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57 comments

J2ME (1)

xOneca (1271886) | more than 3 years ago | (#32784496)

Firefox for J2ME devices should be cool too... At least for trying. I'm currently using Opera Mini and it's great.

Re:J2ME (5, Informative)

segin (883667) | more than 3 years ago | (#32784522)

Except it wouldn't be Firefox. Opera Mini isn't Opera, although it uses Opera. Opera Mini is:

  • A client for an Internet-based service
  • A specialized, non-HTML markup render

Opera Mini (and for that matter, BitStream BOLT) is a J2ME client for an Internet service. This service involves a server that runs a web browser. For Opera Mini, the server runs a customized copy of Presto. For BitStream BOLT, customized WebKit. The web browser on the server sends back specialized markup and data in a "partially rendered" format - doing a lot of the rendering on the service server, but yet returning rich data back to the client, as opposed to a big image file with a clickmap, Things like complex CSS rules might be render to the client as markup saying, "draw a blue box from 35,15 to 100,85". Text is sent to allow for reflowability.

Firefox for J2ME would mean Mozilla would have to run a server containing a specialized Gecko renderer that outputs a simplified form of the page as simple markup, plus a J2ME client that would finish rendering from the simplified output. Great concept but too many problems.

Re:J2ME (1)

narooze (845310) | more than 3 years ago | (#32784566)

Firefox for J2ME would mean Mozilla would have to run a server containing a specialized Gecko renderer that outputs a simplified form of the page as simple markup, plus a J2ME client that would finish rendering from the simplified output. Great concept but too many problems.

How do you figure that? There is nothing saying that you have to do it the way Opera Mini et al are doing it. Of course you can implement a complete web browser in J2ME (it might however not be practical depending on the specifications of the target devices).

Re:J2ME (4, Insightful)

segin (883667) | more than 3 years ago | (#32784604)

Even if you did implement an actual, bona fide web browser in Java 2 Micro Edition, whatever you end up with would neither be Firefox nor would it live up to the Firefox name.

Re:J2ME (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32784732)

...nor would it live up to the Firefox name.

Oh I think it would

Re:J2ME (1)

JustASlashDotGuy (905444) | more than 3 years ago | (#32785738)

nor would it live up to the Firefox name.

So you mean that opening a handful of pages won't cause it to eat up nearly 500megs of memory?

I miss the days when FF was a lean, mean, and fast browser. Perhaps one day they will port Firefox Mobile to the PC. :)

Re:J2ME (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32790802)

Well, you could run the FireFox C(++?) code through some compiler with a JVM backend, and deploy on Java 2 Micro edition. Given a sufficiently powerful device running that, that could lead to something I would call FireFox on J2ME.

Re:J2ME (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#32784738)

But that, generally (especially when looking at huge delays in releasing "proper" Mozilla for mobile phones; essentially directly justified by "we'll just wait until the phones get faster"; while other, also "proper" browsers were doing it) seems somehow at odds with stated Mozilla goals, "to preserve choice and innovation on the Web" - suddenly it's "unless on a too slow device"?

iWould running such servers really be that big of a problem with their financials? Mozilla isn't the only more or less independent browser maker, and actually they even not relied the least on corporate granddaddies.

Re:J2ME (1)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 3 years ago | (#32787816)

seems somehow at odds with stated Mozilla goals, "to preserve choice and innovation on the Web" - suddenly it's "unless on a too slow device"?

It isn't at odds with that. It's just that they are being pragmatic about it. Firefox won't run on slow phones anyway.

Re:J2ME (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#32789306)

That's circular; "we are pragmatic about not fullfiling our mission on the fastest growing type of web access because we made our browser in a way which makes it impossible" (nvm the proxy approach; though how the codebase runs would probably influence proxy headaches, too)

Re:J2ME (1)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 3 years ago | (#32787804)

What makes Opera Mini "not Opera"? It's using Opera's engine, it's made by Opera, and it's called Opera. It might not work like your idea of "Opera" does, but it's still Opera in reality.

Re:J2ME (1)

segin (883667) | more than 3 years ago | (#32792116)

The actual J2ME client software running on the handset is not Opera the web browser because it is not actually a web browser (instead, it is more like a display renderer for a web browser running on a remote server), nor does it contain Presto (which is instead ran on a remote server.)

Any plans for a Symbian version? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32784512)

There are many symbian devices out there .. any plans for a symbian release ??

Re:Any plans for a Symbian version? (4, Interesting)

Qubit (100461) | more than 3 years ago | (#32784586)

Symbian could be nice, but it seems like targeting MeeGo would be a better bet, especially as they already have a Maemo version done and MeeGo is the heir apparent for Symbian.

Actually, now that I think about it, I believe that when the MeeGo Notebook UX was released the devs chose Fennec as the browser, so maybe there's not much work left to do there.

Having Firefox on Symbian (e.g. on the next Nokia N8 phone, etc...) would also hitch Firefox to the transition wagon that Nokia is driving to try to get Symbian developers and hardware integrators to eventually move to MeeGo. There could be some benefit to be had there...

Re:Any plans for a Symbian version? (1, Redundant)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#32784774)

Symbian could be nice, but it seems like targeting MeeGo would be a better bet, especially as they already have a Maemo version done and MeeGo is the heir apparent for Symbian.

The real question is why bother to bring out a version for Maemo when Maemo is an evolutionary dead end, that will have no future versions? MeeGo is the replacement for Maemo! Typical Mozilla timing... well behind where it needs to be. I was playing with beta of a mobile firefox on Windows Mobile 2003. It more or less worked. AFAICT all that work was simply discarded in favor of a new project? Would very much like to be told I am wrong with specifics.

Re:Any plans for a Symbian version? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#32784800)

The real question is how did you manage to miss that MeeGo is essentially not a replacement, but rebranding? (and hardware of mobile phones supposedly wasn't there yet, in 2003)

Re:Any plans for a Symbian version? (2, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#32784900)

The real question is how did you manage to miss that MeeGo is essentially not a replacement, but rebranding? (and hardware of mobile phones supposedly wasn't there yet, in 2003)

Uh, what? Almost everything is totally different in MeeGo. I mean, it's going from GTK+ to Qt, for starters. Or how about the fact that it's based on Moblin, not on Maemo? I was following the Moblin releases when they suddenly became MeeGo and went from having to not having a GUI on x86.

MeeGo is absolutely a replacement for Maemo. And your Maemo software won't run on it. And Maemo was NEVER fully opened, but MeeGo is supposed to be, and Moblin was.

Re:Any plans for a Symbian version? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#32784992)

You can develop apps on Qt for Maemo already. MeeGo is not "based on Moblin" to such exclusive extent as you think it to be.

Re:Any plans for a Symbian version? (1)

mbrubeck (73587) | more than 3 years ago | (#32790458)

Note: I am on the FIrefox Mobile development team.

MeeGo for Handsets is actually based heavily on Maemo. From our point of view at least, it's an incremental change rather than a complete replacement. Firefox for MeeGo will be an evolution of Firefox for Maemo. Of course, it helps that the bulk of Firefox code is already platform- and toolkit-agnostic - for example, we already have Qt builds for Maemo 5 [mozilla.org].

Re:Any plans for a Symbian version? (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 3 years ago | (#32790700)

the bulk of Firefox code is already platform- and toolkit-agnostic - for example, we already have Qt builds for Maemo 5 [mozilla.org].

Nice. Now we just need a qt firefox for my KDE desktop.

Re:Any plans for a Symbian version? (1)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 3 years ago | (#32788892)

Symbian could be nice, but it seems like targeting MeeGo would be a better bet, especially as they already have a Maemo version done and MeeGo is the heir apparent for Symbian.

The real question is why bother to bring out a version for Maemo when Maemo is an evolutionary dead end, that will have no future versions? MeeGo is the replacement for Maemo! Typical Mozilla timing... well behind where it needs to be.

99% of Firefox Mobile development is platform-agnostic. You can flip a switch at compile time and it builds against GTK or Qt, and/or on Maemo/Meego or Android.

The only 'focus' on Maemo might be that there is a current userbase there, so it's cool to have official updates for them.

Re:Any plans for a Symbian version? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32784716)

Considering how nearly unusably slow it is on the high powered ~1 Ghz mobile devices then I imagine it's going to be impossibly slow on a underpowered Symbian device.

I say that as a N63 Symbian user myself. I think Opera Mobile is currently the best option there for now.

Re:Any plans for a Symbian version? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#32785510)

Wait, what? Firefox runs just fine in its full form on my Eee PC, that's clocked in at somewhat less than 1 GHZ. The only issue I could see is that the full version takes up too much memory for a cell phone and the interface doesn't really work on a screen of that size. But that's the case with all the other browsers except IE, which really doesn't run well on anything that slow.

It's okay (5, Informative)

digitalchinky (650880) | more than 3 years ago | (#32784626)

Firefox was release a few days ago on the N900. The user interface is indeed nice, very intuitive too, however the browser is still quite slow. If you enable flash (through about:config) it hangs the interface for long periods of time, particularly with video playback it stutters constantly - probably flash 10.1 will sort this out whenever they feel like releasing it - my understanding is that this version of flash will have hardware acceleration.

All in all it's nice, I would love to use it as my default browser, though the interface is a little unresponsive at the moment. Chromium suffers the same problem in a way.

Re:It's okay (1)

chill (34294) | more than 3 years ago | (#32785664)

This isn't even close to the experience I get.

It takes 5 seconds from "click" to the first screen, and another 6-7 before I can type and start. Going to "www.youtube.com" took 5 seconds from hitting enter to the page fully loaded. Flash is enabled with the "YouTube enabler" plugin. I picked a video at random and played it twice. Once in the window, another time full screen. 5-6 seconds for the page to load and get the little spinner in the flash box. The video played with one small hiccup, about 20 seconds in. The rest was smooth with no stuttering and synced audio. (Tron Legacy 2 trailer)

As fast as my desktop, no. But fully usable without any major complaints. I was connected via WiFi at the time.

It's optimised for purchasing (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 3 years ago | (#32786190)

The improvement over MicroB is that it works better for actually buying things on-line. The "save as PDF" option for receipts is a very useful feature. What's needed now is a print driver; discussions I've looked at suggest that this won't come before MeeGo, as there is little point in Nokia developing a CUPS-friendly print solution for an OS that it plans to obsolete.

Too bad it's still slow (4, Interesting)

J0nne (924579) | more than 3 years ago | (#32784636)

I've installed it on my n900, but it's unusably slow, especially compared to MicroB, which is the default browser on Maemo (which also uses the gecko engine). It takes ages to start up, uses up all the CPU, and it takes 5 minutes before you finally managed to load a page. Also, after you close the browser, there's a 'fennec' process still using all the CPU cycles and draining your battery.

Too bad, because I do like its feature set: Firefox sync, addons, etc, but I'll stick to MicroB until they find a solution to the CPU use issue.

Re:Too bad it's still slow (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 3 years ago | (#32785676)

I'm posting this from Firefox 1.1 on an N800. It's slower than the competition, but nothing like 5 minutes to load, it's perfectly usable.

Re:Too bad it's still slow (1)

longbot (789962) | more than 3 years ago | (#32786362)

It takes ages to start up, uses up all the CPU, and it takes 5 minutes before you finally managed to load a page.

So, just like the full version of FireFox on the desktop, eh?

Re:Too bad it's still slow (1)

mbrubeck (73587) | more than 3 years ago | (#32790474)

Note: I am on the Mobile Firefox development team.

Load time is definitely an issue on Maemo. The built-in MicroB browser uses "faststart" which means that it starts a process when the device starts up, and that process stays in memory even after you close the browser. Firefox 1.1 doesn't use faststart, but we and Nokia are working on it for version 2 [mozilla.org] which will be the default MeeGo browser.

The "fennec" process running after you close the window is a bug, and one that I don't think we've seen before. If you'd like to help us solve it, you can report it here [mozilla.com] or to bugzilla.mozilla.org. Thanks!

Re:Too bad it's still slow (1)

J0nne (924579) | more than 3 years ago | (#32790826)

The fennec process lingering happens only sometimes, I think it has to do with whether I'm running other apps, and because i closed it because it appeared to be hanging. I'll try to find a way to reliably reproduce it and file a bug when I do.

Luckily the phone gets pretty hot when fennec doesn't close properly, so I know something's up when it happens :p .

Zoom is STILL broken (0, Redundant)

dnaumov (453672) | more than 3 years ago | (#32784718)

I can't believe they still haven't fixed zoom. There are only 2 options "zoomed in" and "zoomed out", there is no in-between. There is no clockwise/counter-clockwise gesture to adjust zoom level like in MicroB. Uninstalled.

Re:Zoom is STILL broken (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32785122)

You can zoom as you want using the hardware volume keys...

Re:Zoom is STILL broken (2, Informative)

chill (34294) | more than 3 years ago | (#32785684)

No, that isn't true. Double-tap is "smart zoom". Use the hardware volume keys to zoom in and out in increments.

Re:Zoom is STILL broken (1)

J0nne (924579) | more than 3 years ago | (#32788708)

Use the hardware volume keys to zoom in and out in increments.

Which pisses me off as I want to use those keys to change the volume (but this isn't just Firefox doing this, MicroB and the photo viewer use them as zoom buttons too).

I wish Mozilla implemented the swirl thing for the n900, though, but maybe Nokia patented it or something.

Some good news (1, Insightful)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#32784754)

A real browser on a real OS on a real phone, no need to beg for permission or risk removal :)

Notable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32784824)

"Madhava Enros has put together a field guide for Firefox Mobile 1.1 which highlights what's new and notable in this release."

It's notable is has no Flash, just like the "iSafari".

snore (1)

Danzigism (881294) | more than 3 years ago | (#32785262)

It is unfortunate but I think Mozilla is way too late jumping on this mobile browser bandwagon. People are already way too comfortable and probably aren't going to be switching browsers anytime soon unless new phones come preinstalled with Firefox mobile. And I don't see anybody doing that considering that Apple is sticking with Safari, and the Android is using their own Chrome blend. Frankly it's useless. I've never been an Apple fan, but damn that Safari for the iPod touch and iPhone is probably one of the best I've used.

MAEMO? Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32785708)

Too bad I'm still forced to use IE on my WinMo device... It may be a couple of years old, but I'm stuck with it for now. Hey Mozilla? Not everyone has a splashy new phone...

Re:MAEMO? Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32786318)

Try opera. It's easily the best browser for windows mobile phone. You may have to browse places like xda-developers to get the .cab, if it didn't come with your phone.

Awful performance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32786374)

I'm not sure why they are doing this... The browser that ships with N900 is already based on Gecko, does well with things like Flash video, etc. Moreover it delivers reasonable performance. The Firefox port is just an excruciatingly slow version of the same thing, with a slightly different interface.

It would be one thing if sites that didn't work in the stock browser worked in FF. But my unscientific study of a small amount of websites says that isn't the case.

They do have a feature that syncs your desktop's bookmarks and history... I don't find this idea useful and while I'm not sure how it's implemented I'd rather not risk the potential security/privacy hole of potentially revealing my browser history to a third party.

Personally I think it'd be much more interesting to see a Chrome port. Gecko currently has a monopoly on N900 browsers, and we all know webkit is faster.

Better than the default browser (1)

Chelmet (1273754) | more than 3 years ago | (#32786648)

I got a new N900 yesterday. I like it.

I didn't, however, like the browser. The inability to open new taps was the killer for me, for all its rendering speed.

I used Opera Mini on my 5800, and was pleased that it did tabbed browsing, but it just wasn't that good for form filling. I get a lot of trains, and cannot always be sure of my connections before setting off, so a phone that allows me to search for onwards trains as I'm nearing a stop is what I need. Opera mini did not allow that. With all their stuff being pre-rendered, it was fast, but hitting up thetrainline.com or scotrail.co.uk was useless, as once I'd filled in a form I was unlikely to get any meaningful result.

So I've been using firefox 1.1 since yesterday, and its everything I need. Not blisteringly fast, but it is intuitive, tabbed, and compatible with modern websites with javascript et al. The only challenge was finding out how to make it my default browser, but, as they say in apple parlance, "there's an app for that", so it was righted in short order.

Also, while opera mini looked good on the 5800, on the N900 it looks terrible - the border menus are ungainly and look poor.

Re:Better than the default browser (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32790616)

> I didn't, however, like the browser. The inability to open new taps was the killer for me, for all its rendering speed.

Glad you checked the manual, click - hold the link and a menu will open .. ohh look "Open in new Window" .... no it is not a tab bar but who would want to waste screen space to something as useless as a tab bar when the implementation of "New Window" works quite well.

Re:Better than the default browser (1)

paulbiz (585489) | more than 3 years ago | (#32852056)

Considering Opera Mini is a J2ME app and the N900 has no J2ME runtime, and the only way to run it is with MicroEmulator, I'm not surprised that it looked bad. I'm surprised you managed to get it running at all after 1 day of owning the N900. There is, however, Opera Mobile for N900: http://labs.opera.com/news/2010/05/11/ [opera.com]

Nightly Builds (1)

Cstryon (793006) | more than 3 years ago | (#32786680)

If you are getting nightly builds of Firefox mobile, there is nothing new here. I got excited about a new release, only to find out, I've been on this new release for months now.

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