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Evaluating Mozilla 1.0 Candidate 1 - page 3

Evaluating A Mozilla Beta Release

  • April 25, 2002
  • By Rob Reilly

My focus, as a Linux user, is on how applications, programs and processes can be harnessed to specifically improve business operations. Business people want to make the right choices when they select technology. They want a browser that loads and renders web pages quickly. Time is money, so those were the first tests I made.

The browser loading speed plan was simple. Load Mozilla and Opera a few times and use a stopwatch to see how long it took. The sample size was small, although you can get a rough estimate of how each performed. Opera is generally heralded as the fastest web browser. I didn't change any Linux processes or load any new applications during the tests.

The following table shows the program loading data (in seconds).

Mozilla 1.0 C1Opera 6.0 B2
7.719.47
8.154.22
10.074.15
8.444.16
8.034.04
8.48 sec. avg.5.21 sec. avg.

Opera was still a little faster at loading. No real surprise. 8.5 seconds, for me, is still respectable and very adequate for business browsing on a laptop machine like mine. A desktop box with 4 times the memory, a recent PIII processor, faster disk and a corporate LAN will, no doubt, have higher performance in this area.

Just for fun, I went back and did the same test on my old Mozilla version 0.9.4. The average loading time was 10.46 seconds. It seems like loading speed has improved in the 1.0 version.

Let's talk about web page rendering speed. Bringing up a web page is where the rubber meets the road for me and the browser. Many factors influence how fast a page appears on your screen, including web page size, JAVA, graphics size, network congestion, time of day, performance of the web server and if the Moon is lined up with Jupiter. When I first used Road Runner, a few years ago, I found out just how many slow servers there were in the world.

The web page rendering speed plan was simple, as well. Download web pages using each browser and time it. The four sites chosen represented some text, some graphics and average pages that a business person might frequent. Try the tests with your favorites.

The sites chosen were:

  • www.linuxhq.com
  • msnbc.com
  • yahoo.com
  • www.rushlimbaugh.com

I know that you want results, not endless lists of test numbers. Below is a table of average times, in seconds.

linuxhqmsnbcyahoorush
Mozilla1.453.412.376.32
Opera1.293.531.634.23

Again, Opera seemed a little faster at downloading web pages. 6.3 seconds for Rush is a little long, in my opinion, although the site seems fairly complicated. Text based (linuxhq) and performance sites (yahoo) worked very well. MSNBC was decent considering the graphics layout. I didn't see a real need to compare these numbers against Mozilla version 0.9.4 download times. If you are a real purist and want the ultimate in Linux browsing speed there's always Lynx and the command line.

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