Thunderbird for x86 Macs

You can download Thunderbird for x86 Macs here:

Everything seems to work just fine, but I didn’t test it too much so back up your mail often if you’re going to use this. Let me know if you find anything majorly wrong with it compared to the PPC version. Since Firefox for x86 Macs has been downloaded well over 2000 times, we should have a good sized testing community out there… That was a joke, and I’m not talking about the fact that over 2000 people downloaded it. That part is true.

Thanks to Scott MacGregor and David Bienvenu for all of their work on Thunderbird. The upcoming 1.5 release is going to be awesome!

Mozilla Skateboard Hack

Asa and I sat down and pulled off a Mozilla skateboard hack today. Its pretty common to put stickers on the bottom of skateboard decks, but a little more rare to see stickers on the tops of decks since there is usually skate tape (sandpaper-like stuff) on top.

We used an exacto knife to make a mark around the sticker against a ruler, then we cut triangles out so it peeled nicely from the corners. After getting the rectangle cut out of the skate tape, we put the sticker down inside it. Putting your foot right on the sticker doesn’t really scuff it since its 1) in the natural curve of the board and 2) slightly thinner than the skate tape around it.

Seriously, People

I just looked at my web stats and people have downloaded 523 copies of Firefox for x86 Macs. I find it hard to believe that more than 50 of those people (being generous here) actually have an x86 Mac. To the other 473 of you – you do know that it won’t run right? Not even a little bit. I’m still waiting for the bug report about how the x86 Mac build “won’t even launch!!!” on a “brand new G5 with a fresh copy of Tiger.”

Firefox Build for x86 Macs and Firefox with Cocoa Widgets

Here it is, x86 Mac only (not for PPC machines):

I’ll put it in the experimental directory of’s FTP server this coming week. Most things seem to work fine except for plugins. Only Quicktime is reliable. Most others crash the browser. I’ll work on a fix for that soon. Keep in mind that this build has whatever bugs exist on the Firefox trunk now in addition to whatever else might come up as a result of being ported to x86. Hopefully the two people that will use this build will file bugs on x86 port issues only, and not duplicate reports of bugs that exist on PPC as well. That said, enjoy.

This morning I got Firefox to build and run with cocoa widgets. Patch is already checked into cvs. We’re on our way. Note: cocoa widget builds do not have a menu bar right now, but who still uses that 20th century menu bar crap anyway?

Porting to Intel Macs

I figured I’d explain what went on in getting Firefox running on an Intel Mac.

First off, Apple employees got Firefox running on an Intel Mac for the sake of using it as a demonstration of what it takes to port a complex application. After the demo, they sent me patches.

I never tried to get Firefox running on Intel Macs by just applying their patches. For one thing, they were not worried about cross-platform patches or writing the code in such a way that we could actually land it in our tree. They just wanted it to run. Secondly, the patches were fairly out of date by the time I got them, in particular because of the huge build system improvements Mark Mentovai has been making. However, the Apple patches were extremely valuable because they did a lot of work for us and at least pointed us right to many of the problem areas instead of us having to figure out what we need to do.

Once I had the Apple patches, Mark Mentovai took care of cleaning up the ones related to the build system, David Baron took care of figuring out things related to x86 assembly code, and I cleaned up the rest of the stuff with Simon Fraser. One of the core Fink developers sent me a patch to get Fink to bootstrap on an Intel Mac, so I didn’t have to spend a bunch of time installing required packages by hand. A few days ago we had gotten far enough that in an evening I was able to sit down, check out a fresh cvs tree on the Intel Mac at my desk, apply some of the various patches sitting on bugzilla, and get a build up and running. Great teamwork. I wouldn’t have had time to get it going by now had I had to do all of this myself, so thank you to everyone who helped. Now I just need to get the patches into the tree so we can build out of cvs with no patches, and work out a few runtime bugs.

This kind of thing is really what Mozilla development has been about for me lately. I don’t sit down and write tons of code all the time – I spend a lot of time bringing together the pieces needed to accomplish something, testing them, fixing them, and doing what need to be done to get them merged into our codebase. We have an awesome community, and its great that this kind of teamwork is possible.