Firefox 9 released, touts 20-30% more JavaScript performance

By on December 20, 2011, 7:30 AM

The latest stable build of Firefox -- version 9, for those not up to speed with Mozilla's rapid-fire release schedule -- is readily awaiting your download (Windows | Mac | Linux). The update comes just over a month after the release of Firefox 8 and the first beta of Firefox 9. Despite the relatively brief development cycle, Mozilla has crammed plenty of changes into December's revision.

The largest change appears to be the addition of Type Interface, which reportedly improves JavaScript performance by 20-30%. It remains to be seen how that translates to real world performance, but every millisecond counts. ExtremeTech tested a pre-release build of Firefox 9 this summer and recorded notable gains in Kraken, V8, Fishbowl and other benches with Type Interface enabled.

Folks updating from Firefox 8 can also expect support for querying Do Not Track status via JavaScript, font-stretch (a CSS property), better text-overflow support as well as improved theme integration for OS X Lion. Apple's operating system also receives two-finger swipe navigation, though we're not entirely sure what this entails. Firefox 9 also touts improved support for HTML5, MathML and CSS, as well as the obligatory bug fixes, which are too numerous to list here.

Given Mozilla's hasty development cycle, Firefox 10 and 11 are already available in alpha forms and we wouldn't be surprised if the former reached beta before the end of 2011. We don't see anything particularly exciting about the next stable build, but it should fix an annoying bug that causes the back and forward buttons to stop working when visiting Google+. WebGL gains anti-aliasing and the forward button will be hidden until you navigate back. More details here.




User Comments: 21

Got something to say? Post a comment
dustin_ds3000 dustin_ds3000, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I really hate Mozilla's hasty development cycle, i wish them would go back to how it used to be with Firefox 3

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

This is the story I've already read

I really do wish Firefox would go back to its old way, I want 4.5 not 9!

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Firefox kept crashing on me every two weeks when a new update came out, so I switched to Chrome. I don't really care about speed anymore, I've just resigned myself to using the browser which crashes the least. Bah humbug.

Guest said:

I hate this rapid fire release as well. Some of my favorite add-ons just can't keep up. :(

Guest said:

Regardless of version number. This one does seem to run a bit faster than the last version. Each release seems to be an improvement. Works for me...

Guest said:

I don't understand how people care so much about the version numbers. I like the quicker updates, as for the version numbers, they're irrelevant to me. Be it Firefox 4.5 or Firefox 9, how does it really affect you? It doesn't.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Actually I have to admit, it seems to be a fair bit more responsive? the first release since 5 for me were I have actually noticed a difference.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Guest said:

I don't understand how people care so much about the version numbers. I like the quicker updates, as for the version numbers, they're irrelevant to me. Be it Firefox 4.5 or Firefox 9, how does it really affect you? It doesn't.

well that's not true, first and foremost, because they are "critical" updates.

This means add-ons have to update in order to work with newer versions.

This is frustrating, And if you want just a security update you have to upgrade to a whole new "version".

Just annoying really and totally pointless except for trying to catch up in the "higher numbers are better" race with Chrome.

Guest said:

I think if Mozilla made it so these updates didn't break add-ons people wouldn't be so resistant to these fast updates....I know that's my main beef as I'm sure is many others.

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

Well people should always be aware that they can go back to previous versions also. I'm still on 4.0. Was previously on 3.6 until I started having problems accessing my email.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

I checked http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/ as well as going to the About Firefox in my 8.0.1 and didn't see anything about FF 9 there. Why?

jobeard jobeard, TS Ambassador, said:

Guess I'm just lucky. Still on 3.6.13, no problems, no incompatibilities and no infections. I'll stay here as long as there's issues with GPU acceleration too.

But then I'm also a minimalist (run as little as possible), run as a Limited user, and also avoid all the problems with *Torrents and Porn. Avast! find whatever does get through.

Guest said:

most crashes are due to third party add-on, yes you get more versatility but you pay for it in terms of stability...which makes sense.

Firefox is still the king, and until it turns into a Netscape (shivers), I will use it !

Guest said:

This means add-ons have to update in order to work with newer versions.
[sarcasm]Yes, because it's outrageously time consuming and complicated to edit the "install.rdf" file and change "maxVersion" from "8" to "9".[/sarcasm]

From a user point of view this should be an advantage. It incites add-on creators to continue to develop their add-ons. It's worth noting 99% (made up statistic) of add-ons continue to work after a new Firefox version, all they need is the version number given to maxVersion bumped up. For those add-on creators who don't bother spending the four seconds needed to update their add-on. And for users who are too lazy to do it themselves, you can just install "Add-on Compatibility Reporter" to allow outdated add-ons to be used.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/add-on-compat
bility-reporter/

Guest said:

Great for the end user, sucks for web developers!

Guest said:

save all the hassle and what all with firefox and chrome download SeaMonkey and any problems you had are fixed best browsers out there besides Maxthon3

Guest said:

Web Developers shouldn't feel any pain. There are only two versions of Firefox currently supported by Mozilla. 3.6.25 and 9.0. Anything else is immediately unsupported and should not be catered to. Unlike Internet Explorer where Microsoft will actually support 3 versions (IE7/8/9). Just worry about the latest greatest. If the site was designed well, nothing should automagically stop working.

treetops treetops said:

I don't like how they keep moving around buttons that I used to be able to find with my eyes closed. Then there's the refresh button, it used to be big and green, now its a tiny grey thingy. Also the tools\options layout. Sure it stimulates my mind by making me learn new things, but the old familiarity is the only thing keeping me from trying out a new browser like google chrome. Next time they move everything around I'm trying a new browser.

caravel said:

I run Firefox at work and Icweasel (rebranded Firefox) on Linux at home and have never had any of these problems. Obviously I'm a "super elite user", because my add ons work, it never crashes, etc. The whining and complaining about the release cycle is the product of Chrome fanboyism, propaganda and ****** who pay far too much attention to the "technology press" and then run about the www parrotting the bullshit they've been soaking up.

example1013 said:

Rapid-release is stupid until they put in automatic updating. As an IT guy who has to manage installations on about 40-50 computers, going around and manually installing it every ******* month is really a pain.

caravel said:

Rapid-release is stupid until they put in automatic updating.

They do have automatic updating...

As an IT guy who has to manage installations on about 40-50 computers, going around and manually installing it every ****ing month is really a pain.

Some IT depts have to manage a lot more than 50 workstations... The solution does not involve running about with a USB flash drive. Setting up your own local mirror for updates is the better option... firefox allows you to override where it pulls updates from in about :config, so it's simply a case of you setting up a mirror and updating it when a new release is made. Your workstations will then connect to the mirror and pull updates from there - saves bandwidth as well time and effort...

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.