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Re: GNU IceCat 3.0

From: Reed Loden
Subject: Re: GNU IceCat 3.0
Date: Tue, 1 Jul 2008 16:01:12 -0500

On Tue, 1 Jul 2008 21:17:29 +0300
Yavor Doganov <address@hidden> wrote:

> At first glance, it looks relevantly trivial to implement
> "uninstall", at least in a way that will work reliably on GNU
> systems.  But I'm most probably missing some important details.
> Giuseppe, if I find the time to work on this, would you accept a
> patch (for 3.0, it seems useless to work on 2.0.x)?  Of course
> provided that the patch is not crappy :-)  I think that every GNU
> package should support "uninstall", it is a standard target and
> something that users, not surprisingly at all, expect.

If you do create such a patch, why just keep it only for IceCat? Submit
it upstream to Mozilla and get it incorporated into the upstream
source. This is free software, after all. I'll be glad to help in this
process if you need assistance upstreaming such a patch.

> @rant
> Maybe, just maybe, the developers of Firefox (and Mozilla/Netscape 
> before, as it seems the build system is kinda inherited from that
> time), thought that this is a marvelous ``must have'' lovely
> application that nobody will ever dare to uninstall, hence they
> refrained from implementing this ``unimportant'' functionality.  Or
> maybe their target users are not running free operating systems in
> the first place. @end rant

Please refrain from making such absurd comments like the rant above.
It's stuff like this that makes people outside of GNU (and even just
Linux) think that GNU (and Linux) people are completely crazy.

Yes, the build system that Mozilla uses is very old and has many
problems, but it also has allowed Mozilla projects to continue to be
able to be built on numerous platforms and operating systems, unlike
most of the other projects in the free software world today. The build
system is getting a large overhaul for Mozilla2, but for now, this is
what you have to work with Firefox 3.

I personally never "install" firefox globally, considering I run
nightly builds that change daily. I just run it directly from the
dist directory. I think a lot of people this same exact thing, too.
Distros package up firefox, so it's easy to uninstall it.

You're more than welcome to modify the Makefile and surrounding build
files to get uninstall working and then submit a patch upstream via
Mozilla's Bugzilla (bugzilla.mozilla.org) for inclusion into the
source. I looked through a lot of bug reports to see if I could find
somebody reporting this issue, but I couldn't find anything, so it's
possible nobody ever told Mozilla this was a problem, and therefore,
Mozilla wouldn't know that it needs to be fixed.

Please don't assume Mozilla hates all free software people and must be
doing everything they can to make free software users angry and upset.
Mozilla takes problems from all three major platforms (Windows, Mac,
and Linux) very seriously and works to make sure they are all


Reed Loden - <address@hidden> / <address@hidden>
The GNU Project [gnu.org]
Free Software Foundation [fsf.org]

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