Cyberfox author proclaims death of web browser

Toady, the lead developer of Cyberfox proclaimed the death of the web browser in an article entitled Cyberfox and its future direction.

Cyberfox is a Firefox-based browser that is available as processor-specific builds, in classic and Australis styles. It ships with additional features built-in to the browser, but is compatible mostly with Firefox.

Cyberfox, and other Firefox-based browsers like Pale Moon or Waterfox, came to prominence by offering optimized builds, especially for 64-bit versions of Windows, long before Mozilla started to even offer 64-bit versions officially.

The death of Cyberfox, or more precisely, the announcement of end of life for the web browser may come as a shock to users who run it. It should not be too much of a surprise though for users who keep an eye on the browser world and especially Mozilla and Firefox.

The death of Cyberfox

cyberfox death

Mozilla announced major changes to Firefox, some of which landed already, some are in process, and others are announced for 2017.

You can read our state of Mozilla Firefox article for an overview. Only this much: multi-process Firefox is almost done, plugins are out except for Flash and Firefox ESR, Windows XP and Vista users are switched to Firefox ESR so that the operating systems are supported for eight additional releases, and WebExtensions will replace all other add-on systems of the browser.

That's a lot of change, especially for projects that are maintained by a small but dedicated group of developers such as Cyberfox.



Reasons given by the lead developer fall right into this:

Over the years the Cyberfox project has grown immensely and its thanks to all the amazing support of our users and has been an amazing couple of years this however has demanded far more of my time causing me to drop allot of projects and passions id like to pursue,the time factor this project has demanded has also take a toll lifestyle wise as have the changes made by Mozilla requiring more and more time to maintain so its come to a point
where i recently had to assess the direction of this project and the direction i wish to head for the future.

The author of Cyberfox made the decision to switch the browser's release channel to Firefox 52.0 ESR. This means that Cyberfox will be supported with security updates for the next eight release cycles, but new features that Mozilla introduces in Firefox Stable won't find their way into the browser anymore.

Read also:  Privacy focused search engines (still) on the rise

This is similar to how Firefox ESR handles updates, but with the difference that Firefox ESR users will be updated eventually to a new major build (except for XP and Vista users for whom Firefox 52.x is also the end of the line).

So in short for the next 12 months cyberfox will be on the ESR time line getting security updates at the end of which will likely be the EOL (End of life) now that is a long time and factors may change lifestyle wise that will allow the project to continue after the 12 months but at this stage its (EOL) at the end of the ESR Cycle, now this does not stop anyone from taking the cyberfox source code and re branding it as sadly can't use our name or trademarks and a 3rd party can take over where we left off.

The author mentions that there is still a slim chance that Cyberfox may make a comeback after all, but that it does not seem likely at this point in time.

Now You: What's your take on the death of Cyberfox?

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Cyberfox author proclaims death of web browser
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Toady, the lead developer of Cyberfox proclaimed the death of the web browser in an article entitled Cyberfox and its future direction.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Responses to Cyberfox author proclaims death of web browser

  1. Celestial March 7, 2017 at 6:54 pm #

    It's sad. I've used Cyberfox for a few years now and as my primary browser for two years. It was and is faster than the standard Mozilla Firefox builds, and offered greater customization. It's understandable though. Cyberfox is primarily a one man operation, and he said that the lack of money and the ever increasing amount of time required supporting it was taking a toll on his health, and health is more important than any browser. I wish him well.

    Now I don't know if I'll switch back to Mozilla Firefox or just use Chrome. I mean, Mozilla seems intent on making Firefox a copy of Chrome. May as well just use the real thing.

    • Alan Robertson March 7, 2017 at 9:47 pm #

      "Now I don't know if I'll switch back to Mozilla Firefox or just use Chrome. I mean, Mozilla seems intent on making Firefox a copy of Chrome. May as well just use the real thing."

      I agree - Mozilla is fast destroying itself. I can't see many of the developers rewriting their addons as extensions which is the only reason why most people use Firefox in the first place. I figure by the time they get round to FF 57 everybody else will be using Chrome.

      It's a sad day when you have a choice of Chrome / Chromium / Opera (based on Chromium) / Firefox (using Chromium Extensions - soon to be another Chrome clone) or Safari or Edge. So in less than one years time the market is going to consist of 90% Chrome based browsers.... Oh and Safari and Edge too (like that's going to make a difference to your choice).

      • The Flash March 7, 2017 at 10:20 pm #

        I believe Edge is based on Chromium. Safari uses Webkit, which is what the Blink web rendering engine in Chromium is forked from.

      • bwat47 March 7, 2017 at 10:45 pm #

        Edge is not based on Chromium/Blink, it uses EdgeHTML which is forked from Internet explorer's trident engine.

        Edge does use chromium's webextensions architecture for it's extensions though (like mozilla is planning to).

      • Lord Lestat March 7, 2017 at 11:21 pm #

        Well there is also Otter-Browser with the revived QTWebkit - not the QTWEbengine from Google.

        A good browser in my opinion.

      • Andy March 8, 2017 at 2:29 am #

        Edge is note based on Chromium. It's pretty much just Internet Explorer, with assorted legacy bits stripped out.

      • Mike March 8, 2017 at 3:39 am #

        As noted by Andy, Edge is not based on Chromium. It has a "new" engine, EdgeHTML, which is primarily based on the Internet Explorer engine, minus a bunch of legacy code and few new bits of a code that make it far more compliant with the modern web.

      • Zack March 8, 2017 at 7:21 am #

        I have no reason to use Chrome. None of the core reasons for me to use Firefox are gone.

        NoScript, better adblocking, unbeatable privacy, Containers to come, Servo/Quantum, etc, too lazy to make a complete list. I'll find new reasons to use it and adapt old ones.

        You do what you want but don't throw other people in your bag as you leave, I have no reason to follow ;)

      • Alan Robertson March 8, 2017 at 2:59 pm #

        Hi Zack,

        I use NoScript too - it's a great Addon for preventing malware attacks via JavaScript, it also blocks a lot of obnoxious advertising and it helps to prevent online tracking. Too bad that there isn't an Extension version of it available when Mozilla drops all the Addons this coming November.... There's NoScript Lite but it's not the same.

        What I'm really saying is: This November when Mozilla releases Firefox 57 all Addons will stop working including NoScript and currently there is no Extension version available to take its place. So in effect, NoScript will be removed from your browser whether you like it or not.

        There's more info here on this:
        https://blog.mozilla.org/addons/2017/02/16/the-road-to-firefox-57-compatibility-milestones/comment-page-1/#comments

      • www.com March 9, 2017 at 9:21 am #

        I'm with @Zack. You can preach doom & gloom all you want to, but I want to see how this plays out in about a year or so after the XUL / XPCOM addons are dropped.

        No way I'm using Chrome. Vivaldi, Otter or even Edge will come before Chrome.

  2. wonton March 7, 2017 at 6:55 pm #

    Very sad to hear, health issues is what the developer states as the main reason being the largest factor. surprisingly most think cyberfox is made by a group of people when just one guy doing it like waterfox or pale moon was. all the best to him.

    • Anonymous March 8, 2017 at 5:30 am #

      Pale Moon has a big following now, getting bigger with firefox taking the plunge. The man behind it has at least 5 or 6 others actively contributing and a lot more behind the scenes testing. He has recently decided to port majority of FF backend stuff into his new Goanna engine. Security speaking, it's almost as tight as FF without the bloat.

      • Martin Brinkmann March 8, 2017 at 5:43 am #

        I imagine Pale Moon will get a good boost when Cyberfox reaches EOL, and also when Mozilla switches to WebExtensions exclusively.

      • www.com March 9, 2017 at 9:27 am #

        "I imagine Pale Moon will get a good boost when Cyberfox reaches EOL, and also when Mozilla switches to WebExtensions exclusively."

        @Martin, I'll believe that when I see it. - lol...

        Palemoon is an old code fringe browser run by a luddite who has little money and a tiny user base. When those Mozilla add-on webpages disappear, they're gone. Truly gone.

        So no more piggybacking off of Mozilla, which what they've been doing since the beginning.

  3. chad March 7, 2017 at 7:41 pm #

    I have been using Cyberfox as my backup browser to Chrome for a long time, and love it. Let's have some ideas for a replacement for Cyberfox. How about Pale Moon?

    • trek100 March 7, 2017 at 9:54 pm #

      Yes, using Pale Moon
      for the last 3 years+.
      I'm happy with it.
      I keep FF as a backup browser...

      There is no perfect browser.

      But...
      all my old FF addons work fine in Pale Moon.

      And PM is faster than FF,
      which has become so bloated and slow.

      Just try it
      and see if you like it:
      http://www.palemoon.org/

  4. Andy T March 7, 2017 at 7:48 pm #

    I have used this browser for a couple of years and liked it better than firefox.
    I wish Toady all the best for the future.

  5. Matt A. Tobin March 7, 2017 at 8:55 pm #

    You know.. it is almost embarrassing to see Pale Moon grouped in with Cyberfox which is a minimally changed Firefox rebuild and Waterfox which serves no purpose ever since 64bit builds of Firefox were released.

    Out of all these and a couple more.. Pale Moon is the only one getting true fork status and has independent and divergent development.

    Of course, If I misunderstood and they are talking about Pale Moon's past say 5 years ago then ok maybe.

    • Martin Brinkmann March 7, 2017 at 8:59 pm #

      Matt, this was just a look back in time when all the builds started out. This was not intended to compare the browser's current state.

    • Dave March 8, 2017 at 1:49 am #

      I think some of us remember when Palemoon became a 'TRUE, totally independent fork' of Firefox 24 ESR. Hard to forget because it was so often repeated by the PM devs.

      Mind you, I also remember when the PM dev crawled back to Mozilla in late 2016, with his tail between his legs, at having to rebase PaleMoon on Firefox 38 ESR, i.e. doing the very thing that this 'completely independent fork' swore previously never to do.

      We don't all have the memory spans of goldfish, you know.

      • Anonymous March 8, 2017 at 12:36 pm #

        45 or 52 esr the next?

      • Anonymous March 20, 2017 at 1:19 am #

        Actually your memory span must be shorter than that, because that's not at all what happened. Rebasing on ESR 38 was not something the team took lightly. It was done because it was easier to do so at the time than it would have been to manually reimplement the features since then.

        Plus the community asked for it, and was lobbying for it. They are doing no such thing now for a rebase on ESR 45 or 52, and there would be zero reason to ask for that.

        Pale Moon is a viable choice, and will likely be the ONLY viable choice once Mozilla slits their own throat.

    • wonton March 8, 2017 at 4:41 am #

      Matthew, it is embarrassing to see this type of attitude this reflect poorly on pale moon as a project and development team. this whole true fork rubbish too. reasons why given up on pale moon long time ago.

  6. Lord Lestat March 7, 2017 at 9:02 pm #

    And again that terrible guys from Mozilla have won a major battle in their quest to destroy XUL, fight customization and to take down other on Firefox code based projects, no matter if that projects want it or not (it will only be a matter of time before Seamonkey and other Gecko based browsers meet a similar fate) thanks to Mozillas changes which makes it impossible for other projects to keep their features.

    Most blame goes towards Mozillas direction - if it would not be for their quest to be more Chrome than Chrome to be the perfect Chrome users dream, nothing of all that would have happened. There would never have been the need for replacements like Cyberfox or Pale Moon and we all still could use a superior browser which is way better than the rest of the competition.

    All what Mozilla does is only leading to help that Google Chrome gets more traction, power and influence.

    A really sad day. And Mozilla should be ashamed for that. Their Google influenced "decisions and future-visions" leads to a loss of quality and the decline of creativity.

    That is beyond shameful!

    • Zen March 8, 2017 at 7:23 am #

      #BrokenRecord

      • lord lestat March 8, 2017 at 12:00 pm #

        And yet it is true. Mozilla has discarded the right that people have to act friendly and non-critical towards them.

        If there is something going wrong, it should be shouted out loud and clear. Sure, Mozilla does not care, they are happy about their similarities with Google Chrome. Perhaps they really get the amount of Chrome users of their dreams.

        But still, they are respect-less, dishonest and corrupted corporate business guys who think only with their purse and not with their brain. Mozilla is like generation snowflake on the search for safe space. But who is a big sell-out has to take the beating which awaits them into the woods.

        Morons should be called the way they are. And Mozilla are a bunch of morons. Not the old Mozilla which should be respected. But that new bunch of corporate business guys who dream to be Chrome 2 and do everything in their might to make that dream come true.

        Such morons earn neither respect or love or protection. This is what they earn. To be called out!

        And the worst of it? They are absolute cowards who refuse to have a discussion with power and advanced users. Because they know they will lose such a discussion. Which leads them to censor critical opinions both on their support pages and on IRC!

        I have spent enough time on both resources and have seen countless of people who not have been humiliating at all being silenced for zero reason just because they dared to question Mozilla's Chrome similar decisions!

      • www.com March 9, 2017 at 9:34 am #

        @lord lestat, and yet you're still a broken record. I don't like Google anymore than you do, but the change is gonna come whether you or I like it or not

        Go switch to Chrome or Palemoon and move on. (yawn...)

      • lord lestat March 9, 2017 at 12:47 pm #

        I will not stop. Only because Mozilla becoming almost Chrome does not mean that you are not allowed to try to make others realize that Mozilla is a corrupted company and the developers are plain and simple assholes.

        Who betrays power users that way should not be ignored at all and earns to be not forgotten. Especially if the organization in charge is abusing the concept of Open Source. And abusing Open Source is a not forgivable crime.

        Mozilla should stop call themselves Open Source, because Open Source projects are making wise and intelligent decisions and are caring for their own users without replacing them for other users because they suddenly become too greedy.

        It is important to try to fight injustice with whole heart and soul. Especially if the enemy hides behind a benevolent mask.

        Mozilla is disgusting and that alone is worthy to bring into the public.

      • www.com March 10, 2017 at 6:27 am #

        @lord lestat = #BrokenRecord

        (yawn) zzzzz....zzzzz....

      • lord lestat March 10, 2017 at 10:09 am #

        As there is no other Open Source project with such a lack of respect fairness it is the duty of every defender of rightousness and honesty to stand in the way of those who oppose the mentioned virtues.

        And there is only one correct way to act. Keeping the flame of resistance burning and standing in the way of the mortal enemies of the open and free web. And that are Google and
        their butt-kisser called Mozilla. Firefox and it's developerteam have no right to exist. They earn to be obliterated and removed out of the business.

  7. ARM9 March 8, 2017 at 12:30 am #

    This just makes me even more glad that I switched to Pale Moon when I did!

  8. Dan March 8, 2017 at 1:11 am #

    Well, time to go back to Vivaldi. I am having problems loading Ghacks on Vivaldi for some reason (using Opera right now). I may install Firefox to replace Cyberfox. I need at least one Gecko-powered browser for the odd site.

    • Anonymous March 10, 2017 at 2:37 pm #

      I'm on Opera too :) Vivaldi is kinda heavy for my current machine though. I thought about giving a lowly old webkit browser a try again.

  9. ChromeFox Doomsday March 8, 2017 at 2:43 am #

    Not really suprised, WaterFox may follow suite aswell as SeaMonkey since 52 is the final ESR with XUL/Gecko Engine...

  10. pd March 8, 2017 at 9:41 am #

    A surprise? Anything but. The browser looked interesting but it was obvious it wasn't likely to be an ongoing entity. The only surprise is how Pale Moon and the like keep going.

    What *would* be great to see is new bowser devs taking early advantage of Servo, WebRender and Rust. Mozilla has the burden of integrating those promising components into the mass of code that is the existing Firefox. New players could probably grab those components and build a new codebase around it.

    Instead of trying to 'ambulance chase' sick Firefox users, why not build a genuine competitor by leveraging a free, strong-performing codebase to build a browser free of legacy code?

    • wonton March 8, 2017 at 12:58 pm #

      @pd only 5 years with 2018 making 6 with a chance of still continuing the only surprise here is health issues killing a great project. turns out toady funded the project from his disability payments so clearly ongoing health issues to start with for what toady did should be applauded.

  11. Lexx_Blackstone March 8, 2017 at 5:49 pm #

    Time to move on and try something else but what?, I did think of trying Lunascape.

  12. Herman Sherman March 8, 2017 at 8:05 pm #

    Hi, Martin --

    re: "plugins are out expect for Flash and Firefox ESR,"

    I think you mean "plugins are out except for Flash and Firefox ESR," [replacing "expect" with "except"]

  13. Mike J. March 9, 2017 at 12:21 am #

    Actually, I have found Waterfox to be a better browser than Cyberfox, my principal browser, over the past few months,

  14. Midori March 9, 2017 at 11:10 am #

    I'm using GNU IceCat for quite some time, and so far it's the best FF fork i've found, so i'd switch to it from CyberFox

  15. Jack Yan March 9, 2017 at 10:37 pm #

    It’s a shame. The support for Cyberfox was great, and it wasn’t a memory hog on my system. Waterfox, for some reason, ate up my RAM more quickly (though I used Waterfox for years before I discovered Cyberfox), and Pale Moon has diverged a bit too much given the way I browse. Might have to go with the official Firefox 64-bit now, although it eats my RAM, too—just not as quickly as Waterfox. I’d love to hear of alternatives which can import my Firefox profile and works with Sync, but searches keep taking me back to Waterfox.

  16. Haakon March 12, 2017 at 8:07 pm #

    ESR is A-OK with me.

    If CF goes EOL, at least it'll be a year or so when to decide on something else. By then, no doubt, there'll be community consensus on what to consider.

    Though there might be nothing 64-bit and specifically compiled for Intel or AMD procs to choose from. And portable if desired. Sigh.

    Nothing else runs as fast and as stable on my Win7 i7 system.

  17. Darkflame June 20, 2017 at 9:16 pm #

    Damn, understandable but shit, i've used Cyberfox as my main browser for 4 years now, it will be missed!

    We're slowly heading back to a one horse browser race but with Chrome being what IE was 15 years ago, even the competition is just clones of it.

  18. Kerby July 2, 2017 at 7:06 pm #

    Why is everybody so shocked by Firefox's future direction. It's so simple to figure out I am suprised that it has not been mentioned here by people with a hell of alot more insider knowledge than me. Duhhhhhhhh......Mozilla nowaday's owes its existence to Yahoo........and we know how well that company is run. Now Verizon will be their new masters and the browser mechanics look like they are heading to Smart Phone City. Think about it!!!

  19. Boris Baran July 11, 2017 at 12:52 am #

    OK, given that Cyberfox is dead and Mozilla will be killing the extensions, which was the only reason I even use Firefox, what is left? Pale Moon, Waterfox or something else?

  20. keystoneclimber August 24, 2017 at 4:30 pm #

    Very sad indeed. I love Cyberfox. I love the user configuration and customization options. I love the gorgeous traditional non-Australis interface. Mozilla and Google... show me my file menu and put the d*mn tabs beneath the location bar!!! (no I don't care that you can save me 1/4" of screen real estate) I love the ability to skin with a true dark UI including the location text box. (without having to change my entire windows theme) I love about:config. I love that I can set extensions.stylish.dbFile = D:\Cloud\GoogleDrive\.

    After everything that I love, there is one thing that drives me mad... scrolling hesitation. It's rampant in Cyberfox. My scroll wheel should NEVER hesitate page scrolling. It's a memory and page load speed issue and doesn't happen on Chrome. (yes I've tried it in safe mode with all extensions disabled) Maybe the new Firefox core re-design will be a good thing? Maybe not consuming 3GB of RAM to parse a dozen or so pages of HTML and Javascript is a step in the right direction?!?

  21. BJORN September 1, 2017 at 8:13 pm #

    I have used Cyberfox since version 19.0.2
    I liked and loved 19.0.2 till 50.0.0
    Than the newer update brought issues with using too much RAM, unresponding, etc that I start hating Cyberfox.
    I have explained my issues with Toady, but Toady always blames other software instead of looking deeper into his code of Cyberfox.

    Story : Cyberfox is a 64bit of Firefox. I have used Firefox before because I was using Windows XP, than I updated to Windows 7 64bit, so I needed a 64bit browser. Waterfox early versions where fast and stable but after using it for more than 2 years, it started to become sluggish and using too much RAM. So I switched to Cyberfox. In the beginning, with the same hardware and software (!) Cyberfox was fast and stable. Now after updating to version 52.3.0 it's again sluggish, using up to 6GB RAM with only 5 tabs open, going to any website, typing a comment on any forum, results in nothing appearing, but after 10 seconds or sometimes more, without typing on my keyboard, the things I typed before (10 seconds ago or even more), all magically appear on my screen like someone else is typing!

    I will either downgrade back to Cyberfox 19.0.2 (which is kinda stupid as it contains a lot of bugs which are solved in 20.0.0 but 20.0.0 contains bugs that are solved in 21.0.0 and so on to up to 52.3.0

    So using the latest version still contains bugs even though, it fixes every bug that appeared in every older version. So which version do I need to use? LOL!

    Avoid Waterfox. Avoid Cyberfox. Either use Palemoon, but the latest version has the same sluggish than Waterfox and Cyberfox. The very first version of Palemoon was also fast and stable, just like Waterfox and Cyberfox..

    So it's kinda fast and stable in the first version but every bug, got fixed in the next version, resulting in less stable browser experience

    At the other hand, Firefox have magically becomes fast and stable again even if it was sluggish and unstable a few versions ago.

    I have used Chrome (not the latest version), Netscape (for fun), Advanced Browser (testing purpose), IE (all versions), Firefox (all versions), Waterfox (early versions until it got sluggish and around 6GB RAM using), Cyberfox (early versions until it got slugglish and around 6GB RAM using), Palemoon (early versions until it got sluggish and around 6GB RAM using), and some other browser which name I forgot.

    Maybe it's time to buy me a brand new computer with a 8-core, GTX 1080ti, 32GB DDR4 and even more TB's for SSD and retest this all because some 64bit browsers uses a lot of RAM and CPU cycles!!!

    (Windows 7 64bit Ultimate 16GB DDR4 RAM 1TB SSD)

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