[webkit-dev] Is WebKit's javascript subpar?

Geoffrey Garen ggaren at apple.com
Fri May 26 12:48:27 PDT 2006

There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding on this thread. Let me  
try to clarify some things.

First, the most helpful thing to do in these circumstances is to file  
bugs in WebKit Bugzilla (bugzilla.opendarwin.org). I've filed bugs  
9128 and 9129 about script.aculo.us. I am yet to see a flame war  
change a blogger's perspective on the world. On the other hand, I  
routinely see reduced test cases and diligent work do wonders.

Second, Firefox has bugs. Lots of them. I just did a search for open  
bugs in the Firefox component and got up to 8,272 before the Bugzilla  
server gave up. And that's just the bugs they know about. For  
example, in the case of https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi? 
id=235441, Firefox has created a classic bind for which people  
usually scold Internet Explorer: do we do the standards-compliant  
thing, or emulate a Firefox bug to improve compatibility? So I don't  
think 'Replace Safari engine with Firefox engine... profit" is the  
end of the story, any more than 'Replace Firefox engine with Internet  
Explorer engine... profit" is. Another issue with SpiderMonkey is  
that it's far slower than JavaScriptCore, and speed is a big priority  
for us.

Third, there is no such thing as a perfect browser. Compatibility is  
a two-way street. WebKit needs to implement reasonable behavior, but  
web developers also need to test their applications with WebKit.  
Because web developers use Firefox, they tend to make their sites  
work in it, too. Take script.aculo.us, for example. Many of the  
script.aculo.us unit tests fail because they expect Firefox's result,  
"transparent," but in Safari get "rgba(0, 0, 0, 0)" instead. They're  
the same thing, but script.aculo.us doesn't know it. script.aculo.us  
is also developing "ghost train," which "should be able to work  
completely with most standards-compliant... applications," even  
though it "currently... only works in Firefox." So this is not just  
an issue of having a standards-compliant engine; it's also an issue  
of encouraging developers to pay attention to Mac customers, and  
having an app that developers enjoy using.


On May 25, 2006, at 6:04 PM, Abhi Beckert wrote:

> I've seen several blog posts recently (eg:
> http://rentzsch.com/code/dashcodeForAjaxAppDevelopment) that boldly
> state WebKit's "ajax support" is vastly inferior to FireFox. All of
> them have been very vague and haven't specified exactly where WebKit
> is lacking, so I thought I'd ask you guys: Is WebKit inferior, or is
> it just because FF is cross platform/has more users, and the companies
> are focusing on FF first, and other engines later?
> If these claims are unfounded, lets chop them off at the head.
> _______________________________________________
> webkit-dev mailing list
> webkit-dev at opendarwin.org
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