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The Future of Pale Moon

Pale Moon is a web browser that you find recommended fairly often here on Ghacks, especially in the comment section as an alternative to Mozilla Firefox.

The browser is a fork of on an old code base of Firefox ESR but heavily modified. One of the main appeals of the web browser is that its developers refused to integrate changes to the browser that take away functionality from it.

This can be something as mundane as a browser setting in the preference or the refusal to drop support for full themes or implement the not-so-new Australis interface.

A recent discussion on the official Pale Moon forum indicates that the team considers to create a new browser product that they plan to develop alongside Pale Moon for the time being until it is stable enough to replace the aging browser.

pale moon 25

The main idea here is to use a newer version of Firefox’s code base for that (Pale Moon’s core code base is Firefox 24) but without sacrificing the user interface or the majority of features that make Pale Moon different from Firefox.

The step would resolve several issues the team is facing mid- to long-term not only compatibility wise with new web technologies but also with Mozilla planning to integrate major changes to Firefox (multi-process, WebExtensions, Servo).

On the plus side of things, Pale Moon would improve in regards to Web compatibility and be in a position where adopting changes from Mozilla code would be less problematic than it currently is.

The team would pick a code base that would support all the features Pale Moon should retain including support for XPCOM and XUL, complete theme support and Sync 1.1 support among others. This would set it apart from future versions of Firefox which won’t support these among others.

So, I’ve been looking closely at what would be a way forward, and the idea has come up to make a new browser product, re-forking from a later point in the Mozilla source tree to tackle the missed marks, compiler compatibility, and to some extent the complications in the Mozilla code. This re-forking would be done on the last stable version of Mozilla code that hasn’t had a sledgehammer put to it yet and that offers the features and capabilities we as a project would still want (i.e.: Sync 1.1, XPCOM binary components in extensions, XUL, XBL, complete theme support, etc.).

While the Pale Moon team seems to favor the new browser product currently, more help developing the browser would be another option that would help them make the necessary changes to the current code base instead.

User input on the challenges that lie ahead is wanted and if you are a Pale Moon user currently or interested in the project, now is a good time to voice your opinion on the official forum or by messaging the developers directly.

Now You: What’s your take on Pale Moon and the proposed idea?

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The post The Future of Pale Moon appeared first on gHacks Technology News.


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