Building Firefox…ahem

Tags: — Jeff @ 20:56

Over the past few weeks I’ve been attempting to get Firefox to compile on my WinXP machine with no success. I’m a student, so my resources are limited; consequently, up until a few days ago I was using MinGW/cygwin for builds.

Now, MinGW and cygwin are a good start, but they have one obvious disadvantage — anything compiled with this system is binary-incompatible with pretty much all other binary plugins and extensions you might wish to run. Therefore, because Java is not binary-compatible with MinGW/cygwin builds, it won’t run on such builds. This is obviously rather annoying, and because most other builders use MS VC++, this restricts your build’s use. There are plenty of good builds produced with MS VC++, so what’s the point in testing your build (other than to test a patch) if an MSVC++ build is faster and will work with compiled plugins?

As of a few days ago, that’s all changed.

Microsoft, as a benevolent company bent on world domination, has released its VC++ compiler to the public. This isn’t a stripped-down compiler, either — it’s the exact same one as in MS VC .NET. It would appear they are trying to get more applications built for Windows by making app creation easier. Whatever the reason, tho, this now makes it possible to create binary-compatible Firefox builds with only a few small adjustments! After some initial frustration, TierMann on the Mozillazine forums got it working. With a little work I got everything set up and started working.

The build progressed merrily after a slight stop while I added a missing path to INCLUDE for --enable-accessibility. Then I hit this:

No rule to make target ecl-exp.h

Frustrating, isn’t it? I’d encountered this before with MinGW/cygwin, and I’d also filed a bug at the same time: cygwin environment build failure at ‘ecl-exp.h’. There’s been some work in the bug to discover the source of the problem and a fix, but it’ll probably be a while before it’s fixed. Anyone out there want to help for fun?


New location

Tags: — Jeff @ 12:18

I decided to switch off of blogger.com…testing out FTP hosting on a 1and1 free hosting account (3-year free deal==excellent). (Edit: it works! It would have been nice if the Help docs had mentioned that a log out might be necessary for it to work in a more prominent place. It was in the troubleshooting section but not in the FTP setup section.)

Why not?

Tags: — Jeff @ 12:01

While I’m at it, I should probably explain the title of this blog. Think back to your high school physics class. Remember how you learned all about these equations for motion:

  • v=v0+at
  • v2=v02+2aΔx
  • Δx=v0t+1/2at2
  • Δx=(v+v0)t/2

Well, you’ll notice that v0 is repeated pretty often…that’s the initial velocity of the object whose position, velocity, and acceleration are being tracked. The equations are easily verifiable using common sense, logic, and a little calculus if you desire. Anyways, the variable v0 is pronounced as “vee not”. (I’ve never liked the “not” part so I pronounce it as “vee oh”.) Similarly, y0 is pronounced “wye not”. “wye not” == “Why not?” It’s an interesting question, I suppose, and it’s suitably cryptic (thus a fitting blog title – yes, I’m cynical and I know it). The blog title is shown as y0 due to the inability to put HTML in blog titles (haven’t tested, will try after publishing this post – VERIFIED FIXED, although I had to manually plug the title into the page to get the subscript formatting).

Heh, it’s exactly 00:00 right now on my system clock…I should probably get some sleep. If only I could fall asleep that easily…


Firefox nightlies and GMail

Tags: — Jeff @ 23:31

I switched up to a new Firefox nightly today…20040410 to 20040424. There had been a bunch of regressions in between that were harming the browsing experience. This build seems pretty good to me, and Chatzilla installed fine, so I can visit Firefox and Mozillazine on IRC fine.

I read something recently about bloggers possibly getting access to GMail in its beta period, so I’m going to step up the blogging to see if I can get one. Expect posts at any time and in reasonably large quantities.

First post

Tags: — Jeff @ 12:11

Heh. Will I actually use this or not? This is primarily in the interim between me having time to set up MT somewhere and use that in its fully-customizable glory. The problem with that is that it requires money for a good host. O where o where is a good (free/cheap) host?