Update: Mozilla mulls end of support for PowerPC Macs
Firefox 4 'not likely' to support aging Macs
Computerworld - Mozilla this week said it's unlikely that the final version of Firefox 4 will run on older Macs equipped with PowerPC processors.
"We are not likely to be supporting PowerPC," said Mike Beltzner, director of Firefox, in a message Tuesday on the Mozilla.dev.planning discussion group. "[But] no announcement has been made yet, as I'd like to have the data to back it up, and am having trouble getting it."
Later on Thursday, a Mozilla spokeswoman confirmed that the company is discussing ending support for the PowerPC, and said it would announce its decision shortly.
Mozilla shipped the fourth Firefox 4 beta two days ago and has tentatively set a final release for November.
But the beta doesn't work on PowerPC, said one developer, whose report that the browser was "totally broken" on his older Mac prompted Beltzner to confirm that Mozilla might pull support for the processor.
"Firefox should be fast, responsive and secure," said Beltzner in a message posted Wednesday to the same discussion. "We cannot deliver that on PPC [PowerPC] anymore since we don't have support for the JIT on PPC, nor do we have support for OOPP."
Mozilla has not yet spelled out system requirements for Firefox 4. Instead, it directs users to those for Firefox 3.6.
Beltzner said others could build browsers for Linux that support PowerPC using the Gecko 2.0 engine, the same that powers Firefox 4, probably by disabling the OOPP and JIT code. But those browsers probably wouldn't carry the "Firefox" name.
One such possibility for PowerPC Macs might be Camino, an open-source project that develops a Mac-only browser based on Mozilla's Gecko. Camino, which is currently at Version 2.0.3, runs on both Intel- and PowerPC-equipped Macs but relies on the older 1.9 Gecko engine.
Mike Pinkerton, a Google engineer who heads the all-volunteer Camino project, did not reply to questions about the browser's future plans to support PowerPC, but they may be in doubt: Notes for a Wednesday status meeting include the line "Gecko 2.0 [formerly known as] 1.9.3 -- on ice."
Earlier this year, Mozilla dropped support for Mac OS X 10.4, a.k.a. Tiger, for future versions of Firefox, saying that Firefox 3.6, which launched in January, would be the last to be officially supported on the five-year-old operating system
Apple ceased updating Tiger almost three years ago.
The newest version of Mac OS, Snow Leopard, requires an Intel-based Mac.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Workarounds to purge search bar from Firefox's new tab page are available
- Mozilla ships Firefox 31, adds search to new tab page
- Microsoft's IE steps back from the brink of irrelevance
- Firefox falters, falls to record low in overall browser share
- Firefox risks user backlash by adding search box to new tab page
- Google unseats Microsoft as the U.S. browser powerhouse
- Safari, Chrome push to mask URLs
- Chrome on Windows champs at the 64-bit
- Google pulls trigger, cripples some Chrome add-ons
- Microsoft shoots to shorten Internet Explorer's long tail
Read more about Desktop Apps in Computerworld's Desktop Apps Topic Center.
- HTTP Status Code Cheat Sheet Look at the Graph, Find the Code and Boom - You're Solving Problems. Identifying and understanding common HTTP status codes can go a...
- Simple Solution, Big Capability Meet growing employee and business demands by connecting up to 1,000 users with powerful collaboration capabilities with a single, integrated platform -- Cisco...
- The Business Value of Continuous Delivery Download this whitepaper to learn more about the business value of Continuous Delivery and see why it could be a game changer for...
- Ten Factors Shaping the Future of Application Delivery Download this research report conducted by Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) to learn how those that are seeking to accelerate application delivery are leveraging...
- Business-driven data protection Setting up data protection infrastructures with your organizations' core mission or business in mind is key. In this webinar, the ARCserve team will...
- On-Demand Webinar: Mind the Gap! Watch the webinar featuring Bob Janssen, CTO and Co-Founder of RES Software, to start building a solid foundation for business and IT to... All Desktop Apps White Papers | Webcasts