Measuring reduced checkerboarding in mobile Fennec

After my post on measuring checkerboarding in mobile Firefox, Clint Talbert (my fearless manager) suggested I run a before and after test to measure the improvement that just landed as part of bug 709512. After a bit of cleanup, I did so, measuring the delta between my build on December 20th and the latest version of Aurora. The difference is pretty remarkable: at least on the LG G2X that I’ve been using for testing, we’ve gone from checkerboarding between 10-20% of the time and not checkerboarding almost at all (in between two runs of the test with the Aurora build, there is exactly one frame that checkerboards). All credit to Chris Lord for that!

See the video evidence for yourself. Before:


4 thoughts on “Measuring reduced checkerboarding in mobile Fennec”

  1. @Ernst: The relevant code should already be in Nightly, though I’ve only tested with Aurora (Nightly is busted for me because of bug 714719)

  2. I has complains. I use Nightly on a SGS2 and a SGT 10.1.

    So, Fennec eventually became rather fast on the XUL implementation, although slightly slower than the competition. Alright.
    Then it moved to native ui, and startup, scrolling was a gazillion faster than the competition, but buggy (and also lost the awesome tab implementation…)

    Eventually, bugs got fixed – but – currently nightly is slower than the old XUL implementation. So I’m sure you guys are sort of aware of this, but it’s pretty annoying.

    When loading pages there’s always weird artifacts until the page is loaded (the white window container seems to auto resize several times).

    Then while scroll theres a lot of checkboard. and while it might have been reduced (running today’s nightly and I don’t feel a big diff to be honest), you sometime scroll up and down and.. surprise, checkboard stays displayed when you stop scrolling.
    Sometimes, part of the page don’t appear til you reload. Sometimes it just freeze even.

    Note that gpu acceleration is off according to about:support on both devices.

    Sometimes, i load hacker news, scroll a bit.. checkboard appears and get stuck/displayed even without moving, then I load, say, slashdot, and.. title bar says slashdot, there’s no loading icon (it finished loading) but it still displays hacker news.

    So I don’t know but it seems something is fundamentally wrong in the communication between native UI and gecko, or the display driver is going mad.

    Scrolling also occasionally gets super choppy.

    I’ve the issue on both devices. One run android 2.3.5 the other android 3.2. All other browsers including XUL-Fennec (aka Firefox Beta right now) behave normally.

    I don’t get it, but Fennec’s nightly totally unuseable for me. Not even able to make a proper bug report. Too slow, too buggy. Aurora ain’t much better.

  3. @humyzou: Yeah, AFAICT (I’m not actually working on it directly) Native Fennec is still very much a moving target, even on the Aurora channel. I can only appeal to your patience and recommend filing bugs for reproducible issues as you see them. Hopefully things will start stabilizing soon.

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