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Firefox Developers Have Issues With Linux GPU Drivers Too

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  • Firefox Developers Have Issues With Linux GPU Drivers Too

    Phoronix: Firefox Developers Have Issues With Linux GPU Drivers Too

    Mozilla Firefox 4.0 will feature GPU hardware acceleration using OpenGL (or Direct2D/Direct3D under Microsoft Windows) acceleration for WebGL content and even HTML5. This support is there for Windows and Mac OS X, but for Firefox 4.0 the Linux support has been disabled and WebGL is also blacklisted for most drivers. Why? It's the problematic GPU drivers, of course...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=OTAxMw

  • #2
    Don't worry, in 5 years the r600g driver will be a rockin when running on an HD3000 card.

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    • #3
      Chrome seems to have no problems with this stuff so far.

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      • #4
        i find it hard to believe that linux's 3d is hard to work with. even before linux had any decent video drivers, people still made 3d games. maybe not good ones, but they worked. if the ff devs are focusing explicitly on open source drivers and not proprietary, then really, they're idiots. open source video drivers are just about the worst open source products there are. besides, if they can get 3d working with proprietary drivers from other OSes, as i see it, that should mean that they only have a few things to tweak to make it work. they don't have to claim the entire 3d portion of the browser non-functional, they should just simply discourage using open source drivers temporarily. its better to have something than nothing.

        even opera puts more dedication to their linux side than firefox has. i'm glad i'm an opera (and chrome) user.

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        • #5
          Man, that quote made me rage a bit. I don´t see why they could not just focus on the proprietary drivers and call it a day. Firefox is disappointing me more and more each day. I´m all for open source drivers, but this is simple sad.

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          • #6
            I would hope that the Firefox devs would open a dialog with the Xorg folks to fix the specific issues they have. Maybe they could even hire an Xorg dev? We need more and now that Firefox is interacting with X on a deeper level, it would only make sense. Firefox has traditionally pushed the limits of X anyway, triggering all sorts of bugs in rarely used code paths in the X server and drivers. Again, it's only fair they start helping out.

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            • #7
              Not sure I'd take that quote seriously. Many others don't have such troubles under Linux, and a single comment there without anything in the way of what is actually going wrong doesn't prove much. It could well be firefox's internals that need some fixing up. Now if such a statement had some actual evidence to back it up, that would be a different story.

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              • #8
                Wow, what a useless feature! But seriously, I'm gonna be interested in gpu acceleration only about the html5 videos, so until that actually is used on the net, this is really not a concern. Is there really anyone interested in having stupid 3d animations on his browser?!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by MisterIO View Post
                  Wow, what a useless feature! But seriously, I'm gonna be interested in gpu acceleration only about the html5 videos, so until that actually is used on the net, this is really not a concern. Is there really anyone interested in having stupid 3d animations on his browser?!
                  that is an excellent point, but as i see it (based on my previous post), its mostly the principal of WHY they didn't add it. i'm sure most people could care less otherwise.

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                  • #10
                    Graphics drivers and the engines, are the biggest problem with using Linux. Everything is affected by their quality.

                    Making the best graphics back-end should be the biggest priority for developers.

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                    • #11
                      can somebody explain where exactly the problem is here???

                      i mean we have gl games and stuff that work

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                      • #12
                        The obvious first step is...

                        Originally posted by e8hffff View Post
                        Making the best graphics back-end should be the biggest priority for developers.
                        Are the Firefox developers raising bugs for the graphics drivers in bugzilla?

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                        • #13
                          Arrrgg

                          This is depressing, I was really looking forward to GPU acceleration in Firefox 4.
                          Now I'm starting to think the unthinkable, switching back to windows.

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                          • #14
                            Take all of the following with a grain of salt because I'm just coming up to speed on it myself, but...

                            The only part of that discussion I have problems with is "Heck, we’re even disabling WebGL for most Linux drivers, last I checked…". The statement implies that WebGL is a relatively easy thing to support, and if *that* has problems then everything *else* must be worse.

                            I believe the reality is quite different. WebGL is relatively new, and its implementation seems to differ significantly between browser implementations. Some (Chromium for example) can run WebGL over regular GL, while most of the others require a GL ES implementation because they pass the WebGL validation work down to the graphics driver and WebGL basically corresponds with GL ES (2.0, I think) rather than GL.

                            GL ES implementations are relatively new on the proprietary drivers, and are still a work in process on most of the open source drivers. There is considerable work being done, but GL ES and particularly co-existence of GL and GL ES APIs is probably the closest thing to "bleeding edge" in the entire open source stack.

                            So... bottom line is that there probably are challenges running WebGL on many of the drivers today as a consequence of the relative newness and volatility of the GL ES implementation, but it's also an area where work is being done and interest is growing. The discussion following that post seems to suggest that Chromium/Chrome still has an advantage for running WebGL because of its ability to run over a GL stack rather than relying on a "tight and robust" GL ES implementation to perform the WebGL validation work.

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                            • #15
                              Stupid one minute edit limit

                              I'm sure the developers are seeing other issues as well, but those are going to be more in the "both sides gotta agree on a core set of driver functionality to use, upper layers should use that functionality, and devs will make sure it works" department. I don't know if bugs are being filed against the drivers as problems are seen during browser development, but that would obviously help as well.

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