Tuesday, September 5, 2017

TenFourFox FPR3b1 available

TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 3 beta 1 is now available (hashes, downloads, release notes). This release has two major updates: first, a whole lot more of the browser has AltiVec in it. All of the relevant call sites that use the slower OS X memory search function memchr() were either converted to the VMX-accelerated version that we introduced for JavaScript in FPR2, or, if the code simply checks to see if a character is there but doesn't need to know where it is, our VMX-accelerated haschr(). This occurs in lots of places, including event handling, font validation and even the network stack; not all of them are hot, but all of them benefit.

The second major change is additional JavaScript ES6 and ES7 compatibility. It's not sufficient for us simply to copy over later versions of JavaScript from browser versions between 45 and 52; besides the fact they may require platform support we don't implement, they don't have our JIT, our PowerPC-specific optimizations and our later updates which would need to be backported and merged, they don't have our accumulated security patches, and they don't have some of the legacy features we need to continue to support 45-era add-ons (particularly legacy generator and array comprehensions). This hybrid engine maintains backwards compatibility but has expanded syntax that fixes some issues with Dropbox (though we still have a couple other glitches to smoke out), Amazon Music and Beta for Pnut, and probably a number of other sites. There is a limit to how much I can cram into the engine and there is a very large frontend refactor around Fx51 which will probably not be easily backported, but there should be more improvements I can squeeze in.

There was also supposed to be a new feature for delaying video decoding until the rest of the page had loaded to improve throughput on YouTube and some other sites, but YouTube introduced its new site design while I was testing the feature, and unfortunately the "lazy loading" technique they appear to be using now means the browser cannot deterministically compute when video will start competing with layout for resources. I'm thinking of a way to retool this but it will not be an enabled part of FPR3. One idea is to forge dropped frames into MSE's statistics early so it shifts to a lower quality stream for a period of time as a "fast start;" another might be to decouple the media state machine from the decoder more completely. I haven't decided how I will attack this problem yet.

In miscellaneous changes, even after desperate begging Imgur would not fix their site sniffer to stop giving us a mobile version using the default TenFourFox user agent (this never used to happen until recently, btw), even if just an image by itself were requested. I got sick of being strung along by their tech support tickets, so this version just doesn't send any user agent to any Imgur site, unless you explicitly select something other than the default. Take that, Imgur. The reason I decided to do this for Imgur specifically is because their mobile site actually causes bugs in TenFourFox due to a hard CoreGraphics limit I can't seem to get around, so serving us the mobile site inappropriately is actually detrimental as opposed to merely annoying. Other miscellaneous changes include some widget tune-ups, more removal of 10.7+ specific code, and responsiveness tweaks to the context menu and awesome bar.

Last but not least, this release has a speculative fix for long-running issue 72 where 10.5 systems could end up with a frozen top menu bar after cycling repeatedly through pop-up menus. You'll notice this does not appear in the source commits yet because I intend to back it out immediately if it doesn't fix the problem (it has a small performance impact even on 10.4 where this issue does not occur). If you are affected by this issue and the optimized build doesn't fix your problem, please report logging to the Github issue from the debug version when the issue triggers. If it does fix it, however, I will commit the patch to the public repo and it will become a part of the widget library.

Other than that, look for the final release on or about September 26. Post questions, concerns and feedback in the comments.

4 comments:

  1. I didn't realize there was an issue with Imgur.

    I go there all the time to post images to link to reddit. I'm not being served the mobile site and I am using T4Fx's default user agent.

    I do have BluHell Firewall and uMatrix installed however. Maybe that has something to do with it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think it's that; I have Bluhell and I get that issue on multiple profiles on multiple systems. Either way, it's dealt with.

      Delete
  2. This release is working well for me - sits especially well on my 1.33 12" Powerbook running Tiger - generally feels much less laggy.

    ReplyDelete

Due to an increased frequency of spam, comments are now subject to moderation.