By Sterling “Chip” Camden
Contributing Writer, [GAS]
One of the concerns I had at that time was if you intend to use Lunascape for cross-browser testing, you should be aware that it doesn’t always render pages identically to Chrome or Safari when using WebKit, and there are small differences between IE7 and Lunascape when using Trident (check my previous article for details). Those differences do not seem to have been addressed in the beta. The release notes mention an update to the Gecko engine, but not to WebKit or Trident. Search as I might, I couldn’t find anywhere what versions of WebKit or Trident Lunascape uses.
Still no English language plugins at the Plugin Center, either. Only Japanese.
So what exactly have they been up to since November? Perusing the release notes, we find a lot of fixes for situations that caused the browser to crash, along with a lot of minor fixes and a few new features. They also claim to have improved performance and lowered CPU usage. It does seem a bit snappier than the Alpha version, and appears to release resources consistently. The first time you load a new engine, memory usage increases significantly — but that’s to be expected. Loading subsequent pages with the same engine doesn’t incur the same overhead.
UPDATE 2009-02-21: Just installed Opera 9.51, which fixed the crash on the Acid3 test. Opera scores 84, which is second-best to Lunascape in WebKit mode.