Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Most recently, both Firefox (here) and Opera (here) have been featured in Slashdot posts mentioning how great their latest bleeding edge development versions are. So I figured I'd give them all a whirl. The results are here.
For this comparison I used nightly builds of Firefox and Webkit from 12/22/2009, which is the date the Opera 10.5 pre-Alpha was released. Unfortunately I could not go back in time and grab the latest Chrome development release from that date. So its possible that Chrome has a slight advantage in this comparison.
In the chart, a red box indicates that browser's score was worst or tied for worst. A green box indicates that browser's score was best or tied for best. Some comments on the results:
1. Firefox does a few things well, but overall lags far behind the other options. It turned in the worst overall score in Sunspider, V8 and Dromaeo, all by a significant margin. All four were roughly tied in Peacekeeper. More on that later, though.
4. Opera is doing something fishy with regexps on Dromaeo. Most likely caching results. Its score is an order of magnitude higher than the other browsers on that particular test, while being only moderately faster on the others.
6. Every browser had at least one area where it was the "worst" among the four options, and each browser had at least one area where it was the "best". This suggests there is at least some low hanging fruit left for each of them to pick, though less so for Opera.
7. All tests were performed on a 1.8ghz Pentium-M running Windows XP SP3 with 1GB RAM and Intel integrated graphics. This processor has SSE2 instructions, so Opera's performance shouldn't be negatively impacted.
Monday, June 8, 2009
V8 v3: 1368
Safari 4.0 (530.17)
V8 v3: 1031
Unfortunately I'm not able to test iBench 5.0 on my system since it requires somewhat more extensive setup. Also note that on Sunspider "lower is better" while on the others "higher is better".
So what can we take away from this?
- Sunspider performance between Chrome and Safari really depends on the underlying hardware. Apple's benchmarks show Safari outperforming Chrome by approximately 30%. On my hardware the situation is exactly reversed.
- Chrome still thrashes Safari on Dromaeo and V8, while Futuremark's test clearly favors Safari.
- When we drill down to individual benchmarks, each browser scores some "big wins" over its competition:
- Chrome excels at "3d", "access", "math" and "regexp" from Sunspider, "base64", "code evaluation", "regexp" and "3d cube" from Dromaeo, "complex graphics" from Peacekeeper, and "DeltaBlue", "Crypto", "Raytrace", "EarleyBoyer" and "Splay" from V8.
- Safari excels at "Richards" from V8, and "Social Networking", "Data", and "DOM Operations" from Peacekeeper.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Internet Explorer 8.0.6001.18372 (Released 1/26/2009)
1. Notably, RC1 is now able to complete the Dromaeo suite, which gives us another point of comparison vs. the other browsers. IE8 Beta 2 and IE7 were both unable to complete Dromaeo.
2. IE8 RC1 is 57% quicker in executing the SunSpider tests compared to IE8 Beta2. Microsoft has been busy. However, its SunSpider score still places it behind even the slowest currently released browser (Opera). RC1 beats Beta2 in every single SunSpider test; there were no regressions. The largest gain from Beta2 to RC1 was in the "base64" sub-test, which saw a 7x speedup.
3. Dromaeo is a completely different story. RC1's Dromaeo score outperforms all the currently released browser versions except Chrome. Actually, the only browsers RC1 doesn't beat on Dromaeo are Chrome and the Webkit nightly. Clearly IE8 likes Dromaeo.
4. Unfortunately, there's still some weird interaction between IE8 RC1 and Dromaeo that prevents me from "saving" my results. So I will reproduce them manually here:
Arrays: 218.83 runs/s
Base64: 16.63 runs/s
Code Evaluation: 52.30 runs/s
Regular Expressions: 3341.25 runs/s
Rotating 3D Cube: 13.91 runs/s
Strings: 1357.29 runs/s
These paint a different picture. While IE8 RC1 achieves a higher total score than FF 3.1 on Dromaeo, it is beaten on every test except Regular Expressions. On that one test it outperforms FF3.1 by such a large margin that all the others are dwarfed by comparison.
Monday, January 26, 2009
The term "pro-abortion" implies a desire to see the rate of abortion increase. That is not true of most people who describe themselves as pro-choice. So the term is inaccurate, and borders on slander. Moreover it's not really effective, and just makes the user seem all the more shrill and desperate.
Now it is true that the pro-choice position advocates a scenario in which legal abortions will continue to happen, albeit perhaps at some reduced rate. This is where we get the "pro-abortion" rhetoric. Because the pro-choice position advocates continued legal abortions, the argument goes, it is more accurately described as "pro-abortion".
But we should ask: what does it mean to be "pro-" something?
Consider the term "pro-life". What is it thought to mean by those who use it to describe themselves? Basically it implies the belief that human life has intrinsic value. That life should be preserved for this reason alone, not because of its utility.
But if that's the meaning of "pro-" then the vast majority of those who support continued legal abortion are not "pro-abortion". They don't consider abortion to have intrinsic value. If its utility were to disappear, they would be quite content to see abortion vanish as well.
So here's my appeal: stop muddying the waters of the abortion debate with unnecessarily inflammatory rhetoric. And that cuts both ways, by the way, for those accustomed to the term "anti-choice".
Friday, January 9, 2009
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Another commenter, ostensibly gay, responded with the following wonderful observation: When is the last time you heard of someone being excommunicated because of his greed?
I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.
What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. "Expel the wicked man from among you."
That's an excellent question.
To be fair, it's arguably easier to identify sexual immorality than greed because scripture explicitly describes certain sexual practices as being sinful. That said, Paul still chooses to include "greed" in the list of offenses that can potentially require a congregation to break fellowship. So this begs the question: why the disproportionate emphasis on homosexuality?
In light of Paul's last command to the church in Corinth, shown above, it seems to me that the evangelical church in America may spend far too little time judging those inside the church and far too much time judging those outside the church.
Now, I happen to support the orthodox view when it comes to homosexuality. On the other hand, it also seems obvious that the church could do a better job of applying church discipline evenly, as it is described by Paul, and could expend a lot less effort decrying the faults of those outside the church.
Monday, January 5, 2009
Consider the Greek word akatharsia. It appears ten times in the Received Text, on which the King James translation was based. I reference the Received Text here purely because there's a handy online tool for exploring the Greek.
The King James translates akatharsia as "uncleanness". Modern translations like the NIV, NASB, ESV and HCSB choose the word "impurity" in verses like Eph. 5:3 and "uncleanness" elsewhere. Below are the verses where akatharsia appears. Reading them all together, one begins to get a feeling for what this word actually "means", and why various choices of English words may or may not be appropriate.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness.
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves...
I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.
I fear that when I come again my God may humble me before you, and I may have to mourn over many of those who sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and sensuality that they have practiced.
2 Cor 12:21
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality...
They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity."
But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive...
1 Th. 2:3
For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.
1 Th. 4:7
Given these, we can draw some conclusions about what this word might have "meant" to a first century Greek-speaking audience. Mat. 23:27 ties akatharsia to the sort of uncleanness associated with decay and decomposition. Most everyone views decomposing bodies as disgusting and unclean, but for a Jew, this type of uncleanness would have had an additional ceremonial dimension. Rom 6:19 positions akatharsia as the opposite of dikaiosynē, or righteousness. 1 Th. 4:7 corroborates this meaning by contrasting akatharsia with hagiasmos, or holiness. Now consider the typical English translations: "impurity" and "uncleanness".
These were undoubtedly chosen because they best represent the completely literal meaning of akatharsia, which comes from the root word katharos meaning "pure" or "clean". We get the English word "catharsis" from the same root. The problem here is that "impurity" and "uncleanness" do not necessarily carry a negative connotation in English, and from these verses it seems clear that akatharsia was meant to carry a negative connotation. For example, one could discuss the level of impurity in a chemical solution, and it's not necessarily a bad thing. These words also fail to capture the "decay" aspect present in Mat. 23:27 and the spiritual dimension present in Rom. 6:19 and 1 Th. 4:7. Let me suggest two possible alternatives:
1. Corruption. The most common meaning of corruption centers around political dishonesty. We complain about "corrupt" officials. However, it can also be used to describe physical decay. Consider these definitions from the Random House Unabridged Dictionary: "moral perversion; depravity", "perversion of integrity" and "putrefactive decay; rottenness".
Corruption would seem to be a perfect fit for Mat. 23:27, since it captures the connotation of putrefactive decay. It would also be suitable for Eph. 5:3 and some of the others. Alternately one could use:
2. Defilement. This word is rarely used in English, and carries with it an explicit religious connotation. "To defile" is the exact opposite of "to consecrate". Random House gives these definitions for defile: "to make foul, dirty, or unclean; pollute; taint; debase" and "to make impure for ceremonial use; desecrate". So "defilement" is essentially "impurity", but a special kind of impurity; one that is religious or sacramental. This translation is strongly supported by Rom. 6:19 and 1 Th. 4:7, and especially the latter. Hagiasmos, which the ESV translates "holiness", is also translated as "sanctification" other places in the KJV and ESV. If I had to pick an exact opposite for the word "sanctification" in English it would be "defilement".
So there you have it. If I were translating the Bible, suffice it to say the English I'd choose would be substantially richer and more descriptive than what's in today's most popular English translations. Then again, I haven't studied New Testament Greek, so there's a possibility that I'm just adding meaning where it doesn't exist.
P.S. The ESV's choice of the word "passion" in Col. 3:5 is also pretty terrible. "Passion" in English has an almost universally positive connotation. Contrast this with "lust", which is what the other translations use, and which seems vastly more appropriate in that context.