Input on rendering engines

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CubedCodeMonkey
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Input on rendering engines

Post by CubedCodeMonkey » Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:20 am

Hello all,

I've been a die-hard Opera fan for years, but with the recent direction they have taken the browser, primarily regarding the changes made in Opera 15, I've lost some of the functionality that has made me want to stick with it. I started searching around for a replacement browser, and I came across this one, extremely interested in the ability to switch between rendering engines.

That being said, I haven't used Chrome, Firefox, or IE extensively in quite a while, so I'm not too up to date on the key differences from a performance or functionality standpoint between Webkit, Gecko, and Trident. Thus, I turn to you.

Regarding Avant's implementation, I have two questions.
1) What are the key differences to look out for between the three, in performance, stability, and reliability?
2) Which rendering engine do you prefer and why?

Thanks in advance!

Climhazard
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Re: Input on rendering engines

Post by Climhazard » Mon Jul 22, 2013 1:06 am

I've been a die-hard Opera fan for years, but with the recent direction they have taken the browser, primarily regarding the changes made in Opera 15, I've lost some of the functionality that has made me want to stick with it.
Yes unfortunately, opera was always a good browser with lot of revolutionary features. I think they first made speed dials and that good mail client and many other features. I've used it myself till version 12+, before they started changing what shouldn't be changed, much like this browser here. Now when they are all gone i imagine about 60+% users will spread out from opera to look for another browser until opera implements them again (if its even possible in a year or so).
1) What are the key differences to look out for between the three, in performance, stability, and reliability?
Well to sum it up, here are the Firefox and Chrome current pros and cons (in this browser):

Webkit/Blink (Chrome) rendering engine:
+ Fastest of them all
+ Has pretty good addons support
+ Seems more stable in this browser
+ If one tab crashes, you are still able to use the other tabs

- Made new record on memory usage in history of web browsers
- This browser doesn't support buttons for installed addons for Chrome
- Knows to get laggy and crashy on dozens of tabs opened depending on your PC
- Not many tweaks/customization of the engine and most of them aren't possible in this browser


Gecko (Firefox) rendering engine:
+ Has best addons support
+ This browser support buttons for Firefox addons
+ Lower memory usage than chrome
+ Great advanced customization/tweaking of the engine

+- Faster than IE but slower about 2x in rendering advanced elements (mostly games) than Chrome for now
- Known for high CPU usage
- Seems to crash more often in this browser
- If one tab crashes, all others crash with it


Benchmark score for Chrome is about 5000 with GPU acceleration and 4000 without it, Firefox gets barely 2000 points on same tests on my system. While that is mostly for games, you can feel slight/moderate difference while surfing unless you got ultra fast internet connection.

I've never used IE exept the base v6.0 or 8.0 so i can't tell you much about it other than it uses the least memory by far, and always seemed to render simple elements like pictures and text fastest, but gets slower on other.
2) Which rendering engine do you prefer and why?
I've always prefered Firefox in this browser mainly because there is no interface for chrome addons i would use, and 4GB of memory isn't enough to cover Windows 7 and a lot of tabs + other heavy applications open.

CubedCodeMonkey
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Re: Input on rendering engines

Post by CubedCodeMonkey » Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:39 am

Thanks for the breakdown there! I've played around a bit with both the Webkit and Gecko engines. Gecko does seem a bit more stable to me, although I love the multi-process architecture of Webkit. I do have an issue with the Webkit mode, though - occasionally after quitting out of the browser, the processes still hang. This only seems to occur f I X-out of the browser. If I quit through the menu, it seems to clear the processes up fine.

I've read quite a few complains on the forums about the latest Avant Ultimate 2013 builds, so here's another question. What do you veteran users consider the most stable version of the tri-engine implementation, and what would I potentially gain or lose by switching to that over the 2013 110 build?

mbrazil
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Re: Input on rendering engines

Post by mbrazil » Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:21 am

The most stable version would be Avant 2012 build 197. The problem with using it, though, is that the versions of the engines included in it are getting pretty long in the tooth, and there are no updated engines available that will work with it. The engines in 2012 build 197 also have a lot of security vulnerabilities that have been eliminated in later versions. Avant 2013 build 23 is pretty stable too, but it does have some bugs that can be annoying at times. The same issue with obsolete engine versions exists with 2013 build 23, but to a significantly lesser degree, as build 23 is much more recent. I'm using 2013 build 23 on a daily basis, and I'd recommend you use that until (if) a 100+ build is released that gets a lot of positive comments on the forums. It should be fairly easy to gauge the quality of subsequent builds by their reception here on the forums. The currently available 100+ builds have a lot of their own bugs (many more than build 23 does), and many of Avant's most useful features no longer exist in the 100+ builds.

I'd strongly suggest you use the Gecko engine as your default, since it uses considerably less memory than webkit or Trident (this is true for 2013 build 23, but not for 2012 build 197). Gecko also puts less of a load on the CPU than the others. I do experience some engine crashes with Gecko, but not too often to live with. There are also a few sites here and there that don't work just right with Gecko, but it's easy enough to reload them with one of the IE engines and to specify that they always open with an IE engine.

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