Friday, September 19, 2008

JavaScript gets faster

JavaScript these days is getting increasingly important and strategic in Web applications design. AJAX frameworks significantly improve users' experience, changing the balance of code development from the server to the client side. Meaningful in this sense is the SproutCore framework whose goal is to allow the development of web applications that look and behave as close as possible to desktop apps.

In this scenario JavaScript performance becomes crucial. Again some open source projects raised the speed bar higher, in a significantly short time. Two projects must be cited here: one is v8, the by now ultra-famous JavaScript interpreter in Google Chrome. For a quick and nice explanation of its major "tricks" you can also give a look at the Google Chrome Comic Book (impatient JavaScript fans can directly jump to page 13).

The second project is SquirrelFish Extreme, the new generation JavaScript interpreter of the Safari browser (or better, of the WebKit open source web browser engine). Benchmarks should always be taken with a grain of salt but performance gains of this new implementation are really astonishing.

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