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Thread: Firefox 6 Should Sort Out Linux GPU Acceleration

  1. #11
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    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.

  2. #12
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    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...

  3. #13
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    Let's just say I'll believe this when I see it/run it, then we'll see if I switch back from chrome.

  4. #14
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    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?

  5. #15
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    Quote 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.

  6. #16
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    I still sthink the real problem isn't the linux drivers.
    When I start it with my i5 480m and hd 6550 with catalyst 11.4 it is stable. I am currently writing this post in a GPU accelerated firefox. It only has rendering issues with scrolling. Initial rendering of a webpage (and rerendering by minimize/unminimize) is perfectly fine. Surely they could sort this out when working together with AMD.

    But: Performance is extremely slow. Normal web browsing is fine but sometimes a little bit laggy. The thing where it really is slow is the things it is supposed to accelerate:
    15 FPS at http://demos.hacks.mozilla.org/openweb/HWACCEL/
    2 FPS at IE fishtank with 1000 fish and it slows down the whole broser extremely.
    Yet "aticonfig --odgc" shows 0% gpu usage.

    Windows 7 with Firefox hardware acceleration has of course 60 FPS in both tests.

  7. #17
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    The Linux vs Windows 2D (not 3D) acceleration story is still pretty sad. Firefox/Chrome/IE on Windows can use Direct2D, which is conceptually similar to OpenVG, and they can also use DirectWrite, which has absolutely no similar offering in the Linux wrold.

    Rendering with OpenGL is neat and all, but it takes a lot more work for a lot less pay-off than using an API designed specifically for 2D that can interface more directly with the hardware. There simply is no 2D-over-OpenGL library that performs as well as Direct2D, yet. Cairo will probably get pretty close... eventually.

    Somebody still needs to figure out DirectWrite parallels. I'd say there's a big hole in Khronos' offerings, but since nothing besides their GL series of libraries are actually used anywhere by anyone yet, I guess actually having an OpenText kind of API really wouldn't mean anything.

  8. #18
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    In the firefox 6 nightlies I still can't get the gpu acceleration working at ALL, using catalyst 11.4. Force enabling it in about config doesn't work, about support still says 0/1 for gpu acceleration.

  9. #19
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    It will be amazing if they can pull this off while supporting a good amount of graphics cards and have it running stable.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by elanthis View Post
    The Linux vs Windows 2D (not 3D) acceleration story is still pretty sad. Firefox/Chrome/IE on Windows can use Direct2D, which is conceptually similar to OpenVG, and they can also use DirectWrite, which has absolutely no similar offering in the Linux wrold.
    Because they use (in win7) Direct2D while Linux uses Cairo which (by default) is not OpenGL accelerated because of many GL driver issues.

    Quote Originally Posted by elanthis View Post
    Rendering with OpenGL is neat and all, but it takes a lot more work for a lot less pay-off than using an API designed specifically for 2D that can interface more directly with the hardware. There simply is no 2D-over-OpenGL library that performs as well as Direct2D, yet. Cairo will probably get pretty close... eventually.
    1. Cairo has an OpenGL backed but it's not stable enough to make it default.
    2. Sure Direct2D has nice helper functions and house keeping stuff, but remember, as with 3D on GL vs D3D that doesn't really matter cause if you're doing a serious 2D/3D project you're going to create your own helper stuff/engine/whatnot anyway. Besides Direct2D had to be written with backwards compatibility with GDI in mind so the whole Direct2D/3D/Write/whatever is a pretty big stack, unlike the core GL 3+ APIs. From this point of view GL is actually a lot slimmer but DX provides lots of housekeeping stuff which you may or may not like or use, not to mention there's also bugs in it, wikipedia says there's been a lot of bugs fixed with SP1 on Win7 in the Direct2D layer, so Direct2D certainly isn't such an awesome fast-slim-bug-free marvel as some may imply.

    Quote Originally Posted by elanthis View Post
    Somebody still needs to figure out DirectWrite parallels. I'd say there's a big hole in Khronos' offerings, but since nothing besides their GL series of libraries are actually used anywhere by anyone yet, I guess actually having an OpenText kind of API really wouldn't mean anything.
    It's both a blessing and a curse, you can google for a free implementation, having or not having built-in DirectWrite is also a trade-off anyway, not to mention that unlike the open-source stuff (OpenText) you can't fix the bugs or change it or whatever, anything is dictated by MS, and if MS says next version of DirectWrite will only be available on windows 15 you can't do anything about that, but switch your project to OpenGL.

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