Cairo Corners in Firefox 3

The latest alpha releases of Firefox 3 use a library called “Cairo” for much of the graphics work (note: I don’t understand exactly what that means, but it doesn’t matter).

Thanks to this new graphics infrastructure, boxes with corners rounded by the pre-CSS 3 property border-radius are rendered with beautiful anti-aliasing (currently accessible as the non-standard -moz-border-radius and soon -webkit-border-radius). Stated more simply, rounded boxes are prettier.

Here’s a quick comparison of a box with CSS rounded-corners rendered in Firefox 3.0 Alpha 1 versus Firefox 2.0:

Firefox rounded corner comparison

The difference is subtle, especially with lighter colours like these, but this example represents a significant improvement in the abilities and quality of rendering in Firefox.

Also note that Firefox 3 probably won’t be released until the second half of 2007 (that’s not based on anything official – just a guess).


6 thoughts on “Cairo Corners in Firefox 3

  1. I’ve been wondering this and maybe I’ll get a good answer here.

    Why shouldn’t I use Gran Paradiso Alpha 1?

    It says there’s not really new features, so does that mean there’s not really new bugs? Sounds like the only difference is the new GRE … are there still bugs in the new GRE that could harm my browsing experience?


  2. Garn Paradiso Alpha 1 is buggy. For example, it crashes, when you press [Close] button in “Print Preview” window.
    It is ALPHA release (not for users, but for developers only). So, better use Firefox 2.0 for now. 🙂

  3. Firefox has supported an experimental CSS technique for rounding border corners (-moz-border-radius). The rendering engine in Firefox 2 does a barely acceptable job with this, though the rounded corners don’t appear to be uniformly sized, nor are they anti-aliased. Cairo, which drives the rendering engine in Firefox 3, does a much better job at handling the rounded corners, and the results are quite nice.
    As such, I’m offering some ‘eye-candy’ to those users who visit this site with either Minefield or a Firefox 3 beta build. Those users will now note that code blocks (pre elements), as well as comment blocks, have nicely rounded edges. The end result looks great, and I hope you agree.
    Casino Amerika

Comments are closed.