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Safari To Get JavaScript Speed Enhancements via SquirrelFish

The WebKit project announced this week a new and improved JavaScript interpreter, code-named SquirrelFish.

SquirrelFish promises 1.6 times faster JavaScript performance as compared to Webkit/Safari 3.1. This is accomplished by using "a register-based, direct-threaded, high-level bytecode engine" which aims to eliminate the overhead associated with traditional syntax tree walking interpreters like the one currently used in Safari 3.1.x.


SunSpider runs per minute. Longer bars are better. Image courtesy webkit.org


The introduction of this open-source effort means these improvements will almost certainly be propagated into future versions of Apple's Safari web browser, however the timing is unknown. Javascript is a scripting language that is commonly used on many websites.

Of note, Safari 3.1 already brought dramatic speed improvements over 3.0.x, indicating Apple has been and continues to be actively engaged in Safari/WebKit JavaScript performance.