64-bit Firefox for Mac OS X Up and Running

We got 64-bit Firefox running on Mac OS X today.

64-bit Firefox

I don’t want to post a build here because there are still some significant issues. We should be ironing those out quickly though. Not all of the patches required to produce 64-bit builds are checked in yet but we’re working on it.

We had to rewrite a lot of code to get this going. Thanks to Masayuki Nakano, Joel Reymont, Markus Stange and David Anderson for helping with some of the last bugs!

Gecko 1.9.3 (mozilla-central) is 10.5+ For Now

Gecko 1.9.3 (mozilla-central) will only build and run on Mac OS X 10.5 or higher as of last Tuesday, September 15th. We will not be removing 10.4 code from the tree until we have verified benefits and made the decision final.

Motivations behind this move include performance, features, and development efficiency. By making Mac OS X 10.5 our minimum supported version we can upgrade our compiler to gcc-4.2 (from gcc-4.0) and use the Mac OS X 10.5 SDK. We can also use newer and more efficient technologies like Core Text, and add features like Cocoa-based printing and better international input support via Text Input Services. Since our code complexity will go down we can fix bugs and deliver features to the majority of our users faster.

We have not turned on the Core Text back-end or Cocoa-based printing yet, but we will be doing that soon.

An example of a performance win is the Dromaeo JavaScript test suite. Tests on my hardware show a 30% performance improvement from the compiler/SDK change. Tinderbox test results only show an 8% improvement, but that is still a nice win.