Sunday, April 8, 2012

Firefox, advancing the free web forward

The "dawn" of the web.

The "future" of the web.

The modern web is quite exciting for users and developers alike. For those of us who actually started with NCSA Mosaic and similar browsers (and even browsed the web with Dos browsers such as Arachne) or text based browsers, the modern web is an amazing leap forward we probably would have billed as a futuristic pipe-dream.
Web browsers are becoming little Operative Systems with threading support, 3D and 2D Hardware acceleration, 3D graphics support, interactive 2D canvas the web application can draw on, real-time audio processing, local data storage, asynchronous data transfer, etc... all with the help of open standards and the power of their embedded JavaScript engines allowing more and more versatile and dynamic elements to power the web (and more, see Unity 3D).
Users tend to load many web pages at once, they like to multi-task a lot and run heavier sites than they might give them credit for, so it is very important for web browsers to be faster, consume less memory, and offer better features for web designers willing to implement the modern audio and video tags for example.
Mozilla is doing a wonderful job in both the execution of this mandate and in involving users in the process by creating various powerful initiative that help you keep track of the progress done in all of those areas:

Keeping Track of User Experience problems
Checking JavaScript performance
Checking memory usage and memory optimization efforts
Test suite for audio playback on the open web

I invite you to check out all of those web sites and read through the various FAQ's detailing how the tests are run, what metrics they focus on, and how you can contribute to the tests or check up their testing methodology.

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