Saturday, January 5, 2013

Firefox 18 Beta Boasts Faster JavaScript

The latest incarnation of Firefox features faster JavaScript and even has Mac users excited.
Firefox 18 beta rings in 2013 with a slew of new features, but what most people are interested in
is the lightning-fast JavaScript.

The just in time (JIT) compiler has been nicknamed IonMonkey, in keeping with the tradition
of monkey monikers such as JaegerMonkey of Firefox past. IonMonkey was introduced in
September 2012, but it’s just beginning to pick up steam.

IonMonkey has the ability to allow for complex JavaScript at a much faster speed than previously
thought possible. Whether you work in workers’ comp or programming for a federal agency,
this might make your daily life easier. There are a few things to consider, but it’s estimated that
IonMonkey can improve performance up to 26 percent. And when your performance is upped
more than one quarter, that’s cause for celebration.

What Can IonMonkey Do?

Mac users are especially excited about the improved Retina screens that a few MacBook pros
use. The ability to instantly disable unsecure content is especially helpful to users prone to
viruses and regularly exposed to dangerous content. Secured sites that aren’t protected by SSL
are given a little more armor with IonMonkey. The much-improved PDF feature, which includes
browser-integrated design, is very helpful to some workers who are regularly opening and
working with PDFs.

According to Mozilla engineer David Anderson, the biggest new feature is Bugzilla. Change and
bug tracking has always been a pinnacle for Mozilla. In fact, work on Bugzilla started years
before the first version of Firefox was released. It’s taken a little less than 12 years to come close
to perfecting the disabling of insecure content.

Ready to Give Firefox 18 a Try?

Firefox 18 beta can currently be downloaded from the Mozilla site. However, keep in mind
that it is still in beta stage, and even with Bugzilla there might be some bugs in the system. If
you’ve already downloaded previous versions of Firefox 18, you’ll be automatically updated. It’s
definitely worth a trial run, and checking out the beta version is a great way to start adapting.

Of course, you can expect future changes and updates to take place on a fairly regular basis.
Mozilla is confident enough in the beta version to make it available right away. A rougher version
was released in September, and the biggest kinks have already been ironed out. If you download
it today, you’ll probably experience few (if any) issues with the latest version.

Early Feedback

Not surprisingly, user reviews are mixed in the early stages. Some people say it’s slow to load,
while others are thrilled with the latest features. You can’t please everyone, and trying only leads
to slowing down advancements. I suggest you download it for yourself, take it on a test drive
and decide for yourself if the update is worth the hype.

Carl is an aspiring writer who enjoys blogging about anything and everything that crosses his
mind. He’s constantly striving to strengthen his writing skills and is continuously grateful that the
Internet allows him to share his thoughts with the world.