Wednesday, 10 June 2009

IE8 Slow to Load, Slow to Create New Tabs

I don’t use IE much ‘cause I’m a huge Chrome fanboy and Firefox is the obvious tool of choice for most things web dev. That said, with integrated authentication IE just works better with SharePoint and TFS to the point where I’m pretty much forced to leave it set as my default browser.

I had very high hopes for IE8 and the latest version of the IE Developer Toolbar; I now feel let down. Apart from the default install being horribly slow to load and create new tabs (I timed it around 8-9s), I’ve found the IE Dev Toolbar to be less intuitive and very ugly compared to the old standalone IE Dev Toolbar and of course Firebug.

The one thing I really love is the ability to force new windows and pop-ups into new tabs—again because of the way SharePoint won’t let you right-click/open in new tab when viewing a page and the TFS web interface sprawls new windows.

I’m on an ancient XP machine that sucks at everything so at first I thought the speed was just me. Googling “IE8 slow” however quickly pointed me to Ed Botts’ post that suggests registering a specific DLL and rebooting. I’m not alone after all, I thought to myself, and promptly registered the DLL and rebooted with no change.

I gave up for a while at that point until I came back to the issue today. Raphael’s post countering Ed Bott’s post, which I’d also read previously, is now full of comments suggesting different remedies. One particular comment suggested disabling add ons and Java in particular.

So I dove in and disabled all of my unused add ons, noting the load time value against the Java item. I imagine Doing so fixed the problems and I can load new tabs in roughly half a second.

IE8 Slow Java

I hate Java apps and generally have no need for the add on so I guess I’ll just leave it disabled. The same commenter mentioned also indicated updating Java to the latest version didn’t help.

It seems like each new IE8 tab fires off its own process so I can see how add ons would need to be loaded every time a new tab is created but compare the listed load time of 2.49s versus the others at 0.01s and it’s both shocking that IE will allow this to happen and Sun think they can get away with this.

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