Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Mozilla: Rust, WebRender, AV1

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • Splash 2018 Mid-Week Report

    I really enjoyed this talk by Felienne Hermans entitled “Explicit Direct Instruction in Programming Education”. The basic gist of the talk was that, when we teach programming, we often phrase it in terms of “exploration” and “self-expression”, but that this winds up leaving a lot of folks in the cold and may be at least partly responsible for the lack of diversity in computer science today. She argued that this is like telling kids that they should just be able to play a guitar and create awesome songs without first practicing their chords1 – it kind of sets them up to fail.

    The thing that really got me excited about this was that it seemed very connected to mentoring and open source. If you watched the Rust Conf keynote this year, you’ll remember Aaron talking about “OSS by Serendipity” – this idea that we should just expect people to come and produce PRs. This is in contrast to the “OSS by Design” that we’ve been trying to practice and preach, where there are explicit in-roads for people to get involved in the project through mentoring, as well as explicit priorities and goals (created, of course, through open processes like the roadmap and so forth). It seems to me that the things like working groups, intro bugs, quest issues, etc, are all ways for people to “practice the basics” of a project before they dive into creating major new features.

  • WebRender newsletter #29

    To introduce this week’s newsletter I’ll write about culling. Culling refers to discarding invisible content and is performed at several stages of the rendering pipeline. During frame building on the CPU we go through all primitives and discard the ones that are off-screen by computing simple rectangle intersections. As a result we avoid transferring a lot of data to the GPU and we can skip processing them as well.

    Unfortunately this isn’t enough. Web page are typically built upon layers and layers of elements stacked on top of one another. The traditional way to render web pages is to draw each element in back-to-front order, which means that for a given pixel on the screen we may have rendered many primitives. This is frustrating because there are a lot of opaque primitives that completely cover the work we did on that pixel for element beneath it, so there is a lot of shading work and memory bandwidth that goes to waste, and memory bandwidth is a very common bottleneck, even on high end hardware.

    Drawing on the same pixels multiple times is called overdraw, and overdraw is not our friend, so a lot effort goes into reducing it.
    In its early days, to mitigate overdraw WebRender divided the screen in tiles and all primitives were assigned to the tiles they covered (primitives that overlap several tiles would be split into a primitive for each tile), and when an opaque primitive covered an entire tile we could simply discard everything that was below it. This tiling approach was good at reducing overdraw with large occluders and also made the batching blended primitives easier (I’ll talk about batching in another episode). It worked quite well for axis-aligned rectangles which is the vast majority of what web pages are made of, but it was hard to split transformed primitives.

  • Into the Depths: The Technical Details Behind AV1

    Since AOMedia officially cemented the AV1 v1.0.0 specification earlier this year, we’ve seen increasing interest from the broadcasting industry. Starting with the NAB Show (National Association of Broadcasters) in Las Vegas earlier this year, and gaining momentum through IBC (International Broadcasting Convention) in Amsterdam, and more recently the NAB East Show in New York, AV1 keeps picking up steam. Each of these industry events attract over 100,000 media professionals. Mozilla attended these shows to demonstrate AV1 playback in Firefox, and showed that AV1 is well on its way to being broadly adopted in web browsers.

More in Tux Machines

Games: GameHub, Eastshade, Unsung Warriors, Littlewood, Unity, DYSMANTLE, ECON - Elemental Connection, Godly Corp, Emerald Shores and Heroes Ravage

  • GameHub – An Unified Library To Put All Games Under One Roof
    GameHub is an unified gaming library that allows you to view, install, run and remove games on GNU/Linux operating system. It supports both native and non-native games from various sources including Steam, GOG, Humble Bundle, and Humble Trove etc. The non-native games are supported by Wine, Proton, DOSBox, ScummVM and RetroArch. It also allows you to add custom emulators and download bonus content and DLCs for GOG games. Simply put, Gamehub is a frontend for Steam/GoG/Humblebundle/Retroarch. It can use steam technologies like Proton to run windows gog games. GameHub is free, open source gaming platform written in Vala using GTK+3. If you’re looking for a way to manage all games under one roof, GameHub might be a good choice.
  • Eastshade Release Date for Linux and Windows Announced Along With a New Trailer
    First-person exploration games haven't really been done to a major degree - even though things like Perfect have aimed to give you a bit of that. In cases like that, you have a game that relies on virtual reality to relax the user and allow you to explore a very small world. However, what the world lacks in size, it makes up for in terms of interactivity - but it is still very small-scale. Eastshade sets out to do something similar, but in a purely first-person viewpoint without relying on VR and greatly expanding on the size of the game's world.
  • 2D action adventure 'Unsung Warriors' has an expanded Prologue along with a Kickstarter
    I took a look at the Prologue of Unsung Warriors back in October last year and it was pretty good! They've now expanded it, put it on Steam and they have a Kickstarter going for the full game.
  • Littlewood, an RPG with a difference needs funding on Kickstarter
    Most RPGs focus on defeating some sort of evildoer, however Littlewood takes place after a Dark Wizard has already been defeated and it's your job to put everything back together. Inspired by the likes of Animal Crossing, Dark Cloud and Runescape it seems to be heavily focusing on the more peaceful side of gaming. It will have mining, crafting, fishing, bug catching, farming, cooking and so on. However, one feature sounds especially interesting! After the Dark Wizard was defeated, their monsters were sealed away into Tarott Cards you can collect and battle people with which I love the sound of. Even more interesting, is that it's being made by developer Sean Young of SmashGames who made Kindergarten, Roguelands and Magicite which all support Linux. They're very clear about supporting Linux once again, so that's fantastic to see them continue.
  • Unity have updated their Terms of Service and they seem a lot more fair
  • An update on the situation with NVIDIA graphical distortions in some Unity games on Linux
    Recently, I highlighted an issue in multiple Unity games where the graphics were distorted on Linux with using an NVIDIA GPU and I offered some workarounds. I now have an update on the issue to share from both Unity and NVIDIA. Firstly, on the Unity side at least some of it was a confirmed bug in Unity's handling of OpenGL. The bug report that was opened as a result of my chats with Unity, has noted that it's now solved in Unity 2019 and the fix should also be landing in Unity 2018.3.2f1.
  • DYSMANTLE from 10tons is an open world action RPG where you can ruin everything
    10tons Ltd the team behind Crimsonland, Neon Chrome, Time Recoil, JYDGE, Tesla vs Lovecraft and more have revealed their next title, DYSMANTLE.
  • ECON - Elemental Connection, a pretty sweet puzzle game about making a mosaic
    ECON - Elemental Connection was quite a surprise, a puzzle game that can be played both offline and online that has you take it in turns to build a mosaic. Note: Key provided by the developer. For those who prefer their more relaxing experiences to other action-packaged options, ECON is a little gem. Honestly, it's nothing to look at and you could easily pass it up since even on Steam it doesn't have a single user review. However, it's actually a pretty good tile-matching puzzler.
  • Godly Corp is a really weird game that has you manage an office as something like Cthulhu
    I will give the developer TR8 Torus Studios points for being weird and unique here, with Godly Corp having you manage an office with a long tentacle.
  • Emerald Shores, a SNES-inspired platformer with minigames and more has Linux support
    For those after their next retro platformer, the SNES-inspired Emerald Shores is out on Steam with Linux support.
  • Heroes Ravage, a rather unique online action game will support Linux
    Yet another interesting crowdfunded game to take a look at today, we have Heroes Ravage an online action game that has you play as both heroes and villagers. Heroes Ravage is an all-out battle for loot, only this time there are no NPCs as everyone is a player. Everyone is trying to hold onto their collected valuables, with players acting as the villagers able to hide them and set up traps. It's a 4on4 battle, with four heroes facing off against four villagers and I will admit it does sound very unique.

Top 15 Best Git Clients for Linux

As a Linux user, you need to update software source code frequently. You may use a command line to do the task. But, when you need to handle a large project, then it becomes lengthy and difficult also. On the other hand, it is also quite impossible to point out the entire branch structure using the command line. Nowadays, all the mastermind Linux users are frequently using Git tools for the software controlling management and development. The tasks are very simple and quite easier with git client Linux. That is why we take the step to introduce you to some of the best git clients for Linux. Read more

Best Audio Editors For Linux

You’ve got a lot of choices when it comes to audio editors for Linux. No matter whether you are a professional music producer or just learning to create awesome music, the audio editors will always come in handy. Well, for professional-grade usage, a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) is always recommended. However, not everyone needs all the functionalities, so you should know about some of the most simple audio editors as well. In this article, we will talk about a couple of DAWs and basic audio editors which are available as free and open source solutions for Linux and (probably) for other operating systems. Read more

600 days of postmarketOS

postmarketOS is aiming for a ten year life-cycle for smartphones, see the all new front page for a short introduction if you are new around here. Today we'll cover what happened during the second half of 2018. Many have been wondering where we've been and why it took us so long to write a real update post. Is the project dead already? Weren't phone calls almost working? What happened? Development has been going on continuously, so we are not dead. Maybe a little undead though, like some of the old and forgotten phones we are trying to revive, because we have not really gotten any closer to the goal of getting telephony working or turning a phone into a daily driver. The Nexus 5, while booting mainline with accelerated graphics and connecting to the cellular modem all with a free software userspace, still does not have working audio. That is one example, other devices have different problems. However, we have not been sitting idle and doing nothing these past few months! Read more Also: Google hands out roses to preferred Android MDM vendors