One of Mozilla’s top priorities is to keep our users safe; this commitment is written into our mission. As soon as we discover a critical issue in Firefox, we plan a rapid mitigation. This post describes how we fixed a Pwn2Own exploit discovery and released new builds of the browser in less than 22 hours, through the collaborative and well-coordinated efforts of a global cross-functional team.
2017 was a big year for Mozilla, culminating in the release of Firefox Quantum, a massive multi-year re-tooling of the browser focused on speed, and laying the groundwork for 2018 releases. Here’s a roundup of some of the goodies in Firefox 58: including Off-Main-Thread Painting (OTMP) and other Gecko engine performance improvements, new support for CSS `font-display`, new Add to Home screen support in Firefox for Android, and more.
People call WebAssembly a game changer because it makes it possible to run code on the web faster. Some speedups are already present, and some are yet to come. With streaming compilation, the browser compiles the code while the code is still being downloaded. Up until now, this was just a potential future speedup. But with the release of Firefox 58 next week, it becomes a reality. Firefox 58 also includes a new 2-tiered compiler. The new baseline compiler compiles code 10–15 times faster than the optimizing compiler. Combined, these two changes mean we compile code faster than it comes in from the network.
Browser automation is not a new idea, but is an increasingly important part of how modern websites are built, tested, and deployed. Automation setups range from scripts run on local machines to vast deployments of specialized servers running in the cloud. Good news! Firefox now has support for headless mode, making it easier to use as a backend to automated tools. Learn how to work with headless mode in Firefox.
Explore the new theming API for Firefox Quantum, and see what you can do with lightweight theming, dynamic themes, per-window themes, and a quick look at what’s next for themes in 2018.
Bitmovin and Mozilla, both members of the Alliance for Open Media (AOM), are partnering to bring AV1 playback with HTML5 to Firefox as the first browser to play AV1 MPEG-DASH/HLS streams.
To make playback possible while the AV1 bitstream is still being finalized, we just need to ensure that the encoder and decoder use the same version of the bitstream. Bitmovin and Mozilla agreed on a simple, but for the time being useful, codec string, to ensure compatibility – check out the playback demo to see for yourself.
Dive into the changes coming in Firefox 58, currently available to preview in Firefox Developer Edition. Highlights include more control for CSS authors, an even better Debugger, added support for WebVR and FLAC, WebExtension API additions, and more.
On blog.mozilla.org, we shared results of a speed comparison study to show how fast Firefox Quantum with Tracking Protection enabled is compared to other browsers. In this companion post, we share some insights into the methodology behind these page load time comparison studies and benchmarks. Our study focused on news web sites, which tend to come with an abundance of trackers, and uses the Navigation Timing API as a data source.
The Quantum release incorporates major optimizations from Quantum Flow, an holistic effort to modernize and improve the foundations of the Firefox web engine by identifying and removing the main sources of jank without rewriting everything from scratch. Quantum Flow has had an important and noticeable effect on WebVR stability and performance, as Salva demonstrates in this article.