Archive for the 'firefox' Category

Is there a conspiracy to prevent me from working on Iceweasel 3.6 ?

After realizing Iceweasel wasn’t working properly on various Debian architectures, and spending time fixing that, this week a new cairo version triggered a longstanding bug which would kill Iceweasel when closing a tab. I think I got it fixed now, but what next ?

2010-02-25 18:09:54+0900

firefox | 7 Comments »

Mind blowing news

The Firefox logo, the very reason why Iceweasel exists, is now free as in speech. Its use is still limited by trademarks, but it is free.

The news is not entirely official, but apparently the change has occurred a year ago, and the license text for the branding hasn’t been changed accordingly.


Update: Now official.

2010-02-23 23:38:03+0900

firefox | 12 Comments »

When will Iceweasel 3.6 come ?

That is a question I hear more and more, and I felt it had to be answered publicly. Short answer: when it’s ready.

The current target for Squeeze is 3.5, for various reasons, but the main is that it shares the same Gecko version as Iceape (SeaMonkey) and Icedove (Thunderbird), which means that while the security team (or myself) will have to update these three for security updates, they will share patches. So 3.6 is less a priority than having 3.5 in shape for the release.

Last week, I wrote on a mailing list post that I was expecting 3.6 to come this week. Well, that was before I discovered the sad reality about the state of the current version.

But 3.6 is still on the radar. I already went through all the patches we apply on 1.9.1, and rebasing should now be straightforward.

Most of the 3.5 failures have now also been addressed: sparc and powerpc were fixed first, and I am now (re-re-re…-re)building on arm for, I hope, the last time. Unfortunately, mips is still missing, and without a porterbox, I can’t do much. I tried, some time ago, in qemu, but there is no way I’m going to wait 50 hours for a build again ; it was already painful on a real arm box (where it takes 90 minutes just to link Anyways, 2 patches stolen from upstream and 5 patches sent (or almost sent for the one currently under validation) later, we should be down to one release architecture failing instead of four. Which is already good.

On the other hand, a new 3.5 upstream release, with security fixes, is planned for next tuesday, which means some time will have to be spent for stable updates, too. So, in the next few days, expect that I’ll be working on stable security updates, then unstable updates, including the three architectures fix, and then work on 3.6 will continue.

Which means we can hope for a 3.6 release in experimental by the end of next week, or the following one, in the worst case.

Update: sigh 4 patches on arm is not enough :(. At least this time I think I’m done with xptcinvoke and xptcstubs.

Update:In the end, 2 patches and disabling the JIT compiler did the trick on arm. The 2 other patches were actually addressing bugs that only existed because the JIT is doing something wrong with the stack alignment.

2010-02-13 09:34:00+0900

firefox | 15 Comments »

Iceweasel upgrade homepage, a week later

When users upgrade Firefox, they are shown a special web page after restart. As this was obviously very Firefox oriented, this was disabled in Iceweasel. Until a week ago.

A week ago, I created a (quite raw) web page that users of Iceweasel 3.5.6-2 would see after they install or upgrade. The idea behind this page was suggested by Moritz Muehlenhoff during my BoF at DebConf 9, and consisted of displaying a call for help message in a splash screen. What most looked like this in Iceweasel is the Firefox feature mentioned above. I unfortunately wasn’t able to implement it until now.

So, a week after these pages were put online and Iceweasel 3.5.6-2 was uploaded, even though I can’t say it’s a huge success, it at least led to some movement: More than 12000 users (still growing) saw the pages, out of which almost 1800 (roughly 15%) followed the link for a new logo. While there was no contribution for a new logo yet, there has already been several translations contributions for the web pages, in german, spanish and italian. Next iceweasel upload will consequently send users to a localized version of the web page when it exists.

The server logs also allow to have some figures on the usage of localized versions of Iceweasel, but as this is based on user agent strings, it is not totally accurate, though somehow interesting:

  1. english: 58.3%
  2. german: 15.2%
  3. french: 7.9%
  4. spanish: 3.8%
  5. italian: 2.7%
  6. polish: 2.5%
  7. japanese: 2.2%
  8. russian: 2.1%
  9. portuguese: 1%
  10. czech: 0.6%
  11. Another interesting figure is that apparently 2.4% of users haven’t upgraded xulrunner-1.9.1 and are not using version with their Iceweasel 3.5.6. I’m afraid of what this can mean for stable security updates, although, as being security updates, they may be followed better.

    Somewhere around 7% of users have, at some point, changed their user agent string to include Firefox in it, because web sites suck. This is a very interesting figure because despite that being quite significant, we haven’t got that many complaints (I’m not saying there weren’t, but I would have expected more, considering the amount of users involved). Fortunately, this was changed recently, so all these users could reset their user agent string.

    And last but not least, except amd64 and x86 users, we saw 14 powerpc users and 7 arm users.

    2010-02-10 13:00:44+0900

    firefox | 5 Comments »

    Feeling alone

    The EFF is running an experiment to see how you can be identified with your web browser, without the use of cookies nor your IP address.

    I’m apparently currently the only Iceweasel 3.5.6-1 amd64 (with an english locale) user who participated.

    I feel alone. One in 268977 so far. That’s more than 18 bits of entropy.

    2010-01-30 10:21:43+0900

    firefox | 8 Comments »

    Ubuntu switches default search engine. Will Google react ?

    Many have commented on the event.

    As I noted in a reply to Romain Beauxis’s post, the only reason Google was the default search engine in Ubuntu, and is still in other distros is because Mozilla has a revenue deal with Google. Which means that actually, Mozilla might be getting money from Debian, Ubuntu and other distros’ users actions on the Google search engine. (maybe not from Debian, though, because of the search url including iceweasel instead of firefox). Now, at least, Ubuntu will be the one getting the money.

    One has to know that these revenue deals probably don’t cost a dime to Google and Microsoft (through Yahoo), because they may be “transferring” revenue they get from the extra advertising revenue they can get from these users being using their search engine as default.

    Anyways, much more interesting to know is how Google is going to react on other services: some core functionalities of Firefox (geolocation, safe browsing) are based on Google services. These are actually a possible problem for Debian, depending on the agreement between Mozilla and Google, and I have yet to address the RC bug I filed on my own package about these.

    Now, since Google is going to get less advertising revenue from Ubuntu users in favour of one of its competitor, why should they provide the geolocation and safe browsing to these users ?

    2010-01-27 17:02:41+0900

    firefox | 9 Comments »

    Iceweasel bug triaging

    I’ve spent a few hours going through all the unclassified important bugs assigned to iceweasel. This resulted in

    • 6 confirmed bugs,
    • 16 where the reporter is asked for something,
    • a few merged,
    • another few reassigned to other packages,
    • and around 50 bugs closed.

    In the closed bugs, there were several kind of bugs:

    • the bug log shows that the bug eventually disappeared or was not a bug, but the bug was still opened,
    • the bug has been known to be fixed for a while,
    • the reporter is unreachable and the bug is unreproducible,
    • the bug has been spammed by several different and unrelated “me too”s, leading the bug to being a huge mess where you don’t know what was the problem to begin with (there were 2 such bugs, if I recall correctly), in which case I closed the bug, copying everybody and inviting to file individual bugs after confirming with newer versions.
    • not a bug at all.

    It will feel good when it will be visible on the bug graph.

    Still 500+ to go… sigh

    Who wants to jump on the bandwagon ? ;)

    2009-12-19 21:34:30+0900

    firefox | 5 Comments »

    Iceweasel 3.5.3 in unstable, and fixing RC bugs as a side-effect

    I finally started the xulrunner 1.9.1 transition in unstable, and uploaded Iceweasel 3.5.3 there.

    One of the nice additions to the latest xulrunner (which has actually been in experimental for a couple weeks) is a dh_xulrunner script that adds the proper xulrunner package to shlibs:Depends, which means we are getting nearer to being able to handle xulrunner transitions with binNMUs only. We are still far from it, but it is a step closer. At least, transitions should get a bit easier. The way it works is very hackish, but it apparently works well enough for the packages that currently depend on xulrunner-dev. I also added a “xulrunner” dh sequence, for the dh users.

    Anyways, as a side effect of the starting transition, I ended up fixing 4 RC bugs on a single package:

    Another package with 3 RC bugs is impacted by this transition, but it looks like a good candidate for removal. That’s 7 RC bugs adressed by this transition, while not directly related to xulrunner.

    2009-10-10 23:09:18+0900

    firefox, xulrunner | 4 Comments »

    Would you like iceweasel 3.0 and 3.5 to be co-installable ?

    Hi lazyweb,

    I’m wondering if there a lot of demand for such a feature, being to be able to install 2 (or more) major releases of iceweasel on the same computer. If there is a strong demand, I may consider allowing it. Please reply in the comments on this blog with your feelings, for or against the implementation of this co-installability.


    PS: you may also forward this query to other sites and send people back here to leave their opinion.

    2009-09-15 18:41:03+0900

    firefox | 31 Comments »

    Re: Debian Start

    Adnan, for some reason, your post that is present on planet debian doesn’t appear on your blog at the moment (Sorry, no posts matched your criteria.). I would have commented there if that were possible. Anyways, I will give my opinion here, with different hats on.

    (User hat on) The idea to have a similar start page on the different browsers is a nice idea.

    (Web designed hat on) Some implementation details on your mockup are discussable, most notably the design in pixels (which doesn’t help for the vision impaired needing big fonts), the list of fonts to be used, and the border being part of the background image. Also, considering the targetted browsers, SVG could be a nice addition.

    (Iceweasel, Xulrunner and WebKit maintainer hat on) The content at the bottom suggests the page is intended to be put online somewhere. Browsers start page shouldn’t require an internet connexion. There should also be space for browser-specific icon and text. I’d really like to keep specific links, such as to bug reports and README.Debian (though the latter should really be htmlized). Speaking of these links, another one should be added some day in the future, to provide a link to a page explaining how users can help the maintainers (thanks to whoever came up with this idea during my BoF at DebConf).

    2009-08-25 20:24:42+0900

    firefox, webkit, xulrunner | 5 Comments »