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Firefox vs fixed backgrounds

Monday, January 4th, 2010

For once I encountered a browser bug which didn’t push me to loathe <insert famous browser name here> (oops)  even more.To be honest, they made a lot of progress with their latest release and finally provide a more decent CSS support (hurray for Web standards and us, poor developers!). On a side note though, I think that everybody ought to stop living in the past but that’s another discussion entirely…Back to the subject! Today I figured out why my WordPress theme was so choppy under Firefox. At first I thought that the culprit would be one of the jQuery plugins that I use (rounded corners, tooltips) but surprisingly enough, it was caused by the following CSS code:

body{background: url(images/layout/background.jpg) center fixed;...}

Apparently, a bug in Firefox causes it to use a whole damn lot of CPU cycles while scrolling the page when there is a fixed background on the page. People have already proposed multiple solutions, even one which involves modifying Firefox’s Chrome files (…) but my preferred one was simply not to use background-attachment anymore, even though it’s a basic CSS2 property.Even though that particular problem is fixed (heh), the page rendering in Firefox is still considerably slower compared to Chrome or even IE (ouch that one does hurts to write).

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