Firefox makes it to Intel Macs

The Firefox browser has been ported to the new Intel-based Mac OS X platform with the assistance of Apple.Firefox developer and Mozilla Foundation employee Josh Aas said the Mozilla team built on Apple's preliminary development work in bringing the browser across to the platform, which is scheduled for rollout to consumers by mid-next year.

The Firefox browser has been ported to the new Intel-based Mac OS X platform with the assistance of Apple.

Firefox developer and Mozilla Foundation employee Josh Aas said the Mozilla team built on Apple's preliminary development work in bringing the browser across to the platform, which is scheduled for rollout to consumers by mid-next year.

"Apple employees got Firefox running on an Intel Mac for the sake of using it as a demonstration of what it takes to port a complex application. After the demo, they sent me patches," he wrote on his blog.

However Aas emphasised Apple's efforts provided a sound basis for the Foundation's work rather than delivering an end in themselves.

"I never tried to get Firefox running on Intel Macs by just applying their patches. For one thing, they were not worried about cross-platform patches or writing the code in such a way that we could actually land it in our [source code] tree," he wrote. "They just wanted it to run."

Aas said the patches were also fairly out of date by the time he got them, particularly because of recent improvements in the Firefox code.

"However, the Apple patches were extremely valuable because they did a lot of work for us and at least pointed us right to many of the problem areas instead of us having to figure out what we need to do," he wrote.

Aas is enthusiastic about his organisation's progress keeping up with Apple's unexpected move to use Intel processors in its PCs.

"I think for the first time in the history of Mac Mozilla products, we're actually ahead of the game in a way," he wrote. "You'll have fresh native copies of Firefox and [competing Mozilla-based Mac browser] Camino for your shiny new Intel Macs when or soon after they come out."

ZDNet Australia&nbsp understands the Mozilla Foundation obtained several of the Intel-based desktop machines Apple is leasing to developers for US$999 to assist them in porting applications from IBM's PowerPC chips to Intel x86 CPUs.

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