The Triwizard Tournament of Browsers

We have just covered the two new browsers, and a few days have passed. Now we have yet another one around, tossing its name in the goblet. So I decided to summarize the three tests in one post.

The test for all three browsers was the same. It is a really quick end user test to see if our app fails at basic operations, such as browsing the content repository or editing portlets. The app we used for testing is the AJAX based GUI of our open source Portal & ECMS.

In our test we used the following versions:

  • Internet Explorer 8 beta 2 (exact version 8.0.6001.18241)
  • Mozilla 3.1 (codename Minefield, exact version 3.1a2pre)
  • Google Chrome (the very first version that could be downloaded: 0.2.149.27)

The app we used for testing has been optimized to be compatible, and runs pretty well on IE7, Mozilla 3.0 and Safari, both on Windows and on a Mac.

Here is the summary of the test, which included ten functions you can not miss to use the software. The test was conducted in order of appearance.

Sense/Net Portal Engine TNG function

Minefield (Firefox 3.1) IE8 beta Google Chrome
PRC drag and drop  OK, faster and smoother, works fine Not continuous OK, fast & smooth
PRC functions OK OK OK
Page edit mode (Webpart edit mode) OK, faster, works fine No drag and drop, (it is also buggy with SharePoint, the target zone does not show up) Portlet (webpart) drag and drop is slightly buggy
Webpart custom editor OK Page hidden when dialog is open OK
Portal Explorer load OK, faster OK, Faster OK, fast
Portal Explorer tree OK Screen flickers, freezes after few clicks OK, fast
Portal Explorer list OK Screen flickers, freezes after few clicks OK
Portal Explorer dialogs (copy, move, new) OK OK OK
Dialog drag and drop OK, same as before OK, same as before OK
Rich text editor) OK, much faster, absolutely usable Behaves randomly, unusable, especially when two editors are on the same page OK, fast, absolutely usable
Conclusion: 10 OKs 4 OKs 9 OKs
 

The Rich Text Editor works with modified version of TinyMCE. http://tinymce.moxiecode.com
Portal Explorer works with ExtJS. http://extjs.com

In Mozilla 3.1 we experienced no difference. Compared to previous versions, it felt a little bit faster and worked fine. It was not surprisingly fast, except for the Rich Text Editor. Turning Tracemonkey, the Javascript JIT compiler did not significantly affect the user experience.

In the IE8 beta, it was buggy. PRC drag and drop did not work, and the Portal Explorer flashed randomly, freezing after a few clicks. Only F5 helped. The rich text editor was totally unusable.

Google Chrome did really well, except for the Webpart drag and drop, without which you can live for a while. It actually worked for one guy, but did not work for me.

So the Winner of the Triwizard Tournament for Browsers is Firefox, but Google Chrome’s very first public release did extremely well, too. For IE8, we recommend another year in Hogwarts.

Comments (2) -

Vaibhav
9/3/2008 5:41:00 PM #

Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. Good comparison, but very qualitative (hence subjective) Smile


Tamás Bíró
9/3/2008 7:12:42 PM #

Every comparison is subjective to some extent. In our case, the question was: do we have to rewrite our code because of the new browsers, before even releasing it? The point is, that FF3.1 and Chrome does not force us to rewrite anything. I hope IE8 will change... The test is rather an indicator. If such complex app runs perfectly, others apps should also run. Or so they should. Smile

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