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Use a G4- or G5-optimized Firefox build Web Browsers
Over on Beatnik Pad, Neil Lee has posted an article explaining how to download and use a G5-optimized build of Firefox. This is an unofficial Firefox build, tweaked with compiler options to take advantage of the G5's features. I've been running it for a few days now, and it's clearly faster in some situations -- primarily I notice it when opening a bunch of tabs (such as when posting hints each day), and when scrolling longer pages. Others have commented that it feels notably quicker even when working with single pages, but I didn't really notice that much difference. But if you've got a G5, it's probably worth the download time to test it out.

Since this optimized version is built on the official 1.0 release, all of your extensions and other tweaks should still work. He's also included Kevin Gerich's pretty widgets, which, though not native, are about 10 times better looking than the stock widgets

If you have a newer G4, you're not left out in the cold, either. Neil links to Kai Rune's G4-optimized Firefox build. I've been using this one on my PowerBook, also with no issues. Finally, if you'd like to build your own Firefox from source, an anonymous reader sent in a pointer to this set of instructions (which I have not tested).

With both apps, you'll have to live with a (different but cool) icon, as only official builds are allowed to use the Firefox icon. If it bothers you too much, though, just paste the standard Firefox icon in its place!
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Use a G4- or G5-optimized Firefox build | 29 comments | Create New Account
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Use a G4- or G5-optimized Firefox build
Authored by: wlab on Nov 12, '04 12:03:07PM

I'm runnung it on my G5 DP 2.0, and it definitely seems to load pages faster, and feels quicker...recommend highly.



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Use a G4- or G5-optimized Firefox build
Authored by: davidb on Nov 12, '04 04:31:57PM

I too am running a DP 2.0 Ghz G5. After I saw your report, I also installed the optimized for the G5 version of FireFox.

This version of FireFox does seem to load pages faster than Safari (I was using Safari version 1.3). And I agree it loads tabs really fast.



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Use a G4- or G5-optimized Firefox build
Authored by: Gigacorpse on Nov 12, '04 12:13:39PM

I've been using the G4 Optimized version for about a week now. It does seem to run a bit faster, and it is stable. I would suggest people try the optimized versions; it's not like you will be out any money if you don't like it.



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Use a G4- or G5-optimized Firefox build
Authored by: jonwiley on Nov 12, '04 12:32:20PM

I used the G4 one on my PowerBook. The icon was just a globe, no fox and it refused to install extensions - it tried to download them. It also had a different default start page.



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Use a G4- or G5-optimized Firefox build
Authored by: Spartacus on Nov 12, '04 12:48:29PM

A Macintosh look and feel optimised version would be far more useful.



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Use a G4- or G5-optimized Firefox build
Authored by: andree on Nov 12, '04 01:33:47PM
I am sure you'll like the GrApple theme:
http://aronnax.ar.funpic.de/

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Use a G4- or G5-optimized Firefox build
Authored by: timkingman on Nov 12, '04 02:16:28PM
That's coming up in the roadmap, hopefully soon.

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Use a G4- or G5-optimized Firefox build
Authored by: Fofer on Nov 13, '04 02:46:23PM

More info on the Mac specific tweaks here:
http://kmgerich.com/archive/000065.html



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Use a G4- or G5-optimized Firefox build
Authored by: osxpounder on Nov 12, '04 03:51:15PM

I'd be happy with a version where the spacebar and page up/down keys actually worked consistently -- this is an established convention of web browsers.

---
--
osxpounder



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Use a G4- or G5-optimized Firefox build
Authored by: dcclark on Nov 12, '04 06:20:08PM

Space and Page up/down, plus home/end work perfectly for me and have in all version of FF (I'm using the G4-optimized one right now). Of course, they depend on where the focus is. If you are in a text field, they apply to the text field, not the page as a whole... and so on.



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Use a G4- or G5-optimized Firefox build
Authored by: maddys_daddy on Nov 12, '04 11:07:56PM

These keys also work fine for me, and also in all versions. In fact, on my PB, I get sick of scrolling with my trackpad, so I use space/page up/down all the time.



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There is. It's called Camino.
Authored by: mproud on Nov 13, '04 03:32:36AM
I don't know how far this is behind the Firefox milestones, but it's OS X look and feel, alright — Cocoa-y goodness.

http://www.mozilla.org/products/camino

I've even tinkered with the IB files for the brushed metal.

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Use a G4- or G5-optimized Firefox build
Authored by: neilio on Nov 12, '04 12:52:29PM

Thanks for the linkup, Rob!

Just a note of warning: for some reason, my G5 builds have a conflict with URL Manager Pro. I've emailed the developer to ask him if there's anything I can do to fix this, but for now if you rely on URL Manager Pro, don't use these builds.

Neil
(P.S. it's "BeatnikPad" :)

---
Slumming at http://www.beatnikpad.com/



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Use a G4- or G5-optimized Firefox build
Authored by: Cap'n Hector on Nov 12, '04 02:12:16PM

I tried that build and it loaded my test set of 13 bookmarks slower than Safari did.

Now, I am on Tiger w/Safari 2, but still…



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Use a G4- or G5-optimized Firefox build
Authored by: Aristotle on Nov 14, '04 03:52:25PM

That's because Safari 2 is a lot faster than any of the Gecko based browsers for OS X. Even 1.3 (developer preview for development with Panther) is apparently much faster.

Apple completely revamped the browser and javascript engine. It totally blows away the gecko based browsers on javascript heavy stuff by a significant margin.

I don't think you will see Firefox, even an optimized one, catch up in speed any time soon.



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Use a G4- or G5-optimized Firefox build
Authored by: gklinger on Nov 12, '04 05:31:31PM

Anyone know which version is the right/best version for an iBook G4 with a PowerPC 7447A v1.1? I'm not even sure what speed this iBook is actually running at as Apple's advertising says 1GHz, About This Mac claims 1.07GHz and the System Preference Processor (part of CHUD) reports 1.1GHz. As long as I'm asking complicated questions, what is the difference between Trunk and Aviary as listed on the G4-optimized download page?

I'm more confused than a goat in an astroturf factory but I sure do like Firefox. I'm >< that close to switching from Safari. If I do stick with Safari though, I'm going to have to cough up $10 for Saft.



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Use a G4- or G5-optimized Firefox build
Authored by: Fofer on Nov 13, '04 02:21:36PM

I'm confused too. I have a Aluminum 1.25 Ghz PowerBook G4 (which uses a PPC 7447.) The page lists builds for the PPC 7450 though. Would that work for me, or is there no point since it's not "optimized" for my particular processor?



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Use a G4- or G5-optimized Firefox build
Authored by: raider on Nov 13, '04 07:55:47PM
The G4 build page has a link to this page which has details about the PowerPC family.

But basically the 7450 family consists of: 7450, 7451, 7455, 7440, 7441, 7445, 7457, 7460, 7447 and 7447A.

They range from 533Mhz to 1.5Ghz.

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G5 Version = Fast
Authored by: kainjow on Nov 12, '04 07:48:13PM

The G5 version is much faster then the original version at loading webpages. Faster then any browser I've ever used... Mac or PC. I love it!!



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Use a G4- or G5-optimized Firefox build
Authored by: koncept on Nov 13, '04 02:25:30AM
I am getting build errors (Dual G4 QuickSilver 10.3.x) and I was wondering if somebody would have a clue why:

export CVSROOT=:pserver:anonymous@cvs-mirror.mozilla.org:/cvsroot
cvs login
cvs co -r AVIARY_1_0_20040515_BRANCH mozilla/client.mk mozilla/browser/config
Error:

checking for correct temporary object destruction order... no
configure: error: Your compiler does not follow the C++ specification for temporary object destruction order.
*** Fix above errors and then restart with "make -f client.mk build"
.mozconfig

. $topsrcdir/browser/config/mozconfig

export MOZILLA_OFFICIAL=1
export BUILD_OFFICIAL=1

mk_add_options MOZILLA_OFFICIAL=1
mk_add_options BUILD_OFFICIAL=1
mk_add_options MOZ_MAKE_FLAGS=-j2

ac_add_options --enable-pthreads
ac_add_options --enable-prebinding
ac_add_options --enable-static
ac_add_options --enable-strip
ac_add_options --enable-strip-libs
ac_add_options --enable-optimize="-O3 -faltivec -mcpu=ppc7450 -mtune=ppc7450 -mpowerpc -mpowerpc-gfxopt"

ac_add_options --with-macos-sdk=/Developer/SDKs/MacOSX10.2.8.sdk

ac_add_options --disable-tests
ac_add_options --disable-shared
ac_add_options --disable-debug

ac_add_options --without-system-nspr
ac_add_options --without-system-zlib
ac_add_options --without-system-jpeg
ac_add_options --without-system-png
ac_add_options --without-system-mng


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Use a G4- or G5-optimized Firefox build
Authored by: moist on Nov 13, '04 06:50:46PM
Make sure you have /Developer/SDKs/MacOSX10.2.8.sdk installed (as defined in the .mozconfig file: ac_add_options --with-macos-sdk=/Developer/SDKs/MacOSX10.2.8.sdk) from the XCode Tools CD.

I get the same error when using MacOSX10.3.0.sdk but MacOSX10.2.8.sdk worked.


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Use a G4- or G5-optimized Firefox build
Authored by: neilio on Nov 14, '04 03:10:38PM

Unless you absolutely need OS 10.2.x support, I would remove the following line from your .mozconfig:

ac_add_options --with-macos-sdk=/Developer/SDKs/MacOSX10.2.8.sdk

I built without it included and had no errors.

---
Slumming at http://www.beatnikpad.com/



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Get rid of those hideous form buttons
Authored by: foamy on Nov 13, '04 11:26:16AM
If you would like some prettier, but not aqua, buttons for form controls, do the following. In your Users/username/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/default/chrome/ folder, make a file called userContent.css and in it, put the following code.

input[type="text"],
input[type="password"],
input:not([type]) {
	border: 2px solid !important;
	-moz-border-top-colors: #7C7C7C #C3C3C3;
	-moz-border-left-colors: #C2C2C2 #EFEFEF;
	-moz-border-right-colors: #C2C2C2 #EFEFEF;
	-moz-border-bottom-colors: #DDDDDD #FEFEFE;
       
}

button, 
input[type="reset"],
input[type="button"],
input[type="submit"],
select:not([multiple]) {
	border: 2px solid !important;
	-moz-border-bottom-colors: #999999 #CECECE;
	-moz-border-left-colors: #737373 #FFFFFF;
	-moz-border-right-colors: #999999 #CECECE;
	-moz-border-top-colors: #737373 #FFFFFF;
	background-image: url("chrome://browser/skin/bookmark_toolbar_background.gif");
	background-repeat: repeat-x !important;
	background-position: bottom right !important;
	background-color: rgb(246, 246, 246) !important;
        -moz-border-radius: 1px !important;

}

button:focus:active, 
input[type="reset"]:hover:active,
input[type="button"]:hover:active,
input[type="submit"]:hover:active,
select:not([multiple]):hover:active {
	border: 2px solid !important;
	-moz-border-top-colors: #999999 #CECECE !important;
	-moz-border-right-colors: #737373 #FFFFFF !important;
	-moz-border-left-colors: #999999 #CECECE !important;
	-moz-border-bottom-colors: #737373 #FFFFFF !important;
}

select > input[type="button"] {
	border-top: none !important;
	border-left: 1px solid #CECECE !important;
	border-right: none !important;
	border-bottom: none !important;
	background-image: none !important;
	background-color: transparent !important;
}
	

input[type="text"]:focus,
input[type="password"]:focus,
input:not([type]):focus,
textarea:focus,
select[multiple]:focus  {
	
	-moz-border-top-colors: -moz-mac-focusring -moz-mac-focusring !important;
	-moz-border-left-colors: -moz-mac-focusring -moz-mac-focusring !important;
	-moz-border-right-colors: -moz-mac-focusring -moz-mac-focusring !important;
	-moz-border-bottom-colors: -moz-mac-focusring -moz-mac-focusring !important;
	-moz-border-radius: 1px !important;
}

textarea, select[multiple] {
	border: 2px solid !important;
	-moz-border-bottom-colors: transparent #999999 !important; 
	-moz-border-left-colors: transparent #999999 !important; 
	-moz-border-right-colors: transparent #999999 !important; 
	-moz-border-top-colors: transparent #737373 !important;
	-moz-border-raius-top-right: 1px;
	-moz-border-radius-bottom-right: 1px;
}
Save the file with Unix line endings and restart Firefox. I can't remember where I got this CSS file, but I like the looks a ton more than those hideous square buttons the default build uses.

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middle mouse button?
Authored by: hey2 on Nov 13, '04 11:58:03AM

does anyone else notice that the middle mouse button no longer opens up tabbed windows with the g5optimized build? any idea how to fix it? thanks

btw: i just downloaded firefox to see what all the fuss was about...WOW i am impressed. the speed of this particular build, the customozation extensions (foxytunes-WOW!!!) the themes..VERY NICE! I'm sold!



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Get rid of those hideous form buttons
Authored by: neilio on Nov 14, '04 03:09:05PM

My G5 buils already include Kevin Gerich's "pretty" form widgets, so this not necessary. :)

---
Slumming at http://www.beatnikpad.com/



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spell check?
Authored by: mlibbey on Nov 13, '04 12:14:58PM

Does this give us the system spell check (the red underlines) for html text form elements a la safari, stickies, TextEdit etc?



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spell check?
Authored by: rgould on Nov 14, '04 06:44:36PM

no, but this does the job very well:

http://spellbound.sourceforge.net/



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Use a G4- or G5-optimized Firefox build
Authored by: regulus on Nov 14, '04 06:32:19PM

I'll stick with safari for 2 reasons:

1) I tried it and it doesn't seem to have anti-aliased text. Is it me or is the text uglier? I looked at my font settings in safari and made sure they were the same as firefox... it doesn't look as nice.

2) Also I like keeping my passwords and such in one place like the keychain, which firefox doesn't use.

The slight speed benefit doesn't make up for these problems... especially the ugly text.



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Use a G4- or G5-optimized Firefox build
Authored by: fupeg on Nov 17, '04 02:07:08AM

I downloaded the G5-optimized build and ran it on my 1.8 GHz G5. I ran a couple of benchmarks on it, one that tests numerous javascript functions and another that tests large tables of images. Both were actually slower on the G5-optimized build than on the standard-from-Mozilla build. The difference on javascript was about 5-10%, but on images it was more like 20-25%. Both were still faster than Safari 1.2, and MUCH slower than Opera 7.5.



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