Archives: “mozilla”

Firefox 3.0.8 optimized build for Mac Intel

Blue Globe iconThe eighth Firefox 3 security / maintenance release is now available and I have an optimized build available for Intel macs.

Check out the official Mozilla Firefox web site to see what’s new in Firefox 3.0.8.

G4/G5 macfolk: At the moment I do not have reliable access to G4 or G5 machines to do builds, so I’m at least temporarily discontinuing builds for these two CPUs. I don’t want to leave old, insecure versions up for download and at the same time I don’t want to have such long periods between updates, so discontinuing them seems like the best option at the moment. I do plan to post comprehensive “how to build” steps, but for now the Mozilla developer centre simple build instructions are pretty good place to start. Also check this post’s comments for other optimized build sources.

Downloads and caveats

Confused why this download is called “Minefield” and has a different icon? See below.

If you really aren’t a big fan of the new redesigned theme, I highly recommend aronnax’s lovely GrApple Firefox themes which basically make Firefox look a heck of a lot like Safari. Not a bad thing in my book, but your mileage may vary.

Without further ado:

Download Minefield (Firefox) 3.0.8 for Intel

»Mirror » Mirror

Totally not required, but if you feel like donating to help with bandwidth costs, etc., I’d be most grateful. Any excess money raised will be donated to Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders). Thanks!

What the hell is Minefield?

So for those of you who have followed my Firefox builds, you all know the drill - those builds used the Mozilla development codename “BonEcho” because it was against the Firefox trademark to distribute non-official builds using that name or icon. With Firefox 3 the development name has changed from BonEcho to Minefield, so all of the Firefox 3 builds available from this site will be called that instead of Firefox.

Minefield iconAs for the icon, in the past I either used the default development icon (the blue earth) or a slightly tweaked version. Minefield’s development icon changed, though, and it’s just… grotesque. Sorry, I can’t mince words here - basically someone took the blue earth icon from BonEcho and tacked on a fuse to it. Get it? Minefield? Bomb? Ahem.

With these builds I’ve reverted back to the blue globe icon instead of using the default development icon, partially for consistency’s sake, and partially because it’s still a heck of a lot better than the bomb icon.

Moving forward there will no longer be more Firefox 2.x builds - as far as I’m concerned it’s obsolete and in the past. That said, I am still chipping away at complete instructions on how to build your own optimized Firefox builds from the comfort of your own home; watch for those in the coming weeks.

As usual, please post feedback and other effluvia in the comments. Enjoy, folks!



Since everyone else at work seems to be on the wordle tip, here’s mine. Seeing how I so very rarely post to this site any more (a mere nine posts including this one in all of 2008) I took the liberty of dumping the last 200 entries into Wordle to get a better idea of what I’ve been posting about over the past few years.

I’m kind of surprised how prominent Firefox is, but seeing how much I’ve posted about the optimized builds I guess I shouldn’t be too shocked. That said, besides that word no other themes seem to stand out, which is as good an indication as any of my rather fragmented attention span.

Back in the saddle

Not that anyone probably noticed, but the engine that powers the BeatnikPad (Movable Type) was having some major conniptions after I moved servers just over a week ago. Happily things seem to be working again, including comments, so one more thing is right in the world.

Since I have your attention, I wanted to confirm that there will be optimized Firefox 3 release builds available within a day or so of the official release (slated for June 17th, I believe). Firefox 3 has native form widgets built in (finally!) so there will be no more need for separate builds.

As this is a major release I definitely will build for all three platforms (G4, G5, and Intel) assuming the access I have to a G5 machine doesn’t go down.

So: web site is working again, Firefox 3 builds coming, and I am polishing off fairly complete instructions on how to build your own optimized copies of Firefox to follow soon afterwards.

That is all.

Optimized Firefox for G5 & Intel Macs

firefoxFirefox is now available and I have put together Intel Mac optimized builds, available below.

Unless Mozilla releases a major update I’ll probably skip every other maintenance / bug release as they seem to be monthly, and I just don’t have the extra time to build new releases every month. Just so you know.

I know I promised G4 builds last time and I still plan to get to these for the release. The main issue is the only G4 machine I have is a Powerbook and it takes forever to build Firefox on it… but I’ll do my best to build for this platform when I have a spare moment.

Here’s what’s new in according to the Mozilla change notes:

That’s it!


Intel Mac-optimized Firefox

G5-optimized Firefox

As I mentioned about, G4 builds should be when I have some time to actually get to them.

Why is the name / icon different?

I really shouldn’t have to keep repeating this, but every time I post a new Firefox release I still seem to get people annoyed / pissed off / confused as to why these builds are missing the Firefox name and icon. So here comes the strong emphasis:

The Firefox name and icon are trademarked and cannot be used with non-official builds. These are non-official builds, so they cannot have the official branding. Pretty straight-forward. Please don’t ask me to build versions with the official branding.

As always, feel free to post your thoughts / experiences / etc. in the comments. Enjoy!

Optimized Firefox for G4, G5, and Intel Macs (updated)

firefoxLess than a month after the previous maintenance release comes yet another Firefox maintenance release, version

According to the release notes, this update has “fixes for various web compatibility regressions” as well as a fixed for FTP “port-scanning” security hole.

(Folks, if you were wondering why it took me a little while to build this update, the preceding paragraph is all the reason you need. This is really just a minuscule, low-priority update.)

Speaking of which, can someone explain to me exactly what the difference is between a 2.0.0.x release and a 2.0.x release? I really would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when the idea to add yet another decimal point to the version number was discussed…

As usual there are two different versions available - one with “Firefoxy” form widgets applied, and one with the more OS X-looking aqua form widgets. The default user agent has also been tweaked to identify these builds correctly as Firefox.


G4-optimized Firefox

G5 and Intel mac builds

There are new builds of Firefox now available — download them from here.

Why is the name / icon different?

I really shouldn’t have to keep repeating this, but every time I post a new Firefox release I still seem to get people annoyed / pissed off / confused as to why these builds are missing the Firefox name and icon. So here comes the strong emphasis:

The Firefox name and icon are trademarked and cannot be used with non-official builds. These are non-official builds, so they cannot have the official branding. Pretty straight-forward. Please don’t ask me to build versions with the official branding.

As always, feel free to post your thoughts / experiences / etc. in the comments. Enjoy!

How to change the user agent in Firefox

It seems like BonEcho and unofficial Firefox builds do not ship with the same user agent as the official Firefox release, which seems completely ludicrous. Normally this shouldn’t cause much of an issue, but with some (rather anal) sites that sniff for the exact Firefox 2.0 user agent you might run into issues if you’re running one of my optimized builds.

So let’s look at fixing this.

  1. Launch BonEcho / Firefox and enter about:config into the address bar.
  2. You’ll get a “page” that consists of row upon row of preferences. Right-click / control + click anywhere on the page. Select New and then from the sub-menu select String.
  3. A sheet appears asking for a New string value. Enter general.useragent.override and click OK or hit return.
  4. Another sheet appears asking for you to Enter string value. This is where you enter the user agent BonEcho / Firefox should use to identify itself to servers.

    To set this to the official Firefox user agent for Intel-based macs enter Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X; en-US; rv:1.8.1) Gecko/20061010 Firefox/2.0 For PPC-based macs enter Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; PPC Mac OS X; en-US; rv:1.8.1) Gecko/20061010 Firefox/2.0. Hit OK or press enter.

That’s it! Now BonEcho / Firefox should identify itself as Firefox 2.0 and sites that are overly picky about the user agent should work as expected. If you want to test this you can point your newly masked browser to the aptly named

More bumf on user agents

For on-the-fly user agent switching check out Chris Pederick’s User Agent Switcher extension. Everyone’s favourite neighbourhood encyclopedia has scads of information on user agents including a number of examples you can use if you want to masquerade as a different browser.

Okay, that’s enough Firefox on this weblog to last at least a couple of weeks. Back to your regularly scheduled meandering and pointless babbling.

Optimized Firefox 2.0 for G4, G5, and Intel Macs

Firefox theme

For those of you who somehow missed the news, the long-awaited release of Firefox 2.0 is finally here, and so are optimized builds!

There’s a bunch of new features and fixes in this release, so instead of repeating what’s already been said I’ll just point interested parties to the Firefox 2.0 release notes.

Why is the name / icon different?

firefoxI really shouldn’t have to keep repeating this, but every time I post a new Firefox release I still seem to get people annoyed / pissed off / confused as to why these builds are missing the Firefox name and icon. So here comes the strong emphasis:

The Firefox name and icon are copyrighted and cannot be used with non-official builds. These are non-official builds, so they cannot have the official branding. Pretty straight-forward. Please don’t ask me to build versions with the official branding.

So, without further ado…


Make sure to choose the build that matches your processor. If you’re not sure what processor you have in your machine you can find out this information in the “About this Mac” window (Apple menu > About this Mac).

Previous download links removed. A newer version of Firefox is now available.

Recommended downloads

Here’s a small list of extensions and whatnot that I highly recommend:

  • Nightly Tester Tools: Every Firefox update means that some (if not all) of your extensions and themes break due to version incompatibility. This extension helps you to cajole extensions to work and helps baby firefoxes sleep well at night.
  • Pinstripe theme | Aronnax’s Firefox themes: One of the big “new features” of Firefox 2.0 is a “visual refresh”. (How many “times” can I do “air rabbit ears” in one paragraph?) Anyway, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all that, but I personally don’t get it. For those of you that cringe when they see Firefox’s new duds these themes may prove to be the panacea you were looking for.
  • Tab Mix Plus: The new close tab buttons in Firefox 2.0 are a nice addition, but overall Firefox’s tab feature is still lacking that je ne sais quoi. (Does anyone else think the default Firefox tabs are too damn wide?) Tab Mix Plus makes Firefox’s tabs much more customizable and adds in a bunch of other nice features, too. This is a link to the development builds that are compatible with Firefox 2.0.
  • Stop and Reload extension: Toolbar space is at a premium. This extension combines the stop and reload button into one, ala Safari. You’ll need to use the Nightly Tester Tools above to install this one as it hasn’t been updated for Firefox 2.0 yet.
  • Fission: Puts the loading status indicator into the address bar ala Safari. I hated this when Safari was first released, but I’ve gotten used to it and now whenever I use a browser that doesn’t have this feature I miss it a lot.
  • Do you like this theme I’ve been working on? If there’s enough interest I’ll get it fixed up for Firefox 2.0 and post it for download.

Posts on “essential extensions to use with Firefox” are seemingly a dime a dozen these days, so I’ll end here. Feel free to post in the comments any feedback, thoughts, rants, praises, or anything else that comes to mind that is Firefox-related.

Enjoy, folks!

(Who wants to lay money on when Firefox 2.0.1 will be released?)

Post-Digg update: Jumping jehosaphat, people, you just burned through over 150 gigabytes of bandwidth in just over 5 hours. Yikes. More here.

Optimized Firefox for G4, G5, and Intel

Updated 19.08.06: Firefox builds are now available for download. Because the only change in is a bug fix for playing Windows media content I’ve simply updated this post with new download links.

firefoxOkay, okay: you can stop haranguing me now - optimized builds of Firefox are now available for G4, G5, and Intel Macs.

These teensy updates from the happy nerds at the Mozilla corporation are starting to become a monthly occurrence, but hey, if it wasn’t for these you’d never come ‘round for a visit, right?

Here’s the changelog:


  • Fixed an issue with playing Windows Media content


  • Improvements to product stability
  • Added changes for Frisian locale (fy-NL)
  • A literal clambake of security fixes

That’s it. I suppose the Frisians out there must be happy with these changes, but I for one am looking forward to when a Firefox changelog is longer than three lines. Firefox 2.0, don’t fail me now.

As with previous optimized releases the G4 and Intel builds come with both Firefoxy form widgets as well as the more integrated and mac-like aqua form widgets. The G5 version is aqua form widgets only.

The usual spiel: these builds are called DeerPark and doesn’t have the official icon because the Firefox name and branding are reserved for official release; this comes with zero support (read: you’re on your own); I’m not responsible if anything medieval should transpire.

Oh, and in lieu of donations I highly recommend you take your destiny into your own hands and buy those pants you’ve been thinking about. Black leather pants in the middle of the summer? Now that’s hardcore.


A newer version of Firefox is now available: Go and get it.

Optimized Firefox for G4, G5, and Intel

firefoxI just finished building optimized Firefox builds and have now posted them for download. There are now optimized builds for every Mac CPU currently available (G4, G5, and Intel Mac) and Firefoxy and native aqua form widgets available for the G4 and Intel builds. The G5 build is aqua form widgets only (and no, there won’t be a Firefoxy build for the G5 so don’t ask).

Here’s what’s new according to the Mozilla changelog for Firefox

  • Improvements to product stability
  • Security fixes (more details on this here)

The usual caveats apply: I don’t support these builds, they’re called DeerPark because of trademark issues, and please don’t run these if you’re not comfortable running untested, unofficial releases. In lieu of donations, I ask that you take the time to phone your mom and / or dad - I’m sure they’d love to hear from you.

Now that I’ve spun these builds and posted them, who wants to lay money on how long before Firefox is released? I hope for later rather than sooner - a guy’s gotta do real work with his computer sometimes, you know.


Edited 07/29/06: A new version is now available and you can get the details (and downloads) from here.

After banging my head against a tree and cursing loudly in German (hey, you never know) I finally gave up on trying to figure out how to set up an auto-update server for these builds. The instructions made my head throb mightly and I had to rush off and take a long, cold shower before I inadvertently burst something valuable. Ah well.

Okay, comments are back on. The Digg effect coupled with a nasty CPU issue related to Movable Type’s comment CGI file basically crippled my server. Thankfully the fix was fairly easy: read how to fix the comments.cgi CPU issue here.

Mac Team TriOsby

I don’t understand how I’ve started slipping into posting once a month but I don’t like it. Things are hopping here so I guess I have an excuse. Still, my site has taken to leaving little post-its around the apartment with increasingly forlorn messages on them. — Are you okay? — Was it something I said? — You know, you can just write me a note if there’s something you want to talk about. — Why haven’t you returned my calls? — I’m going to mother’s and you can phone me there when you’re ready to talk.


Inexplicable high CPU usage on MacBook Pro

If you’re seeing high CPU usage on your MacBook Pro (or any Intel-base mac) that you can’t seem to track down in Activity Monitor or top, try checking the Sharing preference pane in System Preferences. If Windows File Sharing is checked, try toggling its checkbox off and on. I had this issue with a new MacBook Pro that was driving me nuts - nothing was listed in Activity Monitor or top, but the CPU was hovering at 80% and my machine was overheating.

Turns out samba (which powers the Windows File Sharing feature in OS X) was launching and then crashing over and over and over and driving CPU usage nastily high, but toggling the sharing pref fixed the issue.

Gotta love the Apple Store

Speaking of MacBook Pro’s, it turns out my new work machine has a buggered screen. It has a very strong blue / cyan cast that I can’t get rid of through calibration. So I went down to the new Eaton Centre Apple Store to visit the Genuis Bar for the first time.

I didn’t even have to show the issue to the technician. I explained the problem and she promptly asked, “do you have your receipt?” and said that I could exchange my machine for a new one if it was purchased within 14 days.

Unfortunately I was a few days past the cut-off date, but they’re going to order a replacement screen and logic board for me anyway. I explained that I can’t really go without the machine for too long as I need it for work, so they’re going to schedule the repair over the weekend. If that still doesn’t fix the issue she said they’d go ahead and replace the laptop with a brand new one, which is pretty cool. I’ll keep you posted how it turns out.

Oh, besides the screen issue it’s not too bad of a machine, though it does have the whining issue and did get rather hot until I installed the latest SMC firmware updater. But it’s fast and feels pretty much the same as my G4 Powerbook, which is a good thing.


Jumping jehosophat, people, I know a new version of Firefox is out. I get the internets here too, you know.

I gotta say, every person who emails me or posts a comment that tries to:

  1. Guilt me into building a new version,
  2. Assume that insulting me or my intelligence will make a new build magically appear (if you really think this works, I fear for your loved ones), or
  3. Repeatedly email me every day asking when the new build will be available

… makes me not want to post builds at all. Here’s a hint: haranguing me just pisses me off. Please stop.

For everyone else who is patiently waiting for new builds, they’re coming, and if you could kick the idiots in your midst in the ass for me, I’d appreciate it.

For the record, the new builds will take a bit longer as I’m looking into how to set up a Firefox update server. I don’t want to have to build the entire application when it’s just a teensy update that’s been released, and I’m sure you would appreciate being able to update your optimized build from within the browser, too.

So give me a few days and hopefully I should have some new builds posted. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to shut the computer off and go have a life for a bit.

G4 and G5-optimized Firefox now available (updated)

Man, I really wish the Mozilla guys would stop pooping out these teensy version updates. At any rate, optimized builds of Firefox for the G4 and G5 processors are now available.

Here’s the changelog:


  • Security fix for a denial of service vunerability.


  • Universal Binary support for Mac OS X which provides native support for Macintosh with Intel Core processors. Firefox supports the enhancements to performance introduced by the new MacIntel chipsets. (Obviously this isn’t applicable to these builds).
  • Improvements to product stability.
  • A whack of security fixes

That’s it. No mood-enhancing flavonoids, no brand new widgety-doodads, and no life-reaffirming Yngwie Malmsteen guitar solos; just bug fixes and “product stability”. But you asked for optimized builds, so here they are.

Updated: For now, there are G4 builds with the aqua native form widgets and Firefoxy form widgets, and a G5 build with aqua form widgets only.

If you’ve a G5 and looking for a Firefoxy build I sadly won’t be able to help you. I no longer own a G5 machine and all of the G5 builds that appear on this site are provided by my building partner Voon Siong Wong.


As usual, comments are welcome, but I’m not responsible if these builds slap you in the face and call you a Dungeons and Dragons weenie (or, god forbid, crash). And for the last time, the Firefox icon and name can only be distributed with official builds. Sorry for yelling, but I’m getting pretty tired of people sending me angry emails asking the same question over and over again.

At any rate, enjoy.

(Neil, who is in dire need of strong caffeine and a muffin right about now).

(Looking for bleeding edge Firefox 2.0 nightly builds? G5-optimized versions are here. I’ll post a new Intel optimized build soon, too.)

G4, G5, and Intel optimized Firefox 2.0 alpha 2

mactel_firefox.pngDamn, there are a lot of nerd posts on this site these days…

Anyway, for all of you bleeding edge, early adopter, thrill-seeking nerds out there I’ve built an optimized version of the Firefox 2.0 alpha release (codenamed “Bon Echo”) for G4 and Mac Intel machines that includes aqua form widgets. A G5-optimized version is also available.

Folks, the name has “alpha” in it for a reason - if you’re not comfortable running pre-pre-release software, then stay far, far away from this build.

Check out more deets on Bon Echo, including an abbreviated what’s new and other goodies.

Updated May 15: I’ve built a brand new version of the Firefox 2.0 (“Bon Echo”) alpha, version 2.0a2. I will continue to update this post as the Mozilla group updates the official Firefox 2.0 pre-release builds.

The Mozilla links weblog (which I believe is new?) has a really good overview of what’s new in Firefox 2.0, so check it out.


No, I’m not going to build a version with Firefoxy widgets, at least not yet. This is an alpha, after all, so subsequent builds are pretty much guaranteed. Once the final Firefox 2.0 release is available, however, I will build versions with both form widgets. But for now it’s aqua or nothing.

Okay, now it’s time to go and see The National and forget that I’m a nerd for a few hours…

Firefox optimized for Mac Intel (nightly)

Intel iMacI just received one of the Intel-based iMac Core Duos on Friday. I wasn’t planning to order one of the new machines so soon, but with a surprisingly high number of Path Finder customers with Mac Intel machines, I needed to pick one up for testing. I feel so bleeding edge.

Colour me impressed

I’m planning to write a fairly in-depth review of my new acquisition once I’ve worked with it for a while, but first impressions are very positive. This machine is pretty damn fast, and the transition from my G5 iMac to the new platform was almost seamless. Photoshop run a bit slow, but I’m almost never doing print-related stuff so it’s bearable for now. Rosetta is incredible - pretty much any application I’ve thrown at it just works.

If you decide to order one of the new Intel machines, my advice to you is to max out the ram, because you’re going to need it. But this is easily the fastest mac I’ve ever owned, and so far I’m pleased.

Optimized Firefox build

mactel_firefox.pngOf course, like any slack-jawed nerd one of the first things I needed to figure out was how to build an optimized build of Firefox for the new processors. With warped priorities like this, sometimes I wonder why Renée puts up with me.

It took quite a while, as a bunch of stuff has changed, but I managed to get a build working, and wow, is it fast. Even building the application was fast. Normally, building Firefox on my G5 from scratch takes around two hours or so. On my new machine, the build took maybe 45 minutes.

The hardest thing was figuring out what to put on the icon. I couldn’t bring myself to put “Intel” on it, and using “Core Duo” seemed overlong and a bit misleading, as this build should run fine on any Mac Intel machine. So Mactel it is, for now. I know it’s kind of sucky. Intel needs to come up with snappier names for their processors, I guess.

At any rate, this build has the aqua form widgets applied (see this post for a screencap of what they look like) and has my first run at processor-specific optimizations. It’s important to note that this build is based on the latest nightly code which will eventually become Firefox 2.0 - it is not based on code from an official release. But it’s working like a champ so far.

As usual, the icon and name are still DeerPark, and I am not responsible if anything should freak out or throw a hissy fit. And now it’s time to crack out the bold:

This build is for Intel machines ONLY. It will not run on a non-Intel Mac machine. If you’re looking for G5 and G4-optimized builds, check out this post.

Firefox 2.0 is now available - Get it from here.

I will probably start updating these every couple of days, so keep your eyes peeled for a dedicated nightly builds post. If you have any questions about this build or the machine it was created on, feel free to post them in the comments, but keep in mind that as usual I’m not providing support for this build.

G4 and G5-optimized Firefox now available

Alrighty, folks - I’ve just finished building optimized versions of the new Firefox release. There are builds available for both the G4 and and G5 processor.

Here’s the changelog as writ by the Mozilla folks:

  • Improved stability.
  • Improved support for Mac OS X.
  • International Domain Name support for Iceland (.is) is now enabled.
  • Fixes for several memory leaks.
  • Several security enhancements.

All great, especially the OS X support and IDN support for Iceland. I’m all about the Iceland. Get the full details in all of their nerdy glory from the Burning Edge.

Form Widgets a go-go

Each processor’s build is available in two separate flavours - one with aqua form widgets, that look like this:

aqua form widgets

… and one that has the Firefoxy form widgets, that look like this:

firefoxy widgets

What’s the big difference? Besides the obvious visual differences, the main key notable is that the aqua form widgets are not affected by styles, and the Firefoxy widgets are. So if a site you’re visiting has applied visual styles to the form widgets, you won’t see them with the aqua widgets. Not a huge deal, but some people prefer to see a site as the designer intended it so I’m making both available.

G4-optimized Firefox builds

This is if you’re running a Powerbook, an iBook from the last three years or so, an eMac, Power Mac towers before June of 2003, or a Mac Mini.

Download the G4-optimized Firefox release (disabled) A newer version than this is now available

G5-optimized Firefox builds

You’ll know if you’re running a G5.

Download the G5-optimized Firefox release (disabled) A newer version than this is now available

Because I constantly have to answer these questions, I’ll get them out of the way here:

  1. These are unofficial builds and come with absolutely no support or warranty. I am not a Firefox developer and cannot fix bugs, troubleshoot issues on your system, listen to you rant about how much you hate Firefox, etc. There are better places for that.
  2. The reason these are called “DeerPark” and don’t have the swank Jon Hicks Firefox icon is because both the icon and the Firefox name are trademarks of the Mozilla corporation, and only official builds can use the official branding.
  3. No, I’m not accepting donations - hell, all I’m doing is entering a few commands and swapping a few things around. The builds are hosted on my .Mac account, so Apple is covering the bandwidth. I appreciate the thought, but I’m cool.

Enjoy, and feel free to post your thoughts (bearing the above in mind) in the comments.

Optimized Firefox 1.5 with Mac OS X form widgets

One of the biggest complaints that Mac OS X users have about Firefox is that the default form widgets look, well, terrible. Besides the fact that they look rather austere, it’s also a constant reminder that the application you’re using orginated on a different operating system.

Up until now, the option was either to grin and bear it, use a program called “Firefoxy” to apply prettier (but still not Mac-like) form widgets, or to use Camino, which uses Mac native form widgets but doesn’t support any of the great Firefox extensions. Firefox is supposed to get native form widgets at some point, but this looks like it won’t happen until Firefox 3.0.

Thanks to the efforts of a wily fellow named “Pu7o” in the Mozillazine forums, you can now enjoy the ultimate browser mashup: Firefox with the more native-looking form widgets from Camino. Here’s what they look like:

form widgets

Because these use the OS’s resources to draw the form widgets, even themes work. Here’s what they look like under Max Rudberg’s awesome Milk theme:

form widgets

In celebration of this geeky but momentous occasion, I’ve built a Firefox 1.5 G4-optimized build that incorporates this hack. Yes, it’s a hack, but from everything I can see it works just great. There are a few small alignment issues here and there, and I’ve seen a couple of places where the very edge of buttons are cut off, but it’s 100% usable and looks so, so much better.

Newer versions of these builds are now available, so the download links that were once here have been retired.

There are also G5-optimized Firefox versions built from the latest nightly code - cutting edge, potentially unstable, but with all of the latest changes and updates - that have the aqua form controls applied.

G4-optimized Firefox 1.5 released

Firefox G4For those of you with G4 processors and feeling left out of the G5-optimized Firefox build goodliness, I now have a G4-optimized Firefox 1.5 build just for you.

If you’re not sure what kind of processor you have in your mac (and really, who keeps track of these things? Well, besides me, that is), chances are if you bought your mac in mid- to late 2001 or later you’re golden. To confirm for sure, check out this handy guide. If your processor is a G4 and the version number is 7450 or higher, you can run this build.

(Edited: As far as I know these builds will work as expected with nearly any G4 processor. Only the earliest processors (the first run of G4-enabled PowerBooks and PowerMacs, I think) may not work. But give it a try anyway as I haven’t heard of any issues yet.)

(Note: If you’re using a machine with a G5 processor, you’ll want to check out the G5-optimized Firefox build instead.)

Download link removed - there is a newer release available

As usual, this build comes with a slightly different icon and Philippe Wittenberg’s “pretty” form widgets. To answer the #1 question I keep receiving about this builds: the reason the application is called “DeerPark” and the icon is different than the official Firefox release is because both the Firefox name and icon are restricted to just official releases.

If you’re looking for Firefox 1.5-compatible extensions, I have a small list of extensions that I’ve tweaked to work with the new release.


Update (Dec. 4th, 1:30 EST): I just built a new version of Firefox 1.5 with support for <canvas> as requested by quite a few people. I’m not doing requests here, but this should have been turned on when I originally ran the build, but I forgot. If you pull down a new copy from the link above you’ll get the new version.

In case you didn’t know about it, there’s also an RSS feed specifically for Mozilla / Firefox posts that includes these builds, in case you wanted to know when new builds and such are posted.

G5-optimized Firefox 1.5 released

Looking for an optimized Firefox for your PowerBook, iBook, or older PowerMac? Look no further: I have just built a G4-optimized Firefox 1.5 build.

firefoxIt’s been a long time coming, but Firefox 1.5 is finally rocking the house and making nerds salivate into their indie beards with delight.

The official changelog includes such top ten hits as:

  • Automated update to streamline product upgrades.
  • Faster browser navigation with improvements to back and forward button performance.
  • Drag and drop reordering for browser tabs.
  • Improvements to popup blocking.
  • Clear Private Data feature provides an easy way to quickly remove personal data through a menu item or keyboard shortcut.
  • is added to the search engine list.
  • Improvements to product usability including descriptive error pages, redesigned options menu, RSS discovery, and “Safe Mode” experience.
  • Better accessibility including support for DHTML accessibility and various assistive technologies.
  • Report a broken Web site wizard to report Web sites that are not working in Firefox.
  • Better support for Mac OS X (10.2 and greater) including profile migration from Safari and Mac Internet Explorer.
  • New support for Web Standards including SVG, CSS 2 and CSS 3, and JavaScript 1.6.

And everyone’s favourite tune, “many security enhancements”. If you want to bask in some hardcore changelog goodness, check out the “comprehensive changelog” for the dirty details.

As usual, there is now a G5-optimized build for your browsing pleasure:

Download link removed - there is new a newer release available.

With this fairly major upgrade, most extensions will need to be updated. I have tweaked a bunch of the extensions I use to work with the new version, but I haven’t had time to update that post, so you might want to check out the official Mozilla update site first.

Enjoy, folks, and don’t forget to clean those indie beards before you go out in public.

Neil (feeling tired, giddy, and more than a little bit strange.)

G5-optimized Firefox 1.0.7 released

Looking for nightly builds or optimized Firefox 1.5 beta builds? Get ‘em here.

Hey, it’s another Firefox release! The Mozilla group squeezes out another teensy update that addresses mostly security issues. The changelog:

  • Fix for a potential buffer overflow vulnerability when loading a hostname with all soft-hyphens
  • Fix to prevent URLs passed from external programs from being parsed by the shell (Linux only)
  • Fix to prevent a crash when loading a Proxy Auto-Config (PAC) script that uses an "eval" statement
  • Fix to restore InstallTrigger.getVersion() for Extension authors
  • Other stability and security fixes

I’ll keep building these as they release them, but I’ll probably be a day or so late as I need to wait for the source to be posted to the Mozilla FTP server. So those of you who have been sending me repeat emails, please stop.

Anyway, this isn’t an official build, I’m not responsible if you suddenly gain (or lose) super powers or your computer explodes, etc., etc. I’m sure you know the drill, but it needs to be said anyway just to be clear.

Download the G5-optimized Firefox 1.0.7 release (disabled) A newer version than this is now available

There’s also a Firefox-specific news feed available in case you really could care less (understandably) about anything else on this web site:

Subscribe to the Firefox / Mozilla feed

Firefox 1.5 Beta compatible extensions

FirefoxThe Mozilla organization released the first public beta of Firefox 1.5 yesterday. It boasts a zillion bug fixes, new features, and lots of improvements all around. Once Firefox 1.5 is out of beta and released I’ll build a G5-optimized version, as usual. You can also get a G5-optimized build of the beta on the Firefox nightly build page (the September 9th build is the beta).

The beta is great, but one problem is almost all existing Firefox extensions will not work without some tweaking. I’m an impatient (and rather nerdy) guy, so I whipped off Firefox 1.5-compatible versions of the extensions I use.

Download Firefox 1.5 Beta compatible extensions

Note: All I did was tweak the latest publicly available version of these extensions so that they would install on Firefox 1.5 beta. That doesn’t mean these are guaranteed to work, so caveat geek.

Click on the extension name to install — you’ll probably need to give permission to this site to install extensions.

As the underlying code for extensions have not been changed, these should auto-update when the developer posts a new version to the Mozilla Update site.

I did not create these extensions, so do not post support requests in the comments. These are not “official” releases, so you’re on your own.

Oh, and the ever-talented “Aronnax” has updated his gorgeous Mac OS X Firefox themes to work with the beta. The original domain redirection is down, but you can download them here. Here’s a preview to whet your appetite — this is detail from the themed called GrApple (Brazil Pro):


Okay, now I really have to get back to what I was supposed to be doing. Enjoy, folks!

G5-optimized Firefox 1.0.6 released

Welcome, Macworld readers! Due to the lag time between article writing and publishing, the Macworld link is an old one. Follow this link to get the most recent G5-optimized Firefox version.

Looking for the G5-optimized nightly builds of Firefox? Head on over this way.

firefoxWell golly, it’s another Firefox release. I’ll try to keep this brief - here’s the changelog for this release:

  • Restore API compatibility for extensions and web applications that did not work in Firefox 1.0.5.

This was built on Mac OS X 10.4.2 using XCode 2.1 and has not been tested on Mac OS X 10.3 but should work just fine. Mac OS X 10.2 is not supported. This is not an official build, your mileage may vary, there are no guarantees in life, etc., etc..

As always, please post any observations or major issues that you cannot reproduce using the official release in the comments.

Download the G5-optimized Firefox 1.0.6 release (disabled) A newer version than this is now available

I have created a special BeatnikPad Mozilla / Firefox feed for those of you who are interested in just Firefox and other Mozilla-related updates. See how much I care?

For those of you who want the full BeatnikPad feed (which includes Firefox updates) you can use this feed instead. Enjoy!

G5-optimized Firefox 1.0.5 released

Looking for the G5-optimized nightly builds of Firefox? They be over here, yo.

firefoxWell, that was quick. Just a week after I finally got a G5-optimized build of the Firefox 1.0.4 release posted comes the release of Firefox 1.0.5. This will (hopefully) be the last official release from the Mozilla kith & kin before Firefox 1.1 makes an appearance “at the end of the summer” (says Firefox dude Asa Dotzler).

This also means that I can stop posting these Firefox updates and get back to posting about the quality of my boxer shorts, the cut of my jib, and other fascinating topics.

» G5-optimized Firefox 1.0.5 released continues...

G5-optimized Firefox 1.0.4 released

Looking for the G5-optimized nightly builds of Firefox? Get ‘em here while they’re piping hot.

firefoxFinally, after wrasslin’ with a bushel of system and OS issues, I’ve built a G5-optimized version of the official Firefox 1.0.4 release. Of course, the Firefox 1.0.5 release is just around the corner, but this should hold everyone running my earlier optimized release builds over until that (and the Firefox 1.1 release) is available.

I don’t have a full changelog here from the last optimized release build I made available (Firefox 1.0.2), but if I remember correctly there are security fixes, DHTML fixes, and a bunch of other small bugs squashed that should make everyone jump for nerdy, geeky joy.

Now that I seem to have the issues with my iMac all worked out, you can expect optimized versions of future Firefox releases, barring any unexpected meltdowns.

Note: I built this on Mac OS X 10.4 and haven’t tested it under Mac OS X 10.3, but it should run with no problems on Panther. As usual, I have not built support for any version of the OS earlier than 10.3, as it’s quite silly to be running 10.2 or earlier on a G5 system, innit?

Without further ado: Download the G5-optimized Firefox 1.0.4 release (disabled) A newer version than this is now available.

As usual, please post your thoughts, comments, and feedback on how it’s working for you in the comments. Please keep in mind that this is not a support forum for Firefox issues. That would be over here. So don’t be pissed if no one responds to questions not specifically related to this build.

07/09 update: Wow - over 4000 downloads in the past 36 hours. Here’s something interesting - the Firefox 1.0.4 file is around 10mbs. So that means over 40 gigabytes of transfer in 36 hours. The file is hosted via Apple’s dotMac service, which I believe normally limits file transfers to 3G a month. You go, dotMac!

If the link goes down, please post in the comments and I’ll make it available from another location.

Update (July 20): I have created a special BeatnikPad Mozilla / Firefox feed for those of you who are interested in just Firefox and other Mozilla-related updates. See how much I care?

For those of you who want the full BeatnikPad feed (which includes Firefox updates) you can use this feed instead. Enjoy!

G5-optimized Firefox 1.0.2 released

firefoxOkay, everyone is probably used to this by now, but to reiterate, the G5-optimized version of Firefox 1.0.2 is now available.

According to the Mozilla foundation this is purely a security fix release, which remedies the following arcane nerd issues:

  • Drag and drop loading of privileged XUL
  • Arbitrary code execution from Firefox sidebar panel
  • GIF heap overflow parsing Netscape extension 2

Apparently that last one is a doozy, and as such this is a highly recommended update for anyone running these optimized builds. This build is identical to the release version, with the following exceptions:

  • There is a different application icon (unofficial builds like this cannot use the official Firefox icon)
  • Includes the “pretty” form widgets by Kevin Gerich
  • Chock full of speed and swagger - well, in theory, at least. I haven’t done any benchmarks because I’m a lazy ass.
  • Creates world peace, enhances sexual prowess, improves overall muscle tone, and imbues user with the brilliant wit of Dorothy Parker. Or not.

Download Firefox 1.0.2

Download the G5-optimized Firefox 1.0.2 release (disabled) A newer version than this is now available.

As usual, this is an unofficial build which is not supported by anyone, though I might try to help out with an issue if you email me or post a friendly comment below.

Feedback, complaints, compliments, and non-gender or race-based jokes welcome in the comments. Ranting or bitching about Firefox, Mac-integration conspiracies, or anything else will be treated with derision and swiftly mocked.

(Neil, pondering whether or not he should just change the name of this site to “Firefox’s manservant” and be done with it.)

Update (July 20): I have created a special BeatnikPad Mozilla / Firefox feed for those of you who are interested in just Firefox and other Mozilla-related updates. See how much I care?

For those of you who want the full BeatnikPad feed (which includes Firefox updates) you can use this feed instead. Enjoy!

G5-optimized Firefox 1.0.1 released

firefoxAlrighty then. I just built a Firefox 1.0.1 release version with optimizations for the G5 processor. According to the Mozilla folks, this is mostly security fixes and other small changes, but it’s probably a good idea to run this if you’ve been running the Firefox 1.0 release up until now.

As before, the main differences between this build and the official release are:

  • Speed. Sweet, sweet, optimized-for-the-G5 speed.
  • Different application icon (unofficial builds cannot use the sweet Jon Hicks designed icon)
  • Custom, more “OS X”-friendly form widgets, courtesy of Kevin Gerich, the man responsible for the equally sweet Pinstripe / Winstripe Firefox icons.
  • That damn history bug, where history spontaneously disappears. I think this is due to a bug in the G5 compiler.
  • Crashes on launch if URL Manager is running. Workaround: launch Firefox first, and then launch URL Manager. Again, I think this is G5 compiler issues.
March 19th: I have created and uploaded a new Firefox 1.0.1 build which has fixes integrated for the history bug as well as the URL Manager conflict. If you’ve downloaded this in the past, I recommend you download this build as it’s pretty much bug-free. Woo-hoo!

Besides that, this should be pretty much identical to the official release version. The usual caveats apply (not an official build, I’m not responsible for any explosions or system problems, you’re on your own, will not make you more appealing to the opposite sex, etc.).

» Download the G5-optimized Firefox 1.0.1 (disabled) A newer version than this is now available.

As always, enjoy! And feel free to post in the comments if you are overwhelmed with love or hate for this web site and its operator.

Update (July 20): I have created a special BeatnikPad Mozilla / Firefox feed for those of you who are interested in just Firefox and other Mozilla-related updates. See how much I care?

For those of you who want the full BeatnikPad feed (which includes Firefox updates) you can use this feed instead. Enjoy!

G5-optimized Firefox nightly builds

July 7th: Thanks to the wily geek powers of Voon Siong Wong, we now have a reasonably consistent source for nightly Firefox G5 builds. Voon was nice enough to allow me to link directly to his builds from here, as quite a few people have this page bookmarked. I’ll update this page with new build links as they appear.

You might want to check out the mozillazine thread, too.

firefoxI’ve started building G5-optimized Firefox again, this time pulling from the latest nightly code. Thanks to everyone who sent in compliments, complaints, and feedback on the previous set of builds.

For those who missed it the first time around, these unofficial builds have been created with optimizations for Apple’s G5 processor, found in the more recent Powermacs and the latest iMac models. They should be faster and more responsive than the official builds. You can read more about these builds and comments from users in the initial post.

Keep in mind that because these builds are being created from the most recent, mostly untested Firefox code, there will be bugs, missing features, and other stuff. In other words:

If you are not comfortable using pre-release software, don’t use these builds.

» G5-optimized Firefox nightly builds continues...

Firefox en français


(or any other language you like)

Here’s how to localize your copy of Firefox into your language of choice:

  1. Download the language pack that you want Firefox in. Language packs filenames end in .langpack.xpi and contain a two-letter language code. FR = French, ES = Spanish, JP = Japanese, etc.
  2. Install the .xpi file by either dragging it into an open Firefox window, or by opening it via File > Open.
  3. install Benjamin Smedberg’s Locale-Switcher Extension.
  4. Restart Firefox.
  5. You should now see a Language option under the Tools menu, and in it items for en-US (American English) and your installed language pack. Select the new language and restart Firefox.
  6. If all goes well, you should now have a localized version of Firefox!

The Mozilla group already have localized versions of the Firefox 1.0 release available, but if you want to use a custom build (like my G5-optimized version, par exemple) this is the easiest way to do it.

And now back to this web site’s regularly scheduled personal introspection, cranky old man ranting, and miscellaneous bits of life-related particle board.

Optimized Firefox for the Apple G5 processor

WARNING: This is an unofficial Firefox build and comes with no guarantee that it will work properly. It is built from the same code as the Firefox 1.0 release, and seems to be working fine for the majority of people testing it. That said, this is still an unofficial build, so caveat emptor. I am not responsible if this doesn’t work, screws with your profile, causes blood to pour from your computer’s speakers, renders you impotent, or anything else.

That said, they work for the vast majority of people using it. So give it a shot, and post in the comments if you’ve decided that you love or hate me.

firefoxJanuary 16: I’ve started building optimized Firefox builds from the latest nightly code, so if you’re interested in the latest, greatest, and most probably buggy, check out the latest nightly builds. If you’re interested in the optimized G5 builds which are more stable, download the Firefox 1.0 build linked below.

For the past two weeks or so I have been running a totally kick-ass nightly build of the Mozilla Firefox web browser optimized for the Powerbook G4 processor. Because it was created specifically for my laptop’s CPU, it is noticeably faster than the normal nightly builds. If you use a Powerbook (or iBook G4), you should check it out.

(Edit: I wanted to clarify that Kai Rune is the person responsible for the G4 builds, not me - I’ve seen some misleading linkage on the internets which makes it sound like I built the wonderful G4 version. The G5 builds are 100% my fault, however.)

Now that I own an iMac G5 (which I plan to post more about soon), I figured it would be interesting to see if I could build a version of Mozilla Firefox for the G5 processor.

With help I managed to get a version to build successfully. All of the rampant nerdiness was worth it: Wow, does this build fly on my iMac. For those of you who run a machine with a G5 processor in it (and who use FireFox), give it a try and let me know what you think.

» Optimized Firefox for the Apple G5 processor continues...

Ad Blocking in Safari (Firefox, OmniWeb, etc.) Using CSS

(Updated September 25, 2005 with rules to hide ads, seeing how there seems to be a lot of people being referred from there. Folks, the instructions below have been amended and are now current.

safariIcon.gifOne thing I've really missed in Apple's Safari was the ability to block ads. This is something I've taken for granted after using Mozilla and Camino [nee Chimera]; once you've gotten used to surfing without the visual noise of ad banners, it's pretty damn hard to go back.

Mike Solomon's Pith Helmet came to the rescue early on by tapping into private APIs built into Safari to block ads. And it was good.

Well, you have to wonder how seriously some people are taking their NDAs seeing how often leaked builds are getting posted online. The good news is that the leaked builds have something that everyone has been talking about: Tabs.

The bad news is that the latest leaked builds broke Pith Helmet's filtering completely. Mike has been good about releasing a fix within a day of the leaked builds hitting the Web, but the fix isn't working quite right. Plus, I don't believe Pith Helmet can filter out iframe or JavaScript ads, which are omnipresent online. (Edit: Mike informs me that Pith Helmet can filter iframe and Javascript ads.)

Cascading Style Sheets to the rescue! I was pretty chuffed to discover that the CSS3 selectors trick that works in the Gecko browsers (Mozilla, Firefox) seems to work just fine in Safari. Want to learn how to use this technique?

» Ad Blocking in Safari (Firefox, OmniWeb, etc.) Using CSS continues...

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