Tuesday, June 21, 2011

5.0 and 4.0.3 finals

With no major problems found in 5.0, the RC is now the final release. 4.0.3 is also released as a security and stability update only, with issue 63 also repaired, which marks the end of TenFourFox 4.

The next "beta train" for Firefox 6 leaves in two weeks. I'm in the process of moving to a new house, so this gives me a bit of a break before having to work on it. A "release pack" will be available with 5.0 changesets to apply to mozilla-release as soon as that repo stabilizes.

Unfortunately, Tobias' testing showed that tree vectorization didn't help much with gcc 4, which is still our baseline compiler. We'll look at this again when we consider jumping to 4.2 or 4.6. There are some other smaller things I'm considering for 6.0 that I can complete in the timeframe available. More on that later.


  1. Fopund your TenFourFox and loaded it on my G5 w/10.5.8. All of my user info is in there, but, when I selected Bookmarks/Show All Bookmarks, the Library window does not display any of my bookmarks, although they are selectable from the Bookmarks menu. Not being in the Library results in my inability to Edit my bookmarks. Adding a new bookmark, it was only added to the bottom of my Bookmarks pull down list and the same list that has been added to my Toolball by your app.
    Previously in Firefox 3.6, adding a bookmark would make a window pop up to allow me to Place the new bookmark in a relevant folder in my list. But, now that the Show All Bookmarks Library window does not display my bookmarks, the new bookmark can not be moved to any folder.
    Yet, when I Exported from the Library Menu, the resulting .html doc was complete witrh my bookmarks that the same Library is not displaying.

    What's up with that?

  2. Sorry, I don't see this at all. They appear normally in both the menu and Bookmarks > Show All Bookmarks on this end. I don't think I'll be able to help you with that.

  3. I get 2 error messages when selecting,

    Help/Submit Feedback

    Help/Troubleshooting Information

    but the html can not be included in this blog and niether can I upload a screne shot.

    Why don't you have a Contact Us button for nusers to comment to you directly?

  4. Thank you providing the patched version 4.0.3 in addition to 5.0. While 5.0 is working fine on my 7450, and even seems noticeably faster than 4.x, I can't use it for everyday work because too many of my extensions are incompatible with it. I'm seriously considering disabling compatibility checking on a permanent basis, because the situation with the rapidly changing version numbers has become untenable.

    You're literally forced to upgrade and keep up with the latest whole number version now, lest you get left behind with numerous security holes and other bugs, but doing so each time renders a significant number of your extensions useless, and extensions are one of the main reasons people use Mozilla products in the first place.

    Not your fault, Cameron, I'm just venting. Sigh.

  5. I learned about a user pref these days that already came in handy:
    extensions.checkCompatibility.5.0 false

    I wonder if the compatibilit check actually does any real testing of functions the extension has that the browser doesn't support anymore, or supports in a different way now? Or does it just check the max version of the extension?

    @UniqueDesigns : Try exporting your bookmarks to html, then make a fresh TFF user profile and import your bookmarks.
    For the Help issue, see http://code.google.com/p/tenfourfox/issues/detail?id=49. The Feedback page (which does a redirect to Mozilla) is down right now. With about:support you should *not* get an error message. I begin to assume that your FF/TFF user profile is broken.

  6. The compatibility check just checks version number, although Mozilla is doing automated testing to try to bump version numbers of extensions that are "proven safe" (I use quotes here because AMO is arguing about this internally). It seems there is a not insignificant number of users in the same boat, because 4.0.3's uptake is a little over 10%. I was surprised that Mozilla chose not to do a rollup 4.0.2 themselves, but they did not; I guess they're trying to get the pain over with.

    For the record, the rapid release strategy is requiring a lot more work on my part, so I'm unhappy with it for other reasons as well. It is no longer possible to stay on a branch that works well.

    The feedback redirect seems like it's working again so it was probably just getting overloaded.

  7. I know this is off-topic, but do you know if anyone is planning to do a PPC version of Thunderbird now that the powerpc is being dropped?

  8. If TFF uses the same profile as FF, and I have a saved session in FF (a dozen open windows), what would happen if I run TFF? Would it use all the same stuff, or is it all separate? I'm afraid to test it. Can you detail for me the interconnection via profile?

  9. It would use all the same items; from the Mac's perspective, TenFourFox *is* Firefox. If you wanted to keep them separate, which is not an unreasonable thing, use the Profile Manager. The same basic instructions for Firefox work for TenFourFox.


    This is probably something I should put in the FAQ, now that I think of it.

  10. Hi Folks, since I use TenFourFox there is a problem with the Java support! The browser will not show me Java on all sites (such as amazon for example). So I'm unable to use these sites. Here is a link to a browsercheck site.. http://www.heise.de/security/dienste/Java-403125.html

    These site say me that Java is active but not show me the "magic cube" and the Java version of my mac. If I visit the site with my Safari 5 all of these thing are showing. I have renew the so called "Java Embedding Plugin" to the actual version but these will not help at all.

    My current system: PowerMac G5 Quad (last version), 10.5.8

  11. I have forget to make a note to my last posting. I use also 10.4.11 at the same Mac and there is no Java problem! At the browsercheck site (see above) all is working. So what's wrong?

  12. Java is filtered due to issue 46; some applets will crash the browser. That said, if you want to undo the filtering, change tenfourfox.layout.hide_java_plugin to false in about:config. You're on your own at that point.

    More to the point, Java is only transitionally supported because the PPC JVM on 10.4 is already out of date and 10.5's is about to be out of date.

  13. Thanks for the hint and the fast answer. I have solve the problem as follow.. I put the Java Embedding Plugin into the 10.4FX own path Contents/MacOs/plugins and also into the path Library/Internet Plug ins. Then 10.4FX deactivate the Java support automatically. Then I remove the Java Embedding Plugin from the 10.4FX itself and what wonder the Java engine will work! The site I mentioned at my last posting above will work without any problems (and also amazon...).

  14. I am having a problem with TenFourFox regarding dialogs in Facebook. When running a game application, the dialog windows appear mostly behind the main display window not allowing interaction with the dialog window beyond closing via the upper right corner. I have a screenshot; but, do not know how to display it in this forum. I do not know if this is a TenFourFox or a Firefox 4/5 problem because Firefox 3 works correctly. It could also be a change to the way Firefox 4 and later handle dialog windows; but, I cannot tell due to my having a PPC. Is anyone else seeing this problem? The platform is a dual 1.73 GHz PowerPC G4 upgraded Quicksilver running MacOS 10.5.8.

  15. Hi, there is any way to compile 10.4FX on a intel Tiger machine? Yes, I know I could update it to Snow Leopard, but Tiger is faster. I tried to compile it by following the "standard" instructions, but obviously it doesn't work. Sorry for my bad english, thanks in advance.

  16. trog24, if it is a Flash application, there are known graphics glitches with plugins (which is part of why plugins will be disabled by default in 6). One way to find out is to install an add-on like Flashblock. If your application is replaced by a Flash icon, then it is based on the Flash plugin. Remember, Adobe no longer supports PPC.

    I personally don't use or trust Facebook, so I can't advise on it further.

    Mr. Black, when you say it doesn't work, what does it do, specifically? Note that Intel Macs aren't supported as a target, but if there is something easy to fix (or you want to submit a patch) I can review it.

  17. I was hoping that the older Flash would still work. So much for hope. They are Flash apps. About the only solution I can think of is to look into the graphic glitches; but, I do not know enough about Mozilla to know where to start. I guess for games, I will have to continue using Firefox 10.3 until it is no longer supported.
    If you need anything from here, I will be more than happy to help. Other than the dialog problem, TenFourFox works extremely well.
    I do thank you for the assistance.

  18. Off the bat, thank you so much for your continuing support for PPC.

    I understand those insurmountable issues regards lack of support for 1Password, and had been gearing up to switching permanently to Abine's Privacy Suite (still in Beta) as of TenFourFox 4.

    Sadly, I am experiencing intermittent issues with using PS on TenFourFox 5: Often, the extension will load on startup and function quite normally; other times I will navigate to the Add-ons Manager to find it has been disabled by default as "incompatible with TenFourFox 5".

    Question: Is it or not ? If not, what are your suggestions regards the best option for integrated and secure log-in ?

    At present, I am uncertain whether the inconsistency results from extension conflicts.

  19. TenFourFox doesn't decide application compatibility itself. If it is compatible with Firefox 5, it is compatible with TenFourFox, assuming it has no binary components. (The majority don't.) There are mentions of issues with PrivacySuite Firefox 5 compatibility at AMO.

    For the record, Abine seems to list Fx5 compatibility as "on its way:" http://www.abine.com/requestfix.php

    It is unlikely this is a 10.4Fx specific issue.

  20. Interesting, and thank you for the prompt response.

    It is my intention to purge FF 3.6 from my system (10.4.11) just as soon as I can get my head around extension issues. With that in mind, too, thank you for your earlier clarification regard Profile Management.

  21. Update.

    Abine does in fact support FF5. The issue appears to be that the Add-on Manager was not checking compatibility (newer builds) correctly after Mozilla released FF5, hence users requesting bug fixes.

    Had I been using FF5, the issue would have been duplicated.

    A manual upgrade is required. In my instance, updating from .0715 to .0725.

  22. I'm having a problem with Java support. I set the tenfourfox.layout.hide_java_plugin to false, but still can't see it in the plugins list. Java test on the java.com fails. Can anybody help?

  23. me:

    Out of curiosity... what version Java Plug-in does TenFour/FF report ? The Java test on java.com is redundant, I think, since PPC (on Tiger, at least) has been unsupported for so long.

    I have had issues with Java for some time now, but I'm uncertain how to troubleshoot those conflicts; run-time and hanging scripts.

  24. I installed 10.4Fox 5.0 on my iMac G5. My internet "History" hasn't worked since then. It continues to show exactly the same pages visited as it did. Under Tools, the "Clear Recent History" tab is visible but inoperable.

  25. Bob, this is a corrupt profile. You will probably need to start over with a fresh one. I freely switch between 4.0.3, 3.6.18 and 5.0 on this quad G5, so somewhere along the way yours probably got hosed (or, if you updated from a pre-3.6 version of Firefox, this also can happen). There isn't a way to recover it per se, but you can copy your bookmarks over. See the Managing profiles link above.

  26. Is there a location where I can get clear, non-technical information on how to get Java to work with 10.4Fox 5.0 on my Mac? I tried to figure out the instructions in various posts above but have had no luck. The Add-ons page shows no Java plug-ins, the testing sites indicate there is no Java enabled, Safari works fine, Mac's Software Update says that everything's up to date. I used to have Java until I foolishly allowed the Updater to update it, so an older version might be the key, but even when it was working it was very jerky, unlike the version in Safari. Could the problem be incompatible addons (they haven't changed since the time Java used to work). I'm using MacOSX5.8 on an iMac G5.

  27. Thank you for TenFourFox, its an amazing project. I have been having one bug in 5.0 that nobody has mentioned...this is under 10.5.8 on a G5: after some amount of usage, I am unable to click on the Menu bar on the top of the screen. I have to hide TenFourFox from the dock to regain access. Thanks

  28. Pierre, by the time TenFourFox 6 comes out Leopard will no longer be supported by Apple along with Java on PPC, and for that reason I will not be supporting Java myself either. If you find a way to make it work for your specific needs, please let me know and I will put it in the FAQ, but security and stability concerns are likely to doom it as surely as plugins.

    In the short term, if you absolutely require Java, you could try running Camino or Safari side by side for those specific apps. Those browsers can run simultaneously with 10.4Fx.

    Transatlantic, unfortunately without reliable steps to reproduce I will not be able to investigate the problem. If you can find me a reasonably high probability set of instructions for tripping the bug, please feel free to file it as an issue and I will look into it.

  29. @Pierre: With "Java for Mac OS X 10.5 Update 10" Apple removed the radio button in the Java Preferences that let you choose to run applets within the browser process. Maybe, Java applets now always run in their own process, which TFF, as I understand it, can't use. TFF also can't use the old Java Embedding Plugin. If nobody comes up with a Terminal command to restore the old setting, this seems to be the end for Java in TFF on 10.5.

  30. Hi, thanks for TenFourFox 5, it is much faster than v. 4!! Looking forward to see more altivec acceleration on my G4s.

    Now that PPC macs have a good browser, here is my request: since flash video player totally sucks on PPCs, could you find a way to change it inside TenFourFox to use quicktime, VLC, or the even better CorePlayer (that thing makes HD video kickass on G4s)?
    Theres already a pref that looks like it should do that, but it doesn't work at all for that purpose.

  31. Update on the Java issue:
    1) People with 10.5 Intel Macs and FF 5.0 seem to have this problem as well. http://support.mozilla.com/en-US/questions/843866
    2) Apple seems to be unable to resolve the issues Java Plugin 2 (the one running in its own process) has on 10.5, so they just removed Plugin 2 entirely with the latest Java Update (lazy…). This seems to have had some side-effects.
    3) There is no way to revert to Java Update 9 in any clean fashion except for re-installing OS X and then *not* updating to Java Update 10.

  32. Also see here:

  33. Last comment about Java for now: The fix (restoring the JavaPlugin2_NPAPI alias as described in the Bugzilla issue) works. Additionally, I had to clean the Java cache to restore complete functionality.

  34. Great leg work, Chris. I'm tracking that bug to see what Mozilla decides to do about it, if they can do anything about it.

    Right now TenFourFox can't run out-of-process plugins *at all* (see issue 66). We link against the 10.4 SDK, and the 10.4 SDK lacks posix_spawn and friends which Chromium IPC demands. Even if I got that working there is no guarantee it would work properly with code we don't control. I plan to fix that issue, but for content processes specifically, which may have totally different dynamics than plugins.

    Nova_77, the problem is that the browser doesn't know the Flash applet is a video player; all it sees is "something with Flash." The page itself needs to have hints to tell the browser this is a video file, and that is in fact exactly what HTML5 does (try the HTML5 YouTube trial if you haven't already). So there is no way to arbitrarily redirect a Flash player into a FLV-enabled playback unit of some other sort.

    Note I said "arbitrarily." If you know something about the page itself, then you could do that, and in fact that is how most of the Firefox YouTube download extensions and so on work. I don't think this is something that should be in the core browser, however. MacTubes is an outstanding app for this purpose.

    One thing that I do think might be worth looking into, and that I have considered, is extending the video tag to allow things like H.264 through QuickTime in a separate window. This would shortcut a lot of the performance concerns because there would be no compositing, but would be hackish, and I haven't thought through the process fully yet. It would also not do anything about Flash video for the reason I gave above. There are bigger fish to fry at the moment; more in an upcoming blog post.

  35. Hello!

    Fantastic browser. Been looking for something highly compatible with the modern web for an old Powerbook for ages, and it seems this is it.

    Couple of problems though, On the 7450 one, version 5.0, text entry seems a bit broken. E.g. the text entry box in your own blog "post a comment" is missing entirely, and you can't type anything into the Google+ comment boxes although they do show up and expand when you click on them.

    Thought you should know! Cheerio!


  36. I'm sorry, Gary, but I don't see anything like what you're stating. This comment was made with TenFourFox, and everything works.

    As a parenthetical note since you bring it up, with a bug that severe and systemic (likely to affect text entry on a wide range of sites) I'd strongly advise people investigate their system itself before making a report. For example, one irate user sent me a rather tart E-mail that TenFourFox pops up a mysterious dialogue and quits and will not start at all, and finished his charming missive by calling into question the quality of my code and certain other things. It turned out he had a rogue extension causing his issue. I'm still waiting for the apology. ;)

    Enough people, including myself, use TenFourFox as a daily browser that something that severe, if truly widespread, would be identified very quickly in beta testing. We do indeed have QA, even of a primitive sort, but this can miss specific incompatibilities with specific configurations. If you believe your computer has such a configuration that doesn't cooperate with TenFourFox and should be supported, please advise.

  37. Well, don't you know after a reboot, the comments box is right here on the blog and ...


    Google+ comments work as well now

    I did visit this blog and GooglePlus the very first two sites after installing on a brand new 10.4.11 and running it for the very first time.

    I can't go back (well, I could, but ...) and try that again. But it might explain something.

    Sorry for casting nasturtiums on you :)

    Tenfourfox is by far and away the best and most compatible browser for 10.4.11. I've only just found it and I already couldn't be without it.

  38. Glad it's sorted. Possibly some component wasn't loading immediately after the OS refresh. Even Macs need a kick in the backside now and then. :)

  39. ClassicHasClass, I see... Well, if you get to try to allow video playback on a separate window, you definitely MUST try to allow CorePlayer. Just to give you a hint of what it does, when I play an HD 1080 video on my G4 867 MDD with quicktime, it looks like a slideshow. With VLC, its better but laggy. With CorePlayer, it actually looks like a movie (changing my sucky video card would do the rest of the job lol...). It costs $20, but it really is the most kickass video player for powerpcs out there. It uses Altivec and OpenGL instead of plain simple CPU load.

    I use MacTubes regularly. Great app for PPCs, but no post comment function. I'll try to have the guy that makes that app to add other players support such as VLC and CorePlayer. That would help us PPC users keep the fort...

    By the way, keep up the good work with TFF, that thing goes quite fast! (Posting with TenFourFox 5 on my PowerBook G4 1.67)

  40. I don't have experience with CorePlayer, and I suspect CorePlayer does not have an externally accessible API.

    But, and I'm dropping a really big hint here, the best way to get me to implement something is to make it ridiculously easy for me to do so. :P Ways you can do that short of sending me a patch is finding out how to hook into CorePlayer or your player of choice such that an external app can control it. Rather than drop a program's name or "look at this site," if you can point me to developer documentation that explains how an external app can drive it in that way, then I can look into it and determine its plausibility. QuickTime is, by dint of being a system library, such a component and lends itself easily to such a task, despite its warts. If CorePlayer has such functionality, prove it to me.

    I think I should also point out a more general principle: TenFourFox will be maintained because I use it as my daily browser, and if I don't do the legwork, then I don't have a browser on my G5. So the browser will always have a basic functionality. However, the additional features that I use on a daily basis may well be considerably different than what others consider to be key features, Java above being an example. If these are features I don't use personally, then they will simply have lower priority in the time I have available to work on the browser. That's life. I need the browser for me, and job one is making sure I've got what I need. Everything else is, bluntly, job 2. Fortunately, job 1 most of the time covers job 2. This is a case where job 2 is not covered by job 1. Make my life easier with job 2 and it could pay off.

    I don't expect people to send me patches for everything they want in it, though I sure wouldn't mind. But I do want people to understand that my time to work on the browser is limited and prioritized. If you want something in here, do the legwork. If you can't code -- and there's no shame in that -- then please make it as easy as possible for those who do have the ability to write the code you want to do so. Provide specific documentation or help to find it. Wish lists just stay wishes without work.

  41. This comment has been removed by the author.

  42. This browser is supposed to be PMG5 compatible.
    Why then can I not get the PhotoBucket links to Copy?

  43. Help! I've been using TenFourFox on my G5 for a few weeks and I'm really happy with it. But, I just got "upgraded" by Twitter from Old Twitter (which worked fine) to New Twitter. The Twitter top control bar is there, but under it there is just a blank screen!

    I'm using Camino to get around this problem (New Twitter is ok there). But, I'd rather use you - so what's the problem and how do I get around it?

  44. ClassicHasClass - I've just read your post (3rd July). I can't give you any technical or documentation help, but if you register for a Twitter account, you may well see what I'm seeing (or NOT seeing!)

    Just to add that a few weeks back, this was a big issue on the Apple Safari forums, where several users reported the 'blank Twitter screen' effect. (And on the Twitter forums too, apparently). It didn't affect me at the time, but now that I've been "upgraded" to New Twitter, it does.

    I have - faint stirrings from memory - the notion that this was connected with Java. Anyway, it's now been resolved, by Twitter I believe. However, whatever caused it, it's a problem for New Twitter users in TenFourFox (but not in Camino, which is a currently unsupported & out-of-date app, nor in Safari, which is the opposite - so that's a bit of a mystery!)

  45. One final thing - I just quit 10FF and launched Firefox 3.6 instead. Guess what? The Twitter page is NOT blank!! So this is something that does not manifest in Firefox 3.6. Is that weird, or what?

  46. As a total non-technical no-hoper, all the discussion about patches and specific developer documentation and hooking into CorePlayer is right over my head (mimes hand passing over top of head). You don't use Twitter and so it will never be Job 1 for you. However, for those who do, it's a major hole in this otherwise fantastic browser.

    I'm willing to do any legwork you want, though as someone totally non-technical I don't know where to begin (I suspect it would take you longer to explain, than to do it yourself). However, I'm willing to do what I can, provided you spell out in non-technical terms, what it is you want me to do to make this easier for you.

  47. I first posted this problem 3 weeks ago. No-one has replied despite my offer to help (if I could). The message I get from this is that you don't care.

    OK then, it's back to Firefox 3. Which sucks compared to TenFourFox but at least I can get Twitter.

    It was nice knowing you, briefly.

  48. I was just told about TFF 6.0.1 - problem solved. Thanks guys.


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