WebRender newsletter #5

Hi there, time for newsletter number five. An important detail went under the radar (and didn’t get featured in the newsletter whenever it happened): APZ (async panning and zooming) got enabled by default with WebRender. If you are one of the fearless nightly users who is trying WebRender out, please reset the preference layers.async-pan-zoom.enabled to its default value (true). So to recap, in order to experience the future of Firefox graphics in all of its work-in-progressness, go to about:config and:

  • turn on gfx.webrender.enabled
  • turn on gfx.webrendest.enabled
  • turn on gfx.webrender.layers-free
  • turn on gfx.webrender.blob-images
  • if you are on Linux, turn on layers.acceleration.force-enabled
  • if you had already followed the steps from newsletter #1, turn layers.async-pan-zoom.enabled back on.

Again, some key parts of the WebRender integration are still in a very rough shape. The performance (let alone stability) is still far from reflecting the targets of this project and I wouldn’t advise using this configuration by default yet.

I started a series of posts about WebRender on this blog. You can read part 1 which is an introductory post that doesn’t actually talk about WebRender at all. The post presents a high level overview of the architecture of current web browsers, in order to give some keys to understand the designs that will be explained in subsequent publications. The next post in this series will come in a few weeks.

Notable WebRender changes

  • Glenn fixed sub-pixel positioning of glyphs. Text now matches how it looks in Gecko on MacOS.
  • Lee implemented support for font variations in font instances.
  • Markus found, diagnosed and worked around a driver bug with the GLSL compiler on mac integrated GPUs.
  • The blur shader was rewritten (this hasn’t been hooked up to Gecko yet).

Notable Gecko changes

  • Kats turned layers-free on for transform and transform-3d reftests
  • Jeff has been investigating the overhead of the pile of clips that we currently have. See issues #1731 and #1742.
  • Nical reduced the overhead of transferring large resources from the content process to WebRender.

12 thoughts on “WebRender newsletter #5

    1. Hi, this message means that WebRender could not be enabled because it depends on the ANGLE component which is blocked on the specific graphics chipset you are using. ANGLE was disabled, most likely because of a driver bug, apparently related to bug 1153381(*).

      Currently WebRender is implemented using the OpenGL API, and on windows we use ANGLE to translate OpenGL commands into D3D11 commands which is better supported by the platform. This essentially means that you won’t be able to use WebRender until we implement a dedicated D3D11 backend for it.

      *: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1153381

    1. Yes, bugzilla is the best place to report issues. in the “Core :: Graphics WebRender” component. Right now the integration is still at a stage that we know a whole lot of things aren’t plugged in properly and won’t render properly as a result, so bug reports may not get a lot of traction initially as we are putting more focus on passing our test suite. But the more progress we make the more we’ll be on the lookout for bugs that aren’t caught by the test suite.
      In doubt it doesn’t hurt to have bugs filed, we’ll have to go through them eventually!
      If you file some bugs, please specify which OS you are using and the prefs that you changed (since by the time we get to that bug the canonical set of prefs may have changed).

  1. 9/25/2017 was the First day I changed my setting to the ones in this newsletter.And since then I am getting a lot of crashes where on the First day tabs crashed. Today I got over 3 crashes where the Firefox Nightly 58 64 bit will crash. Also today on this website as I type the browser keeps going white for a few seconds,… then I can resume type where I left off, And I don’t know why but I can’t use the snooztab because when I try to use snoozebab it was cover over with a sold color covering so I could not use it to… snooze that tab that I wanted to snooze. Also sometime I get on my tabs a the text blacked out so I can see the text name of the tab. Also that happened when I first came to this page to day the icons for loging in where blacked out. Also sometimes I don’t know some times text on the tabs turns white and I can’t see the text and I have to click on tab to see what the mane of the tab it. So far that is all.

  2. I’m still using the setting from this newsletter.
    I use Firefox Nightly 58 64 bit and a laptop using windows 10 creators update. And I crashed today 23 times And none of them that I know of are where just the tab crashed.

  3. I still use the settings that are in the newsletter. And I still use Windows 10 creators update laptop. And my drop down menu for my add-ons is still blank.And because of that I can’t use my add-ons. And when I try to read Youtube comments some of them don’t show up right. So of them like a folded over peace of paper and… when the should be a read more button there is none. And if can please try to get the memory usage lower. Thank you

  4. I changed my settings to the ones in this newsletter on 9/25/2017.
    I use Windows 10 creators update laptop. And since I changed my settings to the ones in this newsletter just letting you know I crashed 48 time over 2 days. And all but 2 the crashes where Submitted Crash Reports and the two Unsubmitted Crash Reports… I submitted a few mins after they where Unsubmitted with no problems. And now all 48 crash reports are submitted.

  5. gfx.webrender.layers-free it still does not show up any where on windows.
    Today 10/6/2017 issue started… I can’t use Youtube with any of the setting in this from this newsletter because… one gfx.webrender.layers-free because it still does not show up any where on windows.Two When I watch a video I can’t change the settings by opening the pinwheel because… the pinwheel does not open when clicked on, Three my tabs are hidden and they only temporally show up when… I stay clicked on the video progress bar but. once I leave the progress bar there hidden. FourI still have all of my other issues I wrote about but…I don’t crash a lot.

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