“Firefox’s transition to Cairo is significant. Written in the C programming language, the versatile Cairo graphics library is a vector-based drawing API that supports a wide variety of backends. Cairo can take advantage of hardware acceleration where available and simplifies cross-platform graphics application development by providing an internally consistent and cohesive framework that emphasizes platform-independence. Similar in function to Microsoft’s Windows Presentation Foundation (formerly called Avalon) and Apple’s Quartz 2D, Cairo has been widely adopted within the open source community and is currently used in numerous open source applications and frameworks including the GTK toolkit and GNOME desktop environment.” Souce
It looks like this is the change that many people have been waiting on for Firefox to become “fast”. Everyone that I know using OS X says that Safari wins because of the discrepancy in speed, and the disconnectednesses of Firefox from the operating system. Moving to CairoÂ holds promise for native OS rendering engines, and 3D acceleration.Â Also tasty is support for OS X’s keychain thingy.
This is significant on Linux because it can (finally!) take benefit from acceleration provided by AIGLX/XGL.