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Aug 22, 08 - 2:48 pm
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In a move to make Firefox more competitive with desktop applications and proprietary graphics technology like Microsoft Silverlight and Adobe Flash, Mozilla on this afternoon released TraceMonkey.
Mozilla has included TraceMonkey in an alpha version of Firefox 3.1, the next major release of the open-source Firefox Web browser.
“If you’re doing something like image processing, we can demonstrate six to seven times speed-ups and we can probably double those,” said Eich in a phone interview. “If you’re doing a tight [programming] loop that’s just manipulating bits, you can go 20 to 40 times faster.”
Trace Monkey was built with the help of UC Irvine research scientist Andreas Gal, using a technique called “trace trees.”
Mike Schroepfer, VP of engineering at Mozilla (soon to leave for Facebook), has posted a screencast demo that shows how TraceMonkey makes image editing done through Firefox competitive with dedicated image editing applications, at least in terms of the responsiveness of the user interface.
If Mozilla is successful in its efforts, the rationale for developing rich Internet applications (RIAs) will become increasingly questionable. As Eich sees it, RIAs are already at risk. “Those platforms that are not a browser are an increasingly thin value-add to what the browser can do,” he said.
Eich said that when Google launched Google Maps and found that it was done without plug-ins, they were stunned. He expects that ongoing browser performance improvements will usher in similarly surprising applications.
Firefox 3.1 should be ready before the end of the year, Eich said.
This entry was posted on Friday, August 22nd, 2008 at 2:48 pm and is filed under Open Source, Software, Technology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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