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

Mike Emmel mike.emmel at gmail.com
Fri May 26 13:11:31 PDT 2006

On 5/26/06, Geoffrey Garen <ggaren at apple.com> wrote:
> 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.

Thats a bold statement considering one is bytecode based and the other
uses a tree.
Can you show where the engine test were performed results etc etc.
I simply can't believe this with out a very large test suite.

I think your either spreading a rumor here or reporting results based
on a small test suite.
There is nothing  googliing that indicates there has been any serious
Finally the plan as written is to move to a bytecode interpeter if
SpiderMonkey which is bytecode based is truly slower then  why go to a
bytecode interpeter. I've looked at the SpiderMonkey interpeter it
seems okay for bytecode interpeters nothing obviously wrong with it.
If someone has plans to write a bytecode interpeter that blows
SpiderMonkey away please share.

As far as I'm concerned its technically impossible for a tree walking
function calling interpeter to come close to bytecode in execution
speed if you have succeded this is a major breakthrough. All I can
guess is that its faster for small bits of code that runs once.

Agian I'd love to see a honest comparision of the two engines and a
real plan for improvement.

> 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.
> Geoff
> 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
> > http://www.opendarwin.org/mailman/listinfo/webkit-dev
> _______________________________________________
> webkit-dev mailing list
> webkit-dev at opendarwin.org
> http://www.opendarwin.org/mailman/listinfo/webkit-dev

More information about the webkit-dev mailing list