Pale Moon SSE

For contributed third party builds not necessarily configured like the main product.
e.g. AVX builds, SSE builds, Pandora builds.

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Re: Pale Moon SSE

Postby New Tobin Paradigm » Mon, 11 Apr 2016, 00:55

Keep in mind that SSE and Atom are not actually identical stability wise as Mercury continues to not use sane optimizations targeted for Windows XP users (users who would be most likely to need an SSE version of the browser). So any issues you experience please verify with the atom version. If they cannot be verified with the Atom version post them only in this thread.
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Re: Pale Moon SSE

Postby Alt+F4 » Mon, 11 Apr 2016, 10:22

@Mercury

Installed, works great.

Thanks! :thumbup:

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Re: Pale Moon SSE

Postby Drugwash » Tue, 12 Apr 2016, 14:13

Don't even know how to put this. Please bear with me.

I've downloaded two versions of the SSE build: 25.8.1 and 26.2.1.
Installed and tested each one at a time - error right at startup in palemoon.exe.
Grabbed, installed and tested both corresponding Atom/XP versions - similar error at startup.
After some fiddling around it just occured to me to run CPU-Z: my CPU is a Duron Spitfire which has no SSE instruction set - only MMX(+) and 3DNow!(+).
Somewhere in the SSE's description on this board there's mention about Duron CPUs. Maybe I'm just unlucky?

Problem is: official Firefox 28.0 runs absolutely fine on this particular machine.
At this time I'm puzzled as to how this can be.

One other machine of mine has a Pentium III EB Coppermine that can do MMX and SSE.
Firefox 9.0.1 runs slowly but acceptably on it (for a 667MHz CPU) under Windows 98SE, with the help of KernelEx.
Pale Moon can't run - too many missing APIs, starting with VC11.

I just don't want Firefox anymore, anywhere.
What to do (hardware "upgrade" excluded)? Image

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Re: Pale Moon SSE

Postby Mercury » Wed, 13 Apr 2016, 00:41

Drugwash wrote:my CPU is a Duron Spitfire which has no SSE instruction set - only MMX(+) and 3DNow!(+).

:shock: Holy...

That is old. Indeed the earliest Duron models lacked SSE. We're talking CPUs below 1GHz, and 15 years old at this point.

Problem is: official Firefox 28.0 runs absolutely fine on this particular machine.
At this time I'm puzzled as to how this can be.

I can only imagine that Firefox was made with a view to be compatible with older systems, perhaps at the cost of performance in newer systems.

One other machine of mine has a Pentium III EB Coppermine that can do MMX and SSE.
Firefox 9.0.1 runs slowly but acceptably on it (for a 667MHz CPU) under Windows 98SE, with the help of KernelEx.
Pale Moon can't run - too many missing APIs, starting with VC11.

:shock: Sweet mother...

You know, I'm filled with amazement and a sort of admiration. :clap: It's actually pretty cool that hardware that old is still in use.

Anyway...

What to do (hardware "upgrade" excluded)? Image


You can build your own Pale Moon from source. Unfortunately, I don't see myself regularly making another specialized build, given the audience for it would be so small. I mean... I think it's just you at this point. :) But you've piqued my curiosity, so I'm going to try a one-time build with /arch:IA32 just to see if I get something workable. If nothing else, I may be able to prove it's possible.

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Re: Pale Moon SSE

Postby Drugwash » Wed, 13 Apr 2016, 08:07

It's an 800MHz Duron, to be precise. The board is K7SEM (SiS730 chipset) and can't take an AthlonXP (used to have one around but no idea of its shape).
The other board is a Soyo SY-6VBA133 and it's been working 24/7 for the past ten years with no OS reinstall (just a couple registry restore and mind you it's a 98SE). It's my main machine, although I do have some newer hardware around.

I've looked at the requirements for building Pale Moon and frankly I couldn't meet them even if I put together all my hardware in the room :oops: , so that's out of the question.

There may be many more users of old hardware and/or Windows versions (somebody mentioned recently the Retrozilla project and the MSFN board community, for an example) but maybe they didn't get here yet. Myself I just recently (few months ago) "discovered" Pale Moon and switched from a slower and slower Firefox 13.0 to Pale Moon 25.8.1 on this XP machine (a HP Vectra VL420 with an 1.8GHz Pentium 4 Willamette) so one never knows when their userbase suddenly increases. ;) I guess a Win9x-compatible Pale Moon with at most VC9 dependency may get your statue raised (figurately speaking, of course!) :) But I guess that would only be a nice dream. A non-SSE build though may just be on the edge.

If you decide to give it a go I'll be glad to test; if not, thank you for taking the time to reply and good luck with the current project! :thumbup:

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Re: Pale Moon SSE

Postby Moonchild » Wed, 13 Apr 2016, 10:31

FTR: Firefox runs on your system because they build all their builds for IA32 targets, specifically (i586+).

Also, as a side note, XP will run just fine in a PIII; I've still got an old thinkcentre that I used as a Pale Moon build slave for a while that has one of those in it ;) XP is more than happy on it.
I don't think our code base will be able to target anything pre-XP even with putting some work in. It's just much too old.

Mercury: making a specialized build for IA32 should be as simple as specifying -arch:IA32 in your optimization flags in .mozconfig and otherwise using your current setup. At least it's worth a shot? :)
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Re: Pale Moon SSE

Postby Drugwash » Wed, 13 Apr 2016, 18:16

Moonchild wrote:FTR: Firefox runs on your system because they build all their builds for IA32 targets, specifically (i586+).

Then there must be a reason for them to do that. Or at least to have done it at the time v28.0 was released.

Moonchild wrote:Also, as a side note, XP will run just fine in a PIII…

Installed anew, maybe, but after a while with all updates, installations and whatnot it will crawl for sure.
Besides, I just love my 98SE, it's not at all a "standard" installation as one might think, but improved with lots of goodies, including - or in the first place - Tihiy's Revolutions Pack - a free skinning system. Why bother patching uxtheme.dll? :roll:

Moonchild wrote:I don't think our code base will be able to target anything pre-XP even with putting some work in. It's just much too old.

Can't argue with that, but you know what they say: "when there's a will there's a way". ;) The subject is quite delicate though and I do not intend to start a debate on it.

Moonchild wrote:Mercury: making a specialized build for IA32 should be as simple as specifying -arch:IA32 in your optimization flags in .mozconfig and otherwise using your current setup. At least it's worth a shot? :)

Yep, that's the spirit: optimism all the way! :D Thanks and good luck! :thumbup:

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Re: Pale Moon SSE

Postby Moonchild » Wed, 13 Apr 2016, 19:29

Drugwash wrote:Can't argue with that, but you know what they say: "when there's a will there's a way". ;) The subject is quite delicate though and I do not intend to start a debate on it.

Oh, I don't intend on a debate and it might be an interesting hobby project for someone willing to sink a few months of time in - it's just not on our radar to do anything like that ;P
If anyone is that adventurous please be aware that you'll likely have to rewrite a lot of system API calls to be compatible with the 9x kernel and convert lots of code to an older compiler that can still target 9x. And toss out things like accelerated rendering or audio. And be prepared for disappointment; it's very likely just not going to work smoothly if you finally get it to build/run at all. So it'll be an exercise and learning experience to get it to build, and probably not much else!
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Re: Pale Moon SSE

Postby Mercury » Thu, 14 Apr 2016, 00:42

Building for Win98 is significantly beyond my current ability and motivation, I'm afraid. :( Certainly it is possible to fix up PM to do so. It's just a matter of time, effort, and skill. Finding someone with all three who would be willing to direct them to this cause - that's the problem.

Though I would actually like something like that myself; I do have a particularly old PC running Win98 that's currently boxed up, and someday when I fire it up again for fun and nostalgia it would be cool to use it to go online with something resembling a modern browser.

Drugwash wrote:If you decide to give it a go I'll be glad to test; if not, thank you for taking the time to reply and good luck with the current project! :thumbup:

You got PM. 8-)

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Re: Pale Moon SSE

Postby Drugwash » Thu, 14 Apr 2016, 13:13

Moonchild wrote:[...] it might be an interesting hobby project for someone willing to sink a few months of time in - it's just not on our radar to do anything like that ;P

Perfectly understandable in nowadays' context.
Time may not be an issue for some people, it's more about the knowledge and the tools - both software and hardware. And most of all, motivation. I have plenty of time - been unemployed my whole life - and there's enough motivation being a Win9x die-hard fan, but my C/C++ knowledge is scarce and the best hardware I could use is an AMD Athlon64 X2 Dual Core 3600+ with 2GB of RAM which unfortunately lacks a HDD (had a 40GB IBM on IDE and for some reason it got flaky and finally died in a very short period of time).

Moonchild wrote:If anyone is that adventurous please be aware that you'll likely have to rewrite a lot of system API calls to be compatible with the 9x kernel and convert lots of code to an older compiler that can still target 9x. And toss out things like accelerated rendering or audio. And be prepared for disappointment; it's very likely just not going to work smoothly if you finally get it to build/run at all. So it'll be an exercise and learning experience to get it to build, and probably not much else!

It would indeed be a tedious task to convert the code. There's also another issue to be considered: should it target vanilla 9x systems starting with 95 or should it start with 98SE and meet KernelEx's improvements halfway? I guess second option would be much easier, at least for a first step ahead.

Compiler options and optimizations should be relatively easy to convert too (for someone accustomed with different IDE versions).

In regard to acceleration I wouldn't know what to say. Probably the most logical way would be for the code to briefly test the hardware at startup and configure itself accordingly but I don't know if this is actually possible or feasible. Let's not forget that there are people with relatively new and powerful machines that still install 98SE or ME in single or multi-boot configurations so in some cases acceleration might be possible, at least theoretically.

Anyway, as you say it might be an exercise which may even prove succesful. And it would probably make some people happy. The world would be a better place if more people would be happy, don't you think? ;)

Oh and before I forget: while testing the fresh IA32 version kindly provided by Mercury I found a typo:
in Tools > Status bar options… > Advanced > General --> the checkbox text "Attempt to force the the Location Bar XBL binding" (duplicate 'the').

Mercury wrote:Building for Win98 is significantly beyond my current ability and motivation, I'm afraid. :( Certainly it is possible to fix up PM to do so. It's just a matter of time, effort, and skill. Finding someone with all three who would be willing to direct them to this cause - that's the problem.

Though I would actually like something like that myself; I do have a particularly old PC running Win98 that's currently boxed up, and someday when I fire it up again for fun and nostalgia it would be cool to use it to go online with something resembling a modern browser.

Here you got your motivation! :D You have the hardware, the proper software tools and - as Moonchild said above - it will be a learning experience. You do want to improve yourself, don't you? :roll:
(I'm such a manipulative bastard! :lol: )

Anyway, after the success with the IA32 version (thank you again! :thumbup: ) I guess you can embark on a much perilous adventure. ;)

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Re: Pale Moon SSE

Postby Mercury » Fri, 15 Apr 2016, 01:16

Drugwash wrote:Here you got your motivation! :D You have the hardware, the proper software tools and - as Moonchild said above - it will be a learning experience. You do want to improve yourself, don't you? :roll:
(I'm such a manipulative bastard! :lol: )
Anyway, after the success with the IA32 version (thank you again! :thumbup: ) I guess you can embark on a much perilous adventure. ;)

I don't enjoy breaking anyone's heart, but I must be clear: I will not be making PM for Win98 or anything similar. :thumbdown: Not unless someone is prepared to pay me a full-time salary matching my current job to do so. (And if they're willing to do that, the smart thing to do instead would be to pay someone who's a better coder! :think: ... In fact, I'd probably take the money and hire someone else.)

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Re: Pale Moon SSE

Postby Moonchild » Fri, 15 Apr 2016, 05:10

If you have that kind of money to spend to pay someone a salary, then it's probably better to just buy yourself a new PC ;)
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Re: Pale Moon SSE

Postby Drugwash » Fri, 15 Apr 2016, 08:33

Hahaha, don't worry guys, I was just kidding. :lol: I know such endeavor would be too far of a stretch. But it's been a nice talk. ;)
Oh and the IA32 version is definitely a gain for less fortunate people who can't afford better hardware (along with the SSE version whose topic I've kinda hijacked :oops: ).

Thank you Moonchild and Mercury for your continuous efforts! :clap:

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v26.2.2.SSE released

Postby Mercury » Mon, 16 May 2016, 00:33


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Re: Pale Moon SSE

Postby Alt+F4 » Tue, 17 May 2016, 11:45

@Mercury

All's good! :thumbup:

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Re: Pale Moon SSE

Postby Drugwash » Tue, 17 May 2016, 16:40

Thanks for keeping up with the IA32 too. So far so good! :thumbup:

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Re: Pale Moon SSE

Postby Mercury » Sat, 21 May 2016, 14:31

Alt+F4 wrote: All's good! :thumbup:

Drugwash wrote:So far so good! :thumbup:

Sweet. :cool: Reminder: Reports like this are appreciated, even if I sometimes don't reply.

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v26.3.0.SSE released

Postby Mercury » Sun, 26 Jun 2016, 01:30

Yeah, so... I didn't notice Moonchild's announcement this morning - even though I definitely checked the forums. Dunno what happened there. When I was building 26.3.0.SSE, the official 26.3.1 was already out.

So, unfortunately, I'm a point release behind here.

Version 26.3.1.SSE may or may not become available at some unspecified point in the future.

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Re: Pale Moon SSE

Postby Moonchild » Mon, 27 Jun 2016, 08:34

Sorry for the rapid-fire releases here, Mercury.
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Re: Pale Moon SSE

Postby Drugwash » Mon, 27 Jun 2016, 12:28

Dunno how the development cycle works here but in light of the latest announcements regarding XP support being dropped starting with milestone 27 I hope there will be both SSE and IA32 releases for the last XP-compatible 26.* version of Pale Moon, when time comes.

Thank you again Mercury for your efforts!


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