[LINK] Mozilla performance

Robin Whittle rw@firstpr.com.au
Wed, 05 Feb 2003 13:42:30 +1100


I still use Netscape 4.77 for browsing and email, switching to Mozilla
if I find a site which does not work with N4.77.  (I had more trouble
with later versions.)  If that doesn't work, I use MSIE 6.  Some sites
have Javascript problems which cause Netscape 4.77 to be unable to
follow links.  Closing Netscape doesn't fix it, since a zombie process
must be killed, or the computer shut down. 

The slow loading of some pages with N4.77 is, in my experience, related
to nested tables without size specifications.  Poor N4.77 has to figure
out a whole series of mutual dependencies to decide what size to make
them, while MSIE and I think Mozilla have go at it, and then resize
things on screen as they figure things out.   In extreme cases this can
take minutes on my Mobile Celeron 466MHz machine.

Since table cell sizes may depend on graphic images which have not
loaded, and since many HTML files these days do not specify the size of
the graphic, N4.77 has to get all those files as well to figure out
their size.   But in my experience, the problem seems to be table-based
pages with many nested tables and/or a great depth of nested tables.   I
don't think it is to do with Javascript at all.

I don't use Mozilla in general because its email client is broken.  With
the plain text editor, it inserts an extra space in all sent or saved
messages if the line starts with a space.   This is intolerable - but it
seems that many Mozilla developers don't care about the plain text
editor, and think everyone should go to HTML.  There are other usability
problems too, so I stick with N4.77.   I reported this bug in May last
year, and nothing has been done to fix it:

  http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=141983  


Don't get too excited by Opera.  There's a slew of security holes in it
reported on BugTraq this morning.

   http://www.securityfocus.com

and 

   http://security.greymagic.com/adv/

which lists comparable problems in MSIE (lots) and Mozilla/Netscape 6
(one).

   - Robin