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Software News   Software News : AmiZilla Update 31/8/06
   posted by Ants on 31-Aug-2006 4:42:18 (5248 reads)
Sorry for the long time since the last update- I wrote one several months ago, but never released it, as the students were coming to the end of their projects, and needed a lot of help with them. Also, I had time free to try and get AmiZilla compiling- so wanted to go hard on that first, to try and have something more concrete to announce- see below for my endeavours, such as they are!


The students have finished their projects, but they didn't end up with much concrete work. For the most part, it wasn't really their fault, as the projects were quite hard for their level of experience, and I was expecting the AmiZilla team to be able to provide more help than they did in the end. You also have to remember, the students had a huge amount of things to get familiar with first- from learning to use Bash and it's commands, then GCC, and setting up a cross-compiling environment, before they could even start with Configure and Make for AmiZilla (which can be scary for the first time!).

What was achieved though, was some documentation, and they sorted out a lot of little problems compiling the NSPR! Captain Moo-Moo and one of his students, tracked down lots of missing non-standard Amiga GCC libs, and commented out a2ixlibrary calls (as we're going back to creating one static exe first, to simplify things)- this has helped with compiling the NSPR.

And because of all the research done for and by them, we now have a reasonable idea of how everything is structured, and what needs doing. Most of the code is platform independent- we really only have to worry about the areas that contact the underlying OS. The three main areas where this happens, is the NSPR, XPCOM and XUL.

So far the NSPR is basically complete- it may need some extra work tweaking or adding to it. XPCOM needs platform specific code done in assembler, mainly specifying how an OS passes it's parameters to functions- I have some assembler experience, so with a little help it shouldn't be too hard. The other major hurdle is the GUI- oli's GTK-MUI project would require a lot of extra work to provide all the GTK and GDK functions AmiZilla needs (as it requires hundreds!). But what we'll try first, is to compile AmiZilla with the GTK GUI option, use an X-Server and create GTK/GDK libs from the Linux code, and see if that works. A developer has used some basic GTK programs to test the X11/GTK on OS4, and reports that the system runs well, and at a good speed. We could later look at doing a native XUL layer using MUI/Reaction; but as V3 of Firefox will dump the XUL GUI layer in favor of using Cairo, and having inbuilt gadgets/widgets, we may just work towards getting our code into the V3 code base instead.

We'll be using oli's port of GLib to AROS within AmiZilla- a couple of other devs have ported it to OS4 and MorphOS- they're in the process of restructuring the headers, so it will fit into one source tree- but we'll still need to port it to OS3.

Currently, we have one experienced developer (George Livingston), playing around with the source code, trying to get bits to compile under OS4. He's got the NSPR compiling, but the tests aren't working yet- so some debugging will be involved, but it's great to get it to this stage! I'm currently attempting to compile a Linux exe of Firefox, just to get familiar with the process, before trying to cross-compile it for OS3. So far I've managed to compile the NSPR and test it- I haven't been able to fully compile a Linux version of Firefox yet, as I suspect the version of GCC I'm using has a bug in it (the C++ code it doesn't like, is a quite complex combination of a Template, Namespace and an Iterator!). Soon, I intend to work on the AmiZilla website, with a new design, and lots of developer documentation.

If we can get the NSPR passing the tests, then it shouldn't take long to get it running with a GTK GUI, using an native X11 server. But as it could take awhile to get it running properly (along with XPCom), I can't give you any definite time frames on a Beta just yet (it may take 1-3 months, possibly more).

Any developers are welcome to join the project- to join the AmiZilla list, either send an email to amizilla-subscribe@yahoogroups.com, or go to the Yahoo AmiZilla website (but you need to create a Yahoo account, to do it this way).

Also, donations to help encourage more developers, are most welcome too! :)
- DiscreetFX's AmiZilla donation page.

- AmiZilla home page


Ants

Coordinator
Amizilla Team
    

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elwood 
Re: AmiZilla Update 31/8/06
Posted on 31-Aug-2006 6:58:27
#1 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 17-Sep-2003
Posts: 3422
From: Lyon, France

everyone for the hard work. you'll make it!

For those that would like to know what the NSPR is:
Netscape Portable Runtime (NSPR) provides a platform-neutral API for system level and libc like functions. The API is used in the Mozilla client, many of Netscape/AOL/iPlanet's and other software offerings.

More here.


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tomazkid 
Re: AmiZilla Update 31/8/06
Posted on 31-Aug-2006 7:18:12
#2 ]
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Joined: 31-Jul-2003
Posts: 11694
From: Kristianstad, Sweden

Good to see the project making progress.


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RuDeE 
Re: AmiZilla Update 31/8/06
Posted on 31-Aug-2006 7:20:50
#3 ]
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Joined: 26-Jul-2003
Posts: 154
From: Haugesund, Norway

Glad to see things are moving forward


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ikir 
Re: AmiZilla Update 31/8/06
Posted on 31-Aug-2006 7:38:49
#4 ]
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Joined: 18-Dec-2002
Posts: 5646
From: Italy

Quote:
If we can get the NSPR passing the tests, then it shouldn't take long to get it running with a GTK GUI, using an native X11 server.


Uh uh. Awesome! Thanks for this update.

http://www.moood.net/amizilla/version2/index.htm -> very nice

Last edited by ikir on 31-Aug-2006 at 09:13 AM.


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poweramiga2002 
Re: AmiZilla Update 31/8/06
Posted on 31-Aug-2006 9:20:40
#5 ]
Super Member
Joined: 29-Jul-2003
Posts: 1389
From: Flinders NSW Australia

good news for amiga browsing :)

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PR 
Re: AmiZilla Update 31/8/06
Posted on 31-Aug-2006 9:57:26
#6 ]
Super Member
Joined: 1-Sep-2004
Posts: 1934
From: Suomi-Finland

Thanks for all. Just put 20 Euros (24USD) to rise the pot and will be waiting
for a port for Amigaos4!

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Bean 
Re: AmiZilla Update 31/8/06
Posted on 31-Aug-2006 11:42:26
#7 ]
Super Member
Joined: 4-Apr-2003
Posts: 1225
From: U.K.

Good to see progress being made, especially in regards to the X11 display, certainly I feel this is the way to go initially to get something running.

Cheers,
Bean.


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sicky 
Re: AmiZilla Update 31/8/06
Posted on 31-Aug-2006 12:20:30
#8 ]
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Joined: 11-Mar-2003
Posts: 2828
From: Essex, UK

Let's hope it becomes a reality some day!


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NutsAboutAmiga 
Re: AmiZilla Update 31/8/06
Posted on 31-Aug-2006 13:57:00
#9 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Jun-2004
Posts: 11209
From: Norway

I think I first read some thing about porting Netscape back in 1992, this project should have finished long time a go, I’m happy that progress is being made on this, from reading the report it sounds like they are working on the right things, internet surfing will be up to date finaly whit the reset of the computer world finally, also the work being done will be useful for later ports of upcoming versions.

I think of this project is as important as AmigaOS4 it self.

There are few other important projects also needed.

* New Mesa port.
* Open Office
* PowerPoint
* Open AI
* New printing system
* Printer Drivers
* Other Drivers PCI, USB2, Firewire, Bluetooth
* Video4Linux?
* Other standards what ever they are.

Last edited by NutsAboutAmiga on 31-Aug-2006 at 01:58 PM.


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amipal 
Re: AmiZilla Update 31/8/06
Posted on 31-Aug-2006 16:04:30
#10 ]
Super Member
Joined: 8-Apr-2003
Posts: 1898
From: Saltdean, East Sussex, UK

Good to hear of progress! Keep up the good work ants etc.


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elatour 
Re: AmiZilla Update 31/8/06
Posted on 31-Aug-2006 17:18:07
#11 ]
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Joined: 18-Jan-2005
Posts: 936
From: Toronto, Canada

@Ants
Many thanks for taking the time to give an update on your team's progress.


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FuZion 
Re: AmiZilla Update 31/8/06
Posted on 31-Aug-2006 17:19:45
#12 ]
Super Member
Joined: 22-Nov-2003
Posts: 1962
From: Birmingham, England

This is a great update Ants.

I'm sure I'm not alone in appreciating the hard work all the team are putting in. It doesn't sound easy at all, but it does sound good.

Thanks a lot, FuZion.

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amipal 
Re: AmiZilla Update 31/8/06
Posted on 31-Aug-2006 17:49:38
#13 ]
Super Member
Joined: 8-Apr-2003
Posts: 1898
From: Saltdean, East Sussex, UK

@FuZion

Quote:
It doesn't sound easy at all, but it does sound good.

Ahem to that FuZion!


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Etho 
Re: AmiZilla Update 31/8/06
Posted on 31-Aug-2006 20:49:47
#14 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 7-Feb-2004
Posts: 176
From: Liverpool, UK

If I could code I'd be the first to help...alas I cannot, since all I learnt is lost. I can bearly remember my 6502 EMMA days. Anyway keep up the good work it truly is appreciated.


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mbilla 
Re: AmiZilla Update 31/8/06
Posted on 1-Sep-2006 0:03:29
#15 ]
Super Member
Joined: 25-May-2003
Posts: 1369
From: EU

Great work! I wish you good luck for the rest of the work to be done and that there won't be too much problems!
We need a good browser!


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Ants 
Re: AmiZilla Update 31/8/06
Posted on 1-Sep-2006 1:53:10
#16 ]
Member
Joined: 28-Jun-2005
Posts: 75
From: Auckland, New Zealand

@ All
Thanks everyone for the thumbs up!

@ elwood
Quote:
For those that would like to know what the NSPR is:...

Oops, yes forgot to add that in- thanks!

Yep, the NSPR is an abstraction layer for basic OS calls- memory allocation, threads, IP/TCP, file I/O etc- it's the core part of the port!

@ ikir
Yes, it's a lovely design- thanks to Per Lindn for that!

@ Bean
Quote:
Good to see progress being made, especially in regards to the X11 display, certainly I feel this is the way to go initially to get something running.

Yep, I agree, it should help get a usable Beta out quicker!

@ NutsAboutAmiga
The Netscape porting project, was a completely different project to AmiZilla- and any work they did, wouldn't really be of any use to us- when Netscape was open-sourced, and became Mozilla, it had a major rewrite and tidy up, as the Netscape code was awful!


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AmiGame 
Re: AmiZilla Update 31/8/06
Posted on 1-Sep-2006 9:03:30
#17 ]
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Joined: 23-Mar-2004
Posts: 3599
From: Peterborough, UK, Planet Earth (I think...)

@Ants

Thanks for the update !

Quote:
I can't give you any definite time frames on a Beta just yet (it may take 1-3 months, possibly more).

Sounds GREAT !

Jerry


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hotrod 
Re: AmiZilla Update 31/8/06
Posted on 1-Sep-2006 9:48:41
#18 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Mar-2003
Posts: 2778
From: Stockholm, Sweden

Don't do that! Point out "possibly more" instead since people tends to remember
timeframes really good and forget everything that was writter before or after
that...

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Ants 
Re: AmiZilla Update 31/8/06
Posted on 1-Sep-2006 10:28:26
#19 ]
Member
Joined: 28-Jun-2005
Posts: 75
From: Auckland, New Zealand

@ hotrod
Quote:
Don't do that! Point out "possibly more" instead since people tends to remember

Yes exactly rodrod- people shouldn't get too excited just yet- as we still need to do some more playing around, until we get a better idea of where we stand!


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Mobileconnect 
Re: AmiZilla Update 31/8/06
Posted on 1-Sep-2006 10:29:42
#20 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 13-Jun-2003
Posts: 344
From: Unknown

Wouldn't it make more sense to take an approach like Camino, and just try to make Gecko work, and build a simple native UI around it, without all the XUL cr*p?

Gecko is certainly no small task as it is, but it's a still a much more manageable project than getting the whole lot running.

Sure, I'd like to have the whole Firefox with all the extensions and everything supported, but realistically isn't it better to have something feasible soon rather than something so big and complex it'll never get finished?


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