Posted By: ppietro|
Date: 2007-Nov-09 04:09
Summary:The Future of Mozilla for the PlayStation2
I could have sworn that I updated the News section a few months ago... but even if I did, it's gone now.
"So - what's going on with Mozilla for the PS2?" you might be wondering.
Well - I'm kind of spinning the project down. There's a couple of reasons.
The main reason is that Firefox 2.0's memory footprint seems to be larger than Firefox 1.5. What this means is that the performance of Firefox 2.0 suffers on the PS2 compared to Firefox 1.5.
Unfortunately, the Firefox team has officially halted development on Firefox 1.5 with build 188.8.131.52, so there won't be any more updates to that build tree. I'll continue to build Firefox 2.0 when I get time, but the performance hit may make it less desireable than 1.5.
Same goes with Seamonkey. They've recently switched to the Gecko 1.8.1 layout engine that drives Firefox 2.0, with the accompanying performance hit. I will continue to build that as well - but SeaMonkey 1.0.9 would be the last with the Gecko 1.8/Firefox 1.5 layout engine.
I haven't been able to get Thunderbird 2.0 to build. I will continue to try, but Thunderbird 184.108.40.206 will probably be the last build in that tree as well.
In the bigger picture, there have been some major changes to the Mozilla build tree that will probably preclude building future versions of any of the Mozilla family (Firefox, Thunderbird, SeaMonkey, et al).
I'm working with the team to get an exception for Firefox 1.5 & 2.0 for a particular bug that affects all MIPS processor builds. This is the "Firefox stops at first startup" bug.
There is a fix, but it uses MIPS instructions that the PS2 doesn't support. If they introduce this fix into the build tree, then there will be no more development for Mozilla for the PS2, since the patch breaks my builds. However - if they don't do the fix, then you still get the crash on first startup across *all* MIPS builds.
It's kind of a catch-22, really.
The dev team has agreed to try to change the build Makefiles so that the patch gets left out of PS2 builds. I have agreed that this is only necessary for Firefox 1.5/2.0 builds, and that future builds of Firefox (i.e. 3.0) will *not* be supported on the PS2. This seems like the best idea for the future, based on the memory footprint the 3.0 will require.
So - in summary - Firefox 220.127.116.11/Thunderbird 18.104.22.168/SeaMonkey 1.0.9 are my preferred builds for PlayStation 2 Linux. These will be the final builds for the platform.
I will continue making Firefox 2.0.x/SeaMonkey 1.1.x (and Thunderbird 2.x, if I get it working) builds, but you may find the performance suffers too much to use them.
Due to the requirements for newer build tools and the larger memory footprint, no future Mozilla projects (i.e. Firefox 3.0) will be ported to the PlayStation 2.
None of this is written in stone - I'm just trying to let you know what I'm thinking.
Let me know if you have any comments, questions, etc.