Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Firefox 4 with lots of speed improvements and inline SVG

Category: Browsers

Mozilla went to London, England yesterday night to give a workshop about Mozilla Add-Ons and show some of the cool new stuff coming in Firefox 4.

Probably the most impressive thing (next to the new Add-Ons Builder based on Bespin) was the upcoming Features of Firefox 4:

  • HTML5 Video display
  • Painting with Canvas
  • Image manipulation with Canvas – pixel testing, face detection with opencivitas
  • Green screen technologies in images and video by detecting pixel colours.
  • HTML5 embedded inside SVG (yes!)
  • SVG as an IMG
  • SVG as a CSS background
  • SVG filter/mask/clip
  • SVG animations
  • Inline SVG inside HTML5
  • CSS3 (selectors, @font-face, 2D Transforms, Transitions, Shadow, Gradients ,calculations – calc(2em-10px) )
  • APIs: Geolocation, Offline (IndexDB, localStorage, AppCache, FileAPI – binary content of a file input, file drag and drop, web workers, websockets)
  • Websockets controller running the presentation from the mobile.
  • WebGL

They proved some of the points with demos:

CSS3 filters and SVG masking on HTML5 Video:

Highly interactive video interface with SVG masking and transitions:

WebGL in Firefox 4 and on Android:

After this, Tristan Nitot covered some of the other features of Firefox 4, especially the upcoming speed improvements:

As to upcoming features to the core of Firefox, we heard about:

  • TraceMonkey (a new Javascript engine)
  • Lazy Frame Construction
  • Reducing I/O from the main thread
  • Improved startup Time
  • Hardware accelleration
  • GPU text/graphics/video rendering
  • Using GPU for text rendering
  • JavaScript JIT (JaegerMonkey)
  • HTML5 parser running own thread
  • slicker interface
  • no more modal dialogs
  • no startup interuptions
  • updates in the background

For an in-depth report on all the things shown, check out this live blog post.

Posted by Chris Heilmann at 10:26 am

2.3 rating from 4 votes


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Are you sure you meant TraceMonkey here: “raceMonkey (a new Javascript engine)” ? If I remember correctly TraceMonkey has been out for a while, it’s probably JaegerMonkey the new engine?

Comment by philogb — July 1, 2010

Wow. Looks like FireFox is back.

Comment by okonomiyaki3000 — July 1, 2010

Heh how many Londons in the world are there?

Comment by Jesse — July 1, 2010

@Jesse about 20:

Comment by Chris Heilmann — July 2, 2010

@Jesse: Well, there’s London, Ontario.

Comment by MattCoz — July 2, 2010

Although I’m using WebKit/Safari, I’m really, really glad to see what a nice update Firefox 4 is going to be. Between Firefox 4, IE9 and Safari/Chrome, it looks like the browser will finally deliver as the de-facto web app platform, relegating Flash to a niché. Noice.

Comment by smoofles — July 2, 2010


8 in the USA alone, one in Canada, the obvious one in England, and I have no idea how many worldwide.

Unless you were just being facetious…

Comment by erikharrison — July 2, 2010

I love Firefox4, can’t wait it.

Comment by zhaiduo — July 3, 2010

With all these nice things, should I even bother to learn SilverLight?

Comment by emailandthings — July 4, 2010

For those interested the candidate build can be downloaded from Mozilla here:

Comment by Jonny — July 5, 2010

* HTML5 embedded inside SVG (yes!)

Almost any FireFox version already can embed XHTML in SVG, in fact, it is the best browser embedding XHTML in SVG documents.

* Inline SVG inside HTML5

Almost any FireFox version already can embed SVG in HTML (or XHTML) served with MIME text/html with some tricks.

Comment by jmarranz — July 5, 2010

* SVG as an IMG

Finally!!! I’ve been waiting for this for years! (I’m assuming they means using the IMG tag with the SRC attribute pointing to an SVG file).

Comment by voidmind — July 5, 2010

It looks like SVG is finally going to start being usable now…

Comment by Skilldrick — July 6, 2010

absolutely insane!

well done for the presentation, svg is going to be such the killer

Comment by johnantoni — July 9, 2010

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