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Firefox 3 In Alpha 366

Posted by kdawson
from the Gran-Paradiso dept.
illeism writes to note that, a mere six weeks after the launch of Firefox 2, Firefox 3 is now available in alpha. CNet reports that it is currently recommended only for software developers and testers. The big change is the upgraded Gecko rendering engine (the UI is unchanged from version 2). From the CNet article: "Firefox 3 will include some significant changes. It uses version 1.9 of the Gecko rendering engine — which itself hasn't been released yet but which includes the Cairo graphics layer. Gecko 1.9 has been in development since before the release of Firefox 2, and it provides vector-based rendering on all platforms. As the Gecko 1.9 road map explains, Cairo will 'bring modern, hardware-accelerated 2D-graphics capabilities to the whole of the Web without requiring proprietary plug-ins or rendering obsolete the broad and rich set of Web-authoring techniques developed over the past decade.'"
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Firefox 3 In Alpha

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  • by davidmcg (796487) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @09:08AM (#17221562) Homepage
    It's more of an alpha of Gecko [browserden.co.uk] than of Firefox. There's no front end changes in this release, all the changes are to the backend which are shared with all Gecko browsers (Camino, Seamonkey and other Gecko apps like Thunderbird).

    Development has been going on the trunk since the Gecko 1.8 was branched (sometime in 2005) - Gecko 1.8 was the basis of Firefox 2 and 1.5. So there's a lot of backend work been going on that's not been tested by a wider audience. While lots of frontend changes were made on the branch for Firefox 2, most of the backend work was restricted to the trunk.

    Future alphas and betas will have more UI changes in them so can more accurately be called Firefox alphas.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MemoryDragon (544441)
      This is more than ie7 was, ie7 was a frontend change with only a handful of bugfixes in the backend, and even the top 10 list of worst bugs was not fully fixed.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by CubicleView (910143)
        OK, the fact that all the "new" features in IE7 were implemented in the front end was news to me, thanks for the info. However would it not be better to argue how this release fits in the generally accepted definition of an alpha release http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_release [wikipedia.org] rather than flogging a dead horse, just because it happened to be in the same field?
      • by Tim C (15259)
        Which differs from the scope of changes in Firefox 2 how, exactly? While you're at it, what bearing does it have on whether or not it's technically correct to call this a Firefox alpha?

        Besides, users don't care (or even know, for the most part) *where* changes are made, they just care that their experience is better or at least no worse. In that respect, this is a Firefox alpha as much as it is a Gecko one, and your comment is simply incorrect, as IE7 introduced a large number of very visible changes (ie th
      • Front End? Hardly (Score:3, Insightful)

        by shaneh0 (624603)
        Adding tabs was a huge change to the IE application model.
        The rendering engine was updated for efficiency and standards compliance (which is much better now, if still not yet where you'd like it to be)
        Things like anti-phishing, new security models, and a new plug-in interface are features that 'go down to the metal'

        IE7 was very substantial. I'm writing this on FF2.0 and I have to say: The IE7 upgrade was far more successful than FF2. I still believe that Firefox is a better browser over all, but not by very
        • Re:Front End? Hardly (Score:5, Informative)

          by Andrewkov (140579) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @11:36AM (#17223310)
          You can configure Firefox 2 to have a single tab close button, like in 1.5.

          Go into about:config, change browser.tabs.closeButtons to 3.
          • by shaneh0 (624603)
            Thank You.
            • You can also download new themes really easily, I'm not even sure I saw the FF2 theme.

              If an extension is causing your browser to crash then why even bother with it. I get on fine without any extensions apart from adblock, noscript, a download status bar, IE-Tab(which I have disabled as I kept clicking on it by mistake since it's about 10 pixels out from where it was in 1.5) and FireFTP (which I have never used). You could probably find another extension that does the same thing as your broken one anyway,
        • 4. When one tab is 'busy' (opening a PDF, for example) the entire browser window freezes. This is a tough one, I understand, but not impossible.

          This is the one that absolutely drives me crazy. I'm a heavy tab user, loading a lot of stuff into background tabs while I work in the foreground tab. Every time I go to open a page in the background I have to WAIT on a tab that I'm not even looking at. Gee, I thought the whole point of loading something in the background was so that it wouldn't interfere with
          • I solved the PDF lockup issue by installing the PDF Download extension. I have the option of downloading a PDF or opening it, in both cases happening outside of a tab. It's also saved me from numerous unintended PDF clicks (often documents from dynamic URLs).
        • Quick Find (Score:5, Informative)

          by Robmonster (158873) <slashdot.journal2.store@neverbox.com> on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @12:48PM (#17224432) Journal
          Put the following in your userChrome.css to revert to the old Find Bar:-

          /* Use the old-style / and ' QuickFind Bar behaviour */
          #FindToolbar &gt; * {display:-moz-box}
  • will not run.. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Threni (635302)
    > this release will not run on Windows 95, 98, or ME, or OS X 10.2 or earlier.

    That's nothing. IE7 doesn't even work on Windows 2000!
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Billosaur (927319) *

      When you boil it right down, anyone using one of the older versions of Windows (and I count 2000 in this, as MS doesn't support it anymore) is going to have to face up to the fact that technology advances, software changes, and no matter how much they love their old machine/OS, they're going to get left behind. Backwards compatibility leads to backwards thinking.

      • Re:will not run.. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Threni (635302) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @09:55AM (#17222068)
        > face up to the fact that technology advances, software changes, and no matter how much they love their old machine/OS, they're going
        > to get left behind.

        I don't love my old OS, but I have to use it (sometimes) at work because it's the OS that deployed apps use. No point in retesting huge apps on different OS's just to get a new browser. It doesn't bother me - I now use Firefox on those machines anyway. It seems a little odd, though. Aren't browsers just displaying text and graphics, and running scripts? (I don't include plugins such as Flash and Qtime as the run as seperate executable code invoked by the browser).

        > Backwards compatibility leads to backwards thinking.

        Hmm. You could also write "Pointlessly adopting new technology leads to the need for frequent bug fixes and faster CPUs".
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by wwwojtek (246402)
        Backwards compatibility leads to backwards thinking.

        It depends on the stage of development. Knowing that you'll have to maintain backward compatibility leads to forward thinking - you have to design in a way that makes it feasible

        • by Billosaur (927319) *

          But why do you have to maintain backward compatibility? Maybe for something like Word this is desirable, as you'd like to be able to open old Word documents with a new version and edit them. But a browser is just rendering text and pictures, and if there's a better way to do it that your machine doesn't support, then that's just too bad.

          Backwards compatibility is a crutch -- it keeps users chained to old formats and bogs down code with all sorts of exceptions that have to be programmed in to allow older t

      • Re:will not run.. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Captain Splendid (673276) <capsplendid@gmai l . com> on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @10:46AM (#17222638) Homepage Journal
        Shame really, 2000 is a decent OS (and I'm still going to have it around for a bit.)

        But I guess it's time to start getting on the horse with Linux, because it's also the last MS OS I'll be using.
      • When you boil it right down, anyone using one of the older versions of Windows (and I count 2000 in this, as MS doesn't support it anymore) is going to have to face up to the fact that technology advances, software changes, and no matter how much they love their old machine/OS, they're going to get left behind. Backwards compatibility leads to backwards thinking.

        The need for backwards compatibility, in an application, really depends on the number of users locked into older OSs and the work involved. Quite h
      • by DrYak (748999)
        Some people HAVE to use old windows, because the old proprietary controlling software that came with a given hardware (say a robot in bio-medical lab), only runs on old OS (I've even seen spectro-photo-meters that only run on DOS. Yeah. Thank goodness FreeDOS [freedos.org] is our friend in such deprecated cases). The company has dropped support for newer OS for this peice of hardwre and is only doing hardware repairs. You either have to keep a deprecated OS for your machine, or you have to buy a newer model (Which most o
    • I think this is a good thing though. Why are people still running W95 or 98? Adobe has also stopped supporting older OS for Windows so they can focus on making their software better for the more current OS's. I think more places should do this.
  • Too bad (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @09:09AM (#17221570)
    Because of the new Gecko code, this release will not run on Windows 95, 98, or ME, or OS X 10.2 or earlier.

    One of the great strengths of OSS compared to proprietary software is the ability to make use of older hardware. Not so with this new release of Firefox. But then it's the same with other "heavyweights" like KDE, so I guess there's a trend there. That's too bad...
    • Re:Too bad (Score:5, Informative)

      by linuxci (3530) * on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @09:11AM (#17221602)
      It's because cairo is not compatible with win9x they decided that it wasn't worth the effort to support this platform any more (they still support Win2k - they only dropped support because supporting win9x was holding them back). If anyone is able to contibute coding skills to make it work they have no problem accepting it. It's a technical rather than a political decision.
      • by kalirion (728907)
        But something tells me that after Firefox 3 is released, they will no longer be doing security updates for Firefox 2. That'll be annoying to anyone still running win9x.
        • by CastrTroy (595695)
          If there's enough demand, then people can patch it themselves. Oh the magic of open source. It's not like with IE7, (which also doesn't run on 95/98/ME), where if Microsoft cuts off support for IE6, then there's no way to get patches. If there is enough demand for people who want to run firefox on windows 98/ME, then I'm sure that there will be somebody creating fixed for firefox 2.
        • by Tanktalus (794810)

          Sorta like how they won't release any patches to the 1.5 series after 2.0 came out, right?

          (Hint: timeline was 1.5.0.7, then 2.0, then 1.5.0.8...)

          Using the past as the best indicator of the future, it sounds like this isn't a concern. Being concerned that they keep doing it is valid. But assuming such when the evidence points the other way is a bit premature.

        • The great thing about OSS is that if you don't like the direction a project is taking, you can branch it and write your own. If there are really that many people who want an updated Win9x version of Firefox, then I'm sure someone will maintain a branch (perhaps using the newest security/features but utilizing the older rendering engine). There are people trying to port Firefox to the Commodore Amiga [discreetfx.com] for crying out loud, and I'm sure the Amiga user base is a lot smaller than Win9x.
      • ...economical decision, which is the reason why MS stopped supporting Win98. Or perhaps a decision based on a sane choice: why support an OS with a browser that tries to be as secure as possible, while at the same time knowing the OS you're targeting is unsupported and thus prone to severe compromise ? What good would that do other than perhaps put the browser in a bad light of day ? Though I must add that is a bit of a political reason :)
    • Re:Too bad (Score:5, Insightful)

      by makapuf (412290) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @09:14AM (#17221642)
      Why ? To each program its own target.
      KDE has never been "for older hardware". However, perfectly nice & actively developed Desktop Environment exist for older hw (xfce by ex.).
      Same here, OpenSource is about making use of older codebase, so nothing prevents anybody to patch FF2.x !
      • Re:Too bad (Score:5, Informative)

        by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @09:24AM (#17221740)
        Yes, I guess you're right. There was a time when OSS software was the solution of choice for those who didn't want to throw away semi-obsolete hardware in working order to dance the Microsoft forced upgrading dance. I suppose this means OSS solutions have gained enough traction and have become credible enough that they justify requiring newer hardware to run them, which is good.

        I'm aware of xfce and blackbox and the likes, they are nice, but if you want to run mainstream software that require KDE libraries, you're still hosed.

        But in the case of FF for Windows, the problem is that Win9x users (and there are many left) will find themselves in the same situation they were with IE: they'll have to keep running the latest older version of the browser that works with their OS, which will quickly become out of date. I'm sure the FF/Gecko guys have perfectly good technical reasons to leave the old platform behind, but in a sense I hope someone will fork off a Win9x tree of FF and keep developing it, otherwise it would mean OSS is no better than Microsoft with regard to software obsolescence.
        • Re:Too bad (Score:5, Insightful)

          by aussie_a (778472) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @09:50AM (#17222016) Journal

          Yes, I guess you're right. There was a time when OSS software was the solution of choice for those who didn't want to throw away semi-obsolete hardware in working order to dance the Microsoft forced upgrading dance. I suppose this means OSS solutions have gained enough traction and have become credible enough that they justify requiring newer hardware to run them, which is good.
           
          I'm aware of xfce and blackbox and the likes, they are nice, but if you want to run mainstream software that require KDE libraries, you're still hosed.
           
          But in the case of FF for Windows, the problem is that Win9x users (and there are many left) will find themselves in the same situation they were with IE: they'll have to keep running the latest older version of the browser that works with their OS, which will quickly become out of date. I'm sure the FF/Gecko guys have perfectly good technical reasons to leave the old platform behind, but in a sense I hope someone will fork off a Win9x tree of FF and keep developing it, otherwise it would mean OSS is no better than Microsoft with regard to software obsolescence.
           
          So how long are they suppose to be supporting the Win9x OSes? 2 more years? 5? 10? 20? Until there aren't any more Win9x users? But if all of the Win9x users have their OSS software continue to support Win9x, what incentive do they have to upgrade? They obviously don't care about bugs or viruses if they're still using Win9x software after all these years.
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by crazyjimmy (927974)

            So how long are they suppose to be supporting the Win9x OSes? 2 more years? 5? 10? 20? Until there aren't any more Win9x users? But if all of the Win9x users have their OSS software continue to support Win9x, what incentive do they have to upgrade? They obviously don't care about bugs or viruses if they're still using Win9x software after all these years.

            How do you reach that conclusion? Win9x isn't any more virus prone than WinXP (in fact, you could argue it is less so since it's no longer the main target). As far as bugs, it has it's share, but again, so does WinXP (I just did an fresh install of XP on my wife's computer that didn't take, and is causing all sorts of minor headaches like disabling the sound server every-other time the comp is started).

            What 9x has that XP does not is full Dos support. No biggie if you only want to do the latest of the

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by jlarocco (851450)

            So how long are they suppose to be supporting the Win9x OSes? 2 more years? 5? 10? 20? Until there aren't any more Win9x users? But if all of the Win9x users have their OSS software continue to support Win9x, what incentive do they have to upgrade? They obviously don't care about bugs or viruses if they're still using Win9x software after all these years.

            Until there's a good technical reason not too? It's not your responsibility to give people incentives to upgrade. In a lot of cases it makes more sen

            • by discord5 (798235)

              So how long are they suppose to be supporting the Win9x OSes?

              Until there's a good technical reason not too? It's not your responsibility to give people incentives to upgrade.

              It's not your responsibility as a programmer to support every possible OS either. I'm all for supporting as many operating systems as possible, but at a certain point you have to draw the line, either for technical or practical reasons. Valid technical reasons would be that certain features simply aren't available on a certain OS (eg

        • I suppose this means OSS solutions have gained enough traction and have become credible enough that they justify requiring newer hardware to run them, which is good.

          Granted. The lowest specs I'd bother installing Win2k on are a 500mhz P3 w/ at least 128mb ram. This is hardly cutting edge. Grandma's 486 DX2-66 running Win95 (oh the pain . . .) is both a.) miraculous its power supply hasn't failed or a cap busted on the mobo and b.) probably much better off running Damn Small Linux anyway.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ben there... (946946)

          But in the case of FF for Windows, the problem is that Win9x users (and there are many left) will find themselves in the same situation they were with IE: they'll have to keep running the latest older version of the browser that works with their OS, which will quickly become out of date.

          If lots of people run Firefox on old PCs, there will be lots of people to develop patches for Fx 2.x.

          It works the same as any open source project. The more common the scenario of your use of the project, the more likely lots

        • by finkployd (12902)
          I'm aware of xfce and blackbox and the likes, they are nice, but if you want to run mainstream software that require KDE libraries, you're still hosed.

          You are also hosed if you want to run Quake3 on a 486, but I don't see the problem.

          Are you arguing that software should never take advantage of available hardware for fear that someone out there may not be able to run it? To me the beauty of open source is that there IS software out to run on pretty much anything. You can still use an Sun Ultra1 as a decent w
          • by Tim C (15259)
            However the OSS community did not make the decision to make Win9x obsolete and change the existing versions of windows in such a way that they are incompatible (from a development perspective), Microsoft did.

            No, but the OSS community (or at least the Mozilla devs) did choose to use the features that make them incompatible. FF2 runs just fine on all the currently available versions of Windows, so it's not as though it's not possible to make a Gecko-based browser do so.

            That's not a criticism, mind - I happen
        • Re:Too bad (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Dr. Spork (142693) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @10:45AM (#17222634)
          I have a feeling that the 2.x.x branch of Firefox will live on for a very long time, and will continue having bugfix and security updates. If you're running Win98, it will certainly not be the weak point in your system in terms of security or stability! My point is that if by your standards you consider Win98 good enough to use, there will always be a version of Firefox that far exceeds your standards. And I mean, by many miles.
        • I'm aware of xfce and blackbox and the likes, they are nice, but if you want to run mainstream software that require KDE libraries, you're still hosed.

          There's nothing stopping you from running KDE applications under XFCE or blackbox, for instance, as long as you have all of the necessary libraries installed. Of course, you still end up loading parts of KDE when you start the KDE application, but TANSTAAFL.

          But in the case of FF for Windows, the problem is that Win9x users (and there are many left) will find

      • by Ash-Fox (726320)
        KDE has never been "for older hardware". However, perfectly nice & actively developed Desktop Environment exist for older hw (xfce by ex.).
        KDE 3.5.5 is running quite well on my old Pentium 3 system (although Krita isn't very usable on it).
    • Re:Too bad (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MountainMan101 (714389) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @09:18AM (#17221688)
      One of the great strengths of OSS compared to proprietary software is the ability to make use of older hardware.

      This doesn't happen automagically when you license something by GPL (or similar). It takes work. The strength of OSS is that no one is stopping you from making it work on older hardware. All the code for older firefox versions, and the code for gecko 1.9 is available. Just because Mozilla team is dropping support doesn't mean they won't add patches to fix this if someone else does it. Now compare that with say Windows Vista - you have no way of patching that to run on an old 386.

      Moral of the story... don't be so quick to bitch about stuff.
    • Re:Too bad (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ari wins (1016630) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @09:34AM (#17221828)
      While I understand your gripe, let me introduce you to Firefox 2.0. It was just released, and likely going to be around for a long enough time to outlast your computer with the P200 chip w/MMX technology that still has windows 98 installed.
    • by Runefox (905204)
      Well, Win2K will run quite nicely on a Pentium 166 with 64MB of RAM, so this point is moot.

      I don't know about you, but I'd be embarassed to even be running that, let alone something older. You'd have to be running a 486 to be incompatible with Firefox at this stage of the game, and even then, Linux will still feel right at home, and - again - run Firefox.

      So what's the problem?
    • by aussie_a (778472)
      Another one of the great strengths of OSS is that if there's enough of a demand for something, people can work on it without any legal worries. This is discouraged in businesses that concentrate on maximizing profits.
    • I agree that it would it be a good idea to keep full support across the windows platforms but i also concede that for innovation's sake you have to march forward. Maintaining backward compatibility is great but don't sacrifice innovation to maintain it. There's plenty of ammo for both sides of the argument but that's my position.

    • Nobody uses win 9x on the internet. The numbers are so small, and it will be even smaller when firefox 3 is released, and it has so few sense to run that bunch of crap (microsoft doesn't supports it and it has know security bugs) that I don't understand why firefox should try support a minority, instead of focusing in the majority.

      In my blog, even Vista has already took more share than all the win9x/me equivalents
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Proprietary software can support old hardware, too. They just choose not to.

      OSS software can support old hardware, as well. More often, they choose to. But not always. Why can't I run Firefox on Commodore 64 or an Altair? Because I haven't downloaded the source code, written the missing parts that would enable the trunk code to be ported to $myplatform, and recompiled it.

      You want legacy hardware support? If you're one of the few people still using something that old, and no one else wants to support i
    • by Ash-Fox (726320)

      But then it's the same with other "heavyweights" like KDE, so I guess there's a trend there.

      I have a old Pentium 3 system running KDE 3.5.5 quite well (Krita isn't that usable on it though). I recall running windows 98 on Pentium 3s (ran Windows 95 on a 486, but that's another story.).

      As for older OS X releases, is there a problem with upgrading the OS? -- Apparently the new versions of the OS are faster than the old on the same hardware (I keep hearing this from certain people on Slashdot).

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Lord Ender (156273)
      What? You mean it doesn't support MS DOS 3.0 anymore? BOO FIREFOX!
  • Cairo (Score:5, Interesting)

    by astralbat (828541) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @09:19AM (#17221700)
    Glad to hear that the rendering will now get some hardware accerlation. Does anyone know how faster this will be? Will it lead to smoother scrolling as on my Linux machine 'smooth scrolling' is very jerky - especially so with flash adverts.
  • Acid2 (Score:5, Informative)

    by savala (874118) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @09:20AM (#17221706)
    Before someone else brings it up, no, this doesn't pass acid2. Purposefully, as the build from two days later does. This Gecko alpha (not Firefox alpha) was released so there'd be a good reference for people to test with before several rather major changes were landed on trunk, one of which was the reflow branch that made Gecko pass the acid2 test.
  • by aussie_a (778472) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @09:56AM (#17222088) Journal
    Sorry, I left my marketspeak chip in the other bot. Can anyone translate this to English:

    Cairo will 'bring modern, hardware-accelerated 2D-graphics capabilities to the whole of the Web without requiring proprietary plug-ins or rendering obsolete the broad and rich set of Web-authoring techniques developed over the past decade.
    Without my marketspeak chip I translate that to say "We'll be doing things faster and still supporting HTML." Please tell me I got that wrong. Do they really need to specify "We support HTML" in a browser engine? And even if they did, why did they need to translate it to marketspeak? Do they have a brand new marketing droid they just couldn't wait to use?
    • by tfinniga (555989)
      I think it means something along the lines of "We'll be doing faster rendering. Also, the way other people have done it sucks."
    • I think it means "SVG support without a plugin or other hackery", but as you said, it's market-speak, so who knows for sure?
    • by Dr. Spork (142693)
      Yeah, Cairo will definitely support SVG in some principled way, and I think it will also render PDFs without a plugin. I imagine it will eventually do MathML and other specialized XML rendering. But at this point, it's too soon to wring our hands about how it will be faster. Cairo right now is miserably slow [blogspot.com]. Hopefully that will improve by release-time.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by modeless (978411)
      It means that they're making the graphics of AJAX apps faster to better compete with Flash. That way the kinds of things that used to require Flash can move back to HTML + SVG + JavaScript. In the future we should see a lot more Google Maps style interactive HTML applications, where it becomes meaningful to talk about the "frame rate" of your web page. Firefox will achieve high frame rates using hardware graphics acceleration provided by Cairo. Today, your GeForce 8800 with X hundred million transistors
  • by diegocgteleline.es (653730) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @09:59AM (#17222116)
    This version is much faster and resource friendly - opening a test google spreadsheet page went from 52 MB of RSS to 43, and almost 4 seconds less to render it.

    Lots of javascript benchmarks are faster too (depending on the benchmark - other parts are slower)

    Gecko 1.9 has been being developed for a long time (the "reflow branch" is 2 years old it has been said!) so I guess it's expected that it improves things so much!
  • I have tested Cairo for my project and at this moment it is slower than I needed. I was looking for a good canvas to draw a graph on, but I had to settle for something else. I like the features of Cairo, the idea of being able to render to PDF or to the screen, and so on, but it is just not fast enough. Perhaps the attention from the Gecko engine will get some more development going on the Cairo side as well...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dr. Spork (142693)
      Yeah, I totally agree. I'm also hoping that Gecko coders will turn their attention towards optimizing Cairo, because its current performance is unacceptable. According to this benchmark [blogspot.com], Cairo's rendering performance isn't just somewhat slower than its open-source rival Qt. It's something like 700% slower. If that doesn't improve dramatically before Mozilla's 3.0 release, it will account for dreadfully many wasted CPU cycles.

      I understand the decision to go with Cairo, but like you said, I hope it's couple

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by ThisNukes4u (752508) *
        You should try the 1.3.x preview release series on cairographics.org. There are a whole bunch of performance improvements, including a new tessellator. Also, cairo's performance on linux is heavily dictated by how well your video card driver supports XRender. I have found that r200 radeons with the new EXA driver acceleration mechanism accelerates cairo, among other things, quite nicely. If you can't use a driver that supports EXA, you can try rendering to a image backend first(which forces software fal
  • If this means Firefox will have decent support for higher dpi displays, then I just might jump at it once it goes Beta.

    As it stands, the rest of my Linux desktop is perfectly readable at 1280x1024 on a 21" monitor from 10' away. The browser is the only part of the experience that gives me trouble. Sure, I can increase or decrease my font sizes to make the text readable, but that seriously borks most sites' CSS layouts, and doesn't do squat for image-based text.
    • by Dan Ost (415913) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @11:18AM (#17223038)
      Go into your FF preferences. Select the 'Content' preferences and look at the advanced font settings. You'll see a minimum font size setting. Change this to be however big you need the font to be and behold, your problem is solved.

      You're very welcome.
      • by jfengel (409917)
        That doesn't solve his problem completely. He already knows about zooming. It's just that some sites don't zoom well, especially those with fixed layouts. Even Slashdot has some ugliness when you zoom the text; the left and right columns remain fixed in place and the middle column (the one with the actual relevant text) gets squeezed).

        This is more CSS's fault than Firefox's; they picked a very bad model for laying out vertical columns.

        There's also the whole image-text problem, which is more the designer's f
    • If this means Firefox will have decent support for higher dpi displays, then I just might jump at it once it goes Beta.

      I think the only way to do it is to zoom the entire page (including images). Which I hear is something that Opera does and I know the Avant Browser does. Scaling one without the other only works if you're going up/down by about 5% (maybe 10%). Beyond that, page layouts start getting funky and you'll have text that overlaps other screen elements.

      I have a higher DPI display as well (1
  • Mac version faster (Score:3, Informative)

    by shaper (88544) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @11:25AM (#17223126) Homepage

    Recent nightly builds for Mac OS X feel much snappier than Firefox 2.0. One of the obvious culprits is that Cocoa widgets [mozilla.org] are now used on Mac OS X builds. I don't know if there are other changes affecting the performance on Mac OS X, but the difference is fairly dramatic.

    I love Firefox on Windows, but I have stuck with Safari on the Mac because Firefox has always felt porky and slow compared to Safari on the same hardware. The newer builds of Firefox 3 for the Mac are much better: windows, tabs, menus and other user interface elements have a nice immediate feel to them. And the page rendering is more performant than Safari on certain Web 2.0 type sites like digg and Slashdot's new discussion system. It's buggy alpha code, but early indications seem to be good for a nice improvement on the Mac when Firefox 3 comes out.

  • Cairo (Score:2, Funny)

    by stud9920 (236753)
    Personally, I'll wait for Chicago.
  • "Slashdot - News for nerds, stuff that matters"

    I wonder ... are nerds really interested to get informed about every alpha release of firefox, but at the same time find it OK if a major final release of a major Linux distro, OpenSUSE 10.2 is not even mentioned on slashdot?

    Is this actually reflecting the interests of the readers here or is the fact that all news submissions about OpenSuse 10.2 were ignored while the alpha 3.0 submission about Firefox was immediately published just a pathetic attempt of the ed

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