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 libxul.so). 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

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15 Responses to “When will Iceweasel 3.6 come ?”

  1. oms Says:

    Thanks for the news. Most people(including me) do not realize how much time the maintainers put into packaging and what sort of problems they have to solve. It helps to get some detailed info about it. I can hardly tell how much I appreciate your work! Thank you!

  2. Josh Says:

    As much as I want this right away (we can never be satisfied, can we? It must be good, and it must be now) I do definitely want to say thank you very, very much for all the work you have put into this.

  3. Adnan Hodzic Says:

    IMHO its really shame that 3.6 wont make it into Squeeze, especially after all the goodies that have been added to it. By goodies I mean all advances/improvements when it comes to web devel and javascript.

    After all Squeeze users won`t see any (major) updates coming for next 2 years after its released so it makes it pretty “infertile” ground for web devels.

    Either way 3.5 is a rock solid release, and definitely worth fixing and including into Squeeze.

    And yes, we want 3.6 in experimental asap :)

  4. glandium Says:

    Adnan: I understand your concern, but you’ll also tell me in 6 months that as a web developer, you’d need 3.7, and so on. Web developers are typically the people who would like bleeding edge, yet also need access to older versions. Also, they shouldn’t be expecting now that in two years users will be using 3.6+. Just look how long it takes to get rid of IE6. Even Mozilla has a hard time to get people to upgrade. http://blog.mozilla.com/metrics/2009/08/21/why-people-dont-upgrade-their-browser-part-i/ (and even 1% of their users is probably more than all Iceweasel users)

  5. Feech Says:

    As a web developer I don’t really mind that 3.6 won’t make it into squeeze. Usually I have at least 3 versions of firefox (one of them is iceweasel) on my squeeze box and it doesn’t matter for me which one is iceweasel (the next, the current or the previous release).

  6. Ungoliant Says:

    About the 50 hour build. I have a pretty underused 8-core 16 GB opteron machine. If it would help I can run the compilation for you.

    Just write me an email if you think that can help a bit :)

  7. glandium Says:

    Ungoliant: except if you want to setup several qemu mips machines with distcc and the necessary hoops to setup more than 256MB of memory (i.e. using swap partitions on virtual disks in tmpfs) on each virtual machine, an octocore opteron machine is useless, unfortunately.

  8. Ungoliant Says:

    That looks like crazy fun!!!!!!!!

    I will start looking on it!! distcc was something I wanted to play with long time ago, but I never found an use for it.

    I have no experience with mips in qemu so if you can tell me any quirks I will find doing that it would be much appreciated.

  9. glandium Says:

    Ungoliant: the obvious problems with qemu-mips is that it can’t take more than 256M for the guest, and doesn’t allow multiple CPUs. Linking libxul.so requires a lot of memory, so, as I said in my previous comment, you need to allocate swap space on a disk in a tmpfs. Also, IIRC, you must boot without vga support, because the firmware shipped with qemu doesn’t support that.

  10. Ungoliant Says:

    Ok, it doesn’t seem too difficult then. I will create 8 Squeeze machines with 256 MB of RAM and 1.5 GB of swap. Then I will configure distcc on them and make a distributed kernel compile.

    I will tell you when I am ready. If you find any mistake on that or you have any other suggestion just post it here, as I will be checking the blog sometimes.

    I hope to have the setup ready by Sunday :)

  11. Planeta jakilinux.org » Status przeglądarki Iceweasel 3.6 w Debianie Says:

    […] — Kiedy w Debianie będzie dostępny Iceweasel 3.6? — to pytanie ostatnio często słyszy Mike Hommey, opiekun wariantu Firefoksa w Debianie. Dlatego postanowił publicznie odpowiedzieć na powyższe pytanie na swoim blogu. […]

  12. Ungoliant Says:

    The 8 VM’s with distcc are working. I will test compile a kernel tomorrow :)

  13. Planeta jakilinux.org » Status przeglądarki Iceweasel 3.6 w Debianie [aktualizacja] Says:

    […] — Kiedy w Debianie będzie dostępny Iceweasel 3.6? — to pytanie ostatnio często słyszy Mike Hommey, opiekun wariantu Firefoksa w Debianie. Dlatego postanowił publicznie odpowiedzieć na powyższe pytanie na swoim blogu. […]

  14. Miguel (ON) Says:

    Thanks for the effort !

    ; )

  15. purpleoptic Says:

    Keep up the good work glandium it’s people like yourself that make Debian what it is :)

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