Classilla and PPC-601 Macs

Earlier today, in the Mac OS 9 mailing list, Cameron Kaiser (the intrepid developer of Classilla, the best browser for Mac OS 8.6 – 9.2) wrote:

I need to find out if there are a large number of 601-based systems using Classilla — I just hit a snag trying to port the nanojit for TraceMonkey. TraceMonkey uses mftb and mftbu, which are assembler instructions only supported on 603 CPUs and up, and CodeWarrior offers me no other way around them (‘machine 601’ causes a failure). If there is significant 601 usage out there, then I won’t make the jump to TraceMonkey for 9.2 (though I may do so in the future with a warning).

I don’t think making a 603 a minimum requirement will be too onerous, but I don’t want to exclude users unnecessarily. If you are using a 601-based Power Macintosh with Classilla, such as a 6100, 7100, 8100 or 7500, and have not upgraded the CPU, speak now — I need to know who’s out there. This is a critical portion of the nanojit and cannot be coded around.

I am fairly certain that with 604 or G3-upgraded 601 systems, however, that this problem does not exist. Thus, if you have an upgraded CPU card, this should not affect you. […]

In other words, Cameron has stumbled onto a development obstacle and he needs to have an idea of how many users with PowerPC 601-based Macs using Classilla are out there (including those using a 68K Mac with a PPC-601 upgrade card). He also needs to know, if you’re using Classilla on a Mac with such a processor, how Classilla is behaving on your machine. Problems? Crashes? Please get in contact with him via email at ckaiser [at] floodgap [.] com

It’s possible that for PowerPC 601-based Macs, Classilla reaches a version number after which it will be no longer developed, and that for the technical reasons mentioned above, development will go on with a PowerPC 603 processor as minimum requirement for final users. But all this really depends on the statistics Cameron manages to collect, so I encourage giving him as much useful feedback as you can. Thank you.

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