No Hardware Acceleration Firefox for Linux Due to Buggy X Drive

Mozilla Firefox logoThe ninth Firefox 4.0 beta was released. One of the major new features in Firefox 4.0 is hardware acceleration for anything from canvas drawing to video rendering. Sadly, this feature won't make its way to the Linux version of Firefox 4.0. The reason? X' drivers are "disastrously buggy". Update: Benoit Jacob informed my via email that there's some important nuance: hardware acceleration (OpenGL only) on Linux has been implemented, but due to bugs and issues, only one driver so far has been whitelisted (the proprietary NVIDIA driver).

Boris Zbarsky, long-time Mozilla developer, commented on the issue over at Hacks.Mozilla.org. The release notes for Firefox 4.0 beta 9 noted that it comes with hardware acceleration for Windows 7 and Vista via a combination of Direct2D, DirectX 9 and DirectX 10. Windows XP users will also enjoy hardware acceleration for many operations "using our new Layers infrastructure along with DX9". Furthermore, Mac OS X has excellent OpenGL support, they claim, so they've got that covered as well.

No mention of Linux, and there's a reason for that. "We tried enabling OpenGL on Linux, and discovered that most Linux drivers are so disastrously buggy (think 'crash the X server at the drop of a hat, and paint incorrectly the rest of the time' buggy) that we had to disable it for now," explains Zbarsky, "Heck, we're even disabling WebGL for most Linux drivers, last I checked..."

It's not all bad, though. "If your drivers are decent (some of the closed-source ones can be, nouveau can be sometimes), you do get something akin to Direct2D on Linux through XRender, though," Zbarsky adds, "So while you don't get compositing acceleration, you do get faster canvas drawing and the like. drawImage, for example, can be much faster on Linux than on Mac. But only if you manage to find a driver and X version that happens to not suck..."

Yeah, good luck with that - I've been trying to find that magical combination for a long time. But I digress.

He further requests help from Xorg developers and distributors on this issue, since they are still working on it for the future. In other words, if you happen to know people from those parts, be sure to let them know about the difficulties the Firefox team is apparently having with X; maybe they can help out, give advice, and so on.

By the way, Direct3D appears to be the saving grace for Windows here, as Zbarsky notes in another comment. "Sadly enough, GL drivers on Windows aren't that great either," he notes, "This is why WebGL is done via Direct3D on Windows now... But that mostly a matter of performance issues."

Source: OSnews

Tags: browsers, Mozilla

Comments
Add comment

Your name:
Sign in with:
or
Your comment:


Enter code:

E-mail (not required)
E-mail will not be disclosed to the third party


Last news

 
Galaxy Note10 really is built around a 6.7-inch display
 
You may still be able to download your content
 
Facebook, Messenger and Instagram are all going away
 
Minimize apps to a floating, always-on-top bubble
 
Japan Display has been providing LCDs for the iPhone XR, the only LCD model in Apple’s 2018 line-up
 
The 2001 operating system has reached its lowest share level
 
The entire TSMC 5nm design infrastructure is available now from TSMC
 
The smartphone uses a Snapdragon 660 processor running Android 9 Pie
The Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Review
The evolution of the successful smartphone, now with a waterproof body and USB Type-C
February 7, 2017 / 2
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S - a tablet with the Windows-keyboard
The first Windows-tablet with the 12-inch display Super AMOLED
June 7, 2016 /
Keyboards for iOS
Ten iOS keyboards review
July 18, 2015 /
Samsung E1200 Mobile Phone Review
A cheap phone with a good screen
March 8, 2015 / 4
Creative Sound Blaster Z sound card review
Good sound for those who are not satisfied with the onboard solution
September 25, 2014 / 2
Samsung Galaxy Gear: Smartwatch at High Price
The first smartwatch from Samsung - almost a smartphone with a small body
December 19, 2013 /
 
 

News Archive

 
 
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
  12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  




Poll

Do you use microSD card with your phone?
or leave your own version in comments (15)