Contributed Win64 builds…

Hi All,

I’ve finally managed to generate Win64 contributed builds for both the Installer and the zip file .

Since this is the very *first* Win64 contributed build, please run it with a new profile.

Disclaimer:  While I have tried it myself, I’m not able to test it out thoroughly since there are other stuff I need to do (enable Official Linux64 builds for one, getting the updates properly done, etc..)  Please do report here or the newsgroups as to how it fairs on your system.

 

2.48 is out!

Dear all,

While not as long in the tooth and as hard as 2.46, 2.48 was still long enough and finally, I can say that it is out!

Please try it out and see.

Do note that updates are still not working so if you need to update, please install the new one manually.

I know… I know.  I need to get the updates done yesterday….  but hey.. we are getting closer to being up to date with the trees (yes, irrelevant to the updates issue…  just trying to redirect your attention elsewhere.. ;P )

Next up, 2.49 beta …

:ewong

 

2.48 is spinning… (and so is my head)…

Greetings All,

Just a FYI, that we are spinning 2.48…  yes.  It’s been a long time; but, as much as I would like, Murphy isn’t taking his long deserved holiday..  Really, Murphy…  TAKE YOUR HOLIDAY!

Anyway, I expect to have a choppy ride (re: Murphy) so can’t state when 2.48 will be released.  (First bump already hit.  We had 2 OSX systems running and both decided to go AWOL.  They were back. Now one decided to return to going AWOL.  So we’re down to 1 OSX builder.  (*oh yay*) ;/ )

However, what I do know is the fact that updates aren’t working so when 2.48 is released,  the usual “download and install” will have to suffice.  This is something I’m sorry about as I had hoped to get 2.48 on the updates train….  but it’s just so darn complicated.

Will keep you guys/gals posted.

:ewong

 

4 non blondes’ song…

Hi all,

No, the blog hasn’t been hacked.  You may wonder what “4 Non blonde’s song” mean.

They released a song some time ago called “What’s going on?”  And I’m sure that’s exactly what everyone’s thinking of.

Yes.  What’s going on?  Some might even say, “WTF is going on? Where the hell are the new releases?”

I had wanted to write out an analogy of how it’s like walking up a large sand dune in slippers and then being transported/teleported into a jungle where you’re sinking in quicksand only to then find yourself treking up a sand dune again….

Then I gave up and felt it’d be easier just to say that I am doing my best in getting the following done:

  1. set up a new infra somewhere
  2. get us migrated to balrog
  3. Keep our current infra ‘working’.

“Hey, dude.. there are ONLY three things you need to do?  What the hell’s the hold up?”

Also note I have a 9 to 6 job.

So there’s really only so much time I can spend on this.  Well, to be fair, it isn’t so much as ‘time’ as ‘brain cells’.  My brain isn’t as good as it used to.. (hey what’s that laughter in the background?).   The “Cogito ergo sum” is starting to be quite questionable since while I think,  I’m not sure I am.  And if I am, I am what?

Anyway, I just want to apologize for not getting things done quickly. I am certainly feeling the pressure that the trains are still rolling.

:ewong

 

 

 

 

 

The State of the SeaMonkey Union!

Hello fellow users and supporters of the SeaMonkey suite!

The important part first: SeaMonkey is alive and we do not plan to discontinue it. But in continuing to deliver the best and only suite based on the Mozilla Gecko web engine, we need your help.

Lets first start where we are.

SeaMonkey 2.46 was released in late December after struggling for months with infrastructure and build issues. While still using the Mozilla infrastructure, we are mostly on our own here. We plan to release a final 2.48 based on the level of Firefox 51 soon. Again this  is late due to infrastructure and build issues, but not so much as 2.46. Being based on Firefox 51 means that security patches are again not up to par with current Firefox. Believe us, we dislike this as much as you do.

The SeaMonkey project is entirely driven by volunteers working on it in their free time. The current members of the core team (count up to 7) are committed but, with all the changes, are getting slowly overwhelmed. This means bugs do not get fixed as fast as we would like. With an aging infrastructure becoming more and more abandoned by Mozilla, due to switching Firefox building to the cloud, releasing builds does not become easier. It also means that if even one of the current key people quits, the project is in danger of becoming un-maintainable which is even worse. Also keeping up with Firefox is becoming difficult at best. Mozilla plans to discontinue classic extensions and themes with Firefox 57 which is right around the corner. XUL, one of the key technologies of SeaMonkey, is also on the chopping block and will be discontinued in the near future. The replacement technologies, based on modern web standards, are immature and still under constant development. In the end, an almost complete rewrite of the current program will probably be needed. If it weren’t for our friends from the Thunderbird project, we would now have even bigger problems.

The good news is that financially we are a little better off than last year.
DuckDuckGo is now the default search engine of SeaMonkey. Every time you use
it for searches in SeaMonkey we get paid. For the conspiracy seeking people
out there:) Not being able to easily set the search engine in 2.46 to another
provider was a genuine bug with a workaround documented in the release notes
from day 1. It has now been fixed.

What we plan:

After releasing SeaMonkey 2.48 we will switch to the Firefox 52 ESR source code for 2.49.x releases. This means that the code base is more or less frozen for a few release cycles and only security updates and bug fixes will be in the releases.

The infrastructure issue has been discussed. While critical, there are no final plans yet (also thanks to lack of manpower). Thunderbird is in the same boat and we hope to work out something together. If worst comes to worst, we could ask our team member Adrian Kalla to produce our regular builds. This had been discussed earlier. It was dismissed, for now, as no crash symbols for builds would be available on the Mozilla servers.

Switching to ESR means we can work on bugs in the current tree for a while longer without having to fear that they are carried over into a release. They need to be fixed for the next ESR of course.

The most critical issue is to support web extensions in one of the next
releases. It is unclear how long we will be able to support classic extensions.

There are a number of Gecko Forks in the wild. We do not plan to switch over to one of them as the basis for SeaMonkey. We think that they currently do not have enough developers themselves to cope with the changes Mozilla plans. Web technologies are also evolving all the time and we fear that they are not able to keep up.

Also, we are not planning to support any abandoned stuff like classic
extensions and NPAPI plugins on our own. We will try as long as possible. But when they are gone, they are gone. The current developer base is much too small to do our own fork.

Based on how successful Mozilla is, or if one of the forks gain ground, this might change in the future.

What we need:

Setting up our own infrastructure, potentially in conjunction with Thunderbird, will cost. If you feel you can contribute towards future releases in this way, please consider donating:
https://www.seamonkey-project.org/donate/

But what we need even more is people to help out. Even if you are not a developer, you can help. For example, writing a document such as this takes time. Also, maintaining a website is not done by staring at it all day.

So if you want to help, these project areas are looking for a few good
contributors:

  • Development. Most code is either JavaScript or XML/CSS mixed with C++ and Mozilla technologies based on XUL and friends. In SeaMonkey not so much HTML right now, but this might need to change. The build environment makes heavy use of Python.
  • Graphics: Icons and symbols need a face lift for HiDPI screens. There are plans to switch everything over to svg files in the backend which would mean a massive effort to convert existing files. With a sometimes extremely conservative user base when it comes to changes in the interface, not an easy job
  • Website: Some areas are severely outdated and things like release notes need to be written too.
  • Bug hunting and triaging: We could use a few more people to check out bugs and try to reproduce and categorize them in Bugzilla. We are especially short on people doing this on macOS. While we are on it. Writing lengthy threads in the news and support groups is fine but if no one actually reports them as a bug in the end they usually won’t get fixed.
  • Everything else not covered above. If we forgot something you can fill this slot too. Just think about it.

As a final statement, we do not think that SeaMonkey will take over the
browser world any time soon. SeaMonkey is a niche product and will stay that
way. Too many people are not interested in a classic suite anymore and most
users are happy to use what is hip. That is OK with us. It’s all about choice.

We would like to continue supporting the power users like ourselves and those
who are looking for something different and flexible without reinventing the
wheel with every release. We try to listen to you, our user base, for
advice/orders/demands/suggestions. Of course, we won’t be able to implement
everything under the sun. But we would still like to implement something and
stay current. It’s your call now.

If you would like to support us, either send a mail to us, the SeaMonkey
Council (seamonkey-council at mozilla dot org), ask for guidance in the
official support groups or just pick your favorite unassigned bug from
Bugzilla and start. Or just leave your comment below 🙂

We are looking forward to hearing from you.
The SeaMonkey Council

2.48b1

Hi All,

Just want to quickly mention that we’ve released SeaMonkey 2.48b1.

Unfortunately, there are a few items that you’ll need to be aware of:

  1. updates are problematic as some users won’t get any updates as the update url format has changed to include CPU capability but our updates server doesn’t have that capability without much fudging which makes it even more fragile.   While I am trying to migrate to the newer updates server, it’s a slow progress.  I apologize.
  2. Windows SSE2.. like 2.46, non-SSE2 capable users will remain in 2.39b1.
  3. OSX10.7 and older versions are no longer supported.  (Not happy but this is the way of progress.)

If there are problems with updates/running 2.48b1, please report it to us (either in bugzilla.mozilla.org or on the newsgroups or even here, though this isn’t much of a support channel).

We will spin 2.48 as soon as we can.  At the moment, we’re fixing the infrastructure.

Many thanks to your continual support and patience.  Goodness knows we need them.

:ewong

2.48b1

Hi everyone,

For those who are wondering what’s going on, we are in the process of spinning 2.48b1; however, aside for a slight code issue, we’re encountering a few infra-related malfunctions (mostly due to my fault).

Comparatively speaking, it is ‘smoother’ than 2.46 only because we’ve disabled the extensions.  Still though, the infra issues are somewhat disappointing.

We’re already at build 4 and I’m hoping we won’t hit #9, like we did last time.

Thank you all for your patience,

:ewong

2.46 and OSX64

Hi,

I’d just like to mention that officially, 2.46 isn’t supported on OSX 10.7 and 10.8; but apparently, some have managed to get it working.  As I’m not even remotely knowledgeable in OSX64, I have no way of knowing what is not supposed to work in OSX 10.7 to 10.8. (Though… it *is* Christmas. 🙂 )

Now the question some people are probably asking.  If 10.7 -> 10.8 *aren’t* supported, then why are they being updated to 2.46?

Good question.   [Yes.. let’s watch me squirm for an answer.]

Basically, I done goofed.  With so much vested energy in the release process, it had slipped my mind that OSX 10.7 and 10.8 aren’t supported (as did the non CPU SSE2 issue).  So those affected ‘can try’ 2.46, but it’s unsupported.  Worse comes to worse, you return to 2.40.

I seem to remember writing about how this is an example of technology ‘improving’ (for some definition really) leaving those who use hardware(that still work, mind you) wondering what to do.   [I realize that I can probably ramble on with a diatribe on how technology is seemingly ‘improving’ but it’s still not making our lives any bit easier.  But I’ll just dispense with it. 😛 ]

I apologize for not mentioning this or even fixing this (not sure how I can do that), aside for getting crazily-rich and buying everyone a brand new machine of their choice.  (Yeah… as Kenny Nolan once sang, “I like Dreaming”.)

:ewong

[Standard disclaimer: Everything I’ve written above are my views alone.  It may or may not reflect the views of the SeaMonkey project and its members.]

Windows 2.40 -> 2.46 updates and SSE

Hi everyone.

This is directed to fellow Windows SeaMonkey users.

SeaMonkey 2.46 (Well, it would’ve started with 2.44) will not work with systems that do not have CPU SSE.  This is unfortunate as what ‘should’ have happened was we release a version which would “act as a watershed” to check for CPU SSE and report (in the case of not having CPU SSE) that the user’s system is not supported anymore.  That’s what should have happened (probably around 2.43), but since the browny stuff hit the proverbial fan (requiring us to miss 5 releases 🙁 ) post-2.40-release, we totally missed that opportunity.

So, as I mentioned in my newsgroup post, 2.40 users affected by this are stuck with 2.40 unless they upgrade to/purchase a new system; but as far as I understand, non-SSE CPUs are mostly pre-Pentium III era  (as SSE was introduced in the Pentium III) (got this from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streaming_SIMD_Extensions ).

I don’t know how many users are affected by this (due to lack of any telemetry or statistics in front of me), I’m hoping they won’t form a mob and come look for me.  😛

All jokes aside,  it is unfortunate that this needs to happen, just like the removal of support for OSX64 10.{5, 6, 7 and 8}.  But I guess this goes with the territory when things are ‘improving’ at a break-neck pace.

:ewong

Updates and 2.40

Hi

First off, there are issues with the website not showing updates to 2.46.  That was my oversight and is being followed up with a patch.

Secondly, updating 2.40 to 2.46 is not working (as like 2.39-> 2.40).  That is currently being worked on.:ewong