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Mozilla's Quantum Project - Replacing Gecko with servo

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Grantius

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Post Posted October 27th, 2016, 3:11 pm

Interesting read here:

https://billmccloskey.wordpress.com/2016/10/27/mozillas-quantum-project/

"Quantum is roughly divided into four distinct projects.

The Quantum CSS project will replace Gecko’s CSS engine with the one from Servo. Servo’s engine is heavily parallel while Gecko’s is not.

The Quantum DOM project will make Gecko more responsive, especially when there are a lot of background tabs open. When Quantum DOM is finished, JS code for different tabs (and possibly different iframes) will run in separate cooperatively scheduled threads; the code for some background tabs will never run at all.

Quantum Compositor moves Gecko’s compositor into its own process. Since graphics driver instability is a major source of Firefox crashes, we expect that moving code that interacts with the GPU into its own process will make Firefox more stable.

Finally, Quantum Rendering will replace Gecko’s graphics subsystem with the one from Servo, called WebRender. Servo uses the GPU more effectively than Gecko does, driving it more like a game would than a browser."
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jandem
 
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Post Posted October 28th, 2016, 1:51 am

To be pedantic, it's not "Replacing Gecko with Servo", it's more like we're replacing several parts of Gecko with stuff written in Rust for Servo.

It's very exciting. Stylo (called "Quantum CSS" in that blog post) performance looks promising. It's a lot of work, but it will benefit both Gecko and Servo, and sharing code is definitely nice. It's also great to move core parts of the engine to a language that's safer and makes it easier to parallelize things.

https://wiki.mozilla.org/Quantum

mayankleoboy1
 
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Post Posted October 28th, 2016, 8:29 am

It is slightly sad that the one part of Gecko that wont get any benefit from Servo is Spidermonkey, as Servo itself is using Spidermonkey as the JS engine.
What would be exciting, though, would be if SM is getting re-written in Rust.
Is rust mature enough to do so?

Omega X

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Post Posted October 29th, 2016, 12:20 am

mayankleoboy1 wrote:It is slightly sad that the one part of Gecko that wont get any benefit from Servo is Spidermonkey, as Servo itself is using Spidermonkey as the JS engine.
What would be exciting, though, would be if SM is getting re-written in Rust.
Is rust mature enough to do so?


Why is that sad? SpiderMonkey is one of the best components in Gecko at the moment. It has some Rust hooks but I don't think there's any short term plans to rewrite it in Rust.
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ICQ5

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Post Posted October 29th, 2016, 12:39 am

https://www.phoronix.com/forums/forum/p ... or-firefox some may wanna follow this thread, i tend to feel Mozilla is Doomed

Ver Greeneyes
 
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Post Posted October 29th, 2016, 5:54 am

mayankleoboy1 wrote:It is slightly sad that the one part of Gecko that wont get any benefit from Servo is Spidermonkey, as Servo itself is using Spidermonkey as the JS engine.
What would be exciting, though, would be if SM is getting re-written in Rust.
Is rust mature enough to do so?

JavaScript's execution model means it wouldn't really benefit from Rust's built-in parallelization, so the main benefit would be safety. But the JITs are almost certainly the most likely part of the engine to generate unsafe code, and rewriting them in Rust wouldn't make the code they generate any safer! SpiderMonkey is also a very large component, so converting it would take a huge effort. Stylo has been in development for something approaching a year now if I'm not mistaken, and that's 'just' the CSS engine. And finally, SpiderMonkey takes advantage of a lot of modern C++ features to do static checking (along with the rooting analysis), has two big test suites and gets a lot of fuzzing coverage, making it one of the most heavily vetted components of Gecko. So I think converting SpiderMonkey to Rust would be a huge investment for not a lot of gain - it might happen eventually, but I wouldn't worry too much about it not happening now.

mightyglydd

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Post Posted October 29th, 2016, 7:14 am

There's a better chance of Les Moonves rebooting Quantum Leap before 'Project Quantum' ever sees the light of day.;)
#KeepFightingMichael

Omega X

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Post Posted October 29th, 2016, 7:17 am

-Arch- wrote:https://www.phoronix.com/forums/forum/phoronix/latest-phoronix-articles/907591-mozilla-quantum-new-browser-engine-based-on-servo-rust-for-firefox some may wanna follow this thread, i tend to feel Mozilla is Doomed


I wouldn't. That thread says much of nothing.
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sabret00the

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Post Posted October 29th, 2016, 10:52 am

Just been reading about this being discussed over at Slashdot. This is actually really exciting news, it's actually something marketable that we can all look forward to but the general consensus is that Firefox is falling further and further behind. It's crazy how perception works in the minds of the masses. The reality is though, that Mozilla is really bad at delivering things let alone in a timely manner. I hope they manage to knock this out of the park, there needs to be something that they can achieve.

I should also say that I'm more excited about this getting into Firefox for Android. For the first time ever I've allowed myself to go more than two years without upgrading my flagship phone and every time I open Firefox, it takes forever to load Gecko or when I load a page, that last ten percent is agony. Is this can help in that regards and give the masses with lower-end phones a premium experience, then it's most definitely worth throwing everything into it.

Grantius

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Post Posted October 30th, 2016, 3:45 pm

sabret00the wrote:Just been reading about this being discussed over at Slashdot. This is actually really exciting news, it's actually something marketable that we can all look forward to but the general consensus is that Firefox is falling further and further behind. It's crazy how perception works in the minds of the masses. The reality is though, that Mozilla is really bad at delivering things let alone in a timely manner. I hope they manage to knock this out of the park, there needs to be something that they can achieve.

I should also say that I'm more excited about this getting into Firefox for Android. For the first time ever I've allowed myself to go more than two years without upgrading my flagship phone and every time I open Firefox, it takes forever to load Gecko or when I load a page, that last ten percent is agony. Is this can help in that regards and give the masses with lower-end phones a premium experience, then it's most definitely worth throwing everything into it.


I personally think its great they are going back to focusing on performance.

I love Firefox for Android, even with its flaws. It's dog slow compared to Chrome but I need it for adblock + tab syncing.
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Virtual_ManPL

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Post Posted October 31st, 2016, 1:17 am

That's great, =D>
but I wonder when developers will finally start fixing very old bugs that still pilling up more and more. [-o<
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Omega X

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Post Posted October 31st, 2016, 6:33 am

Virtual_ManPL wrote:That's great, =D>
but I wonder when developers will finally start fixing very old bugs that still pilling up more and more. [-o<


Depends on the bug. Using Stylo and Webrender will eliminate a lot of old issues.(and probably creating new ones)
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Ezh
 
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Post Posted November 1st, 2016, 6:21 am

Any bugs numbers we can follow?

Virtual_ManPL

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Post Posted November 1st, 2016, 6:59 am

They are inside links in first and second post in this thread. :-"
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Ezh
 
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Post Posted November 1st, 2016, 3:29 pm

Sure I checked that link. :)

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