forum GNU Linux PowerPC Notebook

Software => Fine tuning/Optimization of applications/libraries for PowerPC => Topic started by: Shiunbird on May 08, 2016, 10:59:16 PM

Title: Browser situation
Post by: Shiunbird on May 08, 2016, 10:59:16 PM
Hello team,

I'm sorry I don't post often here, but I'd like to raise an important topic: the browser situation.

Mozilla is getting rid of lots of legacy code that existed to facilitate portability to different platforms. You've probably heard of Cameron Kaiser, who ports Firefox to PowerPC Macs. He has already mentioned that one of the latest and soon to be mandatory core features won't be portable.

Chrome has never been built for a PowerPC target. I'm not sure if Chromium works. Iceweasel on Debian Wheezy is outdated. I'm not sure about Jessie, how far behind it is.

Roberto and team, how's the situation? The Web evolves around browsers. The newest browsers should, in theory, compile fine and with all the features in the newest platforms. Does anyone have any experience or further information? Am I overreacting or saying something completely stupid?
Title: Re: Browser situation
Post by: mpasteven on May 10, 2016, 05:01:48 PM
What is the latest and mandatory core feature which is not portable?

The only issue with browsers these days it he high reliance on Javascript, there are really no JITs for Javascript to PowerPC machine code.

Jessie's Iceweasel is the same as Wheezy.

The other alternative would be for example to write a web browser in something such as Java, compile Javascript to Java byte code then load it, this way the browser could take advantage of Java's JIT.
Title: Re: Browser situation
Post by: Shiunbird on May 10, 2016, 05:37:19 PM
Mandatory features, not yet.
The warnings that your browser is outdated are annoying.

But the lack of a compiler may make performance suffer as sites become more dependent on client-side processing for example. Web browsing is a good part of what most people do.

Battery performance in our machines could suffer if browsing will take lots of energy.
Title: Re: Browser situation
Post by: Carlos on May 11, 2016, 08:37:17 AM
... The only issue with browsers these days it he high reliance on Javascript, there are really no JITs for Javascript to PowerPC machine code. ...

Quote from the TenFourFox page:
Quote
We're not only compatible with Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.5, but we also build our browser specially optimized for your G3, G4 or G5, add AltiVecTM JPEG, HTML and WebM decoding acceleration for G4 and G5 Macintoshes, and soup up JavaScript performance with IonPower, our best-in-class just-in-time PowerPC script compiler

Is this wrong? I have no clue, I'm only asking.
Or maybe only available on MacOS X?

Edit:
Here is a little bit more written:
https://github.com/classilla/tenfourfox/wiki/TechNotes

They mentioned IonMonkey
Title: Re: Browser situation
Post by: Shiunbird on May 13, 2016, 10:40:37 AM
The maintainer and developer of TenFourFox is apparently a fantastic person, I guess contacting him for clarification wouldn't be a bad thing.

But as far as I know, he does all of his TenFourFox work in XCode, and he leverages Mac OS-only APIs like Core Text and Core Image. I'm not sure how portable that code is.

His main working OS is to this day OS X 10.4.
Title: Re: Browser situation
Post by: mpasteven on May 16, 2016, 04:16:31 AM
Alternatively the Javascript engine could use LLVM, then the PowerPC LLVM compiler can just be used instead.
Title: Re: Browser situation
Post by: nemesis on May 20, 2016, 05:43:41 PM
There is also OWB for MorphOS built on webkit, I'm not sure how good it actually is compared to TenFourFox. but it could be an option.

There is also Timberwolf for AOS4 but I'm quite sure its quite outdated.
Title: Re: Browser situation
Post by: Casper on May 22, 2016, 04:44:05 PM
As far as I know, OWB is quite modern, but Timberwolf is outdated. It's not in active development anymore, even though they have a small handful of part-time developers, it doesn't seem like much work has been done.
Title: Re: Browser situation
Post by: Carlos on May 27, 2016, 12:35:37 PM
The maintainer and developer of TenFourFox is apparently a fantastic person, I guess contacting him for clarification wouldn't be a bad thing.

But as far as I know, he does all of his TenFourFox work in XCode, and he leverages Mac OS-only APIs like Core Text and Core Image. I'm not sure how portable that code is.

His main working OS is to this day OS X 10.4.

Ah okay. Yes, of course. Does make sense. Long time ago I read, that Google has a PowerPC version of android. Maybe Chromium for PowerPC is the solution? IBM is using Ubuntu on POWER8. Do they also use a browser?
Title: Re: Browser situation
Post by: Shiunbird on May 30, 2016, 11:52:21 AM
Ah okay. Yes, of course. Does make sense. Long time ago I read, that Google has a PowerPC version of android. Maybe Chromium for PowerPC is the solution? IBM is using Ubuntu on POWER8. Do they also use a browser?

On my IntelliStation, I have AIX 7.1 and IBM offers Firefox 3.6.

On Ubuntu, you get the same browsers as anyone else:
http://packages.ubuntu.com/search?arch=powerpc&keywords=chromium-browser
http://packages.ubuntu.com/search?arch=ppc64el&keywords=chromium-browser

As far as I know, IBM only works in getting the OS optimized for the hardware and nothing else.
What you are going to run there is more or less your problem.
Title: Re: Browser situation
Post by: Carlos on May 31, 2016, 06:02:18 PM
Ah okay. But that's what a company should do. Care about the OS only.
Title: Re: Browser situation
Post by: Amigo65 on June 02, 2016, 12:34:22 PM
There is also OWB for MorphOS built on webkit, I'm not sure how good it actually is compared to TenFourFox. but it could be an option.

There is also Timberwolf for AOS4 but I'm quite sure its quite outdated.


OWB supported html5, ... mostly  ;)  I think ;)
Title: Re: Browser situation
Post by: Shiunbird on June 03, 2016, 12:00:21 PM
Ah okay. But that's what a company should do. Care about the OS only.

Well, if they want to have their OS to be adopted in any level, they need to provide some basic functionality.
Including a browser is part of it.

AIX doesn't even come with wget or curl. There's no way to download anything there besides NFS, FTP or burning a CD.
Title: Re: Browser situation
Post by: vox on April 27, 2017, 11:16:44 PM
There is also OWB for MorphOS built on webkit, I'm not sure how good it actually is compared to TenFourFox. but it could be an option.

There is also Timberwolf for AOS4 but I'm quite sure its quite outdated.

I can send you HTML5 test scores for different browsers on PPC (AmigaOne x1000 OS 4.1FE and Debian Wheezy). In my own experience

a) On Amiga side Odyssey is far better and modern then OWB and TW (TW has never been finished, and I love to read announcement that stands still that it will be updated to FF19 http://friedenhq.org/amiga/timberwolf/ )

b) On Linux side IceWeasel, Firefox and MIDORI do exist, beside KDE browser wich is Amiga style antiquitated by now. IceWeasel and FF are en par but FF tends to be a bit slow, so I find Midori very usable.

On UbuntuMATE which is updated, its possible to run Firefox 52

Yes, on none Javascript has JIT, but HTML5 works flawlessly and I find that most important.

Title: Re: Browser situation
Post by: msuchanek on May 11, 2017, 03:46:45 PM
The maintainer and developer of TenFourFox is apparently a fantastic person, I guess contacting him for clarification wouldn't be a bad thing.

But as far as I know, he does all of his TenFourFox work in XCode, and he leverages Mac OS-only APIs like Core Text and Core Image. I'm not sure how portable that code is.

His main working OS is to this day OS X 10.4.

You can just build the corresponding version of Darwin which is basically OS X without some proprietary apps and without Apple support.

Given it is conserved in the state it was back then providing optimization for powerpc/altivec it might be nice platform to try out.

How much effort it will be to get it going and update hardware drivers is difficult to tell. Surely the newer versions do support more current hardware but they focus on Intel. Meaning some obscure pieces required to run on the power notebook will need to be ported from elsewhere and there might be endian problems with drivers already present because nobody ever built them for bigendian.
Title: Re: Browser situation
Post by: Carlos on May 12, 2017, 05:27:24 PM
Maybe Chronium (Google Chrome OpenSource (https://github.com/chromium/chromium)) is also an option, since Googles JAVAscript engine V8 is ported to PowerPC (https://developer.ibm.com/opentech/2015/06/30/ppc-support-for-google-v8-goes-mainstream/).
Title: Re: Browser situation
Post by: msuchanek on May 22, 2017, 06:09:36 PM
The engine might ported be but have you seen anybody building the browser even for ppc4le?