[maemo-users] Microb Versus Mozilla Fennec

From: Jonathan Greene atmasphere at atmasphere.net
Date: Fri May 9 17:44:45 EEST 2008
I love the Fennec browser though it could clearly use less memory, be
more stable and launch more quickly.  ;)

It can actually render my Google Reader page which MicroB cannot ... I
find it super responsive and hope we see it packaged in a future
release.  What I understood from the original Ars piece on the topic
was that they are pretty close relatives, but that Fennec benefits
from a later code base which seems to really make quite the

For every day use though I am running MicroB as it is far more
reliable at the moment.


On Fri, May 9, 2008 at 6:31 AM, Quim Gil <quim.gil at nokia.com> wrote:
> Hi,
> ext John Holmblad wrote:
>> All,
>> for those who have not already seen the article whose url is:
>> http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080409-first-look-mozilla-fennec-targets-handheld-browser-market.html
>> It provides a comparison of the performance of Microb versus Fennec on
>> the N810. Fennec shows a ~6x speed improvement for javascript.
> Yes, the numbers of these automated tests are right. However, users
> having used both browsers will probably agree that in terms of real user
> experience as for today both are pretty similar, and even the Nokia
> version is performing better in real use conditions. I'm talking about
> my own experience and comments I've heard.
> What is your opinion? I'm sure both Nokia and Mozilla developers are
> interested to know.
> Is someone lying? Not at all. It's just a matter of looking at the
> details. The current MicroB engine was developed one year ago by Nokia
> starting with a pre-alpha of the latest Gecko engine, the freshest code
> available by then. The release under development done last Summer put a
> Mozilla based browser at a level where nobody could before (including
> the own Mozilla guys, who were happily surprised btw). Now Fennec is
> shipping a most recent Gecko and of course putting both one by side you
> get nowadays much better performance at engine level. How much MicroB's
> open source code helped on that, I don't know but I guess it saved them
> some work.
> But users don't deal with engines alone, you have the UI in between and
> this is where the Mozilla browser in Chinook and Fennec differ most: the
> first uses an own UI providing -as for today- much better performance
> that XUL, a component that seems like needing more work before being
> really fit in mobile devices. Are we going to keep this difference in
> the future? Time we tell. Both teams have a lot of work to do anyway.
> But in fact the best part of this Mozilla browsers comparison is not the
> numbers competition part but the human collaboration part. The Mozilla
> and Nokia developers are collaborating and both projects are in sync.
> The current development of the Mozilla browser for Diablo+1 is based
> directly on the Gecko trunk and we are discussing ways of deepening the
> collaboration, also at a community level. Imagine the wide community of
> Firefox add-on developers targeting the maemo platform - that would be fun.
> We are even having some common exercises of exploration, both sides
> learning a lot i.e. Qt support -
> http://blog.vlad1.com/2008/05/06/well-isnt-that-qt/
> Conclusion: We are as happy as you seeing the performance progress done
> by the Fennec project. We feel honored by them targeting our platform in
> the first place. Nokia is doing the right thing with the Mozilla
> development. Lots of potential for collaboration and cool stuff.
> --
> Quim Gil
> marketing manager, open source
> maemo software @ Nokia
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> maemo-users at maemo.org
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Jonathan Greene
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