Gecko 1.9.3 (mozilla-central) is 10.5+ For Now

Gecko 1.9.3 (mozilla-central) will only build and run on Mac OS X 10.5 or higher as of last Tuesday, September 15th. We will not be removing 10.4 code from the tree until we have verified benefits and made the decision final.

Motivations behind this move include performance, features, and development efficiency. By making Mac OS X 10.5 our minimum supported version we can upgrade our compiler to gcc-4.2 (from gcc-4.0) and use the Mac OS X 10.5 SDK. We can also use newer and more efficient technologies like Core Text, and add features like Cocoa-based printing and better international input support via Text Input Services. Since our code complexity will go down we can fix bugs and deliver features to the majority of our users faster.

We have not turned on the Core Text back-end or Cocoa-based printing yet, but we will be doing that soon.

An example of a performance win is the Dromaeo JavaScript test suite. Tests on my hardware show a 30% performance improvement from the compiler/SDK change. Tinderbox test results only show an 8% improvement, but that is still a nice win.

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4 thoughts on “Gecko 1.9.3 (mozilla-central) is 10.5+ For Now

  1. Before someone asks, let me say that this does not affect Firefox 3.5 or the next version (Firefox 3.6) at all. Gecko 1.9.3 is used in Firefox 3.7, which the version *after* the next version, and it’s at least a year away or so.

  2. Are there any plans to put up an alert message on start up for users on 10.4 ? I understand that wasn’t possible on 10.3.9 when it was dropped, but afaik that should work on 10.4.
    One user already complained in the forums, and there is bug 517464 (possibly the same user).

    BTW – patiently (not really :-)) waiting for CoreText. I’ve turned it on on my home made builds without much problems (issues reported and fixed already).

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