SquirrelFish Javascript Engine Goes Extreme!

WebKit, the open source foundation behind Apple's Safari for Mac and MobileSafari on the iPhone (not to mention Google Chrome, Nokia, and Adobe) introduced the SquirrelFish JavaScript engine a while back, and billed it as the fastest on the planet. Then came Mozilla's (Firefox) TraceMonkey. Then came Google's V8. But you just can't keep a good SquirrelFish down -- not when it's willing to go... Extreme!

Surfin' Safari, the WebKit blog, made the announcement this week. But what does it mean for iPhone users? Muchfasterwebsiterendering.

As WebApp's (browser-based productivity tools like Google Docs and MobileMe, or Web 2.0 social sites like Facebook and Twitter) grow not only in popularity but in function, they become heavier to load and slower to run, largely because of all the JavaScript being processed in the background. This is especially true for a mobile device like the iPhone. The ability to tear through those pages -- without crashing! -- becomes incredibly important in the growing "cloud" based computing world.

In other words, this will make future versions of MobileSafari screaming fast.

Can we have it now please?

(For those interested in how SFX compares with TraceMonkey and V8, check out the stats!)

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.