Author Topic: Sponsorship needed for new OS/2 web browser  (Read 10364 times)

Dave Yeo

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Re: Sponsorship needed for new OS/2 web browser
« Reply #45 on: November 17, 2017, 11:15:50 pm »
It would be good to continue on to Firefox 52ESR, which should be doable. 52ESR is going to be the last Mozilla release for XP and may be maintained for longer or forked for XP (and Vista) users.
SeaMonkey is likely to die after 52ESR and is currently based on 52ESR with the next few versions planned to stay on 52ESR and there is a good chance that Mozilla52ESR will be forked to enable SeaMonkey to keep working with security fixes, there's rumours that some Linux dists are planning on maintaining it, which would include Firefox. Considering that we're always a year behind, we may be able to use the 52ESR code base for a few years
Thunderbird has also considered forking Mozilla-Central (Firefox head), but that seems unlikely right now and if they do fork it, it'll probably be 56 that is forked.
In summary, there is no great rush to move away from Mozilla and 52ESR may be viable for 3 or 4 years, by which time most browsers are probably going to be 64bit or in the case of QT based webkit, just as out of date as 52ESR. Chromium has the same problems as Mozilla with too fast of an update cycle.
All the other forks of Firefox I've looked at have been 64bit or dependent on working 3D graphics support.


Joop

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Re: Sponsorship needed for new OS/2 web browser
« Reply #46 on: November 18, 2017, 12:29:44 am »
For the next five to ten years we will still have 32-bit systems (non OS/2 based), including Windows. So it is to be expected that major players will have a 32 bit application. Going to ONLY 64 bit is a big mistake from the Mozilla foundation. Not all can go to 64 bit for several reasons. If we don't have a FF 32 bit then something else will pop up, likely in some kind of public domain license. 

Andreas Kohl

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Re: Sponsorship needed for new OS/2 web browser
« Reply #47 on: November 18, 2017, 01:39:37 am »
It would be good to continue on to Firefox 52ESR, which should be doable. 52ESR is going to be the last Mozilla release for XP and may be maintained for longer or forked for XP (and Vista) users.
Finally some correct information in this thread. The matching link for non-believers.

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SeaMonkey is likely to die after 52ESR and is currently based on 52ESR with the next few versions planned to stay on 52ESR and there is a good chance that Mozilla52ESR will be forked to enable SeaMonkey to keep working with security fixes, there's rumours that some Linux dists are planning on maintaining it, which would include Firefox. Considering that we're always a year behind, we may be able to use the 52ESR code base for a few years
There's no final decision until now.

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In summary, there is no great rush to move away from Mozilla and 52ESR may be viable for 3 or 4 years, by which time most browsers are probably going to be 64bit or in the case of QT based webkit, just as out of date as 52ESR. Chromium has the same problems as Mozilla with too fast of an update cycle.
Which I have to agree with.

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All the other forks of Firefox I've looked at have been 64bit or dependent on working 3D graphics support.
The only working approach to ship a Mozilla-forked web browser for oldschool systems is Cameron's TenFourFox http://tenfourfox.blogspot.de/.  So the web browsing experience on a 17 years old G4 is better than on more recent Intel-based hardware under OS/2 nowadays.

Dave Yeo

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Re: Sponsorship needed for new OS/2 web browser
« Reply #48 on: November 18, 2017, 02:04:10 am »
The only working approach to ship a Mozilla-forked web browser for oldschool systems is Cameron's TenFourFox http://tenfourfox.blogspot.de/.  So the web browsing experience on a 17 years old G4 is better than on more recent Intel-based hardware under OS/2 nowadays.

Huh? Tenfourfox is stuck on 45ESR and is now forked due to 52ESR not being buildable on PowerPC Macs due to no thread local storage IIRC. Cameron wasn't very happy about it but at least he is keeping certificates, security patches up to date unlike Bitwise as well as other improvements. See the release notes for the latest, https://github.com/classilla/tenfourfox/wiki/ZZFPRReleaseNotes04.
If we had someone with the interest and knowledge, going the same way with our fork would be another possibility. Bitwise has too much on their plate to do much more then basic porting. I don't have the skills and everyone else is busy as far as I know. It's almost a full time job keeping up with Mozilla and ideally we'd need someone with access to the security bugs.

Dave Yeo

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Re: Sponsorship needed for new OS/2 web browser
« Reply #49 on: November 18, 2017, 02:12:22 am »
For the next five to ten years we will still have 32-bit systems (non OS/2 based), including Windows. So it is to be expected that major players will have a 32 bit application. Going to ONLY 64 bit is a big mistake from the Mozilla foundation. Not all can go to 64 bit for several reasons. If we don't have a FF 32 bit then something else will pop up, likely in some kind of public domain license.

Mozilla will likely be the last to drop 32bit support just like they were the last to drop XP and even OS/2.
The problem is that generally developers have the latest machines, using a 64 OS with lots of memory and 32 bit will become more and more of an afterthought. We're seeing it in things like the recommendation to have 16GBs of virtual address space to build Mozilla as one example.
MS will keep supporting 32bit for quite a while, along with some Linux dists but others have already switched to pure 64bit and as programs continue to bloat up, 32 bit will be harder.
There's also more and more dependencies on using the video cards for stuff, and not just drawing. My old gutless cheap phone can do things that I can only dream off in OS/2.

Andreas Kohl

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Re: Sponsorship needed for new OS/2 web browser
« Reply #50 on: November 18, 2017, 02:23:48 am »
I welcome people there input in a forum. In my opinion Andreas had no good word left for my funding campaign I posted to os2.org, no problem.
That's a big misconception. I simply dislike your sophistic behaviour here.

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But when I asked him to ask questions and he does not.
Stop - there has never been a conversation about your "campaign" between us. Absolutely nothing!

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It seems he is just in the forum to spread negative messages and it seems not much else. Most OS/2 users are skilled enough to understand slightly  more then what he posts which seems point at some level of knowing what is he is talking about. But talking stand point the build tools that are outdated for example. If it was not for GCC we would have been dead years ago.
You can call it a "minority report". I will use in future comma instead of minus symbols in my posts. Perhaps they will look friendlier then ;-)

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So that is what I mean with un constructive attitude in his communication. The vast majority of new software is being compiled with these tools that Paul Smedley maintains in his spare time Dmitry from BWW and other people. A different attitude from his side is certainly in place. Some on Andreas his statements come across as political one liners with little technical foundations underneath it.
Please no fallback to fake news again, the only new software for OS/2 that came up in the last half year were some device drivers that use a different toolset. It's nice to have GCC (g++) but I cannot find the GNU debugger (gdb)? Which debugger is used for current Mozilla development? Which profilers and code analysers are utilised? Questions, questions that will stay unanswered. The unclear current situation without any plan (as Sigurd mentioned) leads to unsatisfied users etc.

It would be a better idea to discuss about the technical details in the mozilla OS/2 newsgroup and not here.

And some extra ++++++

Martin Iturbide

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Re: Sponsorship needed for new OS/2 web browser
« Reply #51 on: November 18, 2017, 02:44:21 am »
So, in my opinion, Money would be needed to Support current Hardware Features, like USB 3, WLAN (so many years missed now...) UNIAUD or what else - so desperatly needed Features.....to keep the current Hardware for some years. So: to develop Drivers.

Hi Sigurd

I'm complete against to use community raised money to generate close source drivers contaminated with the IBM DDK license which is incompatible with any open source license. (In case someone think that is the plan).

Drivers maybe necessary but are "short term" needs, in the long term you will require newer drivers and more updated drivers. In my opinion it is better to use money on things that will help the keep the platform current and with working applications in a middle-long term. If we don't have working applications that you want to use on OS/2, there not even need for drivers.

Sigurd, this does not mean it has to be black or white. This just look to me like a fundraising you don't want to support because you want drivers first. Maybe you will have to skip this one and focus on support some other driver projects.

Regards
Martin Iturbide
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Dave Yeo

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Re: Sponsorship needed for new OS/2 web browser
« Reply #52 on: November 18, 2017, 03:24:11 am »
It's nice to have GCC (g++) but I cannot find the GNU debugger (gdb)? Which debugger is used for current Mozilla development? Which profilers and code analysers are utilised? Questions, questions that will stay unanswered. The unclear current situation without any plan (as Sigurd mentioned) leads to unsatisfied users etc.

The IBM debuggers mostly work fine for GCC(g++) code including Mozilla. Steven did work getting the OpenWatcom linker linking the huge debug version of xul. Firefox itself has tools for debugging JavaScript and such. Profiling with GCC was discussed years back in the newsgroup but I forget the particulars.

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It would be a better idea to discuss about the technical details in the mozilla OS/2 newsgroup and not here.

The newsgroup seems pretty dead.

Sigurd Fastenrath

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Re: Sponsorship needed for new OS/2 web browser
« Reply #53 on: November 18, 2017, 08:49:01 am »

Hi Martin,

Developing drivers dies not automatically lead to closed source. I.e. I asked Lars Erdmann regarding USB 3.0.

But I have to state that even if the drivers would be closed source in my opinion it would be better to have those as none of them.

Regards

Paul Smedley

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Re: Sponsorship needed for new OS/2 web browser
« Reply #54 on: November 18, 2017, 09:32:48 am »
Hi Guys,

I do not know what you talking about but Paul Smedley provides current builds of GCC 6 and 7 on his website for OS/2.
Only three errors in one sentence.
1. The current "supported" versions of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) are Version 6.4 and 7.2. Neither full builds nor builds of a subset are currently available.
2. The mentioned download package comes not from his website but from dropbox - I didn't know that Paul is the owner of dropbox?
3. The mentioned download package is not a full package but a subset of GCC features (C and C++ frontend, gfortran frontend) - some tools but no standard C library or standard C++ library support included

1) I haven't built 6.4, but 6.3 is available on my site. Likewise with 7.2. Note these are minor bug fixes, I just haven't had time to build them.

2) Does it really matter that my downloads come from Dropbox? I hsot files on Dropbox to try and provide the best possible download speeds for users.

3) Why should I include a C library with a compiler? It's clearly stated the compiler builds on top of the environment that klibc provides..

Cheers,

Paul



Martin Iturbide

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Re: Sponsorship needed for new OS/2 web browser
« Reply #55 on: November 18, 2017, 12:17:51 pm »
Developing drivers dies not automatically lead to closed source. I.e. I asked Lars Erdmann regarding USB 3.0.

That is interesting, you are right, there can be open source drivers on OS/2, but the temptation to use IBM DDK code (which is incompatible with open source) is high since it will help developers to make drivers faster.

Lar's drivers are not open source and can not be turn open source because they are based on the IBM DDK source code (AFAIK). But he uses a workaround, he turned his project into a collaborative project under netlabs, so even if it is not open source another member of netlabs can continue the project in the future. That was the only legal solution I know for IBM DDK source code drivers.

Under my experience on this platform, close source software is future abandonware. It would be better to invest in open source drivers even if those will cost more by not using IBM DDK code.

Regards
Martin Iturbide
OS2World NewsMaster
... just share the dream.

Roderick Klein

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Re: Sponsorship needed for new OS/2 web browser (driver development)
« Reply #56 on: November 18, 2017, 05:29:53 pm »
Problems, like UEFI, UEFI2020, USB 3, NVMe, Panorama, UNIAUD.... will lead to an end of OS/2 nativ on modern Hardware and I see no way that this can be stopped.

So, in my opinion, Money would be needed to Support current Hardware Features, like USB 3, WLAN (so many years missed now...) UNIAUD or what else - so desperatly needed Features.....to keep the current Hardware for some years. So: to develop Drivers.

I will answer some your other questions  later. As for the drivers. I would like to refer to you to the presentation of David Azarwicz from Arca Noae in Toronto.

He is currently working on USB 3.0 host controller driver that can fit in the current USB stack.
UNIAUD based on technically dead and Arca Noae seems to be working on an audio driver based on FreeBSD audio chipset.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xuEoW_1cmgU
USB 3.0 is mentioned (around 20:30). I could not find the Uniaud portion in the train quickly.

Roderick

Andreas Kohl

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Re: Sponsorship needed for new OS/2 web browser
« Reply #57 on: November 18, 2017, 05:30:12 pm »
The IBM debuggers mostly work fine for GCC(g++) code including Mozilla. Steven did work getting the OpenWatcom linker linking the huge debug version of xul.
I suppose that IBM's HLL symbol format is utilised. That's of course a weak point in the Watcom debugger. So in a real world scenario I have to use a remote debugger under Windows NT or AIX.

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Firefox itself has tools for debugging JavaScript and such. Profiling with GCC was discussed years back in the newsgroup but I forget the particulars.
That was back in the times when IWB changed to be built with GCC - not sure.

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The newsgroup seems pretty dead.
But is the only source of valuable information that still remains.

To support the sponsorship I collected today some money from the street - not bad for 25 minutes...

Dave Yeo

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Re: Sponsorship needed for new OS/2 web browser
« Reply #58 on: November 18, 2017, 09:03:14 pm »
The IBM debuggers mostly work fine for GCC(g++) code including Mozilla. Steven did work getting the OpenWatcom linker linking the huge debug version of xul.
I suppose that IBM's HLL symbol format is utilised. That's of course a weak point in the Watcom debugger. So in a real world scenario I have to use a remote debugger under Windows NT or AIX.

Yes, HLL debug symbols are generated with -g -Zomf. Some have to be repressed as there isn't room for the records.
There are plans to add HLL debug symbols to OpenWatcom, though whether time will be found...
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Firefox itself has tools for debugging JavaScript and such. Profiling with GCC was discussed years back in the newsgroup but I forget the particulars.
That was back in the times when IWB changed to be built with GCC - not sure.
It was around Firefox 3, 9 years back. Here's the discussion, https://groups.google.com/forum/#!searchin/mozilla.dev.ports.os2/GCC$20profiling/mozilla.dev.ports.os2/A9wuXGW8TKA/ZtAu6HerUC4J
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The newsgroup seems pretty dead.
But is the only source of valuable information that still remains.

Yes, and luckily Google seems to have it all indexed.

guzzi

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Re: Sponsorship needed for new OS/2 web browser
« Reply #59 on: November 18, 2017, 09:55:37 pm »
Some considerations about this sponsorship drive:

It is indeed not clear which browser will be ported and not even when. I am not happy about that myself. I still gave my consent as a VOICE board member, for a number of reasons.
It has become increasingly clear that porting Firefox is too resource intensive, for reasons already stated in this thread, o.a. the rapid major code changes. Choosing an alternative takes time. Porting the alternative takes more time. Getting the necessary funds together also takes time. By raising money now we save time later.
Software development does not come for free, at least not when there are few developers and therefore full time development by the sparse developers is needed.
Although there is no alternative browser chosen yet, the developers have been chosen, namely BWW, because they have proven to deliver.

Others may think differently. Everyone is free to choose if they will contribute or not.

As for the comments in this thread about buggy software, lack of tools etc., when I take into account the number of bugreports in the firefox bug tracker by the main complainants I get the strong impression that complaining or even trolling is more important to some than actually helping getting bugs fixed.