Firefox 1.0 Released

Comments   2   Date Arrow  November 9, 2004 at 1:02pm   User  by joel

Firefox, the relatively new browser from the Mozilla project, has reached its 1.0 release. Congratulations and many thanks to those involved. This is really a great piece of software, and it’s evident by the amount of attention it’s gotten in the press as well as the fact that mozilla.org’s web and ftp servers and mirrors are getting the tar pounded out of them today.

Of course I have to do things the hard way, so I downloaded the source code and recompiled it this morning :). This is one of the great things about Open Source Software — you don’t like something about a program you use? Change it! Granted, you need various amounts of knowledge and the right tools, but the same applies to working on your car.

In this case, all I wanted to do was get rid of anti-aliased fonts. The default builds of firefox for linux are configured to use the Xft font subsystem, which by default uses anti-aliased fonts. When they first included this it was a big Feature that the browser Finally Had. Well, I don’t want it. Maybe it’s just me, maybe it’s just my laptop screen, but to me anti-aliased fonts just look fuzzy, and make my eyes go buggy after awhile. Plenty of graphic designers and such will no doubt tell me I’m wrong, and that anti-aliasing is the greatest thing since the typewriter. But hey, they can have it all they want. Just don’t force me to use it if I don’t have to.

So back on version 0.9.1, I compiled my own version of firefox with Xft disabled to see what it looked like, and it was wonderful! Text was clear and crisp. Just to see if I could avoid the trouble of re-compiling every time, I figured out how to disable anti-aliasing in Xft itself and went back to the default firefox build. Once. It looked horrible. So it’s re-compilation for me, but that’s okay. It only takes half an hour to build ;). And I’ve been running on 0.9.1 ever since, regardless of subsequent point releases and such, mostly out of laziness. But now that 1.0 is out I figured I might as well make the move. Now that I’ve done so I’ve gotten more familiar with the process than the first time around, so it’ll be easier for future releases.

Once we get moved to our new host I’ll post links to download my rebuilt version, along with build instructions if you want to do it yourself, in case anyone’s interested. I’m guessing most people using firefox on linux are happy with their fonts as-is, but there may be a few fellow renegades out there…

Tagged   Tech

2 Comments

  • #1.   Dad 11.09.2004

    What?????

  • #2.   T 01.12.2005

    Just what I’m looking for!
    I’m new to Linux, but running RH9 and Firefox on an SGI 1600SW display the anti-aliasing fonts look rubbish, and yes, are beginning to make by eyes go fuzzy.
    I wish they would make it easier to disable this!
    So please let me know when you post your build of Firefox 1.

    I’m trying to figure out how to disable the anti-aliasing in GNOME!

    Thanks,

    T.

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