qooxdoo 0.6.2 released

Good news, everyone!

Despite of the minor change in version number, this release is again a major step in strengthening qooxdoo's position of being one of the most comprehensive and innovative AJAX frameworks. It now even includes support for WebKit and future versions of Safari!

It came as quite a surprise how many fixes, changes and additions we were actually able to include in this fine little package. During the eight weeks after release 0.6.1, many people have made contributions. Thanks to all qooxdoo users, contributors, patch monsters and supporters for helping to make the framework more mature and feature-complete!

Targeted as a maintenance release it includes many bugfixes and only minor changes in functionality or API. We recommend to upgrade any applications based on qooxdoo 0.6.1. Of course, there is migration support available, even if it is hardly needed this time.

As mentioned above and already announced in our developer blog, qooxdoo now includes support for WebKit. We expect to fully support the next major version Safari 3.0 which will be based on the current development of WebKit. There is only limited support for Safari in its current version 2.0.4, though. Reason is, that Safari 2.0 still has many bugs that can hardly be worked around. Luckily, many of those bugs are already fixed in the nightly builds of WebKit. Besides the various bugs, Safari 2.0's JavaScript engine and its execution speed is not competitive with respect to the latest versions of the other major browsers (Firefox 2.0, IE7, Opera 9). Good news is, that the current builds of WebKit are tremendeously faster than Safari 2.0, approximately by a factor of 7-8 for a typical qooxdoo demo.

We think it is worth to either use WebKit for now or wait for Safari 3.0 due in early 2007. There is probably not much sense in devoting more time and effort for Safari 2.0 specific problems. There are still some known issues concerning WebKit support (particularly for widgets that use scrollbars). It would be great if Mac users could give qooxdoo 0.6.2 a try and report any problem in bugzilla. Please use the most recent nightly build of WebKit and include its version information in any bug report.

For more detailed information about qooxdoo 0.6.2 please consult the corresponding release notes.


8 thoughts on “qooxdoo 0.6.2 released

  1. Great news… Glad Safari/WebKit is now on your radar screen for qooxdoo, even if you’re avoiding full support for Safari 2.0. Safari 3.0 isn’t that far away, and most Mac developers are using WebKit by now anyway. I’ll be adding qooxdoo to the list of Ajax frameworks to re-review the next time I update the Scorecard.

  2. I’m a bit surprised that you’ve found Safari 2.0’s JavaScript engine to be slower than Mozilla and IE — in most benchmarks that I have seen, Safari has been very competitive in terms of JavaScript and DOM manipulation. It would be great if you could provide some more information (working code tweaked to collect timing info would be great, if at all possible) on the areas in which you had trouble with the performance so that any interested WebKit developers can investigate the issue further. It’s worth keeping in mind that performance on a handful of micro-benchmarks is usually in no way representative of the performance in general, real-world scenarios.

    I’d like to finish up by saying thanks for putting the work into supporting future versions of Safari, and other WebKit-based browsers, in Qooxdoo!

  3. Mark, I think the issues have been fixed with Safari 3.0 e.g. current webkit versions. I don’t exactly now which part of the JavaScript/Dom engine is slow – compared to the other engines, but the current webkit provides the same power as Firefox for example. Do you think about an backport, or why does this need further investigations. In my opinion it is great that Safari 3.0 will be supported.

    Leland, I am happy that you are happy. Finally we have added Safari support. Even to support 3.0 we have to add some workarounds for some strange bugs. In Safari 2.0 there are even more issues, which were already addressed and fixed. I simply hope the users will be switching to the new Safari as it is available to the public. To support the current 2.0.x, too, would mean many more days/weeks of work and this for a browser which will be hopefully upgraded in the next year by most of its users. So I don’t see any reason to enhance the support even further for the current version. I think there are more interesting stuff, to do, like fixes to qooxdoo’s layout engine, etc.

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  5. Sebastian, I’m mainly asking about performance to get a feel for the areas in which performance was relevant in this case. It’s useful to know which parts of the code have been unacceptably slow in the past so that they can be taken into account in performance regression tests, to ensure that any changes don’t regress performance in a substantial way.

    It would also be great if you could file bug reports against WebKit for any issues that you have had to work around. Safari 3.0 obviously isn’t released yet, so it may be possible for fixes to make their way in before that happens. The WebKit website has a page on how to file bug reports.

  6. Marc, Leland, we haven’t done detailed profiling yet to see in which areas Safari 2.0 is exactly slower than WebKit BUT all of our demos start up to 7 times faster in WebKit. You can see this by loading any of the qooxdoo demos (http://demo.qooxdoo.org/html/showcase/Showcase_1.html is a good one) and look at the first column of the logging console. This is the time in ms since the initial page load. Here WebKit is significantly faster and comparable to Firefox. But what is more important is that qooxdoo FEELS so much snappier in WebKit. Just open up the At a glance demo (http://demo.qooxdoo.org/html/at-a-glance/index.html) in Safari 2.0 and WebKit to feel the difference.

    So no microbenchmarks were used but the measured load time and the perceived performance in real life scenarios.

    Marc, we would like to know the exact reason for the difference as well but right now we are still investigating.

    I have just file my first WebKit bug 😉 It’s amazing how fast WebKit is coming along.

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