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Gecko 1.9 Pre-Windows 2000 Support
Posted by: Win98er from way back
Date: June 10, 2006 12:14PM

http://www.mozillazine.org/
Friday June 9th, 2006
Gecko 1.9 to Drop Windows 9X/ME Support

Slashdot is reporting that the patch to remove support for Pre-Windows 2000 platforms has been checked in on the trunk. As per the Trunk and Branch Management Plan, Firefox 3 will be based off Gecko 1.9.

Gervase Markham has called for dropping Windows 9X/ME support from Firefox 2 as well, noting that even critical security updates will not be released for them after July 2006.

http://developers.slashdot.org/developers/06/06/08/1240239.shtml



This is probably old news but I wondered what the results will be for K-Meleon, if any?

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Re: Gecko 1.9 Pre-Windows 2000 Support
Posted by: rmn
Date: June 10, 2006 03:10PM

In my personal opinion, it's too dangerous not to keep up-to-date with Gecko.

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Re: Gecko 1.9 Pre-Windows 2000 Support
Posted by: ndebord
Date: June 10, 2006 11:41PM

rmn,

I see from the ftp sites, some non-cairo builds, which will work with W9xxx? Any idea of what use they might be down the road (or not)?

Tks,

N

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Re: Gecko 1.9 Pre-Windows 2000 Support
Posted by: Al c
Date: June 11, 2006 12:10AM

Can somebody delete this tread before Dorian see it?
He's a well known win98 hater, and this will give him another reason to drop win98 support.
BTW, before you made your mind, read carefully this tread.
http://tinyurl.com/l84gd

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Re: Gecko 1.9 Pre-Windows 2000 Support
Posted by: Hope You Do Not Know Who I Am
Date: June 11, 2006 12:28AM

@ Al c
Are you serious about Dorian? I mean around 99 percent of KM'ers use Win 98.
Surely he would not abandon that many of us. : - ): - )

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Re: Gecko 1.9 Pre-Windows 2000 Support
Posted by: guenter
Date: June 11, 2006 12:30AM

K-Meleon is a Win32 native widget frontend for the Gecko Rendering Engine.

The result for k-meleon which rely on that engine.

k-meleonXX can possibly not any more support WinDOS 32 such as 95/98/ME in a distant future unless someone here knows how to get engines without that patch.
Because no work is done to keep bugs out for DOS based wins - The GRE will probably become gradually useless.

k-meleon 1.0 that has limited support for WinDOWS can be updated as long as SeaMonkey Suite GRE 1.8.x is available with support for WinDOS.

K-Meleon 0.9 with 1.7.x GRE that has full WinDOS support can be updated
as long as as that GRE is maintained with support for WinDOS.

Workarounds - k-meleon runs under REACTOS or ppl must try to get a nt based win.

mfG

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Re: Gecko 1.9 Pre-Windows 2000 Support
Posted by: A Surfer
Date: June 11, 2006 12:32AM

How did this get here? Was thinking Carson had returned

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Re: Gecko 1.9 Pre-Windows 2000 Support
Posted by: guenter
Date: June 11, 2006 12:55AM

Al - sorry, must have overlooked Your post.
IMHO You have nothing fear if Dorian reads this.
Dorian went at great lengths to maintain the useablity of the new version
for ndebord and the few orhers that still use win98.
It is hard to get testers with these old wins.
And test results are incoherent nightmares. Things that ran well with ndebord's 98
did not work with my win ME...

greetings to .au

p. s. sorry & even if You are right, I will not censor legitimate threads.
Only posts that are almost spam have been and will be removed on request.

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Re: Gecko 1.9 Pre-Windows 2000 Support
Posted by: Al c
Date: June 11, 2006 01:08AM

HYDNKWIA
Check dev forum for his posts, if he didn't edited them already ;)

Gunter.
WTF is mfG?
Is it:
Mitfahrgelegenheit
Mit Freundlichen Grüßen
Marinefliegergeschwader

or:
Message from God
More Friendly Garbage

I was kidding about closing the tread ;)

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Re: Gecko 1.9 Pre-Windows 2000 Support
Posted by: guenter
Date: June 11, 2006 01:20AM

Al - ah - now i understand You : Your dreaded humor again.

DOS based wins are a pain from a devs point of view.
IMHO these WinDOWs were ok as long as You used alternative shell,
alternative memory mamager, alternative file manager, deinstalled outlook and a lot
of other rubbish ... did i leave anything out : - )

Marinefliegergeschwader ; - )

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Re: Gecko 1.9 Pre-Windows 2000 Support
Posted by: Dorian
Date: June 11, 2006 01:38AM

I know this since, ew, nearly since the patch was checked in months ago.

I mean around 99 percent of KM'ers use Win 98.

From the downloader of K-MeleonSM, I can say 4% use W98. Which is better than the 3% you get usually *-)

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Re: Gecko 1.9 Pre-Windows 2000 Support
Posted by: Al c
Date: June 11, 2006 02:06AM

Dorian.
4% showing on your site are inaccurate.
Many ppl here spoofing their headers, and nobody runs around with js unabled.
When js is disabled theres no way you can tell which os is used.
There was recent tread what os who uses, and over the years there were many discussions.
So 99% number is close.
Anyway, ppl here will appreciate if you will keep 98 support.

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Re: Gecko 1.9 Pre-Windows 2000 Support
Posted by: guenter
Date: June 11, 2006 02:57AM

AL - go to gemal.dk browser spy page - he runs accurate statistics of %ages.
Might be regionally differnt but not too many using WinDOS anymore.

IMHO Dorian's figures representative for ppl visting forum often.

Dorian - can You just not check the support out - when building?

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Re: Gecko 1.9 Pre-Windows 2000 Support
Posted by: Al.
Date: June 11, 2006 05:29AM

Al - ah - now i understand You : Your dreaded humor again.

Guenter, Al c is not me. I don't put a c after my nick, plus I'll usually sign off with the URL for the K-Ninja homepage. ;-)

btw folks, v0.9 of K-Meleon can always be maintained for Win9x users, as they are still releasing nightly updates of Gecko v1.7.13. I'm still continuing to maintain K-Ninja v1.0.x with the same goal in mind, especially if down the track Win9x support is pulled from newer versions of Mozilla/Gecko. As Fred appeasr to be the main person maintaining K-Meleon v0.9 maybe he should continue to maintain K-Meleon v0.9.13. I can recall ppl mentioning a few macros missing from the current version, plus if he also continued to updated the GRE in K-Meleon v0.9 on a semi-regular basis then that would be a good starting point.

Mind you this is only a suggestion, it's really up to the K-Meleon development team to decide what they are going to do. K-Ninja will always have a viable version for Win9x users, so why not K-Meleon?

cheers,
Al.
http://geocities.com/grenleef

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Re: Gecko 1.9 Pre-Windows 2000 Support
Posted by: Jack Thorpe
Date: June 11, 2006 02:17PM

From the article

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,1974911,00.asp

I don't mean to be paranoid, but when someone tells me that, oh, by the way, they've been checking on my XP and Windows 2000 PCs every day since July 2005 when Microsoft made WGA mandatory or you couldn't download patches, I get a little concerned.

Still, it's not like Microsoft would actually collect more information and then use it against such competitors as Firefox would they?

Oh wait, come to think of it, didn't Microsoft once cause Windows to produce fake error messages if a user was running DR-DOS instead of MS-DOS?

------

Back to Jack's comments:

Strange, that was about the time I noticed XP programs that worked on XP started having problems on Win 98. Problems that should of popped up from 2001 to 2005. So now, obviously Win 98 is "broken" and I must buy a new machine!

When Vista ships and MS starts to "fix" legacy XP code we'll all be in the same boat. Firefox and K-Meleon on Vista may not even run for the average user with all the new security checks and warning windows MS is putting into Vista. Much easier to just use IE 7 that has features "borrowed" from Firefox. ;)

Of course Bill Gates may not be the spy, maybe it phones home to his Uncle Sam. You don't have anything to hide do you?

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Re: Gecko 1.9 Pre-Windows 2000 Support
Posted by: rmn
Date: June 11, 2006 11:52PM

Jack Thorpe,

Microsoft did not remove Gecko's Windows <2k support. Mozilla did.

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Re: Gecko 1.9 Pre-Windows 2000 Support
Posted by: Dorian
Date: June 13, 2006 03:43AM

Spoofing your headers is your problem. But it's not like only w98 users are spoofing it. You even have to hide yourself to say "I mean around 99 percent of KM'ers use Win 98". You think you'll be taken seriously ?

As for that poll, I'll give you my opinion : all w98 users have posted in there; the rest don't care and use 2000 or better smiling smiley

Well, if there are so many w98 users, if they could give me around 10€ each, I wouldn't mind keeping support for it though. tongue sticking out smiley

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Re: Gecko 1.9 Pre-Windows 2000 Support
Posted by: ndebord
Date: June 13, 2006 11:38AM

I really appreciate all the work that Dorian has undertaken to support W9xx and K-Meleon. But I know that the future is with NT, not W9x. So long as 0.9 can be maintained there is at least one avenue open to us and there is the possibility of another, if those who support Non-Cairo Gecko continue to do work. Only time will tell if there is life after Gecko 1.8 imo.

As for how many of us there are using W9x? Nobody can give an accurate number, but there is one absolute fact that nobody can argue against. Which is that a lot of us with older computers and older operating systems came to K-Meleon because it was the FASTER GECKO. After all, its whole reason for existing was that it refused to accept tha the future would be divided up between Active X (IE) and XUL (FF) and therein be stuck with browsers that run slower than a sluggish snail. (Hence psuedo-scripting language, aka macros instead.)

N

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Re: Gecko 1.9 Pre-Windows 2000 Support
Posted by: guenter
Date: June 13, 2006 12:54PM

WinDOS users are about 1.5% of total user base that visits gemal.dk browserspy.
& it is IMHO hard to spoof there.

ndebord is right, ppl with older hardware came here. k-m with native widgets and little XUL and a few other Gecko based native widget browsers are much less resource hungry then FF and IE 6, so resourcefull ppl upgraded the browser not the hardware. Result: we possibly have more then 3 % but never 99%.

The problem is not whether Dorian wants to support but whether he can get GREs that support WinDOS. As it is: we all have other jobs and making a k-m is time consuming - even without maintaining a special GRE. Dorian and prior devs have for a long time maintained low minimum hardware requirements (partly because some of them came here when they themselves had small hardware and budgets).

a pro pro funds: maybe we should try to raise money by selling the place of k-meleon default search engine to google or someone like the FFox ppl do.
Maybe we could really support a special GRE version if we raised money.

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Re: Gecko 1.9 Pre-Windows 2000 Support
Posted by: rmn
Date: June 13, 2006 01:13PM

ndebord, sorry I didn't see your post addressing me.

> I see from the ftp sites, some non-cairo builds, which will work with W9xxx? Any idea of what use they might be down the road (or not)?

I really don't know. If I understand correctly, Gecko 1.8 will still be used in Firefox 2, and there will be at least bug fixes for it.

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Re: Gecko 1.9 Pre-Windows 2000 Support
Posted by: ndebord
Date: June 13, 2006 06:48PM

rmn,

Try this:

http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/nightly/experimental/non-cairo/

Don't know what if anything will come of this.

N

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Re: Gecko 1.9 Pre-Windows 2000 Support
Posted by: vpowell
Date: June 15, 2006 10:27AM

Some disjointed thoughts:
I think that many more people than you realize use Win98 (I do, some of the time).
Only a few very dedicated people have tried using the experimental K-MeleonSM/K-Meleon1.0 builds on Win9x/ME (if they go to the official K-Meleon page, they will not know of these builds, and even new people coming to this forum are steered towards "stable" 1.7.13 builds), so Dorian's counters are more an indication of who is willing to experiment than what is out there.
The vast majority of computer users have never visited gemal.dk browserspy (most have never heard of it, and many do not know what it does).
Note the following recent post:
"On my Job as a computer repair man, about 30% of my customers are using Windows 98 on very old machines. Win98 might be 2% or something of the world, but that's including business desktops and everything else. I encounter windows 98 & ME so often that to drop support in FF2 would be devestating."
Posted by: Kroc Camen at June 9, 2006 01:53 PM (weblogs.mozillazine.org/gerv/archives/2006/06/drop_windows_9xme_support.html)
It is entirely possible that 30% of the people who have used (or soon will use) K-Meleon use Win98 on some of their computers.

If K-Meleon can be made to support some of Firefox's function on an OS that Firefox no longer supports, that will result in some people migrating from Firefox to K-Meleon
The Firefox ReleaseRoadmap
(wiki.mozilla.org/ReleaseRoadmap#Firefox_Product_Release_Roadmap) indicates that there will soon be no more Firefox 1.0.x or 1.5.0.x
It also seems to indicate that in late 2006 (approx Aug. 2006) Gecko 1.7.x will terminate, and that in early 2007 (Q3-Q4) Gecko 1.8.0.x will terminate.
Please note that the oldest Windows-OS that Firefox 2 (Gecko 1.8.1.x) was ever intended to support was WinME
(wiki.mozilla.org/Firefox2/Requirements#Platform_Support), and it has been decided not to support Win9x; and that Firefox 3 (Gecko 1.9.x) was not intended to support Win9x/ME.
A post by Robert Kaiser (dated Tues, Jan 31 2006 4:39 pm) in
groups.google.org/group/mozilla.dev.apps.seamonkey/ seems to roughly define part of our problem. He said: "Gecko shifting to a cairo-based backend (which will drop support for Windows systems older than Win2k and Microsoft compilers older than VC7"
In the shorter term: "Mozilla Corporation is also strongly recommending that Firefox 1.0 users upgrade to this latest release of Firefox 1.5" (1.5.0.4).
And a word from Billy G's company: "The extended Support for Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition, and Windows Me will end on June 30, 2006 as part of the Microsoft Lifecycle Policy. Microsoft will retire public and technical support, including security updates, by this date." Thus it appears that all options other than "do it ourselves" are becoming unavailable.

I think that in the short term trying to maintain Win9x support, and pointing out the specific funcions and interfaces that are broken in Win9x is the best thing for K-Meleon Dev's and users to do. I think it would also be helpful if the Seamonkey/Mozilla/Firefox Dev'spointed out what specific functions and files are lacking in Win9x. If one cannot get something to work, pointing to the precise problem is a useful invitation to someone else who may be able to fix it.
In the long run perhaps ReactOS-based patches included in the browser may be the solution to some of the problems (in the same way that VC7 files included in the browser have allowed using the VC7 compiler).

I don't understand all of the problems, but the ones I have seen so far are these:
1) Cairo SVG graphics sometimes gets stuck in a mode that does not render visible text (I have only encountered this in the early "Cairo builds" of Seamonkey and Firefox which I've used only on WinXP...the text was actually there on the web page, and could be selected, but was not visible).
2) Win9x systems don't easily handle Unicode (I think that is a design flaw common to old 16bit systems...Win9x is based upon 16bit functions with 32bit extensions), while WinNT/2K/XP always use Unicode while (WinNT/2K/XP are 32bit...as is ReactOS). There are work-arounds for every non-Unicode flaw in Win9x, but somtimes they are cumbersome.
-vincent

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Re: Gecko 1.9 Pre-Windows 2000 Support
Posted by: vpowell
Date: June 15, 2006 11:21AM

A few links to places that might (or might not) be useful in solving some of the problems:

ReactOS vs TinyKRNL: www.reactos.org/en/news_page_19.html
ReactOS vs WINE: www.reactos.org/xhtml/en/dev_faq.html#general
DotGNU project: www.dotgnu.org/
wx.NET (wxnet.sourceforge.net/) which can be used with DotGNU
(wx.NET is a wrapper for wxWidgets ... www.wxwidgets.org/)
discussion of Firefox-Gecko 1.9 on Win98: www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=72957
KERNEL UPDATE PROJECT: www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=71476
98SE2ME: www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=46349
98 SE SP 2.1a: www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=61749

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Re: Gecko 1.9 Pre-Windows 2000 Support
Posted by: guenter
Date: June 15, 2006 01:26PM

With only a handfull active here Dorian will even have trouble to get testers ...
With an estimated 3-5% we only had 3 or 4 interested to help - not the statistical
5 to 8.000 that may exist. & 99% was also mentioned and would put the number not inclined to help to 80.000. I agree however, that the legacy win98ers should not be left out in the rain when it can be avoided. At least not untill e. g. reactos has become a productive system. On the long run we will probably have to give up. We do not produce our own GRE.

Win98 is not a priority.

If we go to other statistic places it is roughly the same figures as mentioned.
I gave gemal.dk as example of a page where you can not spoof much.

http://www.thecounter.com/stats/2006/June/os.php gives 5% win 98 in I-Net.

It does not matter whether 1,2,3,4 or 5%. I do not doubt that the regional distribution of win98 and old hardware varies. We can tell by the past sales statitics that win98 can only have a certain market share. Not so many OS and hardware sold during the time when 98 was young - at least not when compared with later (XP) sales.


p.s. To me the chief differnce is that 98 and so on are DOS based. Via Dos extender part of the virtual devices were 32 bit even when it was still win 3.0 with 32 bit extensions. The DOS based Wins are a user interface for DOS - MS later manipulated this so that it was tied to MSDOS. DOS based Wins have poor memory management & multitastking as compared with the NewTechnology nt and xp systems. Not all the 98 programs are 32 bit - but that was also true for early nt programs.

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Re: Gecko 1.9 Pre-Windows 2000 Support
Posted by: vpowell
Date: June 15, 2006 10:14PM

I sent an email with some things I said above to Mr. Biesinger at Mozilla, and he replied:

Powell Jr., Vincent wrote:
> If I understood better what files/interfaces are broken in using recent
> Mozilla builds on Win98/ME, then perhaps I (or someone more
> knowledgeable) can help patch them in K-Meleon.

(Christian Biesinger repliedsmiling smiley
FWIW, I doubt that this can work. Also, if you wanted to make something like this work, you could make more people benefit if you made it work in cvs.mozilla.org for all Gecko browsers, with a compatibility library like mentioned in some bugs.

> Please note that the oldest Windows-OS that Firefox 2 (Gecko 1.8.1.x)
> was ever intended to support was WinME
> (wiki.mozilla.org/Firefox2/Requirements#Platform_Support), and it has
> been decided not to support Win9x; and that Firefox 3 (Gecko 1.9.x) was
> not intended to support Win9x/ME.

In general, WinME support implies that Win98 is also supported, though not necessarily Win95. I would be surprised if FF2 ran on WinME but not on Win98.


> And a word from Billy G's company: "The extended Support for Windows 98,
> Windows 98 Second Edition, and Windows Me will end on June 30, 2006 as
> part of the Microsoft Lifecycle Policy. Microsoft will retire public and
> technical support, including security updates, by this date." Thus it
> appears that all options other than "do it ourselves" are becoming
> unavailable.

In an Open Source project, that's really the only option if something is a priority for you but not for others :-)

> I think that in the short term trying to maintain Win9x support, and
> pointing out the specific functions and interfaces that are broken in
> Win9x is the best thing for K-Meleon Dev's and users to do.

So, there are a few things that I know of:
- SetWorldTransform does not exist in Win98
- Uniscribe does exist AFAIK
- All the *W APIs are not available

There may be others. I don't know what they are exactly.

> I think it
> would also be helpful if the Seamonkey/Mozilla/Firefox Dev's pointed out
> what specific functions and files are lacking in Win9x.

They may not have an exact list.

> In the long run perhaps ReactOS-based patches included in the browser
> may be the solution to some of the problems (in the same way that VC7
> files included in the browser have allowed using the VC7 compiler).

ReactOS is GPL, it can't be used. I'm not sure that it is even technically possible to use them, ReactOS code is probably designed for its specific graphics toolkit, it may not possible to take part of its code and use it on top of the Win32 API.

> 1) Cairo SVG graphics sometimes gets stuck in a mode that does not
> render visible text (I have only encountered this in the early "Cairo
> builds" of Seamonkey and Firefox which I've used only on WinXP...the
> text was actually there on the web page, and could be selected, but was
> not visible).

I suspect that's related to SetWorldTransform failing. I don't know that for sure, however. Someone with a Win98 system should debug it.

You probably won't get a Step-by-step guide on how to make things work on Win98. You need to get a debugger and find the things that don't work, and why they don't work.

> 2) Win9x systems don't easily handle Unicode (I think that is a design
> flaw common to old 16bit systems...Win9x is based upon 16bit functions
> with 32bit extensions),

That is really entirely unrelated to 16bit-ness. Also, it's not that it "doesn't easily" handle Unicode. It doesn't handle it at all. You can't create a file with a name outside the system charset.

> while WinNT/2K/XP always use Unicode
> (WinNT/2K/XP are 32bit...as is ReactOS). There are work-arounds for
> every non-Unicode flaw in Win9x, but somtimes they are cumbersome.

Sure, you can always convert the text to the system charset and call the *A function. But you won't get the same functionality.

-- All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts,[...] --W. Shakespeare

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Re: Gecko 1.9 Pre-Windows 2000 Support
Posted by: rmn
Date: June 15, 2006 11:57PM

That is waaay out of the scope of the K-Meleon project. It involves providing too many nonexistent functionalities to the operating system.

Is there anything left to discuss? Unless there's another option from the Mozilla side, I don't see how K-Meleon (or any other projects using Gecko) can possibly keep up-to-date with Gecko without adopting the new code.

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Re: Gecko 1.9 Pre-Windows 2000 Support
Posted by: larry
Date: June 16, 2006 05:19AM

Go with ReactOS (still in Alpha).
Choose an NT based Windows OS and upgrade.
Choose a Linux distro that you like and works with your hardware.
Other.

Guenter knows his stuff.

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Re: Gecko 1.9 Pre-Windows 2000 Support
Posted by: ndebord
Date: June 16, 2006 06:26AM

rmn,

K-Meleon does not have the support to do what the Mozilla Org and Seamonkey folk suggest. The only hope for W9xxx is for the non-cairo developers to succeed (imo).

N

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Re: Gecko 1.9 Pre-Windows 2000 Support
Posted by: guenter
Date: June 16, 2006 10:39AM

As a lay-man i had no idea that it was so hard to keep GRE going on old wins.
Guess ndebord is right it is either the non-cairo ppl succed or the old show stops.

But is this really so hard that the old OS can not be supported anymore?
By construction: old WinDOS can not be as save as the NT based systems -
1.0 and 0.9 will be fairly modern and safe browsers for several years to come

( imagine - the browser is saver and more modern then the OS :-) - The makers of
free software support a procuct much longer than the original producer of the OS! )

Untill the 1.0s get old and outdated we can expect Reactos to work - so situation is not nice but not desperate either.


btw: One of the main attractions of older DOS iseems the less rigid licence system. The other is the lighter hardware requirement of the older DOS based systems.

There are solutions to both: I mean apart from using a free OS alternative.

Bootleg xp/pro cds with patched in serials exist also.

Second: You can create much lighter XP cd with nLite -
( AFAIK there is also xp lite - which creates a lighter system after install).
AFAIK we can run xp on much older PCs when we shut down a few
processes that only MS thinks needed (animations ... )

So it is only a problem for ppl with legacy hardware, legacy OS that do not know how to get things going ... but would these ppl be typical k-m users?

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Re: Gecko 1.9 Pre-Windows 2000 Support
Posted by: Ed L.
Date: June 16, 2006 10:10PM

hate to be a detractor, but have all you hardcore win 9x fans tried Opera? The version 8 can still run on win 95 and so can the new version 9 beta.

It doesn't have a bloated interface anymore, like some still claim (http://www.opera.com/docs/screenshots/800/01/).

And it is plenty tweakable, you can change a lot of settings without mucking with .js files. (In the new version you can use opera:config, similar to the mozilla version).

Opera is plenty fast (http://www.howtocreate.co.uk/browserSpeed.html), though since the person making the site hasnt tried the new k-meleon, opera may be just about as fast if not more as the vanilla 0.9.13. Still, it seems more slick and solidly built.

If in a year or so Mozilla developers make their full move to Firefox 3.0 (which is gecko 1.9, thereby leaving you win9xers out), gecko 1.8 will still be a viable option i guess, but u can spite them with a giant Screw U! with opera.

And, If theres an opera migration, you'll be promoting web developers to use more standards in their designing. BTW, It's sad that the new Yahoo! interface and the the Windows Live email beta (formerly Hotmail) only works with firefox 1.5 (or IE). Its a sign that 1.7 gecko is becoming obsolete, and 1.8 might follow in a year. Then theres a deadend for win 9x.

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