Firefox 15 Is Go Along With A New 3D Game Demo
Written by Ian Elliot   
Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Firefox 15 was released on August 28th, one day ahead of schedule. Improvements to memory usage make it faster, but for many it is its game-related enhancements that are the main highlight. A new game demo, Bananabread, makes the point and proves that HTML5 gaming isn't a joke.

As we reported last month Firefox 15 has tackled its long standing memory leakage problems affecting certain add-ons. The improvements make browsing smoother and more responsive.

For developers, the integrated JavaScript Debugger gives and can also be used over a local network to remotely debug apps running on Firefox for Android.

This release also makes animations smoother with an improved JavaScript engine and enhancements to WebGL. It also introduces support for compressed textures, allowing game developers to build graphics-heavy games without losing performance and Firefox also provides game and other interactive content developers precision to within thousandths of milliseconds with high precision timing.

To show it all off we have a new demo a 3D first person shooter game, Bananabread, is included to showcase Firefox’s new gaming enhancements and can be seen in this video:


Don't try the demo however if you haven't upgraded to Firefox 15 because it needs compressed textures. Also it doesn't work under tha latest Chrome unless you switch pointer/mouse lock on - a simple procedure but one that might stop a lot of users from trying it out. Of course it doesn't work on IE 9 or 10 because they don't support WebGL at all.

The Bananabread project is intended to serve as a test case for running a demanding 3D game in browsers which can be used to try out new browser features and to profile performance to make browsers faster. Another goal is to prove that games of this nature can run in JavaScript and WebGL, something many people are still skeptical about. Try it out - you can't help but be impressed - especially when you learn that it is a port of a C++ game engine and not custom JavaScript.



Bananabread takes the Cube 2: Sauerbraten engine, which is written in C++ and OpenGL, and compiles it using Emscripten into JavaScript and WebGL so that it can run in modern browsers using standards-based web APIs and without the need for plugins. Its code and many of its the art assets are open giving others a head start in creating their own browser games.

Another notable improvement in Firefox 15 is Version 3 of the SPDY (‘speedy’) networking protocol.. This technology, developed by Google to ‘reduce web page load latency and improve web security' was first introduced in Firefox 11 and still has to be explicitly turned on. The big missing feature is the native PDF reader which was included in earlier beta releases of Firefox 15 has not been included in the final release. Several bugs were not fixed in time for the release of Firefox 15 but chances are it  will form part of the Firefox 16, due early October.





More Information

Firefox 15 Release Notes

Firefox 15 for developers

Related Articles

What's New In Firefox 15 And 16

Firefox 11 Brings 3D Debugging


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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 29 August 2012 )