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   » » Wiki: Gecko (software)
Tag Wiki 'Gecko (software)'.
Gecko is a developed by . It is used in the browser, the Thunderbird , and many other projects.

Gecko is designed to support , and is used by different applications to display and, in some cases, an application's itself (by rendering XUL). Gecko offers a rich programming API that makes it suitable for a wide variety of roles in Internet-enabled applications, such as , content presentation, and client/server.

Gecko is written in C++ and , Https://!msg/< /ref> It is free and open-source software subject to the terms of the Mozilla Public License version 2. Mozilla officially supports its use on Android, , , and /ref>

Development of the layout engine now known as Gecko began at Netscape in 1997, following the company's purchase of . The existing Netscape rendering engine, originally written for Netscape Navigator 1.0 and upgraded through the years, was slow, did not comply well with W3C standards, had limited support for and lacked features such as incremental reflow (when the layout engine rearranges elements on the screen as new data is downloaded and added to the page). The new layout engine was developed in parallel with the old, with the intention being to integrate it into Netscape Communicator when it was mature and stable. At least one more major revision of Netscape was expected to be released with the old layout engine before the switch.

After the launch of the Mozilla project in early 1998, the new layout engine code was released under an open-source license. Originally unveiled as Raptor, the name had to be changed to NGLayout (next generation layout) due to problems. Netscape later rebranded NGLayout as Gecko. While Mozilla Organization (the forerunner of the Mozilla Foundation) initially continued to use the NGLayout name (Gecko was a Netscape trademark), eventually the Gecko branding won out.

In October 1998, Netscape announced that its next browser would use Gecko (which was still called NGLayout at the time) rather than the old layout engine, requiring large parts of the application to be rewritten. While this decision was popular with web standards advocates, it was largely unpopular with Netscape developers, who were unhappy with the six months given for the rewrite. It also meant that most of the work done for Netscape Communicator 5.0 (including development on the Mariner improvements to the old layout engine) had to be abandoned. Netscape 6, the first Netscape release to incorporate Gecko, was released in November 2000 (the name Netscape 5 was never used).

As Gecko development continued, other applications and embedders began to make use of it. , by this time Netscape's parent company, eventually adopted it for use in 7.0 and AOL for Mac OS X (these products had previously embedded Internet Explorer). However, with the exception of a few betas, Gecko was never used in the main Microsoft Windows AOL client.

On July 15, 2003, AOL laid off the remaining Gecko developers and the Mozilla Foundation (formed on the same day) became the main steward of Gecko development. Today, Gecko is developed by employees of the Mozilla Corporation, employees of companies that contribute to the Mozilla project, and volunteers.

Standards support
From the outset, Gecko was designed to support open Internet standards. Some of the standards Gecko supports include:

Gecko also partially supports SVG 1.1. The SVG font, color profile, animation, view, and cursor modules are yet to be implemented and the filter and text modules are only partially implemented. The extensibility module is also implemented but is currently disabled.

In order to support designed for legacy versions of Netscape and Internet Explorer, Gecko supports DOCTYPE switching. Documents with a modern DOCTYPE are rendered in standards compliance mode, which follows the W3C standards strictly. Documents that have no DOCTYPE or an older DOCTYPE are rendered in , which emulates some of the non-standard oddities of Netscape Communicator 4.x; however, some of the 4.x features (such as layers) are not supported.

Gecko also has limited support for some non-standard Internet Explorer features, such as the and the document.all property (though pages explicitly testing for document.all will be told it is not supported).

Gecko is primarily used in , the earliest being Netscape 6 and Mozilla Suite (later renamed ). It is also used in other Mozilla web browser derivatives such as and Firefox for mobile and the implementation of the Internet Explorer-clone that is part of Wine. Mozilla also uses it in their Thunderbird email-client.

Other web browsers using Gecko include , , , Lunascape, Portable Firefox, , , .

Other products using Gecko include Nightingale, and Google's picture-organization software (for Linux).

Gecko is also used by Sugar for the OLPC XO-1 computer. Gecko is used as a complete implementation of the ( User Interface Language). Gecko currently defines the XUL specification.

Past users
Products that have historically used Gecko include Pale Moon (now currently using Goanna), Songbird, Epiphany (now known as ) and both have replaced Gecko with , , and other web browsers including , Flock, , Camino, , Beonex Communicator, , and .

Proprietary dependency
Https://< /ref> Thus, distributions of can not include the Gecko package used in the Windows compatibility layer Wine.

After Gecko 2.0, the version number was bumped to 5.0 to match Firefox 5, and from then on has been kept in sync with the major version number for both Firefox and Thunderbird, to reflect the fact that it is no longer a separate component.

In the Netscape era, a combination of poor technical and management decisions resulted in Gecko . Thus in 2001 Apple chose to fork , not Gecko, to create the for its Safari browser. However, by 2008 Mozilla had addressed some of the bloat problems, resulting in big performance improvements for Gecko.

In October 2016 Mozilla announced Quantum, an ongoing project encompassing several software development efforts to "build the next-generation web engine for users". It includes numerous improvements to Gecko, taken from the experimental Servo project. Firefox 57, also known as "Firefox Quantum", first shipping in November 2017, is the initial version with major components from the Quantum/Servo projects enabled. These include increased performance in the and rendering components. Additional components will be merged from Servo to Gecko incrementally in future versions.

Quantum is a project encompassing several software development efforts to "build the next-generation web engine for users". It includes numerous improvements to the Gecko, largely incorporated from the experimental Servo project. Quantum also includes refinements to the user interface and interactions.

Firefox 57, released in November 2017, is the initial version with a Servo component enabled. Mozilla dubs this and several planned future releases "Firefox Quantum".

In 2013, Mozilla began the experimental Servo project, which is an engine designed from scratch with the goals of improving concurrency and parallelism while also reducing vulnerabilities. An important factor is writing Servo in the Rust programming language, also created by Mozilla, which is designed to generate code with better memory safety, concurrency, and parallelism than compiled C++ code.

As of April 2016, Servo needed at least several years of development to become a full-featured browser engine. Thus the decision to start the Quantum project to bring stable portions of Servo into Firefox.

The Quantum project is composed of several sub-projects.

Servo's parallel style sheet system integrated into Gecko. Benchmarks suggest that performance scales linearly with number of cores. This was released in Firefox 57.
Servo's rendering architecture, called WebRender, integrated into Gecko. WebRender replaces the immediate mode drawing model with a model that is more easily accelerated by the by taking advantage of CSS/DOM's similarity to a . Worst-case scenario rendering in testing exceeds 60 frames per second.
Gecko's existing moved to its own process, isolating browser tabs from graphics driver related crashes. Since compositor crashes will not bring down the browser content process, the compositor process can be restarted transparently without losing user data. This was released in Firefox 53.
Loosely inspired by Servo's Constellation architecture and Opera's Presto engine, Quantum DOM uses cooperatively scheduled threads within the DOM to increase responsiveness without increasing the number of processes and, thus, memory usage.
An umbrella for user visible performance improvements driven by a team that works across Gecko components. Currently focused on real user performance improvements on major , primarily and .
A refresh of the entire application, with a strong focus on improving UI performance. Treated as a sister project to Quantum Flow. This was released in Firefox 57.
Improve the performance of Necko, Gecko's networking layer, by moving more network activity off the main thread, context dependent prioritization of networking streams, and racing the cache layer with the network. This feature was released in Firefox 59.

See also
  • Servo (layout engine)

External links

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