Saturday, October 19, 2013

Taking TenFourFox 24 Beta Out for a Test Drive

I've been looking forward to TenFourFox 24 with a bit of trepidation. I'd gotten used to TenFourFox 17's safe, it-just-works confines, but all ESRs must come to an end and 17's time is almost up. It's time for 24 to be the new stable release, but if you've followed the TenFourFox Development blog, you'd know the road toward 24 has been a somewhat torturous one. Cameron Kaiser has been leaving hints and intimations that the new javascript interpreter necessitated by Mozilla's switch to IonMonkey might mean a hit in performance, and after much work he can now report that it's "not an utter disaster." I've heard worse words.

So how does 24 measure up in the wild? After downloading it, I started the browser and was immediately confronted with a frozen tab bar. I closed the window and brought up a new one and I haven't been able to reproduce the issue. Maybe an Australis gremlin. Anyway, the speed is what I'm here for and to see for myself if there are any regressions. And I can report, in my non-benchmarking way, that the difference is monumentally, horrifyingly...nil. I honestly don't notice any speed difference between 17 and 24, and if anything, the GUI (menus, scrollbars, etc.) feels a bit snappier. So bullet dodged, and with IonMonkey more fully implemented in later releases, it looks like things will only get better.

The only difference I saw was in memory consumption. It was usually in the 300-350 MB range vs. 17's 250-ish range. I don't know if that'll be optimized in the future. But overall I'm happy and I'd say don't hesitate to upgrade when the final is released in December.

Also, a reminder for Leopard users, SeaMonkey-PPC and Leopard-Webkit are still making builds for PowerPC, so give those a shot, too.


  1. I'm testing it right now. It works like a charm and it's more quicker than v.17.

  2. I don't have Leopard, so no :(