Firefox's New "JaegerMonkey" JavaScript Engine is Revving Up, About 20% Faster Already


Firefox 4.0 is probably going to be one among the most important release Mozilla team has ever made. Competition is breathing down its neck like never before. Even IE, in its latest avatar(read IE9) is fast becoming a better piece of software. Mozilla's answer to all this lies in upcoming Firefox 4.0. Already a lot of improvements have been made. But the biggest change is going to be the the new JavaScript engine called “JaegerMonkey”.

firefox 4

Firefox 4 is Really Important from Mozilla's Perspective 
Firefox used to be my favorite browser for years. But when the release of Google Chrome and its unbranded sibling Chromium happened[Learn more on the difference between the two], I was awed by the amount of improvements I saw with these new bunch of browsers. It was exactly like switching from IE to Firefox back in those days. And I never looked back since.

Nobody knows this better than Firefox itself. And changes have already started showing up. Introduction of Tabcandy was creative and more such features are in the pipeline.

JaegerMonkey JavaScript Engine
JaegerMonkey JavaScript Engine is Mozilla's last ditch effort at bringing it speeds close to that of its rivals once again. The speed increases of Google Chrome, Opera and Apple's Safari are all over the news. Mozilla has no option but to join the race before getting eaten up by the competition.

Mozilla's previous JavaScript engine was called TraceMonkey and it had serious issues with its speed. Instead of trying to improve TraceMonkey, developers have decided to rewrite JavaScript engine from scratch and hence the release of JaegerMonkey JavaScript Engine.


On July 12th, JaegerMonkey officially crossed TraceMonkey on the v8 suite of benchmarks. The black line is the new method JIT, and the orange line is the tracing JIT.

And there is a small note for the worried, "the tracer JIT (orange) and method JIT (black) are not yet integrated. Once integrated, the merged branch will be faster than either branch individually. They are complementary." The progress is closely tracked and you could check the current status at arewefastyet.com

How Fast is "JaegerMonkey" as of Now?
Mozilla had reached an important milestone in the month of July 2010 as its new JavaScript engine "JaegerMonkey" became faster than the current TraceMonkey JavaScript engine. To see how far Mozilla has to go, let's analyze the sunspider benchmark.

As you could see, the speeds have already crossed crucial 500ms mark and it is fast getting better. But there is still some ground to clear and Chrome is no way standing still. According to some, Chrome will break the 300ms mark soon. Things are not so different with v8 benchmark as well. Though Mozilla has made considerable improvements with its new JavaScript engine, it still a long road ahead.

Mozilla's new JavaScript engine will make the cut into Firefox 4.0 when it's released in September and let's hope everyone's beloved open source project will once again become the browser of choice for all of us. Fingers crossed.

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