Acid2 in Gecko

The MozillaZine article discussing the draft branch plan for Gecko 1.8.1/1.9 and Firefox 2/3 contained an interesting thread about the Acid 2 test.

The draft plan discourages changes affecting web content on the branch for Gecko 1.8.1 / Firefox 2, preferring to leave those changes in the trunk, which will become Gecko 1.9 / Firefox 3 and future versions.

MillenniumX started the thread by asking:

"Does this mean that Firefox users will be waiting until 2007 for Acid2?".

Gecko developer Boris Zbarsky explained why Acid 2 fixes seem to be coming slowly:

Acid2 got released at the worst possible time for Gecko development -- right in the middle of a beta cycle. Since fixing all the Acid2 bugs requires fundamental architecture work, that meant that to fix them Gecko had to finish the beta cycle, ship a 1.8 final, then start taking the fixes for Acid2 stuff.

And such fixes are happening. The <object> loading rewrite fixed most of the issues; the painting rewrite fixes more, and the reflow rewrite will fix the rest once it's done. But given how testing happens and how fragile most web content is, the first of these three changes probably needs 2-3 months of testing before it could possibly be shippable in stable form; the other two need more; I'd estimate 4-5 months of testing (and the reflow rewrite is not close to being finished yet). All of which means that targeting 2007 Q1 is about as well as could be done; figure another 2-3 months from now to finish the work, then 4-5 months to test, that puts us at end of 2006 for actually shipping. And that assumes that nothing else gets worked on but Acid2 issues.

My favorite comment came from jilles:

Nobody is really waiting for it. Really, there are easier ways to display smileys.

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2 Responses to “Acid2 in Gecko”

  1. amake Says:

    From his postings at MacNN, Millenium clearly thinks that Acid2 is the most important thing could possibly work on. I agree with jilles, though; who cares? It would be nice if everything passed, but it should hardly be priority no. 1.

  2. Frank (DesertFox) Says:

    What a great comment by jilles!

    I agree with amake.

    I think a major priority should be notifying the user when an update is available even when the user disables background downloading of updates. Right now the notification is missing.