Raising the Bar on Linux
I’ve been having discussions with various Linux distro vendors around updating our runtime requirements to newer/more stable versions. We have been building binaries that work across a large range of runtimes and with a fairly aggressive backwards compatibility story. We were still working with Red Hat 8.2 until sometime after Gecko 1.8, IIRC. However, this has resulted in a lot of workarounds and ugly hacks to keep going, especially as we start to use pango and other newer libraries.
As a result, we’ve looked at how other apps interact with distros, and I’ve spoke to Chris Aillon of Red Hat/Fedora, and Alexander Sack of Ubuntu for their opinions. What we’ve come up with, based primarily on Chris and Alexander’s input, is a set of fairly current runtime requirements that we will commit to supporting for Firefox 3. Older distros will be able to have build-time support/workarounds as necessary, but Mozilla will not ship or test builds for older platforms. This is still a proposal, but it seems as if everyone is very much on the same page, so I am hoping to make this final in two weeks’ time. Please direct any feedback to the discussion page on the wiki.
Proposed Runtime Requirements