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Firefox 2 port now Iyonix and A9home friendly

Published: 26th Dec 2006, 07:03:36 | Permalink | Printable

And welcome back to cute iconbar icon

Firefox 2 running on an A9homeA new version of the RISC OS Firefox 2 port was released online today - and it runs on Iyonix, A9home and Omega computers. The new build features an iconbar icon and RISC OS-style menus, and improved handling of multiple windows.

The application is also the first in the wild to be built with RISC OS GCC 4.1, according to developer Peter Naulls. The Firefox executable is a 20M ELF binary, and requires John-Mark Bell's ELFLoader module to run it. The mammoth web browser also uses the version sources from the mainstream version of Firefox, and no longer requires !Unixhome.

The browser port is said to be faster than the earlier FF 1.5 port, although it has issues with some RISC OS menus, scrollbars, security certificates, Unicode, and plugins.

Peter said: "Because most of the effort of this version was focussed upon correct operation under the new compiler [GCC 4.1], many of the existing issues still remain. Read the !Help before running, or there will be tears."

Peter had promised a Christmas day release, and managed to upload the new build around 6pm on December 25 - Californian time (GMT-8). A previous release of the Firefox 2 port was Iyonix-only because it used instructions specific to ARMv5-compatible processors - which ruled out RiscPCs, A9homes and other computers. This restriction has been lifted, and the new port is said to work on Iyonix, A9home and Omega computers, and possibly with VirtualRiscPC. Tests showed the ARMv5 instructions only saved thousandths of a second, when processing web pages.

A9home users and other people having problems when the Firefox 2 port starts up for the first time should try copying their old Mozilla Firefox 1 profile from !Unixhome to Firefox 2's Choices directory. Copy the contents of !Unixhome.home./mozilla.firefox to Choices:Mozilla.Firefox. !Unixhome can usually be found inside !Boot.Resources, Choices: can be found by running Filer_OpenDir <Choices$Write> from a command line. Drobe reader Doug Webb was first to reveal this solution.


RISC OS Firefox port webpage - you must read the !Help as the installation instructions have changed

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Once again Peter delivers on time and with a procuct he said he would.

One issue I have found is that dispite following Peter's instructions Firefox would not load and just came up with error messages. The secert to getting it to load was to copy an existing porofile in !UnixHome /Mozilla into !Boot.Choices as Mozilla and when it loads follow Peter's instaructions there on loading for the first time. Peter does say that you should read the Help file as it has issues starting first time but this step wasn't in it.

I look forward to further integration into RISCOS and this shows the way that non-native apps can and should be used within RISCOS. I look forward to more so i can be parted with cash to support such initiatives.

Thanks Peter and everyone else that has done elements to get Firefox this far.

 is a RISC OS Userbluenose on 26/12/06 10:18AM
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Oh Dear , spotted the spelling mistakes..to much Xmas cheer I think still in my system. Posted using Firefox2 Rlse2

 is a RISC OS Userbluenose on 26/12/06 10:37AM
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Omega hardware? Wazzat then ;-p

 is a RISC OS UserNodoid on 26/12/06 10:38AM
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I was only joking when I taked to Peter on IRC yesterday and asked where my present was, and that he had all day to get a new version out. What a hero! :)

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 26/12/06 12:00PM
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Thanks to Bluenose for the cure! And massive thanks to Peter for the work - I will be sending a donation. A very happy Christmas and 2007.

 is a RISC OS UserDaveW on 26/12/06 12:24PM
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As expected Peter has delivered something that works. Congratulations and well done Peter. I've downloaded, read the instructions, installed it and it worked. Brilliant. Thanks!

 is a RISC OS Userrmac on 26/12/06 1:02PM
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bluenose The spelling mistakes were unimportant as far as I am concerned. Your fix however got FF2 rel 2 up and running here (and a few other people as well). Thanks! :)

 is a RISC OS Userblahsnr on 26/12/06 4:23PM
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Big improvement! :-D

Much more stable than the previous versions - just actually managed to complete an ebay transaction!

...watches bank account shudder in anticipation ;-)

 is a RISC OS UserROHC on 26/12/06 7:28PM
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Yup, works on my A9 :) Great Christmas present - now it works on my little blue box, I've donated.

 is a RISC OS Userlym on 26/12/06 8:54PM
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but did you use firefox?

was my 1st test this morning :-)

 is a RISC OS UserROHC on 26/12/06 9:10PM
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Well, TBH, NetSurf is still quicker, so I used that. Oh, the luxury - to have two RISC OS browsers so competent and lovely... :)

 is a RISC OS Userlym on 26/12/06 9:22PM
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All very exciting news, although I'm afraid that, on my version (VRPC-Adjust) at least, it doesn't appear to work. Ah well; Peter did only say 'maybe' to it working with VRPC. Any other VRPC users with different results?

Well done to Peter anyway, great work. Hopefully maybe a future release will incorporate VRPC as well.

 is a RISC OS Userhutchies on 26/12/06 10:14PM
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It's great to see such an important app making such good progress and running nicely on my Omega. Well done Peter

 is a RISC OS UserIanK on 26/12/06 11:33PM
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anyone else with emulator feedback?

 is a RISC OS UserROHC on 26/12/06 11:50PM
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Thanks Peter. Now that Firefox sits on the icon bar and does not disappear when startled I will keep it running all the time alongside of Netsurf. It helps to be using Moredesk of course because I can have a screen for each browser and quickly swap back and forward.

Just one regret. I wish had read drobe before re-downloading and re-installing Tinct, UnixLib etc in an attempt to get round the start up problem. Thanks for the solution Doug.

 is a RISC OS UserJohnR on 27/12/06 2:42PM
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Nicely done Peter !

Although the use of a "patch" was an acceptible (and imaginitive) solution to the problem - the best option was a proper port that could be run natively on the A9. Peter's port is just that, this brings all modern RISC OS platforms into line (a good thing IMHO).

As to the problem with running on VRPC-Adjust surely that's not a show stopper as Firefox can run *natively* under Windows (upon which VRPC has to run anyway). Can't understand why someone would want to run Firefox slowly under emulation when the native (x86) solution is available...

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 27/12/06 4:41PM
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Has anybody tested it on a RiscPC?

In any case well done that man. Just returning to the computer after a couple of days, it's such a pleasure to see RISC OS again which makes Peter Naulls' commitment as welcome as ever.

 is a RISC OS UserAW on 27/12/06 4:51PM
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Well having had a play again today with "Bon Echo" today I am very impressed that it integrates with Bookmaker by Nick Roberts and also you can launch a link from MessengerPro using it's ability to view HTML emails built into version 4.24.

Well done again Peter

 is a RISC OS Userbluenose on 27/12/06 6:25PM
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AW: It won't work on RiscPCs, see the !Help file. It uses instructions that are incompatible with RiscPC-class hardware.

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 27/12/06 7:53PM
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I wonder if Ian (or anyone else please) can help me on my Omega?

The beta 4 version loads, but when I try to run version 2-r2, a task window opens and nothing else. It seems to go into a loop. The stderr file shows only Native App Start Native App Quit

I have double-clicked the ELF loader and put Firefox in the same hard disc partition (Applicat) as !Boot. I even did the work around as above and tried again, after deleting the contents in !Choices:Mozilla.Firefox

Clearly, I am doing something wrong if Ian has it working.

Thanking you in advance. Happy 2007!

Kind regards,


I also re-downloaded and checked the contents and counted firefox-bin as 20,140,472 bytes in case I had a corrupted file.

Any help greatly appreciated.

Kind regards,


 is a RISC OS Userinfotech on 4/1/07 7:48PM
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