Gecko is the rendering engine used in browsers such as Firefox, SeaMonkey, Camino, Epiphany, Netscape, and more.
The next version (1.9, currently available as a preview release) introduces a whole load of new features and fixes to the engine. In my last post I mentioned the speed increase thanks to the move to a new graphics layer and changes to rendering order, as well as support for the APNG format and fixes to the CSS to allow it to pass the Acid2 test. But there’s more. Here are some new features of interest to developers:
OS X users will be happy to hear that Cocoa is used for widgets instead of Carbon. For non Apple-heads, that means that form objects will be rendered as shiny and round instead of grey and square:
inline-table values for the
display declaration have been implemented. I believe that Opera is the only browser to support the latter, while the former is more widespread — even IE7 supports it!
Potentially a big one, if I understand it correctly: the non-standard script object is no longer supported. There seems to be some confusion over this, but my interpretation is that
script tags without the required
type attribute will no longer work; that is, no more:
Also slightly nebulous is the news that the engine now supports stylesheet switching as per the WHATWG Wep Apps 1.0 proposal. As far as I can see, this allows you to define a number of alternate stylesheets with the
rel=“alternate stylesheet” attribute; I’m a little confused as this has been implemented in Firefox for a while, but maybe it means it will be part of the engine from now on.
You can grab a copy of the Gecko 1.9 pre-release preview here, although do bear in mind that this is alpha software, with all the risks inherent to that.