Mozilla is considering dropping Firefox support for Apple's Mac OS 10.3, the three-and-a-half-year-old operating system also known as Panther, so that it can concentrate on creating a product that works well with the forthcoming Mac OS Leopard.

In a thread on the mozilla.dev.planning forum and a proposal posted to Google Docs, Mozilla developers argued whether Firefox 3.0 should run under Panther.

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"I'd like to propose that we drop support for Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) on the Mozilla trunk," said Josh Aas, Mozilla's resident Mac OS X developer. "I believe doing so will result in a significantly higher-quality release of Gecko 1.9 [Firefox 3.0] for the vast majority of users on Mac OS X."

Aas cited finite development and testing resources, as well as the upcoming release of Mac OS 10.5, aka Leopard, this October as reasons for backing away from Panther. "Dropping support for Panther would also free up engineering resources," he said. "We are already running short on time to deliver a product that works well on Tiger and Leopard.

"There is already a backlog of tricky Panther-only regressions, bugs and performance issues in areas ranging from widgets to fonts and gfx/Cairo that I suspect will consume at least a few weeks of development time," said Aas.