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TraceMonkey already performs various benchmarks in 4.5 percent to 55 percent of the time taken by Firefox 3, and useful further improvements are thought possible.
Where a conventional compiler converts entire programs into machine code at the outset, JIT compilers convert sections of the source code that are executed often enough to make it worth the effort. This much of the performance of a full compiler without the initial overhead.
So where does SpiderMonkey get its speed? Please read on.
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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences, a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies, and is a senior member of the Australian Computer Society.