Every release the GFX team makes major changes to Firefox. By the time the release ships we’re often focused on future releases. Last week we decided in the public Graphics meeting (Join us) that we wanted to go back and announce the changes as they move in the release cycle to bring more visibility to what users are getting when they updating to Firefox 13. We hope to continue these posts every release. Here is the list I quickly put together using a few bugzilla and hg log queries. I tried to cherry pick important changes without any hard set of criteria. This list is far from inclusive. The best approximation of the Graphics changes in Firefox 13 is this.
I would also like to point out that we received major patches from the community in Firefox 13 and that this trend continues in Firefox 14, 15. We are starting development on Firefox 16 so get in touch with us if you’d like to contribute to GFX for Firefox 16.
Changes in Gecko 13
This released we focused on implementing the foundation for Off-main-thread compositing (OMTC). See my blog post for what OMTC buys us. It is still alpha quality but we will be shipping for mobile shortly and are in the process of getting it ready for Desktop:
- Bug 598873 – Implemented alpha quality OMTC for Mac and Android
Improved our support for macbooks with dual GPU. You’ll find that Firefox will make better decisions about using the integrated GPU for low power usage and switch to the discrete GPU to handle intensive WebGL and plug-ins:
- Bug 713305, 713305 – Improve dual GPU support on Mac with WebGL
Improved startup performance by optimizating how we query for D3D support on start-up:
- Bug 722225 – Improve Firefox startup speed by ~5% (-70ms) on Windows by optimizing D3D10CreateDevice1
Updated our Graphics libraries:
- Bug 721068 – Update to latest graphite2 code from upstream
- Bug 698519 – Update to libjpeg-turbo 1.2
WebGL Improvements. Anisotropic support has been added. Check out the demo of anisotropic filter and select the checkbox to see the difference. NOTE: Anisotropic is not yet supported on windows with ANGLE renderer but we are working on it!
- Bug 728354 – WebGL anisotropic texture filtering (Contributor)
- Bug 676071 – WebGL long identifier mapping (security and conformance)
- Bug 710594 – WebGL about:memory improvements (Contributor)
- Various WebGL conformance improvements (Bug 730554, Bug 727547) (Contributor)
Added support for apitrace as a debugging tool for powerusers on Android:
- Bug 674753 – Add support for loading apitrace explicitly on Android
Various improvements to hardware accelerated compositing for all platforms.
Various improvements to font support.
Various improvements to the Mac Azure Quartz Canvas implementation.