Building mozilla-central/Minefield on 64-bit Windows 7

Let me start off by saying that I didn’t actually start or finish this build.  Maybe I’ll do it sometime on my own time, but during work, it would be too much effort to try to do this build.  I was doing research to try and solve my problem already and I figure I would share what I found with the world.  There’s not much documentation out there for this build so I’m hoping this can eventually help someone else.

To begin, there’s no straight forward linear build for the Windows 7.  Well, the Simple Firefox Build on the Mozilla Developer Centre Wiki provides you with simple enough instructions but the builds for Linux and Mac OSX are way easier.  This is mostly due to Windows not being the ideal development platform.  Anyway following the steps provided in the build instructions, you would end up on the Windows SDK Versions page.  There’s a warning on this page for 64-bit users and it states:

Note that if you’re running a 64 bit version of Windows you may require the “AMD” version of the SDK even if you have an Intel processor, and you may need to deselect the documentation component in the installer in order to avoid an installation error. (This was certainly the case for 64 bit Windows 7 on a late 2008 MacBook Pro.)

That confused me a little, as I couldn’t find the AMD version of the SDK.  I tried installing the regular SDK and it installed without a hitch.  I figured that if there was a OS-bit problem that there would be an error thrown.  Then, the build started and finished.  No problems.  Later, testing the build showed me there were problems.  It didn’t build properly and feedback told me that the build was actually 32-bit.  So, here starts the 64-bit research and the reason I created this blog.

Googling my problem, one of the first links that catch my eye is in the mozilla.dev.build google group.  It’s about build on 64-bit Windows 7 SP2 started by Armen Zambranio Gasparnian, whom I actually recognized was from Seneca’s Open Source Development course (like myself).  First thought was Awesome! Reading on though, I realized he had trouble building it.  Not only that, but his platform is completely different from mine and far more cutting edge.  He’s working with Microsoft Server 2008 along with Visual Studio 2010.  I close the window, for now and move on.

Later, I’m relayed a message originating from Ted Mielczarek, a platform engineer from Mozilla Corp.  The message concerned going back to Armen’s blog for a second look.  I looked through better and found his older blog post.  While the post has mainly to do with the aforementioned platform (MS2008 and VS2010), a comment at the bottom caught my eye concerning WinXP 64-bit building.  The comment mentions involving having to install unofficial patches from this site, which I fail to mention that I’ve seen before through my googling.

Finding this information, I talk to Dave.  Through his info from Ted, along with what I found out, it was decided that the process would take too long and was not really needed (as the 32-bit version of Minefield worked just as well on a 64-bit Windows 7).  So the build was scrapped, but I’ll look into it again if I ever get some free time at work.

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