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Firefox Wayland development in 2021

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Moz/FF

It’s been long time from my last update about Firefox news on Linux and I’ve finally got some time to sum up what we’ve been working on for last year and what’s coming. There haven’t been introduced any new exciting features (from Linux perspective) for the last year but rather a hidden but important changes.

From Linux desktop developers perspective 2021 is a year of Wayland. KDE has been shipping decent Wayland compositor which becomes default for Fedora 34. It’s actually pretty fast and gives you smooth feeling of “good old times” with X11/Gtk2/name-your-favorite environment where any graphics change was just instant without lags or slow transitions. I must mention Robert Mader who created a new Firefox Wayland SW backend for the KDE.

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Wayland Support Plan for Firefox

  • Wayland Support Plan for Firefox

    Martin Stransky, the Firefox package maintainer for Fedora and RHEL, who is responsible for porting Firefox for Wayland, has published a report summarizing the latest advances in Firefox in Wayland environments.

    In the coming releases of Firefox, it is planned to address the issues observed in builds for Wayland with the clipboard and popup handling . These features could not be immediately implemented due to differences in the approach to their implementation in X11 and Wayland. In the first case, difficulties arose due to the operation of the Wayland clipboard in asynchronous mode, which required the creation of a separate layer to abstract access to the Wayland clipboard. The specified layer will be added to Firefox 93 and enabled by default in Firefox 94.

    With regard to pop-up dialogs, the main difficulty was that Wayland requires adherence to a strict hierarchy of pop-ups, those. the parent window can create a child window with a popup, but the next popup initiated from this window must bind to the original child window, forming a chain. In Firefox, each window could spawn multiple popups that did not form a hierarchy. The problem was that when using Wayland, closing one of the pop-ups requires rebuilding the entire chain of windows with other pop-ups, while the presence of several open pop-ups is not uncommon, since pop-ups are implemented as pop-up menus. prompts, add-on dialogs, permission requests, etc. The situation was also compounded by flaws in Wayland and GTK , where small changes could lead to various regressions. However, the pop-up handling code for Wayland has been tweaked and is planned for inclusion in Firefox 94.

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