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Mozilla's Servo Still Going Forth To Parallelize The Web

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  • Mozilla's Servo Still Going Forth To Parallelize The Web

    Phoronix: Mozilla's Servo Still Going Forth To Parallelize The Web

    It's been a while since hearing anything about Mozilla's Servo Engine that's an experimental browser layout engine that could one day replace the Gecko Engine within Firefox, but there's new development activity going forward and a new update to share today...

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

  • #2
    Thanks for picking up my tip, Micheal

    The video/slides finally reveal technical info behind Servo, which was sorely missing from any and all initial news posts about it.
    I can't wait for nightly builds to become available, every time I try to compile it myself I get some form of error where it compile fine then just doesn't work haha.

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    • #3
      If you want more technical information, there is lively discussion on their mailing list (https://groups.google.com/forum/#!fo...illa.dev.servo), as well as in their IRC channel (irc.mozilla.org, #servo). For some layout tasks, it's already faster than WebKit.
      Last edited by cmr~; 02-18-2014, 09:18 AM.

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      • #4
        Also, I believe Mozilla has some openings on Servo and/or Rust for those that would like to work with research (which is more and more a rarity these days).

        Rust seems to be an awesome language, I can't wait for it to stabilize a bit more (and include a regex engine) so I can do some small, longer-lived projects with it.

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        • #5
          Don't forget responsiveness and reaction times, multitithreaded design really is the tool to make an application very responsive.

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          • #6
            Will bookmarks handling be done in a separate threat allowing people with thousands to even hundreds of thousands of bookmarks to use the browser fluently, per-formant and responsive?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by plonoma View Post
              Will bookmarks handling be done in a separate threat allowing people with thousands to even hundreds of thousands of bookmarks to use the browser fluently, per-formant and responsive?
              ... What? Bookmarks are just a list of links, with some metadata (names, ICOs, etc). Their "handling" comes down to editing that list. Having thousands of bookmarks shouldn't affect anything but the start time of the browser (as it reads the list)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by plonoma View Post
                Will bookmarks handling be done in a separate threat allowing people with thousands to even hundreds of thousands of bookmarks to use the browser fluently, per-formant and responsive?
                Servo is an engine, not a browser. It has no concept of bookmarks, any more than Blink, Webkit, or Gecko do.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Daktyl198 View Post
                  ... What? Bookmarks are just a list of links, with some metadata (names, ICOs, etc). Their "handling" comes down to editing that list. Having thousands of bookmarks shouldn't affect anything but the start time of the browser (as it reads the list)
                  It is clear you have not used Firefox recently with a lot of bookmarks. Such magnificent and wise decisions they were to have it all in SQLite, which consequently fsync()s in the UI thread.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by curaga View Post
                    It is clear you have not used Firefox recently with a lot of bookmarks. Such magnificent and wise decisions they were to have it all in SQLite, which consequently fsync()s in the UI thread.
                    Wasn't all the bookmark/history disk access moved off to a background thread a while back?

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                    • #11
                      Could be, I don't follow it too actively.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by curaga View Post
                        It is clear you have not used Firefox recently with a lot of bookmarks. Such magnificent and wise decisions they were to have it all in SQLite, which consequently fsync()s in the UI thread.
                        SQLite only calls `fsync` at the end of a transaction. For a read-only operation like viewing the bookmarks, there's certainly no `fsync` happening. Firefox's responsiveness problems aren't caused by using a storage backend with transaction support. Chromium certainly makes use of transactions to prevent data loss and recover from being killed just like Firefox but it doesn't have any of these problems.

                        The entire Firefox UI freezes when a tab is running a loop in JavaScript, so there are obviously far bigger architectural issues. It doesn't really have anything to do with SQLite or the lack of multi-processing for sandboxing.
                        Last edited by strcat; 02-21-2014, 06:06 AM.

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                        • #13
                          There's a pretty clear correlation there, as the UI stall complaints increased a lot right after FF moved to sqlite.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by curaga View Post
                            There's a pretty clear correlation there, as the UI stall complaints increased a lot right after FF moved to sqlite.
                            That issue wasn't from bookmarks, but the history. When you visit a webpage, it gets stored in the history, and you can search for it in the awesomebar. That's where all the fsyncs came from.

                            As i mentioned earlier, there was a big effort a while back to move all that IO, both reading and writing, into async calls running in background threads. It seems like maybe that was around FF17-18 or so, but i don't recall exactly.
                            Last edited by smitty3268; 02-22-2014, 07:38 PM.

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