Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Software Businesses Apple

Safari 4 Released, Claimed "30 Times Faster Than IE7" 465

Posted by timothy
from the don-your-pith-helmet dept.
CNETNate writes "Apple has released the beta version of Safari 4 for Mac and PC, with claims that its Nitro rendering engine is '30 times faster than IE7,' and three times faster than Firefox 3. Other new features include 'Top Sites,' which shows users the most frequently visited Web pages, 'Full History Search' for searching through not only the URLs and titles of visited pages, but also the complete text within the page itself — something Opera has been doing for a while."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Safari 4 Released, Claimed "30 Times Faster Than IE7"

Comments Filter:
  • by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@gmai ... m minus language> on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @10:12AM (#26969633) Homepage Journal

    Nitro JavaScript Engine

    Anyone know if this is a new engine or just Squirrelfish renamed?

    Acid 3 Compliance

    Looks like Safari might be the first Acid 3 browser to the market. Opera's version 10 is Acid 3 compliant, but it's still in Alpha testing.

    CSS 3 Web Fonts

    I noted this feature in Opera 10. The results shown in the demos were rather impressive. The web pages had more of a print-layout look to them without the classic trick of relying on images to cover all the content. This has the potential to completely change the look of the web for the better.

    CSS Canvas

    I'm still trying to figure out how being able to use Canvas as a style to apply to web elements is useful, but the idea definitely sounds cool. I suppose one could always set a fixed web page background as a canvas, then make it look like they're on an acid trip as they scroll. :-P

    I'm downloading the beta now. If it lives up to the hype that Apple is giving it, it will be an amazing piece of software.

    • by tyrione (134248) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @10:15AM (#26969681) Homepage

      Nitro has more street cred.

      Squirrelfish sounds like a slimy little douchebag trying to get out from under a last call chick who has him pinned at the end of the bar.

    • by MrHanky (141717) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @10:22AM (#26969759) Homepage Journal

      If it lives up to all the hype Apple is giving it, it will still be lacking Noscript and ABP.

      The CSS 3 Web Fonts seem rather neat, though.

    • Looks like Safari might be the first Acid 3 browser to the market. Opera's version 10 is Acid 3 compliant, but it's still in Alpha testing.

      Actually, passing Acid3 at this point apparently means supporting the standard wrongly [whereswalden.com] because of a recent change in the spec. I think that illustrates why we shouldn't rely on tests like the Acid Tests too much when determining standards compatibility.

      • That's ACID2, not ACID3. As the article says, they'll probably update the ACID2 test to match the spec change.

    • CSS 3 Web Fonts

      I noted this feature in Opera 10. The results shown in the demos were rather impressive. The web pages had more of a print-layout look to them without the classic trick of relying on images to cover all the content. This has the potential to completely change the look of the web for the better.

      Am I the only one who _doesn't_ want this? The web is hard enough to read already with these 10px hard-coded fonts everywhere. Even Zoom in Firefox and Opera is not good enough to work around the problem because the images look terrible. For every site I need a different combination of zoom and text embiggenment (a very crumulent word, I know).

      • by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@gmai ... m minus language> on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @10:58AM (#26970311) Homepage Journal

        The whole point of features like Web Fonts is to get away from using images. Thus when you zoom, the renderings look crisp and clean. Try these demos [alistapart.com] in Safari 4 to see what I mean. Zooming the reference image looks ugly. (What you're complaining about.) Zooming the actual rendering is helpful and actually looks better the closer the examples are zoomed.

      • by frankie (91710)

        The web is hard enough to read already with these 10px hard-coded fonts everywhere. For every site I need a different combination of zoom and text embiggenment

        It's called "Minimum font size". Both Firefox and Safari have easily accessible preference settings for this. Sometimes a minimum size will break menu bars with hardcoded widths, but overall it's a big net plus.

    • by mzs (595629)

      If Nitro is just marketing speak for SFX (SquirrelFish Extreme) then Apple is guilty of the worst "up to" benchmark numbers crap possible:

      http://summerofjsc.blogspot.com/2008/09/squirrelfish-extreme-has-landed.html [blogspot.com]

      THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2008

      "In particular, the version of V8 used here is the bleeding-edge branch, which is a bit faster than the version that shipped with Chrome."
      "As you can see, SquirrelFish Extreme is 36% faster than V8"

      • by drsmithy (35869)

        If Nitro is just marketing speak for SFX (SquirrelFish Extreme) then Apple is guilty of the worst "up to" benchmark numbers crap possible:

        Hey, at Apple, that's one of the great traditions !

    • by Jugalator (259273)

      I noted this feature in Opera 10. The results shown in the demos were rather impressive. The web pages had more of a print-layout look to them without the classic trick of relying on images to cover all the content. This has the potential to completely change the look of the web for the better.

      This wouldn't matter much if it wasn't for IE 8 also supporting it. Yeah, really! :) And Firefox 3.1 beta 3 too. So yes, this should be interesting.

  • IE7 is actually getting a bit outdated as it is, so this claim isn't as bold as it seems. Why didn't they compare it to IE8? Or better yet if they really want to talk about speed, Google's Chrome is pretty fast.
    • Re:No so bold (Score:4, Informative)

      by wereHamster (696088) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @10:25AM (#26969797)
      http://www.apple.com/safari/features.html [apple.com] - Safari 4 introduces the Nitro JavaScript engine, an advanced bytecode JavaScript engine that makes web browsing even faster. In fact, Safari 4 executes JavaScript up to 6 times faster than Internet Explorer 8 and up to 4 times faster than Firefox 3.1.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by hannson (1369413)

      On the Apple Safari feature page:
       

      Safari 4 introduces the Nitro JavaScript engine, an advanced bytecode JavaScript engine that makes web browsing even faster. In fact, Safari 4 executes JavaScript up to 6 times faster than Internet Explorer 8 and up to 4 times faster than Firefox 3.1.

      As the article sucks, here's some better info [apple.com].

    • Well, so far IE8's javasript performance is roughly 4x faster than IE7's (neowin [neowin.net]), so...little bit of math...Safari 4's javascript performance should be about 7.5x faster than IE8 (beta)'s.

    • by pizzach (1011925)

      IE7 is actually getting a bit outdated as it is, so this claim isn't as bold as it seems. Why didn't they compare it to IE8? Or better yet if they really want to talk about speed, Google's Chrome is pretty fast.

      Comparisons are most useful when done against something someone knows. Most people know IE7. It also adds to the switch to a Mac argument when comparing against IE specifically. Is this case, marketers ask themselves, "Why NOT compare it to IE7?"

  • by kcbanner (929309) * on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @10:17AM (#26969703) Homepage Journal
    Its like saying you beat the kid with a fake leg at sprinting, or beating the a preschooler at a spelling bee.
    • by Xest (935314)

      It's like all those things but in a contest that doesn't even matter, like the kid who can eat the most worms or something.

      Okay, maybe I'm just being ignorant, I guess there are people who it matters to but personally I've never come across a website that I couldn't "run" because my browser wasn't optimised enough. Even IE7, the supposed slowest of the bunch has run every website I've ever been too fine although I nowadays always use Firefox.

      I guess it's more about future potential though? as Javascript per

      • Anyone know why Javascript performance is repeatedly mouthed off as such a big deal?

        Two reasons:

        1. Faster page loads. Unless a page uses the non-standard "defer" option for Javascript, the page load/render stops every time the browser encounters a Javascript file. Until the script is done parsing and executing (Javascript is loaded into the VM via execution), the page cannot finish loading. Thus a faster JS engine means faster page loads overall.

        (A tip for web design: Put your unimportant scripts toward the

  • I love Safari and just installed the 4th version, and the Web Inspector is very pretty, but as long as extensions are not officially supported, I will use it for 24 hours only and switch back to Firefox (as I do for every new version of Safari).
    • Safari does have extensions... they call them plugins... though if you're on Windows I think you're out of luck.

      Ad Blocking for you. [pimpmysafari.com] There are 7 options in this list. Most are free, I see one commercial offering.

      And of course you could always just use a hosts file and personal stylesheet to do the work yourself. If fact with the new support for CSS3 animations you could have some fun... make those ads do a dance before disappearing ;-p

  • I'm posting on it right now on a mac. It has some really innovative ideas and has made my day.

    However the titlebar now looks cluttered. Also, when you click on the title bar to focus, you might not get the window you were (half-) looking at. This is a bug they should fix.

    • by spud603 (832173)
      I have always had the same issue with Firefox on mac. It's surprisingly frustrating.
  • by alvinrod (889928) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @10:24AM (#26969783)

    Here's the actual claims from Apple's website:

    "Using the new Nitro Engine, for example, Safari executes JavaScript up to 30 times faster than Internet Explorer 7 and more than 3 times faster than Firefox 3 based on performance in leading industry benchmark tests: iBench and SunSpider.

    In addition to superior JavaScript performance, Safari offers top-flight HTML performance -- the best on any platform -- loading pages 3 times faster than Internet Explorer 7 and almost 3 times faster than Firefox 3."

    I'm not too familiar with either of these benchmarking programs, so I can't really pick at the results too much, but the actual claim is 'up to 30 times faster' which means that for some function it's 30 times faster, but for most it's probably not at that level of magnitude. It seems as though some of this important information was lost in the game of telephone that is internet news.

    Also, I'm more interested in how it stacks up against Firefox, Opera, and Chrome. Comparing it to IE7 is a little bit like Ford comparing their new car to a horse and cart. No offense meant to the browser, but from every chart I've seen it's the bottom of the barrel in terms of speed.

    • by iangoldby (552781)

      but the actual claim is 'up to 30 times faster' which means that for some function it's 30 times faster...

      Whenever I see the words up to I always mentally substitute no more than . For example: "No more than 30 times faster", "No more than 25% off", etc. You get the idea.

      If more people would do this then the silliness might stop.

    • Comparing it to IE7 is a little bit like Ford comparing their new car to a horse and cart.

      Hey, a horse and cart can be faster than a Ford Mustang in an off-road race.

  • by HockeyPuck (141947) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @10:24AM (#26969787)

    If IE and Safari can look at Firefox's source code and see exactly how FF implement's something, how can FF maintain a competitive advantage as a core browser. By core browser I mean without all the plugins/themes/extensions. IE/Safari already have a distribution advantage in that the browser comes with the OS. I'm going to a assume that the folks over at Mozilla would not declare victory if Apple/MSFT decided one day to reskin and rename FF and package it with their OS.

    It's a unfair advantage that the OS vendors can see the source code of FF, however the reverse is not true. So if Safari has this great performance, how can the FF figure out how Safari does it?

    • by Tinlad (947666) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @10:30AM (#26969857) Homepage

      So if Safari has this great performance, how can the FF figure out how Safari does it?

      By heading over to WebKit.org [webkit.org] and downloading the open source rendering engine it uses?

    • by djcapelis (587616)

      > how can the FF figure out how Safari does it?

      Man they'd have to like, use the Internet or something: http://trac.webkit.org/browser/trunk [webkit.org]

      That's the source code to webkit, the rendering engine behind Safari. It's licensed under the LGPL.

      The reason, in case you were wondering, is because it was started from an open-source rendering engine called KHTML, which was written by the KDE project. The LGPL made sure that when Apple started improving it their improvements would stay in the open.

      And so you *can*

    • Safari has Webkit [webkit.org] @ it's core.

      FF devs can look @ the Webkit source. FF devs can also look @ the Google Chrome Source, which is also based on webkit.

      In fact, webkit is licensed under BSD + GPL, so IANAL, but I think this mesans FF can even *use* webkit's code directly in their browser ...

      • by djcapelis (587616)

        BSD + LGPL actually. Which means *anyone* can use webkit's code in their browser, even a closed-source project. (And many do!)

        • by djcapelis (587616)

          Er... sorry, that should read "webkit" not "webkit's code"

          LGPL or GPL rendering engines can use webkit's code, but closed-source projects have to use the whole engine or publicly provide the alterations they make.

    • How is it unfair? Firefox can look at Safari's code source and do the same things it does.

      And who cares if Firefox can compete more? It already has a good distribution, and Firefox's point isn't to "compete" or gain a monopoly, or any such thing, but to deliver a good, standards-compliant browser to help foster more standards-compliance in the marketplace. The best situation is to have a number of web browsers that are all fully compliant and have a minimal popularity to be sustainable.

    • by Sloppy (14984)
      I think you're trolling, but there's an interesting issue here anyway.

      If IE and Safari can look at Firefox's source code and see exactly how FF implement's something, how can FF maintain a competitive advantage as a core browser

      By having different goals.

      For example, Chrome could copy FF's adblock extension. But they won't, because they don't want to. FF (and probably Opera) is mostly for the user (though FF has arguably compromised the users' interest in favor of the commercial CAs); Chrome is for the

  • by JuanCarlosII (1086993) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @10:33AM (#26969901)

    Given that this alleges to be a beta version and according to its own EULA:

    THIS IS PRE-RELEASE, TIME-LIMITED SOFTWARE MEANT FOR EVALUATION AND DEVELOPMENT PURPOSES ONLY. THIS SOFTWARE SHOULD NOT BE USED IN A COMMERCIAL OPERATING ENVIRONMENT OR WITH IMPORTANT DATA.

    why do Apple insist on removing any existing Safari 3 install when installing?

    If we are supposed to evaluate and develop, then surely it would be prudent to allow a stable version to also be installed alongside for mission-critical usage.

    Surely it's a TERRIBLE idea for non-stable, evaluation software to disallow the use of an alternative stable version?

    • Furthermore, wouldn't Apple want developers to keep a copy of Safari 3 around for compatibility testing, even after Safari 4 goes out of beta? Yeah, I know that you can only have one official Webkit install that the rest of the system uses, but there is nothing preventing Apple from providing a standalone version of the the beta, or repackaging Safari 3 to be standalone when you install the Safari 4.

      Anyway, Michel Fortin was nice enough to do that for all the major stable releases of Safari [michelf.com]. Enjoy.

    • by juuri (7678)

      IIRC This includes a full new version of webkit.

      While it's relatively easy if you know what you are doing to have different browsers, with different whatevers... based on WebKit/Safari kit when you are releasing something to the masses (where you want specific kinds of diagnostic feedback) your aim is for a simple process.

      Why did you insist on installing this without verifying what it would do first? Why not run a nightly if you want both? If you are evaluating and "developing" then spend the 5 minutes to d

    • Replacing the previous version is functionality that the production version needs to have. If the feature is disabled in beta, it won't be tested, and problems won't get fixed. It would be nice if they added an option to turn replacement of the previous version on and off, but that would require spending time/money on a feature that won't be in the production version. Assuming there are more than enough people willing to test the beta despite this handicap, this is the most cost-effective option.
  • by Andy Dodd (701) <.ude.llenroc. .ta. .7dta.> on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @10:35AM (#26969931) Homepage

    Apple loves to put in meaningless benchmarks with no real-world meaning to hype their products.

    For example, the "3 times faster than a Pentium II" claims back in some of the older PowerPC days - this was true for a single Photoshop operation that at that point had Altivec optimizations on PPC but was running straight scalar code (no MMX) on a P2.

    For nearly all other applications, the P2 was equal to or faster than the PPC. But Apple hyped their systems based on that one single meaningless-for-most-people benchmark. (As opposed to AMD's speed rating system which for the Athlon XPs was based on a suite of benchmarks and their average comparison to a similarly clocked P4, which was typically pretty accurate.)

    Here, how is Apple magically eliminating network latency and providing infinite network bandwidth with browser changes? For nearly all users, the network is the bottleneck.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ogdenk (712300)

      Apple loves to put in meaningless benchmarks with no real-world meaning to hype their products.

      For example, the "3 times faster than a Pentium II" claims back in some of the older PowerPC days - this was true for a single Photoshop operation that at that point had Altivec optimizations on PPC but was running straight scalar code (no MMX) on a P2.

      If your going to spout blind FUD, do your homework. Altivec didn't even exist on PowerPC's back when the Pentium II was around. The current PowerPC CPUs were the PowerPC 604 and the newcomer was the G3.

      Altivec didn't arrive until the G4 and by then the Pentium III was out and selling.

      At the same clock rate, the PowerPC really was quite a bit faster. Not by rediculous "3x" margins but it really was quite a bit faster. The PowerPC is also a much cleaner and well-thought-out architecture. Anybody that sti

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by PsychicX (866028)
        That still doesn't explain why G3 and G4 based machines are so god awful slow. Is it become OSX is so absurdly RAM hungry?
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Bullet-Dodger (630107)
          Up until a few months ago I was running OS X on a 867MHz G4 with a half a gig of ram and it ran just fine.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Just Some Guy (3352)

        For what most people use a computer for, a single-board 1.6Ghz atom machine with a GMA950 is more than they'll ever need for web browsing, e-mail, playing youtube videos and running Word. A faster machine doesn't make you type faster or make web pages load faster.

        I'm typing this on a 1.2GHz G4 Mac. I promise you that any browser improvements that make the new AJAXey Slashdot load faster than frozen molasses will be quite welcome.

    • by juuri (7678) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @11:11AM (#26970473) Homepage

      Damn; you got served by a 5UID.

  • Ok, in this case PC is MS Windows. So it doesn't run on GNU/Linux. Considering the current Macs are build using almost the same components as any other PC (the only real difference being the lack of the old BIOS) they might as well drop the useless distinction and simply refer to MS Windows.

  • by bhima (46039) * <Bhima@Pandava.gmail@com> on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @10:50AM (#26970159) Journal

    So it looks like the Safari 4 beta causes the growl plugin for the mail.app to crash the mail.app

    great.

  • Impressions (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @10:57AM (#26970283)

    - Scrolling this /. page is extremely slow in safari.
    - The tabs in the window's title bar is just plain annoying and feels really out of place.
    - Just like Google's Chrome this browser also doesn't blend in well with MS Windows UI. It's feels alien to the other programs.

    • by Colonel Korn (1258968) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @11:03AM (#26970367)

      - Scrolling this /. page is extremely slow in safari.
      - The tabs in the window's title bar is just plain annoying and feels really out of place.
      - Just like Google's Chrome this browser also doesn't blend in well with MS Windows UI. It's feels alien to the other programs.

      -No, it's 30x faster than anything you've ever seen.
      -That's Windows' fault and yours. Windows should be designed around Safari, not the other way around.
      -Again, the Windows UI is just a thin shell meant to blend nicely with Safari. If it doesn't, then it's Windows fault.

  • Is it faster than not executing the scripts at all? (NoScript for Firefox)
  • We shave to design web sites for the lowest common denominator.

  • by argent (18001) <peter@NOsPam.slashdot.2006.taronga.com> on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @11:42AM (#26971031) Homepage Journal

    Tabs on Top
    Manage your tabs elegantly and open a wide window for exploring the web.

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    F*** you, Google, now everyone's going to start using this f***ed up idea.

  • by Maury Markowitz (452832) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @11:59AM (#26971321) Homepage

    For anyone that has both a Mac and PC, one of the minor frustrations you face is constantly having to remember to use different keyboard shortcuts when you move back and forth. Safari on the PC was an option for me for this reason alone. Sadly, the Mac-look, odd window handling, terrible font rendering and random long pauses (something to do with advertisements I think) made it an option only - I had to keep Chrome and FF around for some sites.

    No longer. Safari 4 is now my default Windows browser. And not just because of the keystrokes, it's faster than any of the other (always up-to-date) browsers on this machine, renders everything perfectly (Chrome still has serious problems here), the font problems are gone (now Chrome is the one that looks bad), the random pauses are missing, etc.

    So basically Safari now does everything any of the other browsers does, plus more, plus its faster, AND it has the same keystrokes.

    Still not perfect though: I'm still trying to get the font sizes right (the readable text above is fine, but this editor has HUGE text) and I want to remove the Chrome-like tools menus (I like real menu bars, thanks), and there's some oddity when scrolling long pages. But nevertheless the problems are less than those in Chrome and the speed of FF in comparison makes me willing to overlook them.

    Maury

  • In other news... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by stormbringer_comming (1485591) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @12:24PM (#26971829)
    Opera 10 has been out months with these features, and it's javascript speed is very good on REAL WORLD SITES, not just the Webkit optimized SunSpider synthetic benchmark...
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by herve_masson (104332)

      I gave safari a run on my web app, which uses a lot of clientside scripting and has been designed to "work" on FF, IE7, chrome. I did not optimize anything for any browser, it was just a test to make sure I would make mac users happy. I was amazed by performances, really. The JS runtime is way better than anything else I've tested, and even beats chrome which is also really good. More importantly, it seems almost immune from memory leaks, compared to ff3 which needs a restart when approaching 1GB.

    • by kestasjk (933987) * on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @02:57PM (#26974145) Homepage
      The big problem Safari faces is that Opera users already dominate the snobby-over-nothing niche Apple usually occupies :-(
  • by Theovon (109752) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @01:09PM (#26972647)

    I switched to Firefox for two reasons. One is that Safari is a major memory hog. It can use like 3x the memory as Firefox for the same thing. (And I'm talking about fresh starts. I know all about how VMs can swap unused pages to disk.)

    The other missing thing from Safari was something as basic as session saving and crash protection. You have to buy Saft for that. With Firefox, it's free.

    I wonder if Apple has done anything about these issues.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DiLLeMaN (324946)

      The session *is* saved, and you can restore it using History - Reopen All Windows From Last Session.
      If you want this to happen automatically when Safari starts up, you could install SafariStand [hetima.com], which does this and a whole lot more for free.

      As for the memory issues... I don't know which browser uses more memory, but I sure know which one feels slow and unresponsive on my machine, and it's not Safari.

  • Firewire? (Score:5, Funny)

    by robogobo (891804) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @01:50PM (#26973251)

    Requirements:

    Mac with an Intel processor or a Power PC G5, G4, or G3 processor and built-in FireWireî

    um, looks like the latest Macbook isn't up to spec. nice one, Apple.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by adpowers (153922)

      I think you should read that as:

      (Mac with an Intel processor) or (a Power PC G5, G4, or G3 processor and built-in FireWireî)

      and not

      (Mac with an Intel processor or a Power PC G5, G4, or G3 processor) and (built-in FireWireî)

  • by jensend (71114) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @08:29PM (#26977601)

    Apple isn't claiming their entire rendering engine is 30x as fast as IE's Trident and 3x as fast as FF's Gecko- they're saying their JavaScript implementation is 30x as fast as IE's and 3x as fast as FF's (that would be the SpiderMonkey 3.0.x JS performance, not the 3.1 Tracemonkey performance which is also a lot faster than 3.0.x). That's an entirely reasonable claim.

The trouble with opportunity is that it always comes disguised as hard work. -- Herbert V. Prochnow

Working...