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Firefox 92 enables WebRender everywhere

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Mozilla Firefox 92 will be officially released during the course of the day, but the browser has been available on the company’s FTP server since yesterday . The new version of the Mozilla browser is inconspicuous, but completes a development that has been delivered to users piece by piece for several years.

Long run-up

It’s about WebRender, a GPU-based renderer that has been developed on the experimental servo engine for almost ten years and then transferred and adapted to the Gecko engine currently used by Firefox . The first users with an Intel GPU have been able to test the engine since the Nightlies for Firefox 59.

With the WebRender programmed in Rust, the process of building and displaying changing elements of a loaded website is shifted from the traditionally used CPU to the graphics unit. The GPU is used in a similar way to a 3D game engine, but optimized for website rendering. It’s not primarily about rendering websites faster, but rather with better frame rates, regardless of the size of the display.

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Everything except iOS

Official delivery began with Firefox 67 and was gradually expanded to all platforms and operating systems. The technology has been activated for macOS and GNOME since Firefox 84 and has also been supported for Plasma and Xfce since Firefox 88 . With today’s update to Firefox 92, Windows and Android users are also officially activated. Only iOS is still pending.

As of Firefox 93, WebRender will no longer have to be switched off. The only way to compensate for too old hardware or faulty drivers will be to switch to software rendering. Linux users should in any case the switch gfx.x11-egl.force-enabledin about:configto trueset, as in our partner blog gnulinux.ch was explained in detail.

Further changes

Even in the fourth attempt, the license-free graphic format AVIF (AV1 Image File Format) developed by the Alliance for Open Media could not be officially activated, as some images cannot be loaded with AVIF due to a regression that was discovered too late . If you still want to test, put the switch on . image.avif.enabledtrue

While the automatic update from HTTP to HTTPS was switched on with Firefox 91, Firefox 92 goes a step further and has integrated the update to HTTPS with HTTPS RR (HTTPS resource records) as the Alt-Svc header .

In addition, the error messages for certificates have been made clearer. For macOS users, the options for sharing are now available via the File menu item . Firefox 91.1 ESR and Firefox 78.14 ESR appeared at the same time as Firefox 92. Firefox 93 is scheduled for release on October 5th.

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