Win32 backend renderer revisited
Currently the backend rendering engine in Mozilla Firefox on Windows is using GDI+. People have been talking about replacing GDI+ with Cairo as the rendering engine. Cairo is a free software graphics library with multiple backends, that provides a vector-based device-independent API for software developers.
Until now the main problem has been performance. Cairo was not as fast as GDI+. But this might seem to have change with the latest release of Cairo. Tim Rowley (tor) has made some new benchmarks which indicates that a switch to Cairo might happen soon.
Things look quite a bit better than last time, enough that it's tempting to switch from GDI+ to Cairo for Firefox 1.5. It would make all the platforms behave the same, remove the support issue of people without the GDI+ library (anyone pre-WinXP), and fix some rendering issues that can't be addressed otherwise, like the reflect/repeat modes of radial gradients.
They will only do this for SVG though, as far as I know. I do not think they will switch to Cairo for rendering everything in Firefox 1.5. (That is the plan for Firefox 2.)Comment by Anne at September 16, 2005 10:09 AM | Permalink
That's great. Windows prior to XP don't have GDI+ (through the DLL is available for free). Switching to Cairo is needed for them to view the wonderful SVG images.Comment by minghong at September 16, 2005 11:30 AM | Permalink