The Pale Moon team announced yesterday on the official project forum that the next major version of the browser, Pale Moon 26, will use the new layout and rendering engine Goanna instead of Mozilla's Gecko.
The Pale Moon web browser used Mozilla's Gecko engine up until now thanks to its close ties to the Firefox project.
One major issue that the team ran into is that Mozilla linked Gecko's version to that of the Firefox web browser which caused compatibility issues for Pale Moon users on websites that detected the "wrong" version of Gecko thanks to Pale Moon's different version.
Apart from the technical issue described above, using Gecko was also identified as a legal issue by the Pale Moon team as it is a registered trademark licensed to the Mozilla Foundation by Netscape/AOL.
The solution the team came up with was to create its own rendering and layout engine Goanna and use it instead of Gecko in the Pale Moon browser. As is the case with Pale Moon and Firefox, it has close ties to the Gecko rendering engine.
The change affects the name and version of the engine more than anything else. The team will use Goanna as the identifying engine and use a version scheme starting with version 1.0 that is independent of Pale Moon, Firefox or Gecko versions.
Goanna's version will increase as it is being worked on by the team independent of Pale Moon's development.
The team plans to release version 1.0 of Goanna with Pale Moon 26, the next major version of the web browser.
It notes that the impact should be minimal at first, but that there may be some compatibility issues with extensions that use "code paths based on platform versions". Since this is an issue, it is planing on returning a "compatibility version for historical reasons" to make sure these extensions remain compatible with Pale Moon 26.
Pale Moon 26.0 was released in 2016; it was the first stable version of the web browser that featured the Goanna engine.
A public preview version is not available currently but if it gets released, you will find it posted on the WIP page on the Pale Moon website.
If the Pale Moon team's predictions are correct, users of the browser should not notice the change at all or only in a minimal way when they upgrade the browser to version 26. Since there is no way of knowing for sure at this point, it is recommended to either wait with the upgrade to read reviews and comments of users who upgraded immediately to the new version, or use a test version of the browser to test it directly.
This should not be too hard considering that Pale Moon is offered as a portable version which you can use for that purpose (you may need to import your profile though).
Now You: What's your opinion and prediction in regards to the change?
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