Till Firefox 2.0, the Gecko engine use the old Quickdraw graphics library (originally developed for OS9). With the upcoming new Firefox 3.0, it uses Quartz or Cairo, the more recent Core Image libraries. Safari have been using this for a long time. This is one reason why Text looks much crisper, smoother and clear on the new Firefox 3.0 Alpha 1 codenamed Gran Paradiso. Jeffrey Zeldman have a nice article on text render handling at – Safari better than Firefox?.
It may be noted that the Windows and Linux already enjoys a Cairo enabled Browser long before the Mac. So, get your copy of the Firefox 3.0 Alpha 1 today and see the difference, perhaps report bugs if you see any.
- 2006 Dec 11 — This article was spotted on Digg and got dugg to the front page on Dec 11, 2006.
- 2006 Dec 12 — For those not willing to upgrade because of the Addons incompatibility, please try the Nightly Tester Tools and enable your addons. Do remember to set the preference not to check for compatibility else you have to Make All Compatible every time you do any update.