I can't really say it any other way but I think that Mozilla managed to turn the Firefox browser around in a rather short period of time from a slow browser that was highly customizable to a browser that does not really have to hide behind the speed and performance of Google's Chrome browser any more. In fact, Mozilla managed to beat Google in many areas where Chrome once reigned supreme or at least closed the gap. That's not to say that Chrome is not still in the lead in some areas, as the latest HTML5 test shows for instance, but the gap is closing fast.
Google on the other hand seems to fight with Chrome becoming sluggish and criticism seems to have increased in recent time. The recent announcement to create the WebKit fork Blink may be one of the ways that Google hopes will resolve many of the issues of the browser.
Mozilla, after launching the OdinMonkey component in Nightly versions of Firefox in March has added a new baseline compiler to Firefox Nightly that improves the browsers performance in the company's own Kraken benchmark and Google's Octane benchmark by 5-10%.
What may be even more important is that it is also the base for future improvements to the browser. Mozilla has hopes to reduce the memory usage of the browser and use it to speed up the implementation of optimizations in the browser.
Firefox up to this point used two Just In Time (JIT) compilers: Jaegermonkey and IonMonkey.
Jaeger is a general purpose JIT that is “pretty fast”, and Ion is a powerful optimizing JIT that’s “really fast”.
Jaegermonkey is currently being used as a stopgap baseline compiler for IonMonkey. The problem here is that it was never designed for that job. That's why Mozilla created a new baseline compiler that has been designed from the ground up with IonMonkey in mind.
You can read a detailed explanation of why this has become necessary at the official Mozilla blog.
Interesting from a general user perspective is the outlook that Mozilla gives in the same blog post. Users can expect "significant memory savings", "performance improvements" and "better optimizations of high level features".
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.