If you are a Firefox user, and there are not many left out there – compared to the bulk of web browser users, most of them accommodated in Chrome and a few, increasingly, in Microsoft Edge – you may already know WebRender, one of the key components of the browser in order to stay current in the market. Well, reportedly its deployment could be nearing completion.
We talked about the deployment of WebRender, for more information, the next generation web page rendering engine for Firefox , which Mozilla has been working on for years. Years throughout which its implementation in the first line, in the stable version of the browser for PC, has been a trickle, prioritizing certain hardware and operating systems. However, the transition period could be celebrating its last bars, if they confirm what they count in gHacks .
WebRender and Firefox
Namely: WebRender is written in Rust, one of the most innovative and popular programming languages of the moment and one of Mozilla’s great contributions to the world of technology even though, as with so many other things, due to misdirection of the organization has ended up “getting rid of it,” relegating its maintenance to the Rust Foundation . In fact, something similar was done with Servo , the project on which all recent advances in Firefox pivot, including WebRender.
Its deployment, then, has taken place gradually: in Windows it has been carried out with blows, taking into account, as we say, the hardware on which the application was running; on macOS it was made much faster, thanks to the uniformity of the platform in terms of hardware components; and Linux, the last bastion for Firefox, has been left for last, and even today it remains the system most neglected by Mozilla by far (one day it will pay for it).
But beware, because when we say that the WebRender deployment has spread throughout the years, it is not a way of speaking: the path to the arrival of this particular component began with the launch of Firefox 57, which you will remember as Firefox Quantum . Since then, everything has been happening (in Windows) from version to version … Until now, because according to the information gathered by gHacks, Firefox 92 could be the culmination of the race.
According to what they state, “Mozilla plans to enable WebRender in Firefox 92 for all supported operating systems and device types. WebRender is already enabled on macOS (since Firefox 84) and most Linux distributions (since Firefox 91). From the launch of Firefox 92, WebRender will also be enabled in Firefox for Windows and for Android “, they explain (by” in Windows “they mean the most lagged settings, the bulk of them will already be using it).
You can check if your Firefox is using WebRender like this:
- Entra en about:support
- Search (Ctrl + F) for the term webrender
In the first section of the graphics table, the one related to the composition, you will be able to see if it is WebRender or not. Among other benefits, “WebRender can use hardware acceleration to render if supported by the device’s GPU. Software emulation is used if the GPU is not supported. ‘
Who will be left out of this jump? All those older systems, to name it in some way, whose graphics cards do not support WebRender features, or whose drivers generate problems, as well as unusual configurations, although the truth is that as of Firefox 93, whose launch is planned for By the end of the year, WebRender will be the norm. Firefox 92 will arrive in just a couple of weeks.
But what you are wondering is, is WebRender a real breakthrough, does it really stand up to Chrome in terms of performance? And the answer is, at least for the moment, no. In other words, WebRender is crucial for Firefox and its performance is very good, but Chrome was already created with more modern technologies than those inherited by Firefox and remains ahead of Firefox in almost everything, although where it is most noticeable is in specific tests and not both in actual browsing (with the exception of media playback).
Ergo, WebRender is not going to help Firefox beat Chrome, but rather that the distance between the two browsers is shortened, and does not continue to widen. If you have a fairly recent computer, you can try it out for yourself.