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macoman

Anyone using Waterfox?

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None of that makes any sense, you do know how compilers work, right?

I was wondering what he meant by writing code to be optimize for 64-bit also...

 

Regarding there Intel Math Library (MKL), it contains many ABI compatible interfaces for alternative libraries (libm, fftw, lapack, blas, etc.) so it's a drop in replacement in many cases. Here, the cases I surmise that could potentially benefit are signal processing (visual and audio) and core math function related. Though that isn't to say that Firefox is actually is written to make use of the former -- I have no idea, it could be, it could be not. I know Chrome is for audio support.

 

Also, regarding ICC, it does, in general, do a better job of generating optimized code: http://www.behardware.com/articles/847-15/the-impact-of-compilers-on-x86-x64-cpu-architectures.html (note: CL is MSVC)

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Hmm, I didn't think of FFT, I know they're using hand rolled matrix code though, which wouldn't benefit from the math library (And it's used a hell of a lot more)

As for ICC, I looked up some comparisons to GCC and Clang, and they were pretty much a wash. Micro benchmarks are really a bad judge though, I know Mozilla switched from GCC to Clang for the OS X builds, even though it was slightly slower overall, because it let them use updated SDKs, so speed isn't the be all and end all when it comes to deciding what compiler to use (They're also looking at the possibility of using Clang on Windows because it can use the native SDKs, and doesn't have issues that MSVC or GCC have, etc.)

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Hmm, I didn't think of FFT, I know they're using hand rolled matrix code though, which wouldn't benefit from the math library (And it's used a hell of a lot more)

As for ICC, I looked up some comparisons to GCC and Clang, and they were pretty much a wash. Micro benchmarks are really a bad judge though, I know Mozilla switched from GCC to Clang for the OS X builds, even though it was slightly slower overall, because it let them use updated SDKs, so speed isn't the be all and end all when it comes to deciding what compiler to use (They're also looking at the possibility of using Clang on Windows because it can use the native SDKs, and doesn't have issues that MSVC or GCC have, etc.)

I'm a bit biased, but I think they probably should switch to LLVM/Clang even if it is slower, I've worked with it and it really has a nice architecture in comparison to classical compilers.

 

I also don't necessarily think compiler optimization advantages would translate into better real-world noticeable performance benefits either in this case. It's really hard to see how "better performance" is going to translate for an interactive application even if you do have better scheduling because, at the end of the day, you generally aren't running long compute intensive code. What you are running just has to be good enough to not lag in real time, for example audio processing, you don't really need a faster FFT library if you are already streaming audio in real-time. Contrast that with HPC where you have applications that are running for days or months in some cases and the 20% is a large increase in performance there.

 

The problem with LLVM is that it historically has been fairly unsupported on Windows (that's started to change as of late last year) so I don't know if it is particularly viable at this point, it's definitely worth unifying the build environment of FF in the long run though for the project. I love that we are seeing pre-compiled builds now _finally_ though. 

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Yeah, the fact that Clang can use the native Windows SDK without changes is a huge benefit, GCC can't and MSVC has issues (Funnily enough, MSVC can't compile 64bit Firefox properly, that's what's stopping them from doing testing, they need to upgrade to VS2012)

And yeah, LLVM has quite a nice architecture, been a while since I played around with it much though.

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Yeah, the fact that Clang can use the native Windows SDK without changes is a huge benefit, GCC can't and MSVC has issues (Funnily enough, MSVC can't compile 64bit Firefox properly, that's what's stopping them from doing testing, they need to upgrade to VS2012)

And yeah, LLVM has quite a nice architecture, been a while since I played around with it much though.

Which, quite frankly, I wonder why they have not done so (upgraded to VS2012, that is).

 

Considering that Firefox costs exactly nothing, could it even be considered commercial software?  If not, then the "EULA reasoning" doesn't apply - and therefore, even VS2013 is on the table.

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For a long time the 64bit browser was actually slower than the 32bit variant.

Mozilla don't consider the 64bit Windows build to be "shippable" for a reason, that includes hard to track down bugs, compiler issues, etc.

However, they still have an x64 trunk (with Nightly and Aurora builds) - I have Waterfox, Nightly x64, and I'm about to add Cyberfox x64 to the list.

 

Due to the greater availability of x64 plug-ins (all the add-ons and plug-ins that I use are fully x64, for example), I have far fewer reasons to stall.

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I used to use it. I hate it. They bundled ads with the installer in the past, but the worst part is that they are incredibly slow to keep up with Firefox's updates. Stay with an outdated browser? Hells no. Also, the performance increases of using a native 64 bit browser are minimal.

I have been using Waterfox for a long time... I had never encounter a version/build that bundles with ads. It would be nice if you mention exact version so I can look into that to verify that. Let me know the version that contains ads.

 

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However, they still have an x64 trunk (with Nightly and Aurora builds) - I have Waterfox, Nightly x64, and I'm about to add Cyberfox x64 to the list.

 

Due to the greater availability of x64 plug-ins (all the add-ons and plug-ins that I use are fully x64, for example), I have far fewer reasons to stall.

Yep, because since I wrote that post, they've been working on fixing all the problems.

The crash reporter actually works now, the compile process doesn't stall, they're working on running tests, etc.

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pcxFirefox, I find, is the best third-party 64-bit variant of Firefox on my machine. Also, since Chrome has shipped a stable 64-bit build on Windows, I'm sure Mozilla will become more serious about it.

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as far as 64bit firefox goes I personally prefer PaleMoon.

 

i tried waterfox for awhile and didn't like aspects about it. especially that it didn't have the updater included (at least back when i was using it)

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pcxFirefox, I find, is the best third-party 64-bit variant of Firefox on my machine. Also, since Chrome has shipped a stable 64-bit build on Windows, I'm sure Mozilla will become more serious about it.

They've been serious about it for a while, problem is that there are issues blocking a release.

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