Saturday, July 23, 2016

TenFourFox 45 is more of a thing

Since the initial liftoff of TenFourFox 45 earlier this week, much progress has been made and this blog post, ceremonially, is being typed in it. I ticked off most of the basic tests including printing, YouTube, social media will eat itself, webcam support, HTML5 audio/video, canvas animations, font support, forums, maps, Gmail, blogging and the major UI components and fixed a number of critical bugs and assertions, and now the browser is basically usable and able to function usefully. Still left to do is collecting the TenFourFox-specific strings into their own DTD for the localizers to translate (which will include the future features I intend to add during the feature parity phase) and porting our MP3 audio support forward, and then once that's working compiling some opt builds and testing the G5 JavaScript JIT pathways and the AltiVec acceleration code. After that it'll finally be time for the first beta once I'm confident enough to start dogfooding it myself. We're a little behind on the beta cycle, but I'm hoping to have 45 beta 1 ready shortly after the release of 38.10 on August 2nd (the final 38 release, barring a serious showstopper with 45), a second beta around the three week mark, and 45 final ready for general use by the next scheduled release on September 13th.

A couple folks have asked if there will still be a G3 version and I am pleased to announce the answer will very likely be yes; the JavaScript JIT in 45 does not mandate SIMD features in the host CPU, so I don't see any technical reason why not (for that matter, the debug build I'm typing this on isn't AltiVec accelerated either). Still, if you're bravely rocking a Yosemite in 2016 you might want to think about a G4 for that ZIF socket.

I've been slack on some other general interest posts such as the Power Mac security rollup and the state of the user base, but I intend to write them when 45 gets a little more stabilized since there have been some recurring requests from a few of you. Watch for those soon also.


  1. Hi there,
    Thanks for your amazing work, Firefox 38 running on my 15" iLamp (700MHz G4 7450, 256MB RAM, OS X 10.4.11) still leaves me absolutely gobsmacked.

    However, launch time is quite slow (1 minute +) and the browser does drag a bit when doing anything. Is this just my system or to be expected? :)

    1. I concur with the other poster: 256MB of RAM is just going to thrash and thrash and thrash. We use an abnormally large stack due to specific requirements of the JIT, so 512MB is the absolute minimum I support, and all iMac G4s should be able to get to a gig, which would be my strong recommendation. 256MB is barely enough for the OS alone.

      That said, the iMac G4 systems are (as usual for Apple) rather undercached. I'm typing this on a 1GHz iMac G4 with 1.25GB of RAM and while it's definitely useable (I love the form factor), I wouldn't call it fast.

  2. I´d assume that with just 256MB RAM your lamp is busy swapping to and from hard disk (not the fastest; my 2nd guess).

    So under these constraints, it seems to be "expected".

  3. Many thanks for enabling me to continue to use this G5 quad core for thru another major version change! Can't wait to see how TFF45 works! This is a 2.5GHZ quad w/8Gb of Ram. Still a substantial machine...


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