Firefox 22 available, promises real-time comms and 3D gaming

Firefox 22 available, promises real-time comms and 3D gaming

Summary: The next release of Firefox is available to download — promising support for Web Real-Time Communications and dramatic improvements to its Javascript engine.

TOPICS: Web development

The latest version of the Mozilla Firefox browser is available, promising new technologies to enable video and audio conferencing and instant messaging in the browser.

The new browser, version 22, is available from Mozilla's main FTP server, but has not yet been uploaded to Mozilla's website with a full list of changes. However, the beta included a slew of new features that are likely to make it to the final release.

The beta release included native support for Web Real-Time Communications (WebRTC), the framework of web technologies designed to offer real time video, audio and text communications.

Mozilla also gave browser gaming a shot in the arm in the beta release, with the inclusion of OdinMonkey, an optimisation module that boosts the performance of its Javascript engine and has been demonstrated enabling Firefox to run modern gaming engines such as Unreal Engine 3. To check out how  it can handle physics calculations have a look at this demo of falling boxes. OdinMonkey has been confirmed as being included in the final release.

Support for Windows Machines with high resolution displays was also available via HiDiPi, as well as the implementation of a new Web Notification API for simple web app notifications.

The built-in Firefox HTML5 audio and video player was also upgraded to allow playback speed to be modified, alongside various other performance and rendering improvements.

Topic: Web development


Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic UK. He writes about the technology that IT-decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

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  • Jumping the gun a little...

    Not actually ready yet. But apparently very close as of 6/25/2013 at 8:30AM EST.
    Still encouraging users to try the beta.
    • Oh Yes!

      What the world needed.
      3-D Gaming engine in browsers.
  • Where?

    I went to Mozilla's "main FTP server" but had no joy, just a message saying that 22 is not quite ready and inviting me to try a beta release on for size. So exactly where is it that you found 22?
  • Download location

    You can find a Windows version here:

    a Linux x86 64-bit version here:
    Nick Heath
  • OS X version available through update channel

    I updated to Firefox 22 stable on my Macbook Air. Preliminary testing and browsing show a slight performance improvement. FF22 blows away Safari and Chrome on the falling boxes demo linked above, but it's designed to do that. Real world benchmarks vs FF21... SunSpider 1.0 dropped from 223ms to 211ms. HTML5Test was 399, now 410 plus 10 bonus points. HTML5 Fish Bowl from 20fps to 24fps but still no sound, and Particle Acceleration dropped from 23fps to 16fps. BrowserMark and Peacekeeper each went up about 100 points, but still below Safari and Chrome results on the same system. My biggest complaint about Firefox still hasn't been addressed... no print preview. It still also doesn't support OS X scrollbars either.
    Michael Linneer
  • Played the citadel "game," my thoughts:

    Played the citadel "game," my thoughts:

    1) To *truly* make it a good gaming experience, they have to add proper mouse look support. None of this "click and drag."

    2) It feels slow in places. It's nowhere near as fluid as games I download from Steam. Sorry, but I don't think JavaScript is really up to par with performance. Many game designers use fully compiled code and even make tweaks at the assembly language level. There's no way JavaScript can compete with that.

    2.1) Interestingly enough, the game works on both Firefox 21 and 22 (WebGL was actually in Firefox as early as version 4). Upgrading from Firefox 21 to 22 and restarting the browser bought the performance from about 13-30 fps up to 45-60 fps.

    This tells me that performance is going to be heavily based on browser optimizations, and unless *all* browsers have similar optimizations, the game will perform differently on different browsers.

    3) Sound needs proper crossfading - the music cuts are rather harsh.

    4) While the tech demo isn't so bad to download - full, complete games can easily be 10+ GB large. Does anybody really want to wait for 10+ GB to download every time they reload the page or the browser?

    5) It's interesting to see 3D gaming in the browser, but that begs the question: What does the browser bring that platforms like Steam don't? Steam is already a fully capable cloud-based platform for games.
  • Firefox 22 available, promises real-time comms and 3D gaming

    First one at the office to download it!
  • WebRTC peer to peer

    Very exciting to expand the capabilities of SwarmCDN (peer-to-peer) content delivery from 52% (chrome) of users to over 80% with Firefox + Chrome. If you're interested in testing SwarmCDN we have a few more seats left. We allow unlimited bandwidth transfer during this phase.