Problems Building the 'Bird

Album Cover: The Bends

"All your insides fall to pieces; you just sit there wishing you could still make love."
Radiohead / High and Dry

Posted on September 29, 2003 10:31 PM in Browsers
Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

I'm not sure if I've posted about it here before, but for some time now I've been getting my hands dirty with the Mozilla Firebird source code. I've successfully built a private Firebird build and have tweaked the code a bit locally on my home computer. However, I've yet to contribute any patches to any of the currently open and unresolved Firebird bugs in Mozilla's Bugzilla.

Just recently a semi-major change was introduced to the way Firebird is built using GCC and MinGW tools. Since then, I've had no luck at all trying to build the 'bird, and I've described my problem in detail over at the Firebird Builds forum at MozillaZine. Turns out other people are running into the same problem and there's even been a bug filed.

Part of the overall problem lied in the fact that there was no Win32 version of the Firebird Tinderbox to look at over the course of the day/week to see if the current source was building as it should. It has since been brought back to life, but rather ironically, it has been green (meaning its building fine) for quite some time.

I have been hoping for quite a while that the promised move from SeaMonkey (code that stems all the way back to the scary Netscape Navigator days) to Firebird (formerly known as "Phoenix") would happen sooner than later, but it's turned out that the latter has been the case, hands down.

Hopefully as the release of Firebird 0.8 nears (0.7 is already on its way) the Firebird codebase will become more important and be more heavily guarded. Until then, us lowly code-tinkerers will have to deal with the trial-and-error approach to building and "hacking" what may someday be the de-facto browser of choice for everyone.

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