Adding Spidermonkey 17esr to Raring

Tim tim at
Wed Mar 6 06:45:56 UTC 2013

Its currently at RC, due for release in the next few days.

I have spent quite a bit of time, patching their build system etc, to make this happen, but still it has taken forever to get to this point.

- Tim

On 06/03/13 17:29, Dmitry Shachnev wrote:
> According to <>,
> "SpiderMonkey 1.8.5 is the most recent standalone source code
> release", and that's what we already have in Debian/Ubuntu
> (src:mozjs). I also don't see anything newer on their FTP.
> Are you sure there was a new *standalone* release?
> --
> Dmitry Shachnev
> On 2/28/13, Tim <tim at> wrote:
>> Hi,
>>   Finally after about 2 years Mozilla are releasing a version of the
>> standalone spidermonkey engine. This release is based off the engine from
>> Firefox 17esr. It has taken quite a long time to get to this stage, and I
>> was hoping it would happen earlier in the cycle, but I would still
>> like to get this into raring if at all possible. My motivation for this is
>> the great improvements it brings to gnome-shell.
>> This release fixes a number of high impact issues including greater
>> performance, greatly reduces memory leaks, and finally solves the long
>> standing and quite common issue with Garbage Collection deadlocks. I ported
>> gjs to this engine a few months ago and while it hasnt landed
>> upstream yet, the plan for 3.8 is to branch gjs and release 2 versions of
>> gjs, one for each engine.  This new gjs is API compatible with 3.6,
>> and in fact works great with gnome-shell 3.6, so essentially it would be
>> great to bring these improvements into raring.
>> There are big API/ABI breaks in this release compared to previous 185
>> release. Currently none of the other rdepends have been ported as far as I
>> know, and its probably not realistic to get all of them ported this cycle.
>> Mostly the porting is easy enough, however it does result in quite
>> large diff's so would really want to be done upstream, as it would probably
>> be a nightmare to maintain these as Distro patches. Add to this
>> CouchDB is fundamentally incompatible with this new release, due to their
>> use of illegal javascript syntax (in 185 enforcement of this was
>> optional) as a core feature of their user scripts.
>> Given the above, replacing/upgrading the old package is simply not going to
>> be feasible this cycle. I propose adding this new engine as an
>> additional library, I discussed this on IRC a bit with seb128 and
>> chriscoulson, however they were unsure about whether this is something that
>> could want to go ahead and suggested that I raise it here for more
>> widespread discussion. Main issues raised were overall its a low priority
>> but
>> also some security concerns.
>> Hopefully now with all the patches on their way into the upstream mozilla
>> code-base, future releases will be more regular, they will be tracking
>> the firefox esr releases. Although not really guaranteed just yet, it is
>> planned for some  point releases over the life of each version.
>> Probably issues with overlapping versions will continue to be a problem
>> until the JS C API settles down, next release 24 will again break all
>> rdepends.
>> - Tim
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