beast of a desktop:
And the beta for Internet Explorer 9 came up with these results:
I won’t rule out Google tweaking their benchmark to make Internet Explorer 9 and the rest of the competition look bad, but based on this benchmark, IE9 doesn’t hold a candle to Chrome 7. I’m going to have to go fishing for some more vendor-neutral benchmarks to try out.
Ext Core has now gone final, so I wanted to re-run my tests. But there was also some news on the browser front: Apple released Safari 4 and Google dropped Chrome 2. Being the geek I am, I had to try them out. My Slickspeed test was the perfect candidate for seeing what Safari 4 and Chrome 2 could do.
Here are the details on Safari 4:
Prototype: – 9ms
Dojo: – 3ms
JQuery: – 4ms
ExtCore: – 19ms
Sizzle: – 2ms
Safari 4 didn’t get along well with SnagIt, so I was only able to capture the bottom of the results output. Here are the results for Chrome 2:
Prototype: – 13ms
Dojo: – 4ms
JQuery: – 2ms
ExtCore: – 41ms
Sizzle: – 1ms
This is simply stupendous. The performance of JQuery turns into a rounding error in both these browsers. As a basis of comparison, here are the prior results for Chrome 1:
Prototype: – 13ms
Dojo: – 7ms
JQuery: – 8ms
ExtCore: – 13ms
Sizzle: – 8ms
So what conclusions can we draw?
Ext, LLC, screwed the pooch in not using Sizzle for the selector engine in ExtCore. It would have been a better investment in them adopting Sizzle and working to improve it rather than blazing their own trail. The difference in Chrome 2 between Sizzle and ExtCore is staggering: 1ms in Sizzle vs 41ms for ExtCore.
Both Apple and Google use WebKit as the basis for their mobile offerings (iPhone and Android). The sheer power of WebKit is going to offer both these platforms outstanding opportunities for rich browser-based applications. It is clear why neither platform cares much about Flash or Silverlight: the don’t need them.
The big news today was about Google Chrome. Chrome is web browser built by Google based on Webkit that is going to be their way of finally killing off Microsoft. They actually created an online comic book to explain why they created Chrome and the technology behind it.
Notice the window decoration with tabs, navigation, etc… Selecting the Create Application Shortcuts option will create a Start Menu, Desktop and/or Quicklaunch shortcut to the page you are viewing. Opening the shortcut opens the page as a pseudo-application, like this:
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