MozillaZine

Mozilla On Older Systems?

Tuesday December 29th, 1998

From Eric Murphy comes a question regarding Mozilla and older systems.

"After some research and e-mailing, I have come to the conclusion that Mozilla is not going to run on either Windows 3.1x or Mac OS on the 040. In my opinion, it would be a big loss to not support these systems, as there are still a lot of user out there who have these systems, and Mozilla might actually run well on them.

As a webmaster, I am dying for a great new browser that will run on even the older machines. As part of a Non-Profit ISP, we would be very excited if we could distribute a brand new browser that would run well on our users' usually antiquated machines.

I hope I am dead wrong, and that there are groups working to support these machines. If I am right, I hope this note will help spur support for these machines."

It would be nice if one of the developers could take a minute to detail what technologies Mozilla is using that preclude porting to these platforms (if that is actually the case).


#8 Re: Mozilla On Older Systems?

by Nicholas Riley

Wednesday December 30th, 1998 4:57 PM

You are replying to this message

From what I've read on the mozilla newsgroups, there are several things that have caused them to limit the Mac version to 8.5. First among them is Apple Type Services for Unicode Imaging, which is only on 8.5.x and is going to be what Mozilla uses for drawing text. By sacrificing some of the internationality and swapping WorldScript (or even QuickDraw GX typography) for ATSUI you could make it run on earlier versions of the Mac OS. Same for NavServices versus Standard File, and the "fixed" 8.5 Appearance Manager 1.1 versus having to work around all the bugs in Appearance 1.0.x. And people could continue with backward compatiblity - supporting MacTCP instead of Open Transport, etc. They'd never have it out in time. But with all the great design stuff they're doing, and extreme portability of mozilla, it wouldn't be a serious task to treat pre-8.5 Mac OS, or Windows 3.1 as just another porting target - one for which a lot of code has already been written.

Also, by the time 5.0 is released Mac OS 8.5 will be closer to a year old. And 8.5 still does run on all PowerPC based Macss, back to 1994 - earlier than Win95, even; all it needs is a decent amount of memory.