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Mozilla promises more speed with Firefox 9 beta

It’ll need to be a lot better to win back punters

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Mozilla has released the first beta of Firefox 9, just days after the release of the eighth build of the popular open source browser.

The Firefox 9 beta, available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, promises to be faster than previous builds thanks to type inference technology now built into Mozilla’s SpiderMonkey JavaScript engine. This monitors software and assigns new values when greater speed is needed.

“Type information is used during JIT compilation to generate more efficient code; Firefox 9 includes modifications to the JaegerMonkey JIT compiler to use inferred type information,” wrote Firefox Engineer Brian Bondy in a blog post. “This compilation mode, which is the default in Firefox 9, speeds up major benchmarks like Kraken and V8 by over 30 per cent, and gives a large speed boost to many JS heavy websites.”

Web sites and web applications should also load a lot faster, thanks to the addition of chunking for XHR requests, which allows more flexibility for large data downloads.

The Mac version of the beta also has themes that match Mac OS X Lion, supports multitouch gesture control on the operating system, and has been adapted to make it easier for users to use the browser on multiple monitors.

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