A term which often shows up when discussing UIWebView is Nitro. What is exactly Nitro? First, let’s go back to the early moment when Apple mentioned Nitro. The press release Apple Announces Safari 4 says:
This was from February 2009. Later on, during WWDC in June, Safari 4 hit the final release. From the marketing material, there is hardly any mention of JIT, presumably because it is too technical for the general audience. However, if we look at the WebKit history, clearly this engine has that advanced JIT support. This is evidenced from the blog post Introducing SquirrelFish Extreme back in late 2008.
These days, there are apparently two schools of thoughts about what Nitro is.
Nitro = Booster via JIT
After Safari 4, a lot of people associate Nitro with JIT. This is emphasized again when iOS got updated to get JIT-powered Mobile Safari. When UIWebView did not get the JIT version of the engine, there was a lot of buzz, even Gruber wrote something like:
In this interpretation, Nitro is identical to the some sort extra injection (Nitrous oxide) to boost the performance. This leaves a room for question: is there a name of the non-Nitro situation?
Update: For this camp, referring to the UIWebView situation would be:
- Mobile Safari uses Nitro
Whether it has JIT support or not, the name shall not change. It’s rather easy to refer both situations:
- Mobile Safari uses Nitro with JIT support
- UIWebView still uses Nitro without JIT support
I believe calling it JIT vs no-JIT gives a clear meaning. It’s less confusing than Nitro vs whatever-engine-which-does-not-have-JIT. Why are we confusing ourselves?
Which school of thought are you subscribed to?
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