Fennec Windows Mobile Pre-Alpha Problems

When we released the Fennec pre-Alpha for Windows Mobile, we hoped it would help us find bugs that didn’t show up on our test devices. We knew there would be problems lurking around so we wanted to get a preview version into the hands of more testers. The good news is we found a showstopper! The bad news is the browser is basically useless for many people.

The Short Version

We are digging into the problem and have been able to reproduce it internally. It’s obviously a top priority and we will get a new version released as soon as we get a fix in place.

The Long Version

When Fennec loads, many people are left looking at the background checkerboard pattern. This appears to be memory related. Windows Mobile has some exciting restrictions around memory use. There are ways to get around the restrictions and that’s what we are working on. When we figure out the true cause and get a solution in place, we’ll be sure to blog the details.

Follow the bug to monitor our progress. We hope to have a new version out soon and you can help us find more of the other bugs.

Oh, one other issue that has come up a few times: Fennec for Windows Mobile is currently targeting ARMv6. So older ARMv5 devices won’t work in this release. We are working on that too.

Thanks for your patience and thanks for testing.


  1. Tomer said,

    February 15, 2009 @ 9:01 am

    Please help me stop using Pocket Internet Explorer (IE4-based) on my PDA. I can’t run Fennec there, and Minimo is horrible. Opera Mobile is good, but still not free/open.

  2. hey said,

    February 18, 2009 @ 11:31 am

    “Opera Mobile is good, but still not free/open.”

    Actually, Opera Mobile 9.5 is free of charge (and follows open standards).

  3. girliemac said,

    February 18, 2009 @ 8:11 pm

    Cool. I can’t wait to see it working!
    Next time I find something not working right, I will file bugzilla tickets!

    Btw, do you guys have any plan to support devices with QVGA (or anything smaller than VGA) screen? There aren’t many devices with big screens out there now (yet)…

  4. blogger » Blog Archive » Early Mozilla mobile browser has ’showstopper’ flaw said,

    March 14, 2009 @ 7:26 pm

    […] the browser is basically useless for many people," Mark Finkle, a Fennec developer, wrote in a blog post describing the […]

  5. Mark Finkle’s Weblog » Fennec Windows Mobile - Update said,

    March 16, 2009 @ 10:09 am

    […] previously reported that we found a memory-related problem in the Fennec Windows Mobile pre-alpha release. Bug 477956 […]

  6. wes said,

    March 16, 2009 @ 10:54 am

    Any word on the NON-touchscreen front ???

  7. Memory Dragon Slane at Brad’s Blog said,

    March 23, 2009 @ 10:52 pm

    […] so) for what became known as the “checkerboard” issue. Mark Finkle blogged about the problem and the solution before. Tonight I pushed the fix to mozilla-central, here are some […]

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