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IonMonkey JavaScript Lands in Firefox 18, Speeds Things Up

By - Source: Mozilla | B 18 comments

Mozilla is moving its IonMonkey JIT much faster to Firefox than we anticipated.

The new JavaScript engines just showed up in the first nightly release and could make it into the final version of the browser on January 1, 2013.

IonMonkey will upgrade the current JaegerMonkey, which was introduced with Firefox 4 in March of 2011, and bring Mozilla closer to Google's Crankshaft that is used in Chrome. The progress of IonMonkey can be seen at arewefastyet.com, which shows that, at least on Mozilla's test platform, IonMonkey is faster than Google's Chrome in Mozilla's Kraken benchmark, but still has some catching up to do in Sunspider, and rivals Safari's score in Google V8 benchmark.

Mozilla said that IonMonkey is optimized for long-running applications, while short applications will use the still intact JaegerMonkey. According to Mozilla's David Anderson, IonMonkey introduces loop-invariant code motion, sparse global value numbering, linear scan register allocation, dead code elimination as well as range analysis to the JavaScript engine.

The IonMonkey Firefox can be downloaded from Mozilla's nightly channel now. The Aurora developer version is due on October 9, while the Beta channel is likely to see IonMonkey on November 20, if Mozilla can move IonMonkey through its developer process smoothly.

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  • 9 Hide
    skyline100 , September 13, 2012 2:24 PM
    Long live firefox!!
  • 4 Hide
    JasonAkkerman , September 13, 2012 2:39 PM
    Link is broken. It should be http://arewefastyet.com/, not http://arewefatsyet.com/.
  • 8 Hide
    freggo , September 13, 2012 2:52 PM
    FF 18?
    really? Dang, I am still on '14'
    No wonder by girlfriend left me and the dog looks funny at me :-)
  • Display all 18 comments.
  • 7 Hide
    ikefu , September 13, 2012 2:55 PM
    Now if only every industry could have the kind of competition that the browser market does. If that were true we might have flying cars and quantum CPUs by now. Competition fosters innovation and Javascript engines that people stay up late to wring every last ounce of performance out of.
  • 2 Hide
    Cryio , September 13, 2012 3:13 PM
    " flying cars and quantum CPUs by now". Funny thing you said. Just saw the Back to the Future movies yesterday :) )
  • 0 Hide
    egidem , September 13, 2012 3:20 PM
    Firefox 18?? Why are they moving so fast?? Honestly, what is the hurry? It's like people just fix a bug and then increment the counter to a new version....the speed is crazy.
  • 3 Hide
    willard , September 13, 2012 3:33 PM
    egidemFirefox 18?? Why are they moving so fast?? Honestly, what is the hurry? It's like people just fix a bug and then increment the counter to a new version....the speed is crazy.

    It's an agile process. The goal is to produce lots of incremental improvements rapidly for release.
  • 4 Hide
    math1337 , September 13, 2012 4:07 PM
    Version numbers are just that, numbers. I don't see any reason to complain about a numbering scheme, when the actual functionality is what matters. Might as well call it Firefox 4.18 or something.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , September 13, 2012 4:59 PM
    The reason Chrome and Firefox are using high version numbers, and incrementing the Major Version number for each bug fix as opposed to the Minor Version is because they think the simpletons out there will assume:

    "Well this has the highest version number, so it must have been around the longest, therefore it must be the most evolved and best..."

    It's a ridiculous idea, that I'm sure some upper management meddler recommended to "out do the competition". Firefox should be no higher than 4.18 and Chrome being the youngest browser with the highest version number is just plain stupid...

    Marketing = Deception = Lies... Just ask the masters of it over at Apple! Don't be fooled by these silly shenanigans...

    Fast Forward to the year 2016 where we will have FireFox version 47.2 and Chrome version 62.1...

    So annoying and stupid, sad thing is it WILL work on the simpletons...
  • 1 Hide
    johnnyupgrade , September 13, 2012 5:30 PM
    Usually a jump in version number signifies some major changes. Appending a higher number every time a few bugs are fixed is kind of a slap in the face to people who know that. Next thing you know they'll be adding buzzwords to the end. Maybe by this time next year we'll all be upgrading from Firefox 37 Ultra to Firefox 38 Extreme.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , September 13, 2012 6:54 PM
    "Usually a jump in version number signifies some major changes. Appending a higher number every time a few bugs are fixed is kind of a slap in the face to people who know that. Next thing you know they'll be adding buzzwords to the end. Maybe by this time next year we'll all be upgrading from Firefox 37 Ultra to Firefox 38 Extreme."

    Ditto that it annoys the hell out of me. However we can all blame google. They went stupid with the chrome versions numbers, and firefox followed suit.

    It really is version 4.xx still.
  • 0 Hide
    freggo , September 13, 2012 9:48 PM
    johnnyupgradeUsually a jump in version number signifies some major changes. Appending a higher number every time a few bugs are fixed is kind of a slap in the face to people who know that. Next thing you know they'll be adding buzzwords to the end. Maybe by this time next year we'll all be upgrading from Firefox 37 Ultra to Firefox 38 Extreme.


    Don't understand why you had a thumbs down count for this !
    You are perfectly right about the numbering scheme !
  • 1 Hide
    snadge , September 13, 2012 11:48 PM
    Iam using the Nightly Build FF18 now and its defo a bit snappier (coming from 15)

    I agree with the numbering scheme; that it bugs the hell out of me!!, changing the whole number should only be for major changes only - this plays havoc for PC Admin's of businesses that use Firefox across 100's or 1000's of PC's , cant remember the exact reason why, but it does..
  • 0 Hide
    razor512 , September 14, 2012 1:40 AM
    while javascript improvements look good in benchmarks and any speed improvement is welcome, it is important to know that those javascript benchmarks are running through a list of hundreds or thousands of java script process while in an actual webpage, you may not see more than 10-20

    even with a older version of firefox, your ping time is likely to be higher than how long it takes your browser and system to process the javascript on the average webpage.

    Why cant firefox makers work on making the browser multithreaded? (or at least do what chrome does and move each tab onto it's own thread so the browser wont hang when you reload all tabs at the same time).
  • 0 Hide
    elfsun , September 14, 2012 3:13 AM
    I'm still using 15, firefox moves too fast that I cannot catch up. When will you solve the Memory leak problem completely? That's the main reason why I don't use firefox as default, even in Avant browser firefox is not my default engine.
    I will be happy if you can spend some time to deal with this problem which has been lasting for very long time.
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , September 14, 2012 3:53 AM
    waterfox 10 here

    there any reason to upgrade yet?
  • 0 Hide
    wizbang_fl , March 17, 2013 5:51 AM
    "Fast Forward to the year 2016 where we will have FireFox version 47.2 and Chrome version 62.1..."

    and Safari 8....
  • 0 Hide
    willard , March 18, 2013 8:34 AM
    Are all you people complaining about version numbers really too dense to just look at the changelog? "Ooh, a number changed, must mean something big" isn't a great way to evaluate software. The fact that it's worked in the past doesn't mean it's a good way to do it.