An effort is currently under way to port the Firefox web browser to the Amiga operating system. This effort goes by the name Project Timberworlf, and is the latest in a long line of efforts to port Firefox to alternative operating systems. This raises the question: is Firefox really suited for these small platforms?
Let’s detail the Timberwolf Project first. It’s a bounty over at AmigaBounty.net, and has been taken up by the Frieden brother who also develop AmigaOS 4. With Firefox, the Amiga obviously gains a modern, well-supported browser that everyone knows. A number of new screenshots have been released a few days ago.
All this does raise the question: is Firefox really the kind of browser you want on a platform like the Amiga? As a BeOS junkie, I recall the days of using Firefox on the BeOS – and trust me, it wasn’t (and isn’t) pretty. The BeOS/Haiku port of Firefox is stable and usable, but it just doesn’t feel right.
Firefox is a product of the mainstream world, geared towards Windows, with Mac OS X and Linux somewhere in second place. For some reason, Firefox never felt comfortable on a fast, small, and lean operating system like the BeOS, and I’m afraid Firefox for the AmigaOS will suffer from the same problem.
I’m all for undertaking the effort and free will and all, and I’m sure the Amiga world will really benefit – but is it really something you should devote time to? Wouldn’t it be better to invest the time and effort into improving OWB, bringing it to feature-parity with modern browsers, and integrating it even better with the Amiga?
Any thoughts from you?