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Firefox 6 Should Sort Out Linux GPU Acceleration

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  • Firefox 6 Should Sort Out Linux GPU Acceleration

    Phoronix: Firefox 6 Should Sort Out Linux GPU Acceleration

    Mozilla Firefox 4.0 was released in March with many new features, including GPU-based acceleration, but on the Linux side this support was disabled. The Mozilla developers found the Linux GPU driver support to be a problem, even with the open-source solutions. It looks like though by Firefox 6 the Linux GPU acceleration will be in better standing...

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

  • #2
    Wheeeeee, and Firefox 27 is gonna be awesome. My great-great-grandchildren are gonna have so much fun with it.

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    • #3
      Michael, how about a news post on the CPU side as well? Posted on slashdot not so long ago, Firefox 6 is the first stable linux ff to finally build with PGO.

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      • #4
        Firefox 6 should be out before the next Ubuntu release.

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        • #5
          Source: http://glandium.org/blog/?p=1975

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          • #6
            why is firefox 4 being dismissed so early? how many drastic changes will there be to create an entire new version? firefoxes 2 and 3 lasted for a very very long time, but i'm getting the impression that version 4 and 5 will be maintained for less than a year.

            i don't think most devleopers understand how version numbering works, its really irritating. off the top of my head, virtualbox is the same way. there was no reason at all to go from 3.2 to 4.0.

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            • #7
              I hope they can restrain themselves from using GPU acceleration for stupid GUI effects, and really limit it to content. Otherwise you'll always have the GPU with its miserable power management (compared to a modern CPU) in high gear during ordinary browsing.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
                i don't think most devleopers understand how version numbering works, its really irritating.
                Version numbers don't "work" in and of themselves. They are defined by the actual use they are put to by developers. In some areas, the usage and thus meaning of version numbers has started to change for a while now. There are multiple reasons for that, the most important one being new development cycles, partly made possible by new version control systems such as GIT. There is nothing irritating about it other than that things change. But that's culture.

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                • #9
                  Didn't the firefox devs said that linux hw acceleration was already provided by xrender?
                  I'm a bit confused now.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
                    why is firefox 4 being dismissed so early? how many drastic changes will there be to create an entire new version? firefoxes 2 and 3 lasted for a very very long time, but i'm getting the impression that version 4 and 5 will be maintained for less than a year.

                    i don't think most devleopers understand how version numbering works, its really irritating. off the top of my head, virtualbox is the same way. there was no reason at all to go from 3.2 to 4.0.
                    Mozilla is moving to a shorter release cycle after version 4. This is because Firefox has been losing market share to Chrome, which has very short release cycles. Also, most of version 4 was ready months ahead of the official release, but bugs in some of the features meant they couldn't release it, and 3.6 had to stick around longer than they would have liked.

                    The idea is to modularize new features and have fewer of them per version, so they can bring out new features more quickly and avoid repeating the version 4 delays.

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                    • #11
                      Afaik XRender is only used indirectly and automatically since FF uses cairo to draw and cairo itself (probably) uses XRender to speed up certain types of drawing operations.

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                      • #12
                        um for chrome/mium i dont even know the version am using, since i stopped caring after they released a new version each month...

                        i guess the same will happen to firefox.

                        probably is a good thing if they can get features at us faster, while staying stable.

                        maybe linux can be like this

                        but almost sounds like a rolling release lol... but some rolling distros are not very stable or break stuff all the time...

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                        • #13
                          Let's just say I'll believe this when I see it/run it, then we'll see if I switch back from chrome.

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                          • #14
                            It sucks that they're doing version string white/blacklisting, which is exactly what we told the Kwin developers not to do. But at least the Mozilla developers seem to be actively testing their software against common drivers, including the open source graphics stack, enough that they realize that disabling Gallium3d is due to a legitimate bug in Gallium, not just because the version string doesn't match.

                            It's this kind of constant attention to detail that makes white/blacklisting at least somewhat viable in practice, even if it's still a horrible idea overall. But since Firefox is not shy about user-configurable options, maybe they should add an option for forcing hardware acceleration, so people can try it on Mesa git builds without editing the source code and recompiling?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by allquixotic View Post
                              But since Firefox is not shy about user-configurable options, maybe they should add an option for forcing hardware acceleration, so people can try it on Mesa git builds without editing the source code and recompiling?
                              That's what the MOZ_GLX_IGNORE_BLACKLIST=1 environment variable already does.

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