Mozilla unleashes the Kraken

The Mozilla Foundation has today announced a new browser benchmark, which it claims offers a more realistic view of performance than existing systems.

Dubbed 'Kraken', the benchmark was released to the public today by engineer Rob Sayre, who claims it "focuses on realistic workloads and forward-looking applications" in order to provide results that are more relevant to day-to-day browser use than those of competing benchmarks like Sunspider or V8.

Available for testing now, the open-source benchmark has already been put through its paces on Mozilla's next-generation web browser release, Firefox 4 - and its figures claim that Firefox fans can look forward to a browser that is over twice as fast as the current stable build.

Sayre claims that the tool will "evolve quickly over the coming weeks and months as we build out its test suite and continue to push forward the capabilities of the open Web, [and] as we make the workloads more realistic and varied."

Although the code for the benchmark is publicly available, and users are encouraged to use the tool without charge for testing any browser, Kraken will always have a stigma to face: coming, as it has, from a Mozilla engineer rather than an uninterested third party, there is the risk that it will be perceived as biased towards Firefox - even if the code proves that untrue.

Despite such concerns, Kraken could well prove a useful tool in the ongoing willy-waving contest that is browser performance. If you want to test your browser out, the tool is live on KrakenBenchmark.com.