Summary

Give users the option to install a 32bit version of Firefox as a standard package on their AMD64 installation, and provide other relevant packages in multiverse where possible (eg flash installer).

Rationale

Although most 64bit users would love to use all free software compiled natively for AMD64, the realities of using the web these days mean that we frequently need to use Flash, 32bit CODECs, and other such things.

It is possible to run a 32bit version of Firefox and these features work perfectly, at the moment this requires a manual install of Firefox and the other modules.

Use cases

Daphne wants to take advantage of her spanking new AMD64 computer, and installs Ubuntu's AMD64 distribution. She is using this as a desktop and wants to be able to use Flash and play "Windows-only" media files so she installs the firefox32 package, along with its own flashplayer32-mozilla, realplayer32 and some kind of 32-bit java. She can now rest safe in the knowledge that her Firefox install will be kept up-to-date along with (most of) the rest of her desktop software.

Scope

Create packages for 32bit Firefox, 32bit Flash plugin installation, 32bit Sun Java plugin installation, 32bit RealPlayer installation.

Design

The packages will not be installed by default but Firefox32 should be available as part of the main distribution. This will be an additional package to be installed alongside the normal 64bit package, probably with a "32" on the icon or something.

This does NOT involve any kind of chroot setup. If you would like to set up a chroot system, please refer to http://ornellas.apanela.com/dokuwiki/pub:multiarch (Debian centric, but also applies to Ubuntu).

Implementation

Code

Data preservation and migration

Outstanding issues

BoF agenda and discussion

Perhaps using a 32bit-to-64bit wrapper would be a better solution? E.g. http://www.gibix.net/dokuwiki/en:projects:nspluginwrapper

Some issues I can think of...

Advantages: 64bit firefox better optimised for 64bit cpu?

Wrapper will be smaller to download than firefox32.

Disadvantages: Does the wrapper have overhead?

The wrapper doesn't work for Java.

Also, although the open source JDK7 will have a 64bit plugin (see http://bugs.sun.com/bugdatabase/view_bug.do?bug_id=4802695) There does not appear to be any hint of an official release date for JDK7 at the official site: https://jdk7.dev.java.net/ So waiting for JDK7 does not appear to be an option.


CategorySpec

32bitBrowserOnAmd64 (last edited 2008-08-06 16:24:47 by localhost)