Mozilla Unveils Quantum Project

Subject: General Tech | October 30, 2016 - 01:09 AM |
Tagged: mozilla, servo, gecko, firefox

One of the big announcements at Mozilla Summit 2013, despite Firefox OS being the focus of the event, was their research (with Samsung) into a new rendering engine, Servo. Rendering HTML5 is horrifically complex, so creating a new rendering engine from scratch is a big “nope!” for basically all organizations. Mozilla saw this as a big potential, because current engines are very difficult to scale to multiple cores, so they went in to this as a no-assumptions experiment.

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At the time, they didn't know whether Servo would be built up into a full rendering engine, or whether it would be picked apart and pulled back into their current engine, Gecko. Mozilla has now unveiled Quantum, and the first sentence of its MozillaWiki entry is “Quantum is not a new web browser.” They go on to say that they will be “building on the Gecko engine as a solid foundation”. So it seems pretty clear that, like they've recently done with their media file parser in Firefox 48.

While this will likely not have the major impact that “boom, new engine” would, in terms of performance, this piece-wise method should be quicker than bulking up Servo. Mozilla expects that big changes will begin to land next year.

Source: Mozilla

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October 30, 2016 | 03:45 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Wtf is Mozilla??

October 31, 2016 | 02:34 PM - Posted by WayneJetSki (not verified)

The company that games Firefox

October 31, 2016 | 02:34 PM - Posted by WayneJetSki (not verified)

The company that MAKES Firefox

October 30, 2016 | 10:47 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

"with Samsung", Really Samsung needs to fix their crappy system software and bloat on the series 3 laptop that I own. G-Damn software can not even keep the WIFI/Bluetooth antenna turned off. That Samsung control center software sucks! And the function keys need to operate on their own without having to open a whole bloated application just to turn things on and off. Really Samsung, I can do the same thing on my ASUS laptop and fast popup window opens with on and off icons for the WIFI/BT antenna one click and it's done. I turn off the WIFI on the Samsung and when I boot up sometimes it's back on again! WTF, Samsung laptops need to be banned from airplanes if the laptop can not keep the antenna TURNED OFF! What a load of slow a$$ bloat on Samsung laptops!

October 30, 2016 | 02:32 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The bit about every security bug they've had being preventable by Rust was pretty impressive.

October 30, 2016 | 03:45 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Yeah. While I haven't looked into Rust too much, from what I gather, it's a very strict language.

October 31, 2016 | 12:04 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Security bugs are going to be endemic with the modified Harvard architecture CPU designs used on most modern microprocessors. The old Burroughs stack architecture machines ran everything on a hardware managed stack(data in a data stack, code on a code stack) with top of stack hardware registers/pointers and bottom of stack hardware registers/pointers and any addressing outside of the stack frame pointers(Top of stack/Bottom of stack) and the OS(MCP) managed stack pointers meant that the executing code/application was suspended and the offending job(Application) was flushed(ended). The Burroughs stack architecture excelled at running the high level languages' compiled code in a proper hardware managed stack controlled hardware environment by the processor and the MCP(OS) under a stack based CPU architecture.

Those stack/frame buffer overflows so easily to create on the modified Harvard architecture CPUs where not possible on the stack architecture of the Burroughs Stack based computers that are no longer in use. Maybe someone will try some FPGA or limited tape-out of that old Burroughs Stack architecture design and implement it in microprocessor form and test that stack architecture against the current modified Harvard architecture CPU designs that are in use today because with software in control over the stack pointers(single stack pointers with no hardware stack bounds checking managed by the CPU/OS) then the security bugs will continue and Rust or other languages will not help. The software security industry loves the modified Harvard architecture as that architecture keeps them in eternal business fixing two new vulnerabilities when one old one has been solved.

When one looks at the modern Object Oriented code base the old Burroughs stack based architecture computers where tailor made to run that very kind of code, and procedural code as well! And that very kind of OO code compiled to run on a stack architecture could be run very securely owing to the very nature of that stack based architecture. Look to the past for the solution at the old stack machines as the Harvard architecture and now modified Harvard micro-architecture still has the same intrinsic vulnerabilities that the old stack based CPU architecture does not have concerning stack vulnerabilities.

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