October 16, 2010

What your distro can do for you that upstream cannot

Some time ago a user on Gentoo Forums has pointed out that gecko-mediaplayer plugin does not load in www-client/chromium. It turns out there is a compatibility issue that leads to a browser hang, so upstream just blacklisted the plugin (based on file name). The browser has a hardcoded list of plugins that it will not load at all.

The good part is that the hang only occurs when gecko-mediaplayer is compiled with USE="gnome". With -gnome it doesn't hang the browser. But how can the upstream know? The file name is the same in both cases.

Well, in Gentoo the package manager does know which USE flags were used to compile any package. I decided to add a gecko-mediaplayer USE flag to www-client/chromium. When enabled (that's the default setting), it will make sure gecko-mediaplayer is compiled with -gnome (if installed), and remove it from the hardcoded blacklist.

Moreover, if you're a GNOME user or just happen to have gnome in USE, you can disable the flag just for one package by using /etc/portage/package.use. Or you can choose to compile gecko-mediaplayer with whatever USE flags you want, and disable support for it in www-client/chromium to avoid the blocking dependency.

USE="gecko-mediaplayer" is available for >=www-client/chromium-7.0.544.0-r1. It is hard masked for now, but sooner or later will become stable. Please help with testing, and enjoy your www-client/chromium!

October 10, 2010

Try www-client/chromium-bin

If you'd rather not compile www-client/chromium (it takes some time, even on a powerful machine), give www-client/chromium-bin a try.

Now all versions in the tree are compiled on a Gentoo development machine, and synchronized with www-client/chromium releases. Special thanks go here to the Gentoo Infrastructure team for providing the machine for Chromium in Gentoo project.

The -bin version of the package is not stabilized yet, but I plan to start the process soon. Some testing before that happens would be appreciated. Please report all issues to the Gentoo Bugzilla.

October 4, 2010

www-client/chromium-7.0.536.2 now with system-sqlite support!

The latest dev channel release of www-client/chromium (hard masked) has optional support for building with the system sqlite package instead of the bundled copy.

We all prefer the system copies of course, so please help testing this new feature. All you have to do is to enable system-sqlite USE flag and recompile chromium.

Please note you might hit some issues with browser features that use sqlite. They may disappear after starting with a clean profile (~/.config/chromium). Remember to back up the old profile, and please report any issues to the Gentoo Bugzilla.

Enjoy your latest www-client/chromium!