Recently, the Firefox team updated their support for software rendering so that they use the standard Mesa library that’s distributed with most Linux variants.
As far as I understand it, Mesa can be compiled to have all of its OpenGL functions start with “gl”, which is the default (and follows the OpenGL specification), or with “mgl”, which is useful for applications that are linking not just with Mesa but also with another 3D API (see here).
Historically, Firefox’s software rendering used Mesa in its “mgl” mode. Vladimir Vukicevic kindly made an mgl compile of osmesa32.dll available on his website for people to download and use when they needed to try software rendering. This was great for Windows users, but made life harder for those on Linux; most Linux distros have easily-available Mesa packages, but these are generally built with “gl” function names.
The new version of Firefox uses “gl” function names, which makes life a lot easier for Linux users. But it seems to leave Windows users in a bit of a bind.
Unfortunately, there are no official pre-compiled Windows Mesa binaries that I can find. I’d be happy to build and host them myself, but I was wondering — does anyone know of a better way of distributing them? Or, indeed, have I completely misunderstood the problem?
[UPDATE] In the comments, Benoit (who is coding this stuff in Minfield) says that he’s adding code so that it will support both “gl” and “mgl” function names, which will be a great result for everyone. You can track the progress of the work here.
[UPDATED UDPATE] The plan is now to only support “gl” function names, but to make a compiled OSMesa32.dll easily available for Windows users. This sounds like a good plan too