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.
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?
When Mozilla went another way (wrong way) … Pale Moon went the right way that Mozilla was originally suppose to take.
Pale Moon however features a horrible UI where the icon sets etc. look classic instead of modern (post-2010s look).
I actually like the Pale Moon UI over the “modern” look.
So do I.
Same here…totally prefer the Pale Moon UI!
You can easily avoid, or rather repair the Australis horror on Firefox with the ‘Classic Theme Restorer’ well (so well)-know add-on. But the skin is not the most important, is it?
Concerning Pale Moon, it is certainly most interesting to read in-extenso Moonchild’s commentary (linked above with ‘A recent discussion’). It’s not only about Pale Moon, it’s before all about “standards” dictated by the aim of profit rather than by the quest of a neutral and healthy Web. Profit is great but shouldn’t lead the race when it comes to standards.
I’ve been a Pale Moon user and if I returned to Firefox it was due to the easiness of a browser sticking, anticipating those “standards”, which brings the smile of a golden jail, chosen rather than the required struggle to participate to that fabulous adventure called ‘Pale Moon’. In other words don’t count on me to applause at that project’s difficulties : I admire Moonchild and the staff, its users, especially those who contribute as they can to the development of their browser by participating intensively in its forums.
A problem is not a defeat so for those who feel happy about a conjecture I’d advise to be and fair and smart : Pale Moon is maneuvering by anticipating the mi-long term inertia of present and future “standards”, this in itself proves if necessary the responsibility and perspective of the project. I believe the honesty and skill of Pale Moon will keep it on board and move towards a bright new future.
Best to you, Pale Moon, do it!
The Pale Moon GUI is perfect “right out of the box”!
With other browsers, I have to fiddle endlessly to get even a remotely reasonable appearance. Please keep up the good work and add more useful features.
I agree the UI is a bit uglier than what it was before v26 of Pale Moon, but with those AWESOME themes by Lootyhoof, I’m loving it even more! You check some of them out, here: https://addons.palemoon.org/themes/complete/.
I love Pale Moon, but as time goes on, more and more websites won’t work with it. That has put me in the awkward position of having to rely on two main browsers, both derived from Firefox (I don’t like Chrome or IE): Pale Moon and Cyberfox. When one doesn’t work, I turn to the other; occasionally but rarely, neither will work, in which case I resort to Internet Explorer out of necessity. I miss the days before Chrome arrived when I could rely upon Firefox as my only browser. Mozilla’s decisions over the course of the past few years has steadily but surely put an end to that.
They had their chance and lost it.
A new browser for Palemoon?
New browsers are a dime a dozen.
Does Cyberfox OR Waterfox
have a browser version
that will work in INTEL (x86),
in Ubuntu Linux 12.04 ==> 32 BITS?
seem to only have Linux 64 bit versions…
Will all my Firefox addons
work in Cyberfox?
Q1: Waterfox has no Linux version. Cyberfox has one, though only 64 bit.
Q2: Most likely yes. Cyberfox and Waterfox are only minor rebuilds of Firefox so everything should work fine.
This is because Firefox is now based on CHROM(IUM)E or whatever the code-base is called.
Google WITHDREW SUPPORT FOR 32-BIT LINUX from Chrom(ium)e, I believe. Hence why you’re finding no builds for 32-bit Linux in its derivatives (it’s not possible). Obviously, 64-bit-only by DESIGN is the goal with some of these or all of these, but there you go.
I’m in the same position of having some lower-RAM PCs that prefer 32-bit. Nice… :-(
Internet Explorer and Netscape were the two browsers I used when I first began using the Internet, then I found FireFox and began using it, which, in my opinion was the best of the two previous bowsers I’d started out with; but over the years and the many upgrades, FoxFire became a frustration for me and about that time I learned of Pale Moon and when I discovered it, I migrated to it and have been very pleased and satisfied so never looked back, however, with this latest upgrade I find that it’s opening everything into new tabs, especially when I’m trying to view videos on youtube. Before I upgraded to the latest version of Pale Moon, whenever I decided I didn’t want to continue watching a particular video I’s simply click on another one and it would open in the same tab while closing the video I had been watching, but NOW, when I click on a different video that I want to launch, it opens in a completely new tab and the previous video continues to run in its tab. I clicked on several different videos just to see what would happen and to my dismay, every video opened into a new tab and ALL of them were playing their respective videos at the same time! What a mess, and I don’t know how to remedy this situation-been trying to find the answer for past two days. I absolutely HATE Internet Explorer but FireFox, which I do like, but not as much as Pale Moon, has become increasingly un-user friendly and difficult to use. I’m too old to keep on re-learning how to use FireFox. So I will continue seeking a way to stop the madness of numerous videos playing simultaneously if I don’t shut the first one down before choosing another video to watch.
Have a good day ALL and Happy Labor Day as well.
Your post is dated March of 2016. I am posting October 2016. It is frustating that as of Oct 2016 many websites do not work with this browser. I am giving serious thought to going to Chrome. Such a pity, because I have to go with something that may be consistant, but which I consider spyware. I seriously hope you guys work this shit out or I will drop you like I did Mozilla. It get’s old after awhile.
I get the impression that Pale Moon is put together by people with a small amount of technical ability and time (and taste). While everything on this page is good news, I’m not interested.
If you want to know the future of Pale Moon, look at the past. I predict the next version will be poorly maintained and left to lag behind other browsers, just like before. Instead of being compatible with existing sites (via the useragent) and extensions (via parsing of install.rdf), the guy in charge will most likely demand everyone explicitly add Pale Moon support, just like he has before. I don’t like this guy’s attitude or his part-time work.
If Waterfox keeps XPCOM and XUL, I might head there. At least that team knows what they’re doing.
I started working with the Firefox code base beginning with release 2.x, and the one thing I can say about Australis is that its code is a helluva lot cleaner than the spaghetti that preceded it (which, naturally, happens over time). Few may like the stupid-looking curvy tabs (which look a lot better upside-down and under the nav-bar), and some may want to move newly unmovable buttons elsewhere; but every such change is easy to “fix” with or without an add-on. I’m using Fx45 in testing at the moment, and it looks pretty much like Fx28 did for me (except for that godawful appmenu button being gone). The Customize feature is as good as it gets (except for some really nice options being gone: Add-ons toolbar, spacers, etc. [and I would say “small icons” except you can easily get those by using another toolbar than the nav-bar for buttons, which I do–not that you can’t use the nav-bar for them, but not quite as easily]). So, a new derivative of Pale Moon and newer Firefox with those missing features added back into the mix would be welcomed. The key, though, is to support all of those “old” (XUL/XPCOM essential) Firefox extensions that so many long-time users have relied on (esp. for those devs who decided to stop updating their extensions due to Mozilla’s plans to drop support). Well, it should be interesting.
I do install and give Pale Moon a fresh spin every now and then but can never stick with it for more than a few days due to various annoyances. Hopefully, they’ll eventually find their true path and will stick to it. In the interim, it’s highly likely that I’ll be giving it more trials in the future, but whether or not it becomes a keeper remains to be seen. All the best to the Pale Moon developers…
Interesting news – but is anyone really surprised? Pale Moon is a mini-project (almost a side project) whose 1 or 2 developers could not possibly continue to deliver a browser stuck on Firefox v. 24 while Firefox itself moved into new and exciting directions. The code base would inevitably move apart and the Pale Moon project would have to come to an end.
So really, there is no surprise here. The developers are doing the only thing they can do, which is to accept a newer code base; and with it, some change. It still won’t make me use their browser (the new or old one). Web browsers are the weakeast security link on the computer. They are on the front line, directly exposed to all the malware and hackers that litter the internet. I can’t see myself using a browser that doesn’t have a dedicated security team to promptly patch all the security holes that are discovered. Nor can I use a browser that doesn’t support all the useful security add-ons that you can get in vanilla Firefox.
New and exciting directions? I hardly would call a product that way if the only thing they do is sacrifice features and own creations to attract Chrome users. Mozilla is moving anywhere, but not into new and exciting directions. Perhaps into new and exciting Chrome clone directions.
Google would be proud, if they still would care about them :D
I see no future in such projects, because lack of interest from the mass. He blow up the extensions for no reasons and there is simply no security benefit to block them in general especially now if he got signing. The normal Mozilla Browser is also not more or less secure/insecure, I highly doubt that, because a lot of more developers and maintainer are here in this project as compared to the Palemoon project. I like forks but mostly it ends up that there is simply not much interest. The ideas are also a little bit stupid, changing the engine and such, for what I not understand this, especially because most Websites and CMS are optimized for Chrome/IE/Firefox.
Drive-by is still more dangerous as some browser exploits because the Browser stuff gets fixed but how do you fix human related problems, impossible or only if he/she is interested in security or get the news how to protect.
We better should concentrate on ONE Browser which fits for all and add everything as opt-in/opt-out so everyone could customize it how he/she wants it.
Don’t get me wrong but I see it almost daily, a lot of ‘wannabes’ but after 1 or 2 years … they disappear as fast as they grow up after people realizing that there is not really a benefit except you get other troubles with e.g. mentioned extension/websites …
I did like Pale Moon a great deal until my extensions started not working, and the hassle of tracking down workarounds, when possible to do so. Tried Cyberfox 64 and have been happy with it ever since. I like the idea of the browser but killing extensions made it a “why bother?” proposition.
Read the post linked. Looked like a couple guys can’t really maintain a browser. When they standardized around Firefox 24 I knew it was only a matter of time.
I’m /glad/ to see that our user base is not the only group missing the point here. I won’t rehash my posts here as I feel they are quite complete and should be cited more here.
Though I must ask the author of this article to please better clarify that is only a possibility here a concept at this point and that community contributions (not monetary ones because I am sure some would assume that) to the development effort for the project would negate the reason to consider this as a possibility. We at this point do not favor either option strongly due to it’s only theoretical nature only citing the potential this could have.
As for factual errors in this article Pale Moon’s codebase ceased being Firefox 24 some 3 years ago. Pale Moon’s historical common ancestor with Mozilla Firefox would be Gecko 24 (specifically the ESR24 branch). Mozilla’s future technologies being Servo, WebExtensions, and e10s has zero barring on Pale Moon so that is irrelevant to this post.
Still, Pale Moon remains a community driven project and what you get is directly affected by what the community wants and how much the community contributes. I would also request that everyone here please carefully read the posts by Moonchild, Travis, and my self in that thread before jumping to conclusions.
I’m sorry but you’ve still got it all wrong. We are a fork of Mozilla, not “based on an old code base of Firefox and heavily modified”. That we have a common ancestor says absolutely nothing about our current state of our code. I’d appreciate it if you actually do your homework before making such articles as this.
Also, the future of Pale Moon and what is quoted here is based on a post and discussion where we toss up the IDEA of re-forking, to get some feedback from our community as a community-driven project; nothing has been decided in any way, shape or form in that respect, we’re looking for healthy discussion in that thread and to get some constructive feedback on this potential idea to move forward independently.
Thanks for understanding.
PM is a GREAT browser and articles like this one only hurt it for no reason. More people should try it and realize that Firefox has strayed so far from its original vision that’s it’s become “Sugar Free Chrome” which is sad. Is it perfect? Of course not, but at least it doesn’t have bullshit built in “chat” apps and crap like that.
@Moonchild, in the WebExtensions article here some guy tries to argue with me whether Pale Moon is just the same type of fork Cyberfox is. Could you please clear that one up?
@Appster: I read your comments on that article. Yeah I would just leave the guy alone as he doesn’t want to take the time to get his facts straight, calm down and add some real constructive feedback.
Oh @Appster and @Lestat: Please don’t try to sell Pale Moon, they don’t care and trust me I’ve learned that the hard way, even if my/our intentions were only to recommend and help out a specific user by giving them insight about the Pale Moon Project.
And besides it’s spring break already, go enjoy your day with your family or friends and how about just taking a walk on this nice sunny day. :)
Well, i do not use Pale Moon. I just do not like it that others show agains Pale Moon only dislike and pure hate.
Right now Pale Moon has too less recent standard and draft support for me to use it. If you ever get anywhere with re-forking the browser and offer more support for stuff like that, i will try out.
@Lestat, your hatred is not pure, not pure enough when you consider — if all conditions are met — the possibility of “trying it out”, Pale Moon that is :)
I’m not sure the Pale Moon team will take your requirements in consideration, spend hundreds of hours to fulfill your imperatives.
Uh… my hate? I am not the one who is flaming against Pale Moon. I just wrote what my requirements are. That’s support of most actual used standard entries of ECMAScript 6 and a working Promises implementation. These 2 topics are also a part of Moonchild’s board post in which he wrote himself that these are issues in Pale Moon right now. I have defended Pale Moon enough times in comments of mine in the past, even if not using the browser. So….
You are talking to the wrong guy, please try again!
@Lestat, Terribly sorry, my mistake. I was doing three things at a time, watching TV evoking Nietzsche, writing a letter and reading too quickly and incorrectly your comment where I totally reversed your words. I need to improve my English as well and whatever, take my time. Sorry for that. I corrected my understanding of your thought.
No worries, sometimes my way of thinking even is too much for myself :D
Lestat, your comment was perfectly understandable, unequivocal.
Off-topic, a word now that I have more time. If sincerity is said to be that of a child and of a drunker I wonder if it not as well corollary to haste (haste, not hatred when I recently mixed up these English words). When in a hurry are we not predisposed to interpret a thought accordingly to what we have more or less consciously in mind? This could explain as well why I’ve mistaken to read correctly your words when I was totally immersed in a protest against hatred, different sources within the same day and from different horizons seeming to have declared a partnership to make of the idea an emotion anchored in my thoughts. The emotion then had its word before my mind and led me to the paradox of protesting against what was itself a protest against hatred :)
Hating hatred is a true paradox.
> “That we have a common ancestor says absolutely nothing about our current state of our code.”
I’m confused: if the engine fork happened some time ago and was based on the not-cutting-edge Extended Support Release (ESR) version of Firefox, how is the description “old code base of Firefox and heavily modified” incorrect? It seems that just calling it a simple “fork” isn’t the whole story.
Pale Moon to me is excellent and does what i want to do in the way i want to do it. It is functional. It has not gone down the path of form before function and i hope it stays this way.
Keep up the good work Moonchild, it’s very much appreciated by myself and i dare say many others.
MoonChild, Matt A. Tobin, and others work very hard on Pale Moon. They aren’t making money, they don’t get paid, and yet they are making a product that is appealing enough that half a million people are regular users of it.
Chrome was a very different thing from Firefox, and not for everyone. Firefox abandoned a lot of us to chase Chrome (And to add in ads, because obviously ads are going to go over great with people who adopted the thing in the first place because it was the first browser to have an ad-block extension). If you don’t have Apple, you aren’t using Safari. And I don’t think I need to explain why some people don’t want to use Internet Explorer/Edge as their everyday browser.
Professional UI experts for major browsers decided that didn’t want a freaking file menu or a stop button or whatever. Then they decided to limit customization so you can’t have that even if you want it. There is nothing inherently broken or outdated in a technology about the Netscape Navigator UI from 1998 (Which is not what Pale Moon has by default, but something you can make it do with the right add-ons and customizations), it just needs a modern web browser with a modern web engine, modern security, modern speed, tabs, add-ons like ad-blocks, and so on and so forth. It’s not like the Tools menu is a drive-by malware risk or the Help menu will eat your baby. Pale Moon gives people a chance to have their browser, their way- the modern underpinnings, with a customizable surface.
And people whine that Mozilla stopped doing that and Firefox went down the tubes, and they’re right, but then they don’t get behind the only project worthwhile that’s trying to make an alternative, the way Firefox should have been and never was, what it’d be like today had it continued to develop in the right way. Pale Moon is trying to be that.
The reason Pale Moon struggles with that sometimes, beyond the fact that sites ignore standards and won’t treat smaller browsers correctly if they don’t give a hi “Hi, I’m Chrome!” user-agent string and then render exactly like Chrome, is that there are not enough people working on Pale Moon.
I wish I could code, because if I could, I would volunteer some time and help out this project. I know we’ve got some coders here, and some of you probably see some value in the type of thing Pale Moon aims to be. You’re probably complaining that Firefox isn’t that, or isn’t that anymore. So why don’t you do something constructive and offer MoonChild your help with coding instead of running down his life’s work?
I mean, he’s been begging and pleading for someone to lend him help on the Android port for what seems like a year now. No one who can code for Android has any interest in developing Pale Moon for Android?
And if you can code and have an interest in the desktop platform, you can make this browser more compatible with the modern web. Even in the thread this article is based on itself, they mention they desperately want more coders.
I mean open-source is supposed to be community stuff, and it’s all just corporate vampires at the higher levels. Pale Moon is an independent project that does something that people want.
I think it would help if a major Linux distribution stopped supporting corporate-owned profit-drive stuff like Firefox, and made Pale Moon their default browser, and started contributing patches and code, and exposed it more to their users who’d increase numbers and maybe volunteer themselves. But, no, they’d rather stick with a for-profit corporation- and then half their users just install Chromium anyway, which is even worse than Firefox…
I don’t know, it’s your life. It’s your web. But this is a good project. If you know how to help, please do. They could use you. If you don’t think it’s very good, but see some value in the concept, help make it better.
Here! Here! I agree wholeheartedly!! Palemoon is smooth, fast, has what I want and is customizable enough. A great project with a product that just lets me relax and enjoy the web and what I do in it. I also wish I knew enough to help the project but sadly I dont have the skills.
Pale Moon is a cracking browser that is fast, stable and configurable, and every power user should at least take a serious look at it. I moved from FireFox last year, run it with around 80 extensions, and have experienced zero problems. Furthermore Pale Moon is lead by a team who act with integrity and adhere to the best principles of open source software. I’m sure it has a bright future ahead, whichever future direction is taken.
I globally agree and no doubt about the team’s integrity, not to mention talent (NO, they are not boy-scouts playing in a garage). Concerning those 80 add-ons, no idea which ones you had and, among them those that would still run with Pale Moon. I know Pale Moon has developed its own add-ons’ library, also that several add-on developers propose a Pale Moon tailored version of their work, which is really nice, yet remain many which won’t run on Pale Moon. This participated to my decision to revert to Firefox, like some other users. I’m not complaining nor “devaluating” Pale Moon’s worth, only emphasizing on this major condition for many users. Now, for those who run no or very few add-ons I’d advise Pale Moon with NO hesitation.
P.S. : 65 Firefox add-ons at this time.
It’s worth knowing that Pale Moon might not be compatible with the latest version of a FireFox extension, because it’s author may have made changes to maintain compatibility with FireFox. Pale Moon isn’t FireFox, so such changes won’t work in Pale Moon – but earlier versions continue to perform perfectly and securely.
My 80 extensions also include a few substitutes with equivalent functionality for some FireFox extensions that used totally incompatible technology. Either way, it didn’t take a huge amount of work to get Pale Moon working the way I wanted it, and there’s nothing about FireFox that I miss – though I regret the path it’s taken.
The FAQ at https://forum.palemoon.org/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=8740 provides more information, and there’s a useful guide to extension compatibility at https://addons.palemoon.org/resources/incompatible/
Also worth being mentioned IMO that some add-ons (not all!), even though they mention a minimum version compatibility requirement sometimes will run on previous versions, making them suitable for Pale Moon by either editing the add-on’s install.rdf either setting in about:config extensions.checkCompatibility.45.0 to false (45 now for latest Firefox -> Pale Moon’s compatibility version).
One thing is sure, it’s almost always possible to get things the way we want once we’re led by a choice motivated by reasons we hold to and followed by determination. I’m saying this because, depending on how Firefox will advance I may, sooner or later, operate another choice for my default browser in which case it would be Pale Moon. Nothing is static, eternal. Who knows, maybe Pale Moon 64-BIT on Ubuntu one of these days. I don’t make mine the maxim “if it works don’t touch it” because better is impossible with such a state of mind.
PALEMOON has some incompatibilities because has some hogs stripped down. FEBE works, so you can find the working plugins for one time only, then aggregate them with FEBE as an XPI backup.
As a mature-getting older netizen I learned ONE rule: Avoid commercial buzzwords as latest-greatest, evolution and so on… So, I have old Firefox installs by Mozilla and FEBE packs (.xpi) than eventually add the compatible addons needed.
Then I did a similar work with Opera, NOW I hope I haven’t to do the same with PALEMOON: The best browser that acts as abrowser and not as an assistant for less-than-normal brains in fornt of a keyboard.
By the way, on a lark, I downloaded the Windows Firefox. The “Classic Theme Restorer” doesn’t even give you a way to detach the back button and put it behind a forward arrow, a space, a reload icon, and a home icon, and then have the URL bar. Firefox has welded their back arrow to their URL bar. Screw Firefox and their Chrome wannabe BS. They’re decent on Android as a way to get an ad-blocker into a browser instead of using Chrome for Android. But they really have told people who want a traditional desktop UI on desktop, or really even a futuristic, or any UI at all that isn’t a bad copy of Google Chrome, to go take a hike. And many of us have taken a hike to Pale Moon. And then their people make disparaging remarks about Pale Moon. How about not screwing up your browser for fun and profit and restoring control to the users, Mozilla? Otherwise, people are going to do what open source allows them to do and fork it to retake control.
Like I said, I think Pale Moon is the way to go. It just needs more support from coders and the coding community.
I don’t encounter the buttons” highly problematic issues you describe with ‘Classic Theme Restorer’. The add-on, originally planned to counter the Australis layout went since further on, but expecting it to perform more than more is ambitious. Even with Pale Moon a css here and there allows a user to tailor the GUI to fulfill his look preferences.
Beyond your comment, CharmCityCrab, I’m surprised to read many sectarian descriptions of their browser choice, as if it was impossible to like and describe why we like our default browser without putting down other browsers, mainly here with the debate Firefox – Pale Moon, when I was about to write “verses”.
Two browsers, and all the others have their specificity. I’m sure engineers from Pale Moon, Mozilla, Chrome, IE, Safari etc, when they meet, don’t consider their dialogs on a boxing ring. Why make it an emotional narration? Let’s share and compare, why, often too often yet not always fortunately, so much aggressiveness? It won’t make our beloved browser any better!
First, I want to apologize to the maintainers and fans of the “Classic Theme Restorer” add-on for Firefox if anything I said could be interpreted as being hostile to their add-on. Actually, given the goal and the functionality of the add-on, I imagine the people who maintain and use it are fairly close to me in terms of what they want from their web browser in terms of a user interface.
*However* the add-on does not get Firefox back to a UI I consider good. It gets it closer than than the default unmodified Firefox, but it is not where I want it to be. This is, as you mentioned, likely not the fault of the add-on people, but a fault of the Firefox browser itself and it’s corporate Mozilla overlords. Mozilla and Firefox are not only leaving behind the traditional interfaces that people like, but they are backing it harder and harder for third-party themes, extensions, and add-ons to restore the eliminated elements that people like and to get rid of the newer elements they don’t.
I was surprised to see this, I suppose, because it has been several years since I had used Firefox for Windows. I’d been using it as a browser for a long time, but ran into an issue where almost every single update would have one or more unwanted changes that I would have to alter- through add-ons, themes, options, and, very often, about:config edits that I wasn’t really comfortable making because I’m not that technical of a user, and would have to research on a search engine to find out how to do. When I had some issue where I had to start with a fresh Firefox profile (I can’t remember whether it was a new PC, a new harddrive, a broken Firefox profile, a Windows upgrade or reinstall, or what, but I’d lost the profile I had and would have been working for scratch), I had a lot of things I had to do that didn’t relate to Firefox, and estimated it’d take 7 hours for me as a non-technical person to get every little thing back to how I wanted it, including the time to research how to make the changes.
At that point, I decided I was fighting a losing battle, and said if Firefox wants to be a buggier more-bloated version of Chrome on an 18 month delay, as much as I hate it, I’ll just use Chrome and save myself the hassle, which is what I did for a while. Then I discovered Pale Moon, and it was the Firefox I used to love, only with modern features, security, speed, web compatibility, and so on and so forth, essentially. I do have to make some changes to Pale Moon to get it working the way I like, but it takes about 15 minutes for me from a fresh install and a fresh profile to have it set up the way I like, which isn’t so bad.
My separation from Firefox actually came a bit before most people who dropped it, dropped it, and as a result, when I saw what it looked like now and even with the Classic Theme Restorer, I was surprised. I don’t know what Australis did or didn’t do beyond what I’ve read, because I’d long since given up on Firefox for Windows by the time they went to that. I was probably one of the early “de-adopters”. I’m not part of the wave that just wanted to reverse the specific UI changes that came with that update, I want to reverse several years of changes beyond that.
I realize that might not be doable with a Firefox add-on no matter how hard the maintainers of them work at it, that’s part of why I don’t use Firefox. I wish they would code for Pale Moon instead, recognizing that trying to get Firefox to have the UI were want is always going to essentially be a rear-guard action- fighting to reverse changes Mozilla is making with each new update. Pretty soon, if they haven’t done so already, Mozilla has said that Firefox won’t even allow complete themes- I think they are going to personas, where the only “theme” is a different color or illustration in the background of the same UI Mozilla will force on all Firefox users. Pale Moon isn’t like that, and so is more friendly to developers.
I remember when a FIrefox update got rid of the “http://” from all URLs automatically and they had to be restored via an about:config thing. Then they started highlighting the domain name and making everything else gray (Except for the parts upright removed). Granted, Pale Moon does the latter too, but it’s one of the few things I’ve had to go into about:config to reverse with Pale Moon.
Mozilla’s vision just isn’t mine. UI is the outward manifestation of that, but there are philosophical things, too, where Mozilla is taking control from the end users, has tried three separate times to integrate ads into the browser itself, and so on and so forth. It’s turned into one of the things that makes me clear steer of modern Apple products- with Apple, Steve Jobs used to tell you what you wanted and that’s what you got. To his credit, he was fairly good at it, and I just didn’t like it in principle. Modern Apple and Google make the same mistake, with much worse execution, because they don’t have his good instincts for what people will like. Mozilla is one step down the line- they do whatever Google does on a delay.
I don’t hate Firefox. Actually, it’s my Android browser of choice, where a lot of the UI differences are non-issues, because they don’t make sense for a phone, and because Chrome for Android won’t give me add-ons, whereas Firefox for Android has add-ons, including my choice of ad-blockers- for now, anyway. I’ll consider moving to Pale Moon for Android if it is actively developed again in the future and goes in a direction I like.
Even Firefox for Android, which is better than their desktop equivalent, still shows signs of the poor management of the Mozilla project in general- which are very evident in the fact that it keeps essentially serving me unwanted pop-ups ads for itself. Every so often, I get a pop-up on their built-in browser home screen telling me to check out their statement of principles or give them feedback, or rate their app, or take their survey, or this, that, or the other, with no way to turn it off. That’s a sign of the rot that infected their desktop browser.
It’s not that I am upset with people who like Firefox better than Pale Moon. If that’s your thing, enjoy, more power to you! However, I am upset with Mozilla for turning into a for-profit corporation and taking my browser away from me, essentially. Sure, it was never really “mine”, but it was my browser of choice. And they made it into something I wouldn’t ever use on desktop. A lot of people feel that way.
Fortunately, it’s open-source, so it’s forkable, and Pale Moon has done a pretty good fork.
If I have any frustration with the user side of the Firefox base (Versus the Mozilla corporation and the decision makers), it’s just that I think some people who hate what Firefox has become are hanging on too long. I mean too long in this sense- Pale Moon needs your support now. They need coders to volunteer to keep it up and make it better. They need users to increase their percentage of Internet users and make it more likely that websites will recognize the browser and keep or restore compatibility with it.
Each time Firefox changes for the worse, people complain loudly, and sort of say “Next time, I’m out of here…”, but they stick with it. And then the next change for the worse, the same people complain loudly, and sort of say “Next time, I’m out of here…”. But, they never actually go.
If you want a Firefox that resembles what the old Firefox would have become if run by people who shared your principles, please support Pale Moon while you can.
I say, “While you can…”, because the project needs people to maintain it and to just use it and grow it’s marketshare, so it doesn’t fall behind and become irrelevant. People who are sitting there thinking it’s a backup for when Mozilla goes belly-up or makes some unspecified future change that for them will be the last straw in theory (But probably won’t be in reality), may find that by the time they switch, it’s too late, and Pale Moon isn’t there because it didn’t get the support it needed now to keep up with the modern web and be a contender.
Come over and help it now if you care, please.
@CharmCityCrab, how could anyone disagree? I think your analysis is correct and, again, I believe there is no “perfect” browser. Maybe as well do required conditions — what must absolutely be integrated or not be — act as a veto when the user chooses a browser.
You write, “it has been several years since I had used Firefox for Windows” and this confirms what you describe perfectly well afterwards, that is a Firefox which, since Australis, is getting bloated more and more and brings new issues together with new functionalities. To make it short : be it a newcomer to Firefox or not if the browser’s odyssey is not followed — tracked — as a comet then the user is bound to be overwhelmed within the 6 weeks release cycle. This is unfortunate and relevant of a company’s policy which is incomprehensible by many users. Let it be said nevertheless that a Google’s Chrome browser also brings its lot of innovations sometimes so deeply nested that Ghacks here is welcomed in identifying them “under the hood”.
Remains ‘Pale Moon’. I agree. Pale Moon is more than a fork, it’s almost become a browser of its own, wonders about being it totally, and can be positioned in the niche of a former Firefox’s core and philosophy with enhanced coding within the limits of certain so-called standards it denies. True.
I have to follow Firefox developments regularly to check every new functionality (every 6 weeks) and every new settings, work-arounds engaged in blocking what remains tied to the browser’s innovations, mainly those concerning privacy (daily basis, almost!).
Yet I remain a Firefox user, but neither because I’d believe it’s the best (I regularly criticize what I dislike) nor because any other browser (Pale Moon as well) would appear to me as unworthy. I guess our choices are often multi-factorial (unless veto conditions), but also unfortunately tied to “what’s in place, installed, what the heck” state of minds.
I’ll never say never. Thanks for your most interesting post.
Great news! I hope all will be the best for Pale Moon!
Pale Moon does use an older variant of Gecko, so the idea of reforking based on a newer version of Gecko sounds like the right way forward.
If you want to use a Gecko-based browser that isn’t Firefox, use K-Meleon or Conkeror.
K-Meleon is Gecko built with a Windows GUI and doesn’t use XUL, which is used by both Firefox and Pale Moon. Conkeror is a keyboard-driven browser (inspired by emacs) and is more for techies.
Both browsers have more Firefox extension-compatibility problems (extensions requiring XUL will not work), but if you’re looking for a barebones browser powered by Gecko, you might want to give them a try. Uses less memory than both Pale Moon and Firefox.
Perhaps only coincidence, but the last 3 BSOD’s on my antique/obsolete/dinosaur XP system all happened when Pale Moon was running, usually as the focus window.
I finally bit the bullet and installed FF 42 and there’s not been a crash since.
I did try some remediation with Pale Moon going all the way back to the 24xx series, which was
the last stable XP release, but the last BSOD happened even with the older (and I thought safer)
You might not be able to reproduce this but it’s worth mentioning as a point of information. It was too bad as it was my prime browser before these problems started in 2015.
Pale Moon is limited with its extensions. I replaced it by Cyberfox, I’ve no problem with Firefox’s extension. Goodbye Pale Moon!
I have Cyberfox installed as sort of a backup browser, but the issue with Cyberfox in the long run is going to be that they don’t really do their own independent development. They just take whatever the latest version of Firefox is, import their standard changes that make Cyberfox Cyberfox, and recompile and rebrand it into the next Cyberfox.
It kind of words for them, but they have limited control over their own future. Without independent development, they kind of have to absorb some major changes Mozilla makes so they can stay compatible enough to absorb the next Firefox update fully. There are some changes that will come where they might want to go a different way, and find they can’t.
Pale Moon has separated out from Firefox and develops independently and charts it’s own course for the future. No matter what Firefox does next to screw itself up, it won’t become part of Pale Moon, because Pale Moon doesn’t base it’s updates on their updates, generally speaking.
Sure, Cyberfox, being essentially almost just a themed version of Firefox rather than a true fork, will have more add-on compatibility, but Firefox is phasing out add-ons in their long-term road map, and so too will Cyberfox, unless Cyberfox makes massive changes to the scope of their project.
Pale Moon is keeping the add-on structure it’s always had, we just need more people to maintain add-ons for Pale Moon. A bigger user base would help entice developers to do that. Also, if more developers would do that, it’d probably have a bigger user base. So, whether you’re a user or a developer, it’d help a lot if you considered adopting Pale Moon.
I also, just as an aside, find that Cyberfox requires a lot more time for me to get it set the way I like it on a fresh install than Pale Moon does.
I’m glad Cyberfox is out there, it’s much better than the “stock” Firefox, but it’s no Pale Moon in my book.
Pale Moon has labeled it’s first bounty based bug on github:
So, if you’re a developer and want to earn a bounty from Github and Pale Moon, there’s your chance. Solve that issue and commit a patch that gets added to the browser, and collect your prize. No long-term commitment required. You don’t even have to make Pale Moon your primary browser.
I am not sure what exactly a bounty gets you- whether it’s a monetary prize or some sort of a points or reputation oriented thing that github does, but the type of folks who might want to this probably already know what it is. :) I just wanted to kind of put out there that this is available for them to do if they want to do something specific to help Pale Moon or earn bounties in general.
MoonChild announced it today in the thread the originally formed the basis for the article here on ghacks that we’re all commenting on. :)
According to the post at https://github.com/MoonchildProductions/Pale-Moon/wiki/Development-Bounty-Program
“A typical bounty will be in the order of $50 to $250 (USD), but may be higher depending on the overall complexity of the issue, complexity of the solution, and importance of the issue to the project.”
I must say I genuinely enjoyed reading the comments, especially ones made by Crab. I can see he was once in love with Firefox and gradually saw that the browser he loved so dearly is no longer and now has to move on, just like me.
I first used Firefox in college. I wouldn’t have even known that’s a browser until my geek buddy showed me addons and demonstrated Nuke Anything on a bloated page. I was dumbstruck and I loved the feeling of power Firefox users had.
This feeling will soon give way to frustration and anger that were brought by Firefox 4. Raising system requirements tenfold meant that there were constant crashes, hangs and memory issues.
I actually stayed with 3.6 version all the way to 2014, constantly working around diminished functionality of sites and services, some of which straight out refused to work (Google Docs) and then finally accepted defeat and switched over to Palemoon.
I’m still in Pale Moon 25.8.1, because the new version uses a lot of RAM.
Unused RAM is wasted money.
My Linux keeps programs in RAM which are used most, based on collected data from my user-behaviour. So if i start Libre Office (e.g.) it doesn’t have to be read from the HDD; it starts from the RAM which is much faster.
I guarantee you have an addon running amok as I’ve not experienced that AT ALL.
I love how the ‘I don’t code, wish I did, but sadly I don’t..’ guys here think it’s then perfectly acceptable to write really long posts here telling people who do code what they should do!
Word up, you may think you have absolved yourselves of all responsibility with that simple ‘get out jail card’, but you haven’t. No one was born knowing how to code, you learn how to do it and if these non-coders feel this project is so utterly worthy and worthwhile, then so should they.
And some coders believe they are gods deserving worship as they contribute to a community’s comfort when in fact their main motivation is their ego together with a deep commitment to the pleasure of coding.
I actually did post to the original Pale Moon forum thread asking which coding language would be the easiest one to learn that would be useful to contribute to the Pale Moon project going forward and if there were any basic resources for people to try to learn it that someone could link to. So, I understand your point.
Having said that, for reasons I won’t reiterate here because you mention not liking long posts, I suspect it’d be beyond me ability to learn to do it. I’d be willing to look into it (That’s part of why I posted the question on the forum), but the fact remains that just like some people will never be able to dunk a basic ball on a 10 foot hoop no matter how hard they try, some people will never learn how to code adequately. A certain degree of innate ability to learn or move in a specific way is required, and then if you have that, through study and hard work, you can move further, but if you don’t, you can’t.
People’s brains work differently and people are intelligent in different areas. Also, some people have more ability to *learn* in certain areas than others, and their ability to do so may decline as they get older.
As far as asking if existing coders might want to consider helping the project out, I’m not telling them what to do. It’s not a demand, it’s a suggestion. People can of course take it or leave it. I’m just asking people to *consider* it. I think it’s a worthy project that could use the support. If people would rather do something else with their time, it’s their time to do something else with- obviously! :) Duh. :) It was just a thought.
And it looks like now the project owner is offering bounties on solving select bugs, so there’s a potential financial reward in it as well as the good feeling of making a good browser better and helping yourself and the community of users that the browser has.
I wouldn’t spend *my* time advocating for a project I have no formal involvement in and derive no revenue or intellectual property from if I didn’t think it was a worthy cause. The big browsers are all run by big corporations that don’t have user interests at heart. They have making money as their bottom line, so to speak. Pale Moon is a browser that, so far, reflects my values and a lot of people’s values, and some people if they gave it some thought might see the value of helping a project like that out instead of turning the web over to the big corporations.
Well you said it @CharmCityCrab! So today I’ve been searching around and found two websites which I think are good enough to start with the basics and then progress from there. Here they are: https://code.org/ and https://www.freecodecamp.com/.
And yes I know the first looks like it’s for kids, but to be honest we all got to start somewhere and it’s been recommended by my fellow colleagues (teachers and tutors).
Have been using Palemoon since Mozilla made the Australis mess.
Starting to spy on me and including ads and dictate how I should
use my browser just does not work with me.
There’s an intruder somewhere but it cannot be Pale Moon. I guess Pale Moon’s forum, excellently handled, could provide help/information.
@Tom Hawack: Help with what? Please specify.
@LimboSlam, I don’t know, ask jm above, he’s the one complaining about spying and ads and it’s to him I was sharing my piece of advice. If you have any idea I’m sure jm would appreciate. Otherwise we can start a game if you want, like repeating for the blind and deaf, but I’m not sure to have the time, if you see what I mean.
Pale Moon has launched their Development Bounty Program.
More choices are always welcome in a browser market that is largely dominated by corporate vampires. Without alternatives like Pale Moon, our only choices would be 1) a browser that lacks customization and rapes your privacy (Chrome), 2) a once-great browser that is now bloated, ad-ridden, and also rapes your privacy (Firefox), or 3) a browser that is a complete clusterf*ck, and of course, rapes your privacy (IE/Edge).
I’ve been watching the Pale Moon project with much interest, and will likely make the switch once Firefox completes their seppuku by killing off XUL/XPCOM. To me, the “outdated” UI is actually preferable to the “modern” (read: dumbed down & locked down) UIs that have become fashionable in the post-Windows 8 world, and is a major selling point for me, because it still has full functionality, and is easily customizable.
I switched from Pale Moon to Waterfox 64 several months back because I couldn’t demonstrate any browser speedup with Pale Moon but Waterfox was noticeably faster. I really haven’t looked back!
While other users say it’s slower, while many users claim that whatever browser is the fastest, the slowest.
Placebo effect put aside, it remains maybe impossible to distinguish a personal experience tied to one’s system’s configuration and a universal, objective assertion. It depends of so many factors. Ar we considering a browser out of the box, are we comparing it with what is comparable (extensions, plug-ins) and so on?
Privacy implications seem to me more suitable for comparisons than speed itself, the latter remaining in the limits of a narrow range.
I prefer using small devices like netbooks for surfing, mailing and maintaining my websites. These little gimmicks consume 11 Watts while a “normal” computer can waste 500 Watts or more.
Pale Moon is my preferred browser, because it’s highly customisable for those little screens. Okay â€“ some sites don’t work playing back videos. So what? Right-click on the link and open with Chrome and the video plays.
As i mentioned above: Unused RAM is a waste of money. My TaskManager tells me Pale Moon uses 370 MB real and 930 MB virtual. So what? I still got 1 GB free memory, even if Thunderbird runs in background. All applications run fluently without any problems. On a netbook. Single Core. 1,6 GHz. 2 GB RAM. HDD with 5300 rpm. Okay â€“ i use Lubuntu as OS. This might explain why my netbook is sometimes outperforming bigger machines by far.
In the past i used Firefox, but FF went into the wrong direction.
Pale Moon supports all of my most needed extensions like FireGestures, NoScript, Translators, some tools for privacy, â€¦ and i can download nearly every Audio/Video from any site using uGet and the FlashGot-extension.
I’m sorry about the fact FireFox went mainstream and didn’t leave a niche for power-users.
Okay. In real life you should have only one god but on your engine you shalt have several browsers. Each for its own purpose. As mentioned above a combination with PM as “main browser” and Chrome (the Google-free edition) for occasional videos works for me pretty well.
Did i mention starting up PM runs faster than FF? Please notice that, too.
Happy easter holidays an kind regards to all
Would you mind talking a bit more about how using FlashGot let’s you DL any video/audio stream?
There is NO WAY i’ll recommend pale moon 26 to anyone, html5test is now 404 instead of 412 of version 25 and the new skin which is cool because has rounded tabs like Opera seems to have some kind of “filter” over it that makes it look not so good, who knows what else got worse? Sorry, avoid this at all costs.
I have been a pale moon user for months and had zero problems with it.Comparing test results with other browsers is futile as pale moon does not have the same code etc.
I have found pale moon to be the best browser for linux and i have tried most of them.
Very best of luck to moonchild and the pale moon team.!
Earlier versions of Pale Moon were very, very good. A lot of websites I go to don’t recognize Pale Moon with the new Goanna engine.
Especially the site where I do my online banking.
Using SeaMonkey browser now. For both Windows and Linux.
Will revisit Pale Moon at a later date.
Good luck to the developers of Pale Moon.
I stopped using firefox because it was just too slow to load 8 extensions and occasionally crashes. I have been using palemoon for several months now and I have to say that it feels like home.
I used to recommend pale moon to everyone. But the endless profile corruption issues and newer addons just got to me last week, after 4 years of using it i gave up. I installed cyberfox and couldn’t be happier.
My speed tests several months ago showed no speed advantage to Pale Moon at all. Testing several Firefox forks I found that Waterfox was the only one who could demonstrate gains from 64-bit architecture. I’ve been really happy with Waterfox ever since the switch.
Please leave it as it is. Never change a running system! All stuff works well and every f***ing update causes more trouble than improvement.
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Pale Moon’s latest update to 27.0 IMO completely trashed it. It bears no resemblance to what it was. Every single add-on I had stopped working. Multi-row tab management disappeared. Session manager crashed. Multiple windows are no longer supported.
Checked that version too. IMHO this version of Pale Moon is terrible. The much earlier versions around the 25.0 numbers were actually quite good. I hope the developer turns back some of the changes.
Actually I think you can open a page in a new window. Anyway, I like the browser, but I’m quite discontented with the team there. The Pale Moon forum appears to have become about as friendly as MozillaZine, which isn’t saying much!
I’d recommend you move to Waterfox, which is a true power user’s fork of Firefox. I moved from Pale Moon a year ago when my tests showed no gain in speed with Pale Moon 64 bit over Firefox 32-bit, but a substantial increase in speed for 64-bit Waterfox. The development team of Waterfox is going where we wish Pale Moon would. All extensions still work!
I have sort of mixed thoughts about it all. As of this moment. Pale Moon is running fine for what I need. But i know another site compatibility issue is just weeks away (you can almost set a watch to it). I tried running Waterfox for a month and I really liked it (using the CTR add on of course). I will say that Pale Moon was slightly faster. But I do think that Waterfox must have a better future.
Now I’ve tried the latest Firefox nightly (with some Photon elements enabled. I kinda like it. It was very stable. I actually like the mockup screenshots of Photon. If only tabs could go underneath and I could add a status bar, I’d actually be perfectly happy.