Pipelight
Windows plugins in Linux browsers
04 Jun 2014 03:50 CEST  written by Pipelight Team
Release v0.2.7
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Pipelight 0.2.7 provides many enhancements and bug fixes to make the usage more convenient. The new version includes additional tools to find configuration issues on your system and improves the performance on AMD graphic cards as GPU acceleration is now enabled by default. Anyway, the most important change for our new users might be that we created a dedicated website on pipelight.net which contains a completely revised installing instructions and FAQ entries.

New website

We decided to move all our Pipelight related information to a separate website to arrange them more clearly and we also removed all the deprecated instructions for old pipelight version, resulting in drastically reduced installing instructions. The new website is also open source and you can fetch all the content and software to generate the website from https://bitbucket.org/mmueller2012/pipelight-website/src. We will add an appropriate open source license and a readme which explains the usage of the python scripts in the next days, so that you're also able to contribute to the website. We are already looking forward to your pull requests ;-).

AMD graphic cards - Silverlight

We support GPU acceleration in Silverlight for Intel and NVIDIA for quite some time, but there was always trouble with rendering on AMD graphic cards. This is not directly AMD's fault, but it is caused by a different handling of Direct3D in Wine and on Windows. We found out that in most of the cases it is sufficient to enable strict drawing which forces a glFlush() at some points in the rendering Pipeline and we now decided to change our graphic card detection. Silverlight will now use GPU acceleration on AMD graphic card with strict draw ordering if the websites requestes acceleration and you have the 32 bit graphic driver files installed.

Besides refactoring the detection method, we also added the possibility to toggle strict draw ordering on or off at runtime by using the right click context menu in Silverlight. Although strict draw ordering is known to cause big performance issues for 3D games the difference is negligible for displaying video frames and is a suitable solution till the command stream patches finally solve the problems in a correct way. Please keep in mind that these changes only affect Silverlight, other plugins like Unity never had problems with AMD graphic cards in Wine and will still use the normal 3d rendering.

Note: There was a small bug in the check causing GPU acceleration to be disabled when using the open source driver. This issue was fixed in the 0.2.7.1 release.

Debugging tools

Pipelight 0.2.7 introduces a new way to check your system configuration for typical issues. It can be invoked by calling:

pipelight-plugin --system-check

The tool will check whether you have the correct graphic driver files installed, the necessary fonts for Silverlight, working ACLs / xattr and whether Wine can find all necessary libraries. This covers the most common problems and possible solutions / more information for these issues are available in our help section.

Bug fixes

Firefox now correctly detects the Flash version string and it is no longer necessary to disable the regular Linux version of Flash as Firefox recognizes that the one provided by Pipelight has a higher version number.

The recently released version of the Unity WebPlayer didn't work because it hit an unimplemented function and a bug in Wine (which still exists since at least 11 years). We added two patches to fix these issues and Unity should now work again as usual.

There was a problem which could cause a crash when multiple instances of a plugin were running at the same time. This mostly affected Flash and is now fixed.

Plugin changes

The following plugins has been updated:

  • Flash to 13.0.0.214
  • Shockwave to 12.1.1.151
  • Unity3D
  • Adobereader
  • FoxitReader
  • Roblox plugin

We also added a new experimental plugin called TrianglePlayer as of a user request. The plugin is required to play the online game "The Lost Titans" - but be aware that its still experimental, and the plugin itself also seems to contain some bugs.

If you want to see all the changes in detail please take a look at the the full changelog:
https://bitbucket.org/mmueller2012/pipelight/raw/master/debian/changelog

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