A new version of the Basilisk web browser was released last week which the development team described as a re-fork and re-based version.
Basilisk is a XUL-based web browser that is developed by the team behind the Pale Moon browser. It uses the Goanna rendering engine which is a fork of Firefox's Gecko rendering engine and is based on the Unified XUL Platform (UXP) which is a fork of Firefox code without some of the technologies that Mozilla implemented in recent time.
The release of Basilisk caused some confusion among Pale Moon users and other users; would Pale Moon be replaced by Basilisk eventually?
Basilisk and Pale Moon are two different browsers. The development team describes Basilisk as a "reference application for development of the XUL platform".
A re-forked and re-based UXP version of Basilisk browser was released on April 24, 2018. Moonchild, lead developer of the project, revealed on the Pale Moon forum that the released version is the "final incarnation of UPX that will be carried from here forward as a basis for Basilisk".
If you run a check you will notice the version is returned as Firefox 52 ESR, the last Firefox ESR release before Mozilla's extended support release for Firefox is switched over to new technologies and code that are incompatible with previous versions.
The development team released two bugfix releases in the days that followed the release of the new version of Basilisk.
When you run Basilisk right now, you will notice that it behaves pretty much like Firefox 52.x ESR. The browser features the same design and compatibility tests on sites such as HTML5Test return similar (pretty good) results.
Probably the most interesting aspect for Firefox users right now is that Basilisk supports legacy Firefox add-ons and NPAPI plugins whereas the next Firefox ESR version and current Firefox Stable builds don't.
Basilisk is offered as a portable version and installer so that you may test it on Windows and Linux machines to see how compatible it is. The source code is also available.
Now You: What is your primary browser?
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.