Firefox builds using cairo graphics will become the default trunk builds on Windows and Linux soon, likely next week. Mac may lag by a week or two in switching.
In the long term, the switch to cairo will allow better rendering, the flexibility to do cool things with <svg:foreignObject> and <canvas>, and a small speedup in normal browsing. But in the short term, the switch will introduce many regressions, both in performance and rendering. Other than slow performance, known regressions on Windows include:
- Cairo: 324707 - Some animated gifs including the throbber don't work in cairo builds.
- Cairo: 324611 - Bold is not bold in Cairo.
- Cairo: 324857 - MathML all screwed up in Cairo builds.
If you use Windows, you can already test cairo nightlies. Cairo nightlies for Linux will be available within a few days.
On Windows, the switch to cairo requires a compiler upgrade from VC6 to at least VC7. Tinderboxes and nightly builds will jump from VC6 to VC8. You'll still be able to build with VC7.1 but not with VC6. The compiler upgrade will have the additional benifit of fixing a SVG color bug due to incorrect code generation by VC6.
On Mac, the switch to cairo will mean Gecko will no longer use the deprecated QuickDraw API, but will use the newer Core Graphics API instead.
If you file new bugs that only happen in cairo builds, please file them in product "Core" and component "GFX: Thebes", and include the word "cairo" in the summary and/or status whiteboard.
More information about the switch to cairo: