Recently, we released Fennec Beta 3 for Maemo (Alpha 3 for Windows Mobile is very close). The new release has several internal changes that might be of interest to add-on developers – or people curious as to how the darn thing works.
Roy Frostig posted an nice article about the changes to the way we render web pages. The results are dramatic: panning is much smoother. The approach also gives us more ways to increase performance and user experience in the future by creating a great foundation.
We also landed what we hope is the final approach for styling the user interface. I previously posted about the affect of themes on performance and how that drives the decisions we make. We are still using the images-for-buttons approach, but we had a problem. Using images-for-buttons doesn’t work for buttons with text, which can be variable in size.
We decided to extend the image-for-buttons approach for all buttons, using the
border-image CSS property. Now all of our buttons have a nice, consistent look. We still have performance concerns with
border-image, but we should be able to squeeze more speed out of the code. We also use the
border-image approach to improve the appearance of the toggle controls and the radio option controls.
In fact, add-ons can, and will in some cases, use the new button styles too. We are in the process of updating the Best Practices document with how to make use of the themes and styles.