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Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:30 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:53 am
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Hey all,

I've been stalking nekochan for a few days now, after learning about its existence. IRIX holds a special place in my heart as it was the original platform I was first exposed to UNIX on, and felt a serious case of nostalgia lurking around. I'm currently on a long-duration trip in NYC, so I can't easily pickup any secondhand hardware (nor would I have a valid IRIX or MIPSpro license if I did).

I was a bit surprised to learn that in 2012 a fair number of people still use IRIX and SGI hardware, so I want to make a contribution in attempting to port Firefox to IRIX; I have a fair bit of experience digging through that codebase, and getting C++ to build with non-gcc compilers (combined with an old hobby of reviving old operating systems). Flipping through mozilla codebase, most of the platform-dependent bits still have their IRIX code defined, so its more a matter of getting the monster to compile (plus its build-deps), running the test suites, and packaging. I suspect libgtk will require an upgrade, and as I will try to upstream the relevant code, I'll need to build mercurial so I can track the current development snapshot.

As I will not be able to obtain any SGI hardware anytime soon, I was hopeful that someone might be interested in providing with me access to a non-root SSH access (with X11 forwarding; if it works on IRIX) on a system with MIPSpro and a fair bit of harddrive space (10 GiB minimium). I can rebootstrap any needed dependencies in my homefolder, and then use those patches to properly repackage things for nekoware.

If anyone is interested in hosting a machine where I can work on, I'd be appreciative ...


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Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:28 pm 
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For the initial work, www.cray-cyber.com has general access Origin2000.

For the build - I'm sure we could work something out, most of us have whole farms of SGI boxes for use.

Cheers

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Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:42 pm 
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I did see that Cray has a SGI machine internet facing but the machine is down except on Sundays ...


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Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:50 pm 
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I know they say it's Sunday's only but I saw it available outside that window - not sure how reliable this is though.

Maybe you should introduce yourself, at least with your location so then someone could either give you access to some box nearby or even donate some hardware to you for this purpose - believe me there are such occasions, often somebody is giving stuff away.cheers

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Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:37 pm 
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Heh,

So my name is Michael, I'm based in Portland, OR (but in NYC for the next two weeks), and I've done a lot of work with porting firefox on embedded platforms such as ARM and MIPS on Debian with helping smack bugs and such. I like playing with older architectures due to the unique challenges, and one of the big issues I see reading the forums is a lack of a modern webbrowser on IRIX.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:32 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:02 am
Posts: 75
Location: Northern Bavaria, Germany
NCommander wrote:
Heh,
So my name is Michael, I'm based in Portland, OR (but in NYC for the next two weeks),


Hello Michael,

welcome to the Nekochan forum. There are only a few people in this forum that have Firefox porting experience and are
able to help porting a new Firefox version to Irix. Your help will be very appreciated.

NCommander wrote:
and I've done a lot of work with porting firefox on embedded platforms such as ARM and MIPS on Debian with helping smack bugs and such. I like playing with older architectures due to the unique challenges, and one of the big issues I see reading the forums is a lack of a modern webbrowser on IRIX.


Do you own one of these embedded MIPS boards?

I own a development board with a ADM5120 and a RouterBOARD 532A from Mikrotik.
Some days ago I ordered a processor debug probe from Amontec. One of my first
goals is to get the ROM monitor YAMON running on a custom sgi O2 CPU module.
A second goal would be to get the sgi O2 PROM accepting the new processor from the
RM79xx familiy and boot Irix. More in this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=16726169

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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:42 am 
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rwengerter wrote:
NCommander wrote:
Heh,
So my name is Michael, I'm based in Portland, OR (but in NYC for the next two weeks),


Hello Michael,

welcome to the Nekochan forum. There are only a few people in this forum that have Firefox porting experience and are
able to help porting a new Firefox version to Irix. Your help will be very appreciated.

NCommander wrote:
and I've done a lot of work with porting firefox on embedded platforms such as ARM and MIPS on Debian with helping smack bugs and such. I like playing with older architectures due to the unique challenges, and one of the big issues I see reading the forums is a lack of a modern webbrowser on IRIX.


Do you own one of these embedded MIPS boards?

I own a development board with a ADM5120 and a RouterBOARD 532A from Mikrotik.
Some days ago I ordered a processor debug probe from Amontec. One of my first
goals is to get the ROM monitor YAMON running on a custom sgi O2 CPU module.
A second goal would be to get the sgi O2 PROM accepting the new processor from the
RM79xx familiy and boot Irix. More in this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=16726169


I sadly do not own said board, but getting the ROM monitor from one SoC to run on another will be a small miracle since this code is never designed to be portable. I'm curious on how you intend to get the ROM monitor running, or have the O2 PROM accept a new processor.

In addition, I'm glad to start on the firefox port, should I ever find access to an SGI machine :-)


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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:34 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2011 4:18 am
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Location: Tokyo
Well, unless someone else has a box handy in the US for you, I could give you access to:

O2 (R5K 640MB ram) or (R12K400MHz 1GB - this one is maxed out) (but I usually turn both off at night so it's not friendly for your timezone), this is fiber with over 160Mbps speed.

O2 R5K (128MB ram), or O2+ R5K (256MB ram), or Indy (R4K 128MB ram) in Poland - those can run 24/7 no issues, but I'm not sure how much latency can you stand, the line should be around 10-15 Mbps.

either way I would need some time to set things up, might need to reinstall OS, install some other "stuff you will need" etc.

Cheers

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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:03 am 
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Location: Wijchen, The Netherlands
I shiver at the thought of building FireFox on an O2. My Origin 350 is ideal for this kind of jobs, but alas, it's behind the corporate firewall...

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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:11 am 
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Location: Tokyo
Well, I do have Origin200 2*360, Fuel r14K 600 and maxed out Octane2, but those are my personal toys and neither is going to run 24x7.
I have another Fuel in Poland but it lacks PSU - it will take a few months before I get it working again.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:25 am 
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jan-jaap wrote:
I shiver at the thought of building FireFox on an O2.

When I was trying to keep IRIX supported as a pkgsrc platform, all my work was on a 195MHz O2. It was an uphill battle, though.

OTOH, I was also trying to port that framework to A/UX on a 33MHz Quadra. Retro-computing does have it's challenges!

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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:36 am 
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jan-jaap wrote:
I shiver at the thought of building FireFox on an O2. My Origin 350 is ideal for this kind of jobs, but alas, it's behind the corporate firewall...


Actually at least for the initial stage - early errors in huge quantities showing up on nearly every file (that's what I would expect from a "complex" source code), O2 would do, it's more about full compile (late stage) that would take eternity - and by then we'll figure out a better box for use.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:45 am 
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kubatyszko wrote:
jan-jaap wrote:
I shiver at the thought of building FireFox on an O2. My Origin 350 is ideal for this kind of jobs, but alas, it's behind the corporate firewall...


Actually at least for the initial stage - early errors in huge quantities showing up on nearly every file (that's what I would expect from a "complex" source code), O2 would do, it's more about full compile (late stage) that would take eternity - and by then we'll figure out a better box for use.


One advantage of trying to build Mozilla is that it is built for non-gcc compiler which helps keep a lot of gcc-isms out (MSVC on Windows, gcc on Linux/BSD, and HP-UX's compiler I know for sure). If its really bad, I'll rebootstrap the entire dependency chain and put it in /usr/nekochan/gcc/*blah* so it can at least be packaged without dumping on the rest of the world. Until I try a build, I have no idea how bad it really will be.

jan-jaap wrote:
Well, I do have Origin200 2*360, Fuel r14K 600 and maxed out Octane2, but those are my personal toys and neither is going to run 24x7.
I have another Fuel in Poland but it lacks PSU - it will take a few months before I get it working again.


I've built both the entire Mozilla suite and OpenOffice.org on Motorola 680x0. A week for firefox/thunderbird/sunbird each, and a solid calendar month for OOo.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:20 pm 
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Location: Southwestern Ontario, Canada
NCommander wrote:
One advantage of trying to build Mozilla is that it is built for non-gcc compiler which helps keep a lot of gcc-isms out (MSVC on Windows, gcc on Linux/BSD, and HP-UX's compiler I know for sure). If its really bad, I'll rebootstrap the entire dependency chain and put it in /usr/nekochan/gcc/*blah* so it can at least be packaged without dumping on the rest of the world. Until I try a build, I have no idea how bad it really will be.

Actually, the Mozilla build system assumes MIPS Pro when building on IRIX. Trying to use GCC to build it for IRIX was a major problem last I looked into it. That's actually a big help since nearly all of the dependancies are already available in nekoware.

Expect to spend weeks, if not months, hunting down the bugs. The IRIX code in Mozilla seems to have been unmaintained for a long time so there's a lot to be done to get it build again.

I spent most of the summer of 2010 trying to get Firefox 3.6.9 to build on IRIX. I gave up, and haven't looked at it again since. But you can be sure the situation is worse now.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:55 pm 
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Location: Tokyo
jpstewart wrote:
NCommander wrote:
I spent most of the summer of 2010 trying to get Firefox 3.6.9 to build on IRIX. I gave up, and haven't looked at it again since. But you can be sure the situation is worse now.


Don't encourage him that much or we never get newish firefox on IRIX :)

"People achieve the best results not knowing something is difficult or even impossible"...

Cheers

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