Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Beta 11 builds in progress

Beta 11 is now in the pipeline, now that Mozilla has signed off on the green rev, and I'm running my quad's fans at full blast churning out builds tonight and tomorrow for release later this week.

I'll speak more about the release in a bit, but the big ones are additional performance improvements (both in display speed and baseline JavaScript), and also that the nanojit will be enabled for all CPUs, including G5. The G5 nanojit does not gain performance wins as massive as the G3 and G4, and it's still net slower in SunSpider. However, it is net faster in Dromaeo and V8, and the browser just feels faster with it. This was done initially by blacklisting JSOPs that empirically seemed to hurt, while keeping as many of the winner JSOPs as possible, and the result is best expressed in terms of Meat Loaf ("two out of three ain't bad"). I think I can do better here by getting even more low-level, but this is a solid start and gets all of the supported processor families at feature parity.

Because this version has G5-specific code paths, people working on their own builds should note the change in the recommended configuration file. In particular, you may need to add --enable-tenfourfox-g5 to it and/or define TENFOURFOX_G5 in files you want the alternate code path to be used. While this is only in the tracejit currently, and only then for G5/970, I may further expand this for more processor-specific code-level optimizations in the future. I'm also looking at adding processor macros independent of TenFourFox's specific settings, which will most likely be done at the compiler level (for example, the G5 version now also sets -D_PPC970_ for gcc). This will help others who want to use this code for non-Mac PowerPC systems.

More on the specific build in a couple days once the binaries are certified, but as a heads-up, it appears there will be a Firefox 4 beta 12. I am undecided if we will push out a b12 also or hang tight for the formal release, but there are still a lot of hardblockers and as usual I suspect there might well be a beta 13. How unfortunate, because as you can see,

... Firefox just wants to be released! Sorry, that was too cute not to share. :)

(image courtesy @philikon)

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