Minimo 0.1 Released: Mozilla for Small Devices

Thursday February 19th, 2004

Simon Paquet wrote in to tell us that version 0.1 of Minimo, a Mozilla browser for small devices, has been released. As well as creating a slimmed-down version of Mozilla for PDAs and the like, the Minimo project also aims to allow developers to embed Mozilla in any system with limited resources.

Much of the Minimo effort has focussed on reducing code size and memory footprint, work that can benefit anyone embedding Mozilla in environments where memory and storage is tight. In addition, several optimisations have been made specifically for small devices, including a small screen rendering mode (an extension to enable small screen rendering in the Mozilla Application Suite and Mozilla Firefox is available) and a slimmed down user interface (though this is not final). Some (fairly old) screenshots of Minimo show these two features in action.

Minimo 0.1 is available for ARM devices running Linux with the GTK toolkit. The release has been tested on Familiar Linux 0.7.2 running GPE on the iPAQ 5555 and iPAQ 38xx.

#1 Great start...

by robdogg

Thursday February 19th, 2004 6:00 PM

... now let's get it going on Palm, particularly on Tungsten T3 with retractable screen please.

#2 Re: Great start...

by sremick

Thursday February 19th, 2004 6:19 PM

I agree. There really isn't any good web browser for the Palm right now. I've used Palm Web Pro and it doesn't render well at all. Once I get a bluetooth phone I'll be really wanting to use my Palm for this... hopefully I'll be able to use some flavor of Mozilla on my Palm soon.

(BTW, I own a T3 as well, so it'll definitely need to support the slider and landscape as well)

#3 Re: Re: Great start...

by zookqvalem

Thursday February 19th, 2004 6:29 PM

YEa, I agree as well. The only browser I have on the PDA is Blazer and I rather have Mozilla. I have Palm Pilot and T-Mobile (Treo 270) and I hope, I hope this won't take forever to finally see one here. It's been a long time coming.


P.S. I like the look of the virtual keyboard on Minimo. This will come in handy for Treo 270 'cause it doesn't support one. Well, wish I should not have bought it in the first place.

#4 Re: Re: Re: Great start...

by james

Thursday February 19th, 2004 8:13 PM

I don't think the keyboard is part of minimo, but rather part of GPE.

#7 Treo 270?

by redmars

Friday February 20th, 2004 4:11 AM

I heavily doubt that it will be feasible to port Mozilla to PalmOS 3.5 that the Treo 270 is running. Moreover, it only provides a Dragonball CPU with 33 MHz -- I don't think that will be enough.

PalmOS 5/6 would be a more sensible target, especially because they run on Arm CPUs.

#8 Re: Treo 270?

by bmacfarland

Friday February 20th, 2004 4:17 AM

And there's yet another good reason to upgrade to the Treo 600. Okay, I know all devices aren't for everyone. BTW, if you don't like the input options on the Treo 270, I think some Kyrocera's have graffiti.

#13 Re: Re: Treo 270?

by zookqvalem

Friday February 20th, 2004 6:47 AM

Thanks for the Info... (redmars & bmacfarland)...

#11 Re: Great start...

by holstein

Friday February 20th, 2004 5:25 AM

From the not-much-enough experience developping Palm application, this could be a non trivial port.

PalmOS has no MMU (ie Memory Management Unit) which call to some hack to work with larger chunks of memory, the C library is an adaptation of the "real" one, you can't have more than one app running at a time, no threads (well, I think there is a way to do some : anyone know how?), etc.

But I guess that this is the kind of things that are going to be more doable when PalmOS 6 (aka Cobalt) will be out.

#14 Re: Re: Great start...

by robdogg

Friday February 20th, 2004 7:51 AM

Palm OS 6 is out ( )

#21 Re: Great start...

by digitalgravy

Saturday February 21st, 2004 2:58 PM

I have a Tungsten C. I would love to have a mozilla browser for it.

#5 great for linux, but what about windows?

by skurt

Friday February 20th, 2004 12:54 AM

good work for all linux users with pda, but what about all those pda-users with pocket pc and so only ms internet explorer? has someone tried to build minimo for ipaq with windows? thx for every information sebastian

#6 Re: great for linux, but what about windows?

by unclebob

Friday February 20th, 2004 2:46 AM

The last time a looked (a couple of years ago) the c++ compiler for this platform didn't support templates or exceptions. Don't know what it's like now.

#16 Re: Re: great for linux, but what about windows?

by Anthracks

Friday February 20th, 2004 8:03 AM

I don't believe that Mozilla uses either of these features, unless the documentation is out of date or just plain wrong. See:

#17 Re: Re: Re: great for linux, but what about window

by bzbarsky

Friday February 20th, 2004 10:03 AM

Mozilla absolutely uses templates. Did you miss the "there is an exception to this rule" part of the guideline in question? And as a matter of fact, the template guideline is more or less out of date.. it's being considered for removal.

#20 Re: Re: Re: great for linux, but what about window

by james

Friday February 20th, 2004 9:54 PM

See the nsCOMPtr:

#9 Other OSes and devices

by bmacfarland

Friday February 20th, 2004 4:23 AM

Okay, I'm going to sound like an echo, but it would be good if it could work on Palm, PocketPC, and Symbian at a minimum. I see these three as having most of the smart phone (including internet connection) in the future. Linux as a possibility, but I don't know of a phone & pda combo that uses it yet -- if so it isn't widespread. I grant the tools may not be there as unclebob says above. I was wondering if everything is programmed with multiple layers abstracted to support a switch to other OSes as easily as possible like Mozilla itself is.

#10 Code reduction applicable to other platforms?

by sgifford

Friday February 20th, 2004 5:04 AM

I haven't really followed the Minimo project. Are the reductions in code size and memory use that it achieves applicable on desktop platforms? And are their modifications eventually incorporated into the main tree, to make Mozilla smaller for everybody? Or are most of the changes focused on making the UI simpler and smaller, and aren't really appropriate for a desktop machine?

#12 Re: Code reduction applicable to other platforms?

by bzbarsky

Friday February 20th, 2004 5:53 AM

> Are the reductions in code size and memory use that it achieves applicable on desktop platforms?

Sometimes. For example, minimo disables printing. That's not really applicable. But a lot of other footprint work that's happened has been done by the minimo folks.

> And are their modifications eventually incorporated into the main tree, to make Mozilla smaller for everybody?

Yes. In fact, if it's at all possible to make the modification to the main tree, that's what's done -- the less forked (or ifdeffed) code the easier life is.

Minimo is mostly about making gecko itself smaller; the UI is just "totally different", not "a smaller and simpler version of the SeaMonkey or FireFox ui."

#15 Palm

by jedbro

Friday February 20th, 2004 7:53 AM

Speaking of Minimo for PALM OS. See as that new palms are ARM based (Tc for example). How hard would it be to build for this platform?

Anyone have a clue?

#18 Re: Palm

by willll

Friday February 20th, 2004 12:09 PM

Since Palm OS uses a completely different toolkit, the answer would be quite a lot.

#19 Palm Desktop..

by zookqvalem

Friday February 20th, 2004 5:33 PM

You know, If Minimo is ported to Palm Desktop for Window, like the file in *.prc then it can easily be loaded into the Palm Desktop before downloading it to the Palm Pilot. It would depend on some PDA/Handheld products brand because of the architecture difference.