Firefox for Mac OS X hadn't been Mozilla's top priority in the feverish race to give a hardware boost to the task of drawing Web pages on a screen, but it looks as if the technology will arrive in time for Firefox 4.
Windows not only is more widely used than Mac OS X but also is where Microsoft has been touting its hardware-accelerated IE9 work. So it wasn't a great surprise that Mozilla's first work for hardware acceleration arrived there. But yesterday, the organization decided to try to squeeze in some Mac acceleration just before a critical Firefox 4 deadline.
The next Firefox beta, the seventh, is set to be the last for the addition of new features. This feature-freeze stage is essential to give enough debugging time to meet the planned 2010 release of Firefox 4.
It's not certain the acceleration for the Mac will make it. Mozilla programmers decided to build it into the developer versions of Firefox released nightly for more testing then reconvene later this week to decide how to proceed.
Firefox's Windows version includes some hardware acceleration using Microsoft's Direct3D 9 graphics interface, with Direct3D 10 support on the way. The Mac version uses a competing interface, OpenGL, that's not as well-supported on Windows. … Read more