Firefox 2 on Dapper

John L Fjellstad john-ubuntu at
Wed Jan 17 17:13:29 GMT 2007

Donn <donn.ingle at> writes:

> I am wondering if this ability of Windows (to have multiple versions
> of a thing (call it libBlah.dll) without them overwriting each other
> and such that apps can find the ones they need) -- is this the main
> mechanism for what we see happening when things like Firefox2 can run
> on Windows 98?

Linux (and Unix in general) can have multiple versions of the same
libraries installed.  As long as the given application is tagged with
the version it needs, the right library version will be loaded.

So, no.

Question:  Where does the firefox package for Windows come from?
Microsoft or Mozilla?  Where does the firefox package for (k)Ubuntu (that
you have installed) come from?  (k)Ubuntu or Mozilla?

I bet if you take the firefox package from Mozilla and install it on
your Dapper system, it will work.  Just like if you take the firefox
package from Mozill and install the Windows version on a Win98, it will
probably also just work.  So the mozilla people have created a generic
package for Linux that will run on probably all Linux distros out

But that's not what you are asking for, is it?  You probably want the
firefox version that is packaged by the Ubuntu people (as in, customized
for the distro)

So the question is, why doesn't the Ubuntu (and Debian and RedHat and
SuSe etc etc) create a package for firefox for their old distros.  Of
course, you want firefox (with all the plugins working, so they have to
be repackaged too), and another person might need OpenOffice, and yet
another version want amarok, krita, emacs, gimp, kernel etc etc

At what point does the changes to Dapper become the same as Dapper+1?
Where do you think the developers should focus their energy on?  Note,
all those packages with new version have already been released and
tested (in Dapper+1).

Basically, the problem, IMO, comes down to two factors: technical and

Technically, some programs just won't install in older distros because
the changes are too much (say newer KDE or GNOME apps might have
dependencies on later functionality not available).  Other programs
might be able to run fine.  Which lead to problem number two.
Limited manpower, means that the developer can choose to work on getting
the later distro out the door or keep working on keeping older distros

Note, the Debian (and Ubuntu) people have a mechanism in place to put
newer programs in old distros. It's called backports
(  You can
request for an application to be backported, and if the technical issue
is not there and they have the manpower, the application might be

John L. Fjellstad
web:          Quis custodiet ipsos custodes

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