Saturday, July 25, 2020

TenFourFox FPR25 available

TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 25 final is now available for testing (downloads, hashes, release notes). There are no additional changes other than outstanding security updates. Assuming all goes well, it will go live on Monday afternoon/evening Pacific time.

For FPR26 there will be one additional change to DOM workers and I'm looking at some problem sites to see if there are some easy fixes. Still, the big issues continue to be the big issues and we'll just have to do things like the AppleScript workarounds to deal with them better in future. I'd like to see more people experimenting with AppleScript, too -- we have a whole page of documentation devoted to it and some examples which you can download if you don't want to type them in.

Meantime, did you know Apple had LocalTalk cards for the PC?

Thursday, July 16, 2020

TenFourFox FPR25b1 available

TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 25 beta 1 is now available (downloads, hashes, release notes). Raphaël traced the the Twitch JavaScript crash we wallpapered over in FPR24 back to an issue with DOM workers not having sufficient memory allocated, so we widened that out. There still seems to be an endian issue Twitch is triggering, because it needs a huge amount of memory for its worker to finish and then can't spawn another thread because there's not enough memory to (but it reportedly works on Intel TenFourFox, so it's something specific about PowerPC). But hey! No crashes!

Raphaël gets a second gold star for noticing that the gcc runtime we include with every copy of TenFourFox (because we build with a later compiler) is not itself optimized for the underlying platform, because MacPorts simply builds it for ppc rather than one of the specific subtypes. So he built four sets of runtime libraries for each platform and I've integrated it into the build system so that each optimized build now uses a C/C++ runtime tuned for that specific processor family (the debug build is still built for generic ppc so it runs on anything). This is not as big an improvement as you might think because JavaScript performance is almost overwhelmingly dominated by the JIT, and as I mentioned, JavaScript is one of the few areas TenFourFox has tuned and tested to hell. But other things such as DOM, graphics, layout and such do show some benefit, and scripts that spend more time in the interpreter than the JIT (primarily short one-offs) do so as well. There are no changes in the gcc runtime otherwise and it's still the same code, just built with better flags.

This release also includes additional hosts for adblock and additional fonts for the ATSUI font blocklist, and will have the usual security updates as well. It will come out parallel with Firefox 68.11 on or about July 28.