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Mozilla's Servo Engine Is Crazy Fast Compared To Gecko

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itisomegakai

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Post Posted November 9th, 2014, 8:33 am

The Servo layout engine is Mozilla's experimental project written in the Rust programming language and seeking for a high level of parallelism in the rendering and layout of web-pages. While there's not yet any firm plans to replace Gecko with Servo inside Firefox on the desktop, the new engine continues to be developed and was talked about a few weeks back at LinuxCon Europe 2014 in Germany.

Aside from talking about the usual Servo points with the work done by Mozilla and Samsung, some new performance numbers were shared that show how fast Servo is relative to Gecko when it comes to handling web-pages:

Mozilla's Servo Engine Is Crazy Fast Compared To Gecko

Rendering CNN's web-site was much faster with Servo than Gecko, even when just running Servo with one CPU thread.

Handling Reddit is also much faster with Servo than Gecko and blew way past Gecko when using its multi-threading abilities.

For those wishing to embed the Servo Engine within their own applications for web rendering, Servo seeks to have a stable API/ABI, will be a C-based interface, considered "flexible" by its developers, and has already been largely designed.

In 2015 the Mozilla developers might try embedding the Servo Engine within Firefox Android and Firefox OS, but there's not yet any plans for using Servo to replace Gecko within Firefox or Thunderbird.

The Servo road-map the 2015 plans include releasing an alpha-quality browser using Servo as its rendering engine, landing a Servo component authored in Rust into Gecko, and implementing more features.


The LinuxCon Europe 2014 slides about Servo can be found in PDF form.

http://events.linuxfoundation.org/sites ... EU2014.pdf

phuzi0n
 
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Post Posted November 9th, 2014, 1:07 pm

It's an interesting read but the numbers seem purposefully misleading. The first couple sets of numbers are the improved rendering times over Gecko, the last couple sets seem to show the raw render times during page load and then again for all the rendering done after page load. There is no complete time to load a page though and also Servo might be delaying initial rendering to reduce reflow times while Gecko may be painting sooner to give better perceived load times. Gecko also has full fledged browsers with lots of feature while Servo is barebones so it doesn't have to do as much. It will be much more interesting as it becomes fully featured.

trolly
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Post Posted November 9th, 2014, 1:24 pm

Looks like an early implementation of a new style of render engine.
Due to the tree structure of HTML most nodes can be rendered independently and this is what Servo does.
Using Servo you can even render some things only when needed.
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LoudNoise
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Post Posted November 9th, 2014, 1:28 pm

Wonder why they aren't going to offer it on the desktop?
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trolly
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Post Posted November 9th, 2014, 1:31 pm

Not ready yet? And I guess they have to create a new GUI for it.
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patrickjdempsey

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Post Posted November 9th, 2014, 2:06 pm

Probably mostly because it wouldn't be compatible with XUL... when they have a significant number of XUL extensions broken/abandoned/converted to JetPack I bet they'll start to make a switch. Also, Firefox itself is enormously complicated with lots of old methods still banging around. Even places where old code has been completely rewritten, it often depends on old methods and technology so it's still limiting. Read a recent bug about switching away from localstore.RDF to JSON for instance that makes it clear that it's almost impossible to rip out the entire RDF implementation. On Mobile/B2G they totally rewrote the entire browser from scratch so doing so again in the near future won't be so hard as the people who wrote that code are largely still around.
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Post Posted November 9th, 2014, 2:43 pm

LoudNoise wrote:Wonder why they aren't going to offer it on the desktop?

coz the Desktop browser is just about Dead. i been sayin this for a long time. its all Ipad, smartphones where the browser market is

patrickjdempsey

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Post Posted November 9th, 2014, 2:52 pm

You obviously don't have a job that has an office.
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Omega X

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Post Posted November 9th, 2014, 2:59 pm

Servo isn't carrying any of Gecko's baggage and features, no interface, no addons. You can't even run it on Windows yet.
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Post Posted November 9th, 2014, 3:22 pm

patrickjdempsey wrote:You obviously don't have a job that has an office.

an im not blind either. why do you thnk there Dumbing down the browser? easier & quicker maintenance . this is where Servo comes in. , people that work in an office, just need a Browser, not Addons or themes. ,

patrickjdempsey

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Post Posted November 9th, 2014, 3:30 pm

If I told you in 1986 that IBM was going to walk away from desktop computers and never look back you would have said it was suicide. Today they dominate point of sale and commercial computing. There is more to the market than slobs who only know how to play gem games and check facebook. All of the browser devs, including Firefox devs know this, and that's exactly why "developer tools" has become such a big push recently.
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patrickjdempsey

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Post Posted November 9th, 2014, 3:46 pm

Back on topic... I agree with you guys that these stats cannot be trusted right now because it's apples to oranges. Firefox isn't *just* a web browser... between extensions and history/bookmarks management and sync and plugins handling and error logging, there's a lot going on in Firefox that makes it slower than a bare-bones development browser with zero features.
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mayankleoboy1
 
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Post Posted November 9th, 2014, 9:55 pm

And with the small number of developers working on it, Servo is atleast 10 years from being a complete engine.

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Post Posted November 9th, 2014, 10:39 pm

Not sure why people are saying that they aren't offering it for the desktop. Mozillians are mainly developing for desktop, and the Samsung devs are mainly pushing Android. In any case, it's years too early to even start to make decisions about final products.

It is fair to say that there's near-zero chance existing addons will be compatible. I just hope a similarily powerful interface is eventually developed to allow the servo browser to carry on Firefox's legacy of being the best damn browser out there.

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Post Posted November 9th, 2014, 11:33 pm

Ripdog wrote:Not sure why people are saying that they aren't offering it for the desktop. Mozillians are mainly developing for desktop, and the Samsung devs are mainly pushing Android. In any case, it's years too early to even start to make decisions about final products.

It is fair to say that there's near-zero chance existing addons will be compatible. I just hope a similarily powerful interface is eventually developed to allow the servo browser to carry on Firefox's legacy of being the best damn browser out there.


Its designed primarily for parallelepiped rendering that scales. The engine won't care about the platform in the end. I agree with that sentiment for normal addons atleast, old school addons would be dead with Servo. Jetpack is another story.

As for the interface, I'm not sure. The growing sentiment seems to be "No XUL". It could very well be Qt. Anything's possible.


mayankleoboy1 wrote:And with the small number of developers working on it, Servo is atleast 10 years from being a complete engine.


They don't need many developers for the early phases. Most of the stuff is experimentation and written in Rust. Once they're done with the prototyping then they can bring in more people to fill in the gaps.
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