‘Firefox 18’ Goes Live  – Up To 25% Faster, New JavaScript Compiler, “Retina” Support For Macs

‘Firefox 18’ Goes Live – Up To 25% Faster, New JavaScript Compiler, “Retina” Support For Macs

Mozilla – which works to advance the goals of the Open Web as described in the Mozilla Manifesto, has this week released a new version of its popular desktop “Firefox” browser.

Released yesterday, Firefox 18 arrives up to 25-percent faster than previous versions of the desktop browser, and notably includes a new JavaScript JIT compiler called “IonMonkey.”

“SpiderMonkey has a storied history of just-in-time compilers. Throughout all of them, however, we’ve been missing a key component you’d find in typical production compilers, like for Java or C++. The old TraceMonkey*, and newer JägerMonkey, both had a fairly direct translation from JavaScript to machine code. There was no middle step. There was no way for the compilers to take a step back, look at the translation results, and optimize them further,” the company wrote in its official announcement.

IonMonkey,” it says, “provides a brand new architecture that allows us to do just that.”


Today we enabled IonMonkey, our newest JavaScript JIT, in Firefox 18. IonMonkey is a huge step forward for our JavaScript performance and our compiler architecture. But also, it’s been a highly focused, year-long project on behalf of the IonMonkey team, and we’re super excited to see it land.

In addition, the new version of Firefox now also includes preliminary WebRTC (Real Time Communication), alongside “Retina” display support for Mac.

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- NEW: Support for Retina Display on OS X 10.7 and up.
- NEW: Preliminary support for WebRTC.
- CHANGED: Experience better image quality with our new HTML scaling algorithm.
- CHANGED: Performance improvements around tab switching.
- DEVELOPER: CSS3 Flexbox implemented.
- DEVELOPER: Support for new DOM property window.devicePixelRatio.
- DEVELOPER: Support for @supports added.
- DEVELOPER: Improvement in startup time through smart handling of signed extension certificates.
- HTML5: Support for W3C touch events impemented, taking the place of MozTouch events.
- FIXED: Disable insecure content loading on HTTPS pages (62178).
- FIXED: Improved responsiveness for users on proxies (769764).

Firefox 18 is now available for those on Windows, Mac and Linux, with the mobile version designed for Android OS devices having also just been updated.

Download Firefox 18, today!