If you're thinking (or giggling) about the Commodore Amiga computer
right now, just stop it. This port of Mozilla is to the new Amiga
Digital Environment (DE), not to the Classic Amiga. Amiga recently
announced that they would port the Amiga OS to the PowerPC for Amiga OS
4.0, to be released in late summer this year, with later releases to
follow, leading up to 5.0, which will include memory protection and the
full implementation of the AmigaDE. However, a port to Amiga OS doesn't
make sense - an Amiga Inc. developer begged me not to consider it, even.
The AmigaDE is what Amiga wants people to program to, and with good
reason: programs written for the Amiga DE run hosted through Amiga OS
4.0, as well as Windows and Linux, both Linux-based and Windows CE-based
PDA devices. Applications written to the Amiga OS, by contrast, run only
on that operating system.
Although it makes sense to start small with the port of Mozilla, it's
not real clear what can be stripped from Mozilla. The Mozilla developers
themselves said that it's pretty hard to isolate Gecko itself, as the
technologies depend on so many different things - most of Mozilla, in
fact. There are, however, various /test directories in the Mozilla tree
that could probably help an engineer do isolated test compiles.
Because the AmigaDE is more Linux-ish than it is Windows-ish, Kevin
Croombs of Tao convinced me that it makes sense to start with a port of
the Linux version of Mozilla when porting it. In this way, the Linux
makefiles and cross scripts can be used to start the AmigaDE long enough
to compile Amiga binaries and then exit. This can't happen, however,
- 1. CC, CXX, and AR to the Amiga cross scripts are retargeted
(details should be in the mailing list archives).
- 2. An AmigaDE case is added into Mozilla's main configure.in file so
that Mozilla knows what the heck to do with AmigaDE.
- 3. A Mozilla compile is attempted, breaks, and the problems are fixed.
- 4. The lizard compiles.
- 5. Once Amiga is a presence in the consumer market again, we beg
Netscape to take the project and make it a tier-1 platform. Amiga Inc.
is actually ramping up now: Sharp and
Psion are two companies that are already starting to release the Amiga
DE on PDAs, and the AmigaOne PPC-based computer is due this summer.
The mailing list archives above will go a long way towards getting you
up to speed on the project up until now. You'll need the Amiga SDK
Linux or Windows to be able to help with the port to the AmigaDE.
The Web-browsable Mozilla tree is available here (configure.in is on
this page): http://lxr.mozilla.org/mozilla/source/
Mozilla developers can be had almost any time on IRC at irc.mozilla.org
#mozilla to answer questions about the code, and porting it. I've
grilled them many times. They may giggle at you and make snide comments
like "Only Amiga makes it possible!", but then they'll usually help you
all they can.
AmigaDE developers can be found lurking on IRC at irc.whiterose.net
(#developer), and they will help you all they can with the AmigaDE.
Amiga wants you!
Calling all developers: This is your chance to shine. Amiga Inc. (AI)
wants this port -- they've told me they'll help in any way they can.
Currently AI is a pre-IPO company without a great deal of cash, and can
only do so much. And after all, Mozilla IS open source. The AmigaDE is
truly a revolutionary platform -- one that can run on PDAs, cellphones,
desktop computers, set-top boxes, and more, or hosted through Windows,
Linux, Mac, or Amiga OS. It's worth the port. (And if Be coders can come
up with a port of Mozilla, so can Amiga developers, DARN IT).
If you want to help code a port Mozilla to AmigaDE now, either join the
mailing list (link in the header above) or e-mail me
directly and let me
know how you'd like to help.
My name is James Russell. Currently I'm leaving my job to start writing
full-time, planning a move across the country, and balancing about 18
different projects to boot. I need engineering help on this project. I
can handle project management, and can code by follow instructions
("change this to this in every file"), and can help get you up to speed
on resources in the Mozilla.org camp (you can find me as "kovu" in
#mozilla or #mozillazine when I'm online). I simply cannot handle the
entirety of this port myself at this time.