06.27.09 - 09:17pm
Yesterday we announced the first multi-platform release of Fennec. They are versioned Beta 2 for Maemo and Alpha 2 for Windows Mobile. Both are based on the same front end and back end code. The Beta and Alpha labels reflect the difference in maturity and stability of the underlying platform.
There are lots of great front end changes for both platforms, which Stuart touched on with his post announcing the release. Mark posted more details about the new embedded error console. I’m really hoping he writes another post about some of the other front end improvements that made it into this release.
For Windows Mobile the most significant improvement in my mind is the great strides we made in painting and panning performance. This has been a true team effort. First we had some outside contributions of DirectDraw optimizations for cairo (bug 484864). Vlad worked to get them into the tree and finally Doug made the final push to get them working for Windows Mobile (bug 495298). Jeff Muizelaar can take credit as well for his work on pixman optimizations.
One caveat to these optimizations is that each Windows Mobile device has different hardware and different performance characteristics. We know that these optimizations will have no effect on several devices, even though they make a huge difference on the HTC Touch Pro and others. The
plan is to eventual switch the optimizations we use at runtime based on the hardware we are running on. The runtime switches have already landed (bug 488911), but the tests to determine the most effective optimizations for the hardware have yet to be written (bug 488547).