The gap between Firefox and its rivals wasn't quite as pronounced in HTML5 bitmap graphics, but that's not saying much. Though it scored just a hair faster than version 14, it was still only about half as fast as any other browser tested.
In HTML5 text rendering, Firefox 23 just barely outscored Opera, but ranked behind Safari and Chrome. Version 23 turned in a notably slower score here than version 14 did, too.
Those results repeated themselves when I tested Firefox 23's HTML5 standards compliance. The browser thumped Safari, but lost out to Opera and Chrome. That said, it bested Firefox 14 by more than 60 points on the test's 500-point scale.
Benchmarks: Firefox 23
I can't ignore Firefox 23's largely lackluster performance, or its crowded and increasingly clunky interface. But Mozilla and its developers show impressive attention to detail in each individual feature, and for all their excesses, it's clear that they're thinking hard about how people might use their browser. That's more than I can say for Chrome, and it gives Firefox more personality (for good or ill) than the latest version of Opera.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.