Jan 2010 Ubuntu Browser Benchmarks

A follow-up of this.

Note: I am just comparing Javascript. This is no longer a good way to benchmark a whole browser, if it ever was… but it is just interesting to me, and gives one metric that is an important one.

Environment is Ubuntu 10.10 64bit on Core2Quad@2.66Ghz

Browser Version Sunspider result
Chromium 10.0.634.0 277.2ms +/- 1.8%
Midori 0.2.9 388.5ms +/- 1.0%
Epiphany 2.30.2 382.0ms +/- 2.4%
Opera 11.00 352.6ms +/- 1.8%
Firefox 3.6.14pre 1883.8ms +/- 2.6%
Swiftfox 3.6.12 1068.2ms +/- 2.3%
Firefox 4b10pre 283.6ms +/- 5.0%

All the browsers have advanced pretty well. Once Firefox 4 finally ships I’d say the playing field is pretty level for javascript performance in browsers on Linux. In real world usage I just don’t know that anyone would be able to distinguish a speed difference between the browsers when it comes to javascript. The next pieces browsers need to keep working on are HTML5 and CSS3 implementations, Hardware acceleration for 2D and 3D rendering, and additional browser features, like extensibility and ‘installable’ web apps.

As a web developer I am excited about where things are going, and how the web as a platform is advancing. Native (meaning native to the OS/Desktop environment) applications aren’t gone yet, and probably won’t be for a long time yet, but they are needing a better and better excuse to not move into the browser. What would be the benefit of that you ask? The same that Java Swing, Adobe AIR and others have tried to achieve. OS independence. You write it for Firefox according to defined standards and it should work on all browsers that implement the same standards on all the OS’s. That is a big deal! I think a couple prime candidates for proof of concept browser apps would be all the little games normally included in Ubuntu. Mines, Solitaire, Tetris clones etc. and maybe the social networking client like Gwibber. If only I had more time to play…

Update: I played some with Tetris in a browser idea

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2010 breakout year for Linux (as in Android)?

Yeah, i know not another “year of Linux” prediction. So lame, but eh, whats the harm really 🙂

I have been thinking for a while now that Android is really the up and coming platform. This article about the android market reaching the 20,000 app milestone seems to agree, but is pretty conservative about it. Things it doesn’t consider is that the Android Market is just one place that apps are released. Apps can be made available other ways, such as a simple download available on the web that you then drop onto your device, or accessed directly through specific URL’s.

Also in contrast to native apps there are web apps. Web-apps developed for iPhone’s mobile safari browser also run on other mobile webkit browsers like the one found on Android (and Palm’s WebOS) and vice-versa. There is no count on those that I know of, but they are definitely growing in numbers and I suspect their popularity will be increasing dramatically. Less platform lock in is a big draw for developers. Additionally, existing tools make developing mobile apps relatively easy. For example, Android benefits from already existing tools like JqTouch, xUI, iUI and others

Then there is the fact that Android is starting to show up on things other than phones, like e-readerstablets, and amazing looking reader-tablet hybrids

With 2010 just around the corner some people are sure to claim (yet again) that this will be the year for Linux to break out, and they might be right as 2010 is really shaping up to be a big year for Android.

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