An unfortunate description
Posted Mar 15, 2012 17:28 UTC (Thu) by rqosa
In reply to: An unfortunate description
Parent article: Idealism vs. pragmatism: Mozilla debates supporting H.264 video playback (ars technica)
> Firefox is already doing this.
I know that it is; I'm saying that it shouldn't do that.
> it can't rely on timely OS updates for these libraries on, for example, Windows or MacOS
For libraries that are part of the system API on Windows / MacOS, Firefox can rely on updated being timely (e.g. by Windows Update). For other libraries, Firefox must include its own bundled copies of them (and be responsible for keeping them up to date), because they're not available otherwise. And on Linux, the official builds of Firefox need to have some bundled libraries because they can't make too many assumptions about what libraries are present on all of the distributions it's supposed to be runnable on.
But, that's no excuse for making it difficult or impossible for the distributions to make builds of Firefox / XULRunner / Gecko that use the system libraries from that distribution. It's even less of an excuse for the Mozilla developers to reinvent the functionality of existing pieces of software (e.g. GStreamer) when they could instead use them (either by bundling them or using the system-provided ones).
> and also on being a big enough organization to be its own distribution for some of the libraries it needs
Well, then maybe they ought to outright fork some of those libraries, or even (in the case the upstream is moribund) entirely take over development of them, so that other software could then use Mozilla's versions as the upstream. (Remember the earlier article / comments where it was stated that Chromium had a bundled fork of libjingle, even though Google is the upstream for both Chromium and libjingle?)
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