The future of programs that share code with Firefox

Firefox 57 is probably the most important release of the browser for Mozilla ever since the browser was released in its initial version.

The browser comes with the first bits of Quantum, a new technology that improve rendering and other areas, the deprecation of the legacy add-on system and the overboard throwing of legacy components, theme improvements, and more.

We talked about how this affects users of the Firefox web browser, but not so much about other programs and products that share code with Firefox.

These programs have two main options when it comes to their future: adopt the same changes and accept the new direction that Firefox takes, or support the legacy features that Mozilla won't support anymore.

The first option is the easier one from a technical point of view, but it means that users of these programs may face the same issues that Firefox users will face when the browser hits version 57: old add-ons won't work anymore is the biggest of those.

The second option ensures compatibility with legacy technologies and add-ons, but it is more complex from a technical point of view. The main issue with this approach is that these projects cannot use most of the Firefox code anymore that Mozilla puts out after the release of Firefox 57 (at least not without modifying it). The implementation of new web technologies and other improvements may take longer because of that.

Pale Moon

pale moon

Pale Moon shares most of its code with the Firefox web browser. It supports Firefox add-ons and themes, NPAPI plugins, and many other features that made Firefox what it is today.

Pale Moon won't follow Mozilla when it comes to the changes made to the browser. This means that Pale Moon will continue to support features such as legacy add-ons or NPAPI plugins, and that it won't support WebExtensions, Quantum, or other new technologies.

Work on Pale Moon continues, version 27.6. was released the other day, and work will continue in the coming months and years.

The team behind Pale Moon is working on a hard fork of Mozilla's code platform that includes features that Mozilla dropped for the Firefox 57 release. This browser will be the fundament of a new XUL-based browser platform that the team could migrate the old Pale Moon browser to.

Could be, because a final decision has not been made yet in that regard.

Waterfox

waterfox

Waterfox filled a gap when it came out; it offered a 64-bit version of a Firefox compatible browser at a time when Mozilla did not really provide one for the Windows operating system.

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Waterfox's developer, Alex Kontos, has plans for the browser that look similar on first glance to what the Pale Moon team has planned for the future of the browser.

The browser is moved to an ESR's code base based on Firefox 56 to buy more time. The developer plans to support legacy Firefox features such as XUL or XPCOM in Waterfox, and even wants to create a unique add-ons website that users of Waterfox may go to for all add-on needs.

The most recent update of Waterfox moved the browser's profile to its own location. Waterfox used Firefox's profile by default previously, but this is no longer possible without risking issues, as Mozilla made modifications already to data stored in the user profile.

SeaMonkey

seamonkey firefox alternative

There is a lot of uncertainty in SeaMonkey's future. The de-facto successor of the Mozilla Application  Suite includes a browser and also other applications such as an integated email client, IRC chat and RSS feed client.

The team released information about the application's future back in May 2017. It had plans to move to Firefox ESR as the code base to support legacy features for longer. While that is the case, support for legacy features will be dropped eventually in SeaMonkey.

Updates have not been posted to the best of my knowledge.

Thunderbird

Thunderbird has had some rocky years as well. Mozilla wanted to separate the email client from its core product Firefox, and the team behind the email client had to find a new home as well as infrastructure because of that.

Thunderbird is based on Firefox code and several scenarios have been discussed to go forward with the client. It appears that the decision to rewrite Thunderbird in JavaScript is favored currently (an Electron-based Thunderbird client).

Development will continue as an ESR version for the time being.

Closing Words

I think it is surprising that some projects are still undecided in regards to future development. Firefox 57 will launch next week, and Firefox ESR will also be only available with legacy support until mid 2018.

Now You: What's your take on the future of these products?

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The future of programs that share code with Firefox
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We talked about how Firefox 57 changes things for users, but not so much how it affects other programs and products that share code with Firefox.
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Responses to The future of programs that share code with Firefox

  1. Mr. Jim Business November 9, 2017 at 7:53 pm #

    The thing I do not understand is, if Firefox basically is going to be the same as chrome? They already have degoogled chrome, why would I use firefox then? Other than some ui differences what would be the compelling reason/s to use firefox?

    • anon November 9, 2017 at 8:40 pm #

      I know, it's turning in to a slower more resource hungry chrome, not just ram but the cpu spikes too. I keep trying nightly and it certainly has improved but not enough. Some don't like to support anything based on chromium or blink though plus most of the ungoogled chromium forks seem to be one man bands who often take their time releasing updates.

      Even the good things about ff like manual extension reviews are disappearing and they've already let a couple of miners through.

      They are doing some things that are good though like anti-fingerprinting that's never going to happen in chrome and not sure if it can be replicated in extensions.

      • Jody Thornton November 10, 2017 at 1:26 am #

        @Anon wrote:

        I know, it's turning in to a slower more resource hungry chrome, not just ram but the cpu spikes too. I keep trying nightly and it certainly has improved but not enough.

        --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

        Really? You're finding it slower? What are you running it on? I even enabled servo/stylo on Firefox 56 at work (on a dual-core) and the speed results are visible.

        I'll admit that I haven't seen CPU spikes, but more RAM usage isn't a problem; after all, if e10s are running then more processes per set of tabs will use more RAM.

      • anon November 10, 2017 at 12:00 pm #

        Macos, but ff has never been great on it. It runs better in a Windows/Linux M than natively.

    • Bobby Phoenix November 9, 2017 at 10:40 pm #

      I use Firefox for its use of its own rendering engine. Much better than WebKit/Blink (IMO). That's the main reason Firefox will still standout over all the other "Chrome Clones" too. It's very much different under the hood, but if you don't notice things like that then go ahead and just use Chrome, or one of the WebKit/Blink rendering engine browsers.

      • Jody Thornton November 10, 2017 at 3:09 pm #

        Hear Hear. That's my exact sentiment. Using about:config, I can still customize just how a page is downloaded and rendered. And now that it's faster with Quantum, I call that a win-win.

    • someone November 9, 2017 at 10:41 pm #

      the only advantage of Firefox in comparison to Chrome is that, buy using Firefox your every move is not recorded and analyzed for advertisement and who knows what else...

      • Appster November 9, 2017 at 10:45 pm #

        And yet Mozilla experiments with a bundled Cliqz add-on which literally records browsing history and even mouse movements. There is no escape, pal.

    • Steve November 10, 2017 at 9:33 am #

      Firefox pros:
      - bookmark manager is superior to chrome which still doesn't even show timestamps
      - good for heavy tab users. 100s of tabs can be open without consuming all RAM.
      - more control over advanced settings in about:config
      - privacy; mozilla is less evil than G

      • Appster November 10, 2017 at 9:56 am #

        @Steve:

        - true
        - With e10s disabled, true. e10s is a RAM hog. However, RAM is there to be used, so...
        - true
        - Cliqz incident was actually even more evil than anything Google has ever come up with. It even records mouse movements.

      • Steve November 12, 2017 at 12:37 am #

        @Appster
        Wow i didn't know that about Cliqz. Mozilla gets less trustworthy every year. Some sites have trackers that let them view mouse trails live which is creepy, but that can be blocked with noscript.

      • TarekJor November 12, 2017 at 11:23 am #

        Amen, include a "tab suspender" and a "load tab progressively" xD for crazy ones like me with 500+ tabs "sometimes" call it hyperactivity, and vanguard advantage-disadvantage :D

  2. Guest703 November 9, 2017 at 8:13 pm #

    Video downloader extensions don't work properly in 57+ anymore, so I've started using Waterfox alongside Firefox dev edition for when I need to use downloaders and other legacy extensions. Aside from that, I do prefer a browser that is snappier in general, and so far, the 57+ branch has delivered in that regards.

    • weg November 10, 2017 at 3:06 pm #

      Guest703: having recently discovered Waterfox and synched it to my Firefox,does any one who does same know if synching has to be stopped PRIOR to Firefox 57 release. I don't want to end up "half" my Add Ons/Extensions disappearing up the Khyber and ending with the same reduced number of Add Ons/Extensions as will end up on Firefox 57. Part of the reason,important to me, for the development of Waterfox is as we know to enable continued use of "Legacy"Add Ons/Extensions.
      Thanks to anyone who might respond.

      • Tom Hawack November 10, 2017 at 3:59 pm #

        By "synching" do you mean that your new Waterfox profile was built from your Firefox profile or do you mean that your Waterfox profile is the same as your Firefox profile?

        From experience I strongly advise to install latest Waterfox (which will create it's independent profile for the user) and to avoid transferring the Firefox profile to the Waterfox profile which is performed on Waterfox install, not sure if its mandatory. When I had installed Waterfox my Firefox version was ESR 52 which may explain why data transfer from Firefox to Waterfox hadn't be done on install.

        Avoid mixing both profiles, especially if Firefox's version is different than Waterfox version to be installed.
        Do a clean Waterfox install. If Waterfox copied your Firefox profile to its own, close Waterfox, delete the Waterfox profile content (content only!) restart Waterfox and from there on perform install of your favorite add-ons. If you had a user.js file running in Firefox and if Waterfox/Firefox versions are different, take that into consideration as well.

        I'm a clean install fan, takes time but after you're on the go with non-messed up settings. That's how I did it and Waterfox is running like an athlete.

      • weg November 10, 2017 at 6:04 pm #

        Tom Hawack:
        Thank You for the reply. I was synching via Firefox Bookmarks,Add Ons and Passwords only to different Windows computers.
        When I discovered Waterfox and it's intended route,only recently, I installed it. Version 55.2.2 on a Linux computer which is I believe the latest version. I then synched the Waterfox to my Mozilla Firefox account,the Waterfox being a totally clean install.
        All came over successfully so that presently any change in bookmarks ,Add Ons etc on either Waterfox and Firefox will go over to the other. However, some Add Ons like "Decentraleyes 2" are not compatible, for me,as yet with Waterfox.
        Thank you for the clarification. I think the best course of action for me is to now,as I have all the extensions the same in both browsers,disconnect the Synching between Firefox and Waterfox and just add new Add Ons, Passwords and Bookmarks as I wish into Waterfox leaving synching between Firefox on Windows computers only.
        Surely by doing this,it means there is no longer any link between the two browsers.
        Perhaps I am wrong in this. I hope not and thanks again for your help. I appreciate it.

      • Tom Hawack November 10, 2017 at 6:32 pm #

        OK, Weg- I didn't really clarify anything because I misunderstood your problematic considering synchronizing applies to several features. In fact you were referring to Firefox/Waterfox built-in user settings/data synchro between different devices.

        Decentraleyes 2.0 requires Firefox/Waterfox 56, but Decentraleyes 1.5 runs fine here on Waterfox 55.2.2

        In fact you're aiming to run both Firefox and Waterfox and you'd wish to be able to synchronize your data/settings from one to another, correct? Not sure this will be possible, but it's above my skill/experience to further develop, especially that I never synchronize my data with another device. But I think I start to understand your scheme.

        Anyone able to provide more information?

      • weg November 10, 2017 at 6:52 pm #

        Tom Hawack:
        " In fact you're aiming to run both Firefox and Waterfox and you'd wish to be able to synchronize your data/settings from one to another, correct? " Yes you are correct. But I think you understand my concern If I left all as is,when "Firefox" goes to 57 I don't want to find I have a copy of remaining Firefox Add Ons on Waterfox all "Legacy" Add Ons gone and no longer able to be acquired.
        I therefore hope by disconnecting Waterfox form Firefox synch,the chain is broken and any alerations in Bookmarks /Add Ons etc will no longer pass from one browser to the other.
        I hope that in time, if not already available, there will be a method of synching between Waterfox browsers on different computers.
        For me,i think the future is Waterfox .
        Thanks again Tom.

  3. gdevitis November 9, 2017 at 8:29 pm #

    And What is the future of Firefox? What is the future roadmap?

    • Anonymous November 9, 2017 at 10:52 pm #

      We'll learn more afterwards, as the current roadmap isn't achieved yet. WebRender should be for Firefox 59-60, of course more WebExtensions API including the much awaited toolbar API, more backporting of Tor Browser improvements into Firefox for better privacy and security, preparing for including Tor in Firefox's private browsing mode, converting more code to Rust including parts of the JavaScript engine, removing many classes of security vulnerabilities altogether.

      WebRender itself is getting Pathfinder, a way to draw text really fast on the GPU, which is more important than it looks since the web is mostly text and that involves a lot of computing because of antialiasing, as opposed to other passive content like images which just need to be decoded.

      So basically, noticeable improvements to security, privacy, smoothness and raw performance, and customisability improvements through creating new WebExt API. If Servo is anything to go by, once Quantum will be finished (Firefox 60 ?), Firefox should be fast enough to enable a new kind of web to be born, just like there has been a web 2.0 there can soon be a 3.0. (Hardware is there, but browsers don't use most of it because their tech hasn't adapted, until Servo/Quantum and I don't doubt that other browsers will soon follow)

      • Appster November 10, 2017 at 10:06 am #

        @Anonymous:

        Do you really believe Quantum has gone unnoticed by Google, that they will not counter it? Sure, sure... Their pathetic APIs are not even remotely up to the task yet and can never replace a fully customizable tech like XUL/XPCOM. So whatever API they are adding, it won't be enough. Funny thing is that they actually aren't ready when Firefox 57 ships in a few days. So, instead of postponing it, they are releasing a browser with half-assed APIs to begin with. Rust is a Mozilla-only language that hasn't taken off yet and likely never will. Their reasoning for moving away from XUL was that nobody else uses it, that HTML is up to the task nowadays. Yet they are utilizing Rust, which likewise isn't used by anybody notable except Mozilla itself. As for the Tor patches... Mozilla's focus is that it "just works" for the user masses. Tor brings in some inconveniences for the sake of privacy, especially the important Tor patches. So whatever they will include is likely to be minor stuff, as to not break any website for Joe Average. I also doubt that they will include full Tor, as that would render the Tor project itself redundant. Very much doubt it.

        The technical improvements are what I would expect after years of stagnation, where they postponed things like e10s yet found the time to include Hello and Pocket and add-on signing...

  4. Mike K November 9, 2017 at 9:13 pm #

    I really do like the new tab screen UI of Firefox 57. The favorites look cool. That said, for bookmarks specifically I will probably stick with Bookmark OS

    • Jody Thornton November 10, 2017 at 1:28 am #

      See I like the old New Tab Page, but you can still use that.

  5. Appster November 9, 2017 at 9:16 pm #

    @Martin Brinkmann: Slight correction... Waterfox will have its own so-called ESR branch, based on Firefox 56 code. "It has moved to ESR..." implies that it uses Firefox 52 ESR code, which is not correct.

    • Martin Brinkmann November 9, 2017 at 9:52 pm #

      Thanks!

      • Quantum November 10, 2017 at 8:51 am #

        Some firefox dev in the ff subreddit wrote that they will continue to support XUL untill the next ESR (FF59) which according to him it will probably be the last ff with support in XUL/XPCOM api's

        If true then the legacy support will remain for one more year (mid 2019)

        https://www.mozilla.org/media/img/firefox/organizations/release-overview-high-res.78cf477dd915.png

      • Appster November 10, 2017 at 9:46 am #

        @Quantum: As was already mentioned several times before... Legacy add-ons would most likely break anyway due to interface changes, provided they interact with the interface in any meaningful way.

  6. Tom Hawack November 9, 2017 at 9:30 pm #

    Waterfox here, version 55.2.2 and 56 announced for availability at the end of the current week (that's 2017/11/11) after having been planned for release at the end of October : lot of work, and Waterfox 56 will stick on an ESR track for an undetermined amount of time. The problematic is that explained in this article, but if Pale Moon has the space to develop considering it deliberately avoids Webextensions, this is not the case of Waterfox which aims to handle (which it does now with version 55) both legacy add-ons and Webextensions, and the pause on Firefox 56 is relevant : how indeed will programmers deal with Firefox 57+ code?

    Wait and see. As I see it is Waterfox's aim, strategy feasible on the long post FF-56 term or is the project bound to abort for technical reasons sooner or later?

    I had moved on from Firefox ESR 52 to Waterfox 55 because I had too many legacy add-ons I wished to keep, because ESR 52 was postponing the problem until ESR 53 (Q1 2018 I think), because Waterfox 55 installed its own user profile independently of Firefox's. From now on it's wait and see how Waterfox will develop once satellited on 56. I read everywhere that maintaining both legacy add-ons and Webextensions is not imaginable for the distant future : is this true?

    An interesting debate, "About WaterFox Development XUL, Firefox-parallel fork, team, resources and collaboration" opened at [https://www.reddit.com/r/waterfox/comments/7brw57/debate_about_waterfox_development_xul/]

    • Appster November 9, 2017 at 9:50 pm #

      I agree with the arguments brought forward in the link you've posted. Keeping up XUL/XPCOM is not feasible in the long term. The best we can hope for is a Waterfox 56 ESR being kept up to date for a while security-wise. I really hope that the Waterfox dev goes down the "low-level WebExtensions APIs" route, as that will significantly improve Waterfox while keeping up with Mozilla remains possible. Pale Moon will die at some point, if you ask me. Just my 2 cents.

      • Anonymous November 9, 2017 at 10:30 pm #

        "Pale Moon will die at some point, if you ask me. Just my 2 cents."

        http://www.basilisk-browser.org/
        What does this browser support > It supports a wide array of features required for the MODERN WEB..

      • Anonymous November 9, 2017 at 10:54 pm #

        My 2 cents:

        "Keeping up XUL/XPCOM is not feasible in the long term".

        Classic Add-ons Archive:
        https://forum.palemoon.org/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=17294&sid=588821aeafe15c6ed687e34f0383040f
        From JustOff: "and if you have a copy of some add-ons that are not in this catalog just drop me a PM."

        Many thanks JustOff.

      • Jody Thornton November 10, 2017 at 1:37 am #

        See we agree there. Pale Moon's future is grim, and even Basilisk will only get Pale Moon up to v52 ESR levels. I can't understand why Moonchild is so confident in his ability to provide it a future. And in another thread, you mentioned how he striven to keep Australis off of Pale Moon, but if Basilisk is what is to give Pale Moon new life, then Australis will be forced on its users anyway. (I really don't think Pale Moon forum users get that)

        But I also worry that Waterfox is not destined for longevity either. As aforementioned, he seems overwhelmed and his users are quite vocal on his blog about any changes with the slightest of negative impacts.

    • Richard Allen November 9, 2017 at 11:08 pm #

      Thanks Tom, I've been checking for updates on Waterfox to v56 way too often the last couple weeks. Win7 users and their video related crashes holding up progress. SMH ;)

      • Tom Hawack November 9, 2017 at 11:14 pm #

        I check several times a day :) The same emotion as when I was that teenager hoping for mail from my beloved (no electronics back in those good old days!). Looks like there's a thing going on between me and Mrs. Jones (I mean Waterfox). We're in love, especially me !

      • Richard Allen November 10, 2017 at 1:08 pm #

        @Tom Hawack
        Thank You! I can always count on you for a good laugh! :-D

    • Jody Thornton November 10, 2017 at 1:32 am #

      @Tom Hawack said:

      The problematic is that explained in this article, but if Pale Moon has the space to develop considering it deliberately avoids Webextensions, this is not the case of Waterfox which aims to handle (which it does now with version 55) both legacy add-ons and Webextensions, and the pause on Firefox 56 is relevant : how indeed will programmers deal with Firefox 57+ code?
      -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      That's what would worry me Tom. I just can't see how Alex or Moonchild could possibly handle this uphill work load. It really seems that Alex is becoming overwhelmed, and Moonchild seems to be focusing on Basilisk in such a way that he's not looking around to take stock of the present context. Attitude seems to say it all.

      But still, how are they going to manage to create a long term path for Water-Moon, when there is no longer a codebase to fork improvements from?

      • Klaas Vaak November 10, 2017 at 6:13 am #

        My impression is that Moonchild believes he can take on more than he really can and does not seem to learn any lessons either. He developed Pale Moon, then Fossamail, but had to abandon the latter after a few years because it was taking up too much of his time.
        Now he has PM and Basilisk, but is focusing on the latter, which means he will probably drop PM, esp. when the going gets too tough trying to maintain the add-on path.

      • TarekJor November 11, 2017 at 1:06 am #

        I agree with you, about WaterFox, are two keys or plans (possibly):

        Plan 1 (work in progress, as I see on main dev comments), create a Firefox 52-56 ESR (fork, clone) with security fixes (extend grace period) for legacy addons (XUL-based)

        It is great, to see people with ideas in this site, with will of construction and improve things on webquality on comments too, my pleasure.

        About PaleMoon, that is, I agree with you, there is passion, and motivation, but (sadly) isolation, lack of autoCritical approach and "none" project management intelligence (taking more objectives than reality and resources could make possible), and now, I don't understand (ego thing) why they are not joining forces, resources and efforts with MrAlex94 and WaterFox. (WaterFox has a good branding, for example, idea and name, (Pale Moon don't), and branding is essential, as "story of why it must exists"

        WaterFox (I think) emerges "by things we known" (as a social intuition, when we, shouted (and we shout) complains to Mozilla in weeks ago after seeing what happen with legacy addons and UX features etc, is a "common intuition" (Mozilla drift, end users don't count, bad howTo XUL transition to WebExtensions... etc, I see in your comments, we have common points, good points)

        Pale Moon emerges (I think) about x64 build (when not officialy released yet) and Australis UX (Classic Theme Restorer was there, until some months), so "points" "about must exists" no are not "so clear... and are "weak".

        My point is, WaterFox, must exists (reason of existence justified), If done well, WaterFox would take a place in the history of the Internet and the result of Creativity of a critical user base has a webBrowser for a vas minority of developers and users and their socially contructed common good (Plan 2*), with Freedom and Liberty as principles and non tolerance with imposition and "absolute authority" by "corporation" even "on ·Open Source", if after "WaterFox ESR" we could not "collect" the resources, human, finnantial, user base... At least we would have tried, and we would be subversive "in a very good way", so we don't loose anything, about searching Freedom or customization as principles "beyond impositions".

        The Plan 2 (dreams and imagination, desires), which need "resources" (to be real) and a mass of users and developers "to be a serious" project and maintained (I really want this) because we need to evolve "XUL" and XPCOM" and WebExtensions to a "hybrid" approach where WebExtensions exist and "complex" powerful core addons too (I don't know if this implies recreate or create new things among WebExtensions, renaming XUL or whatever), but I think this would be great, and this "would be" "Plan 2".

        The thing, is Plan 2, is not possible with a "Rambo" approach on Software development (one-man or few-heroes project, that sounds epic, but eventually sounds as crazy as Rambo is, projects dying, that is what happen with Pale Moon, is like gravity, it happens eventually.)

        We need to "communicate" real devs, between us, users and "among us", we need to create the idea behind WaterFox, and why we need this in a environment with Firefox and Chrome, WaterFox with "own identity" and powerful features...

        We need to explain and "capture" the desire among users don't like Mozilla "drift" and whose will want to be active, and choose by themselves and want develop a spirit-successor of Firefox customization (until Mozilla deprecated), then we all go towards a common goal.

        Even there is another possibility, as we as "critical" but constructive people, maybe Mozilla gets attention and "come to reason", replacing XUL (late but good) with a WebExtensions "with complex API" for things XUL based addons allowed in past.

        Then WaterFox could collaborate with Firefox team as "vanguard team" with parallel creative development. (as an idea)

        I see that is the space WaterFox could have, there is "user base" who wants that? (I think yes).
        There is enough developers encouraged to work in a project like that ? (I think yes)

        I have some ideas, about "monetization" or incentives to "make this thing real" (because open source is not about monetization or not, but time in this society has a price (at this moment), in future (maybe I am wrong, or maybe there is not compromise "there" on the Internet, I think yes, only it is isolated, but it is present in all that people (a lot) I saw complaining on social networks, blogs, Reddit and AMO, Mozilla sites and official Addons Blog site, whis this.

        I am not being "very dramatic", because webBrowsers are " crucial piece" of Software in our Modern lifes, the skeptical person will always be vigilant and never trust, that is the only thing we could do to "preserve" or Freedom, and Software is a "factor" of Freedom.

        If we are succesful "creating the offer" by "reason" for "demand" and even we could integrate "some" kind of monetization to pay the bills "among donations", and increase resources and people encouraged to work for it.

        I am curious about this, because this is a crucial moment, to see "if Internet" users could join forces, organize to a "common goal", driven by "common belief" and oriented to create something is not "another browser" but a customized browser as "powerUser" evolution of Firefox original idea (when Mozilla deprecated Freedom without notice, and taking decisions away from us, and "for us", decisions we need to take ourselves.

        The key aspect, I think about, is after "grace period" Q2-2018 or Q2-2019, (ESR expiration, and XUL legacy addons finally purged) WaterFox has to decide (before then, what to do then) if could be a real Firefox-parallel stable and highly supported browser, by a loyal community of devs and users, that approach (in future), need an "historical" support by the "Internet" user community base (specific niche from developers, programmers and enthusiasts.) or will not be real.

        We are talking here, about one of the "Pillars of the Web", a webBrowser, in my opinion, in addition to OS, the most important, critical, popular-massive most-used app in planet Software and where Internet relies itself.

        So if we could create a some kind of "Arch Linux" or "Linux" of browsers, with that perspective of "community" we could create something big, "democratic" (in a good way), distributed, secure, (loyal-contructive with Mozilla itself as a fork and collaboration, despite the differences on both developments.

        Maybe we would accomplish the hard task of return Mozilla to the right path, thee good path (Freedom, users and devs first, customization as principle)

        Best regards, @TarekJor

      • Tom Hawack November 11, 2017 at 1:35 am #

        @TarekJor, your post is interesting because it joins idealism and realism. The dream is possible but to take shape it needs organization and to live it requires funding, one way or another. Browsers are essential, perhaps the main application at least as desktops are concerned. I'll say it as I feel it : I'd be ready to participate to a crowd funding in the terms you draw (joint forces, a touch of subversion, talent, determination) at height of, say, €100 : yes, because as you and as many of us I'm convinced we are at a cross-road in terms of browsers' policies : we need fresh talents which exist to be helped by all of us concerned, be it with our coding talents be it with money considered here as the coffee and sandwiches brought with a smile to the desks of the mighty thinkers :)

        We remain a minority nevertheless to be concerned with the dramatic evolution of the main browsers on the market, all focused on data collection and modeled on an architecture leading to a colossal loss of identity. Diversity and pluralism are the conditions of life and progress hence subversion appears vital when following is obviously a path towards the chaos of uniformity.

        We remain a minority so spreading the word is essential, From there on, determination, work, honesty have succeeded in greater challenges than the one we face today with the misery of browsers policy. We can make it.

      • Jody Thornton November 11, 2017 at 2:20 am #

        What I'm starting to wonder as Waterfox unveils it's 56x build, will Alex include the css.layout.servo.enabled pref for Stylo activation? Would that work in Waterfox?

        Interesting read TarekJor

      • Tom Hawack November 11, 2017 at 2:28 am #

        @Jody Thornton,

        Quoting the developer [https://www.reddit.com/r/waterfox/comments/7bj77g/do_not_forget_to_enable_styloquantum_css/],

        "Stylo isn't built with Waterfox, but I'll enable it in v56."

      • George November 11, 2017 at 11:19 am #

        @TarekJor quote "About PaleMoon, there is passion, and motivation, but (sadly) isolation, lack of autoCritical approach and "none" project management intelligence (taking more objectives than reality and resources could make possible), and now, I don't understand (ego thing) why they are not joining forces, resources and efforts with MrAlex94 and WaterFox."

        The Pale Moon team is actually currently trying to create a fork of the entire Mozilla platform, in an effort to keep going in the future and not just for use in a single browser. Other developers were contacted for cooperation (including Waterfox/MrAlex94 who declined) so your claims about ego/isolation etc. seem a bit misdirected/misinformed. Indeed, they should all join forces but if everyone wants to keep going with their own browser/product it seems difficult.

        https://www.ghacks.net/2017/04/17/pale-moon-plans-for-2017-and-beyond-announced/

  7. insanelyapple November 9, 2017 at 10:13 pm #

    I'm pretty sure I've read here on ghacks that Waterfox was meant to join forces with PaleMoon; if they didn't then maybe they should - along with Seamonkey, in order to preserve old Firefox?

    • Jody Thornton November 10, 2017 at 2:00 am #

      I think they should have too, but somehow their ideals weren't lined up.
      :(

  8. slumbergod November 9, 2017 at 10:19 pm #

    My main browser is Waterfox now.

    Mozilla screwed up big time by pushing 57 as the release to kill existing Add-Ons without having enough APIs in place first. Mouse gestures in 57 don't work properly in Linux because of an unfixed bug. All-In-One-Sidebar and Down-Them-All are HUGELY popular yet there is no API for them.

    If I wanted a clone of Chrome I would just use one. So no matter how "big" FF57 is going to be they have completely missed the point of why many hardcore users chose it in the first place. They ignored their users so they have alienated many of them.

    • Anonymous November 9, 2017 at 10:31 pm #

      Good thing Mozilla employees are among the biggest contributors to Waterfox then.

      • Tom Hawack November 10, 2017 at 10:46 am #

        @Anonymous, you write,
        "Good thing Mozilla employees are among the biggest contributors to Waterfox then."
        May I ask you your source? If so, could you provide it?! Thanks.

      • Your Name November 14, 2017 at 10:11 pm #

        @Tom Hawack I guess he meant that most of the code in Waterfox is taken from FF anyway.

      • Tom Hawack November 15, 2017 at 9:48 am #

        @Your Name, that's not at the same thing! What I'm bouncing on is the very idea there could be "subversion" among Mozilla employees who would consider that the company made wrong choices and act consequently.

  9. Don November 9, 2017 at 10:46 pm #

    I depend on Thunderbird, though mostly to backup my web-based cloud email FastMail. I hope it stays around a long time. I could not find anything better for IMAP compatibility, ease of use, and storage in a standard format.

    • James November 11, 2017 at 3:31 pm #

      Me too. Best client I could find, allowing emails from different accounts to be viewed in a single folder. Not sure how good latest version of Outlook manages that but older versions were pretty poor. Not keen to store emails with financial information in the cloud.
      Hope support for Thunderbird continues.

  10. basicuser November 9, 2017 at 10:50 pm #

    After many years with FF, moved to Palemoon 8 months ago as could not bother to keep up with Firefox's changes and depriciations on the way to FF 57. I like Palemoon because it looks and works like FF back in the good old days and am seeing new add ons at the Palemoon site.

    • anon November 9, 2017 at 11:45 pm #

      I like the speed of pale moon and the extensions I want are there however I just can't make myself trust it security wise. They keep saying how it's so far diverged from ff but that means vulnerabilities in it aren't necessarily found by mozilla and I don't think they have any where near enough people working on it, often just the one, to find them themselves. Even worse now they/he's splitting the time between pm and the new browser.

      • George November 10, 2017 at 1:51 am #

        A valid concern, although Chrome/Edge/Firefox will obviously be more popular attack targets than Pale Moon. However, I think the vulnerabilities that exist in the websites we connect are a greater risk in comparison. Pale Moon is currently way more strict than mainstream browsers in this regard, meaning if there's a known vulnerability out there (and there are quite a few now) PM will prefer to warn you and not allow you to connect (while you can still be informed on the issue and add an exception if you want). Most mainstream browsers' priority will be to just "make it work", even if that means connecting in a less secure way, thus exposing you.

  11. Null November 10, 2017 at 1:32 am #

    "This browser will be the fundament of a new XUL-based browser platform that the team could migrate the old Pale Moon browser to."

    Fundament has at least two meanings. I'm not sure to which you are referring:

    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/fundament

    :-)

  12. George November 10, 2017 at 1:34 am #

    Not an easy road, but certainly an interesting one. Seems to me that the "Firefox Clones" are the only thing left of the good, old, pre-Google-dominance Web.

    Currently sticking with Pale Moon because: they have a clear and idealistic plan on what they want to achieve (I agree with it obviously - not everyone has to). They are not after the money, masses of users or a hit-and-run product. The project is aiming for a better, secure and neutral Web that respects user privacy, and that is a noble plan. The browser works extremely well, is customizable to death so I'm fully covered. If anything changes drastically in the future, we'll be here to talk about it. What is certain is that I'm not surrendering to Chrome or its clones, and become an 'accomplice' for ruining the Web and promoting monopolies.

    On Android, I'm using the recent Waterfox 55 release. It's the closest thing to a sane browser that won't collect all possible data from the user. It lacks the concreteness of the Pale Moon project but it works well, when Firefox/Chrome etc. with every new release will keep inventing new, colourful ways to collect d... sorry, to improve user experience, while ruining user freedom and creativity in the process.

    • TarekJor November 12, 2017 at 11:27 am #

      It is a pleasure to read people like you, thanks for express that (honestly).

      I think PaleMoon, has good Idealism, but that needs "Realism" approach on "project management", is the only thing I want to them, because that is about making "PaleMoon" and developers behind it "accomplish" goals beyond desires.

  13. Franck November 10, 2017 at 1:21 pm #

    Very interesting, thanks a lot !

  14. WaltS48 November 10, 2017 at 2:05 pm #

    SeaMonkey 2.49.1 based on Firefox 52.4.0 ESR has been available for installation since 11/04/2017. Automatic updates are still broken. Users will need to download and install over their current version.

  15. GiddyUpGo November 11, 2017 at 3:17 am #

    I would like to use Waterfox, but cannot. It is 64bit only and my os is 32bit, Intel7, etc.
    I may be the only one left that still likes the 32bit system. I bought a De..64bit, used it for awhile, then made myself a 32bit computer.

    • TarekJor November 12, 2017 at 10:28 am #

      That is a good point @GiddyUpGo, WaterFox must have an 32bit x86 and an x86 Android APK

      @GiddyUpGo, on Reddit r/WaterFox subReddit, you have a point, so contact there to ask for a 32bit build (there is one thread i remembered, asking for this, you are not alone)

      PD: I don't know if 32bit build it is "very difficult" or not because I don't know if Mozilla supports 32bit now, or components of Quantum among other this are "so modern" to abandon 32bit architecture.

  16. TarekJor November 12, 2017 at 9:54 am #

    @Tom Hawack, thank you (honestly), because you understand exactly why am talking about :D

    About Idealism vs Realism (that is how we build future) from that "con

    Thank you for exactly-understanding not-only what I wrote but what I wanted to convey, despite my mistakes with my non-native language xD

    I am a person, who likes Philosophy, Linguistics, Math Law and IT, so consider Im a pretty crazy one Polymath (a eternal-learning, condemned to both, failure and learning

    I am open minded and open source supporter, I collaborate on present (from past) for future, I think about "monetization", value and resources, time, people working side by side as equals in respect and terms, own capacity for every one, is beyond "Capitalism" vs "Comunism", it is a model emerging from the need to improve the previous comparison, because work and value is essential and "trascends" Economy by "capital", to Economy by development, what we think as "Materialism", Economy based on Development, not individual "income". (it is more complex, but I don't want be an "offtopic" person.

    PD: I am currently development the "Materialism" idea, writing it, sometime in the near future will be published as "book git based" to continious improve that Philosophy matter, with "commits" as feedback argument-driven

  17. TarekJor November 12, 2017 at 11:19 am #

    @George, you have good, point, maybe I am wrong, or misinformed (thanks for comment)

    In your comment on this article #comment-4278525, you has reference on "ego" thing i said, I am not attacking or being offensive to "PaleMoon" directly, is a "general" reference on "Ego thing" on developers of open source products (I saw this everywhere), if there is on Palemoon (im not too informed on it), there is a problem, because eventually, if "project merges" would be the need of merge "branding" and decide if PaleMoon or WaterFox has better design and branding, too aplies on WaterFox (im not too informed).

    Now I think WaterFox name and branding is better (exists Android APK, etc), but it is my opinion, so i will vote in future, for "modern" approach of WaterFox, because I agree Autralis UX, and Classic Theme Restorer, if compatible.

    Honestly, we must to "think" about user base and what they want (not only as fathers of projects), I am on software development from years, I know what I am talking about (teams, leaders, roleship, will, ego, real collaboration, time-management), my point was that, it is important.

    PaleMoon is bad name comparing with WaterFox (this is subjective, but possibly a consensus truth), WaterFox has more traction, PaleMoon has legacy of work, and years, I am not saying, I want kill project.

    Maybe even "the possible merge" of both is "my opinion" and is not a "good idea" (personal opinion).

    Maybe both projects could collaborate, in other terms, in XUL evolution, and core addons compatibility for "WebExtensions & XUL evolution, legacy addons", thing they must have in common at least. (collaboration based on module by module approach), common goals, etc

    The creation of common Addons site (for example), objective of PaleMoon years ago (I read about it, some time ago)

    If collaboration (any kind, but good) is a reality in near future between WaterFox and PaleMoon, I will I will be happy, honestly, and I think masses of users too.

    Ego thing, in future is about "Pale Moon" vs WaterFox for naming and branding project, for me would be fair enough, a user votation, what result of merge branding want (WaterFox or PaleMoon) and that decision is crucial.

    What I am trying to said, and express, is that matter, and the things would happen in near future.

    Thing I see everywhere, everytime (the ego thing), I respect efforts and work (deeply and honestly) from PaleMoon team and communty, they saw "the decay" of Mozilla with perspective years ago (but Autralis UX and Classic Theme Restorer, are in WaterFox, so is not enough), but, they need to be critical here, and catch what I am trying to express, if being critical (constructive), is attacking, that is a misundertanding of what I am trying to say.

    What is the History of sourceCode on PaleMoon, Have they been able to take a parallel development side by side to Firefo (by Mozilla), in addition to the security patches, improvements about the rendering engine, etc? I think they not* (a) (that is why I am not using PaleMoon)

    My desire is, I wish they would can do that, but with lack of resources, no agile approach, non improvements on site, feedback, user interaction, no work on "making more popular and offer real alternative to FIrefox, product design, work with major addons developers... etc

    (a) If the answer is no, and they had to in more than one occasion to skip entire versions and adapt patches and compatibility problems then there is a problem of project management, and pointing out that may bother them, but it is not bad at all, it is about "admit limitations" beyond desires or dreams.

    We could not have "two projects" about essentially the same thing, don't you agree? because there is not "plenty" or "excessive" resources to allow that "privilege", and users must have "unified product" (my point)

    MrAlex94, has now key pragmatic points... I think it is an Firefox ESR based on 56 version (last supporting XUL and legacy addons, before Firefox 57), if in future (WaterFox has more team background and resources), and could take up more volume of work to collaborate I think they, will not denied that request.

    If I am wrong or I am misunderstood (maybe I commit failure), I am human, so thanks for your constructive opinion (honestly), i am not being ironic here.

    My point is about "Pale Moon" future, they have good plans, but "possible plans"?, Basilisk, improvement of XUL platform ... etc

    The "History of PaleMoon" is there to judge, I don't like to judge "persons" or "teams" on personal, what I am saying is, PaleMoon has not or had not "good resources vs objectives" management, I really think about it, pointing this is not attack them, on the contrary is about "loyalty on constructive critics"

    About your good.pointed comment You: "including Waterfox/MrAlex94 who declined) so your claims about ego/isolation etc. seem a bit misdirected/misinformed. Indeed, they should all join forces but if everyone wants to keep going with their own browser/product it seems difficult."

    Ego thing maybe if both ways (I was trying to said, that, the ego thing on software).

    I think at one point, the teams and users of PaleMoon and WaterFox, must decide if they will collaborate occasionaly, never or merge product, I think WaterFox has "fresh" and "young" air, and ideas, and PaleMoon approach has "experience" and "veteran" air, so from that two points, must be emerge, something beautiful and powerful. (I really thing about)

    I dont have enough information, but PaleMoon vs WaterFox seems to be an example of "Gerontocracy vs Ephebocracy" (Youthcracy) (see Gerousia vs Ephebo on Ancient Greece) the Veteran or "old" vs The Fresh "young"... (that thig is deep though pattern, so take it seriously)

    That is a common "shock" but from that could emerge the best of both sides (the fresh + the experience)

    I never (and if I said something similar in past, offensive or an attack, was a total foolish mistake) act as "destructive critical predator" Wolf, I have the conviction about "The Noble" and critical about construction.

    I will never attack people, only judge aspects of work about construction and improvement, because all together coulde improve ourselves side by side.

    Despite good will, lack of resources, and good work (I use Pale Moon some time ago), they have to be autoCritical, otherwise, all critical approach (constructive), will be considered dissident, and that is not admissible for me.

    PD: I don't want flood comments (sorry if that is the perception), that matter worries me, and I see lucid people here

    I have the intuition, this thread would be important and referenced and shared so

    http://archive.is/JH5Ia

    For archiving purposes ;)

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