Basilisk browser drops WebExtension support
Basilisk browser, a web browser that is maintained largely by the Pale Moon team, won't support WebExtension-based extensions going forward.
The browser is based on the Unified XUL Platform, a forked version of the Mozilla Code Repository created before Mozilla's switch to removing XUL and other components for Firefox and focusing on WebExtensions and Servo components.
Current versions of Basilisk are seen as development software which means that users may experience issues when they use the browser and that things may change during development.
Moonchild, lead developer of Pale Moon and Basilisk, revealed today that the web browser will drop support for WebExtensions going forward. Support for WebExtensions was experimental in the browser.
The following reasons are provided:
- WebExtensions support in Basilisk was at odds with support for XUL-based extensions; XUL-based extensions can do anything that WebExtensions can do already and without the need to create specific APIs for functionality that is not supported by the default WebExtension APIs.
- WebExtensions may (and have already) introduce issues, security and otherwise, of their own.
- Disparity between supporting core WebExtension functionality and supporting XUL-based extensions.
- Interface modifications that are necessary to integrate WebExtensions in a XUL-based browser.
It would require immense effort and manpower to keep up with Mozilla's WebExtensions development. Moonchild acknowledges that the team does not have the manpower for that.
The decision was made to focus on XUL and drop support for WebExtensions.
Basilisk users who have WebExtensions installed may see them being removed automatically from the browser in a future update. The only option to avoid this is to stay on the current version (or the last version of the browser with WebExtensions support); that is not suggested, however, as updates may patch security issues and other issues.
The number of users affected by the change is unclear; one of the main reasons for using Basilisk is that it supports XUL-based extensions.
Users who require support for XUL-based extensions and WebExtensions at the same time may want to check out Waterfox. The browser supports both (WebExtensions to a degree) but has issues of its own.
Now You: Did you try Basilisk or use it regularly?
So what differentiates Basilisk from ‘Pale Moon’ from there on? I’ve always considered the basic (excessively basic certainly) that Basilisk = ‘Pale Moon’ + ‘Webextensions support’.
The big differences are that Basilisk supports DRM content and features the “Australis” UI style from FF 29-56. Pale Moon does not.
Well, you can actually install a theme that brings the Australis to PM too, so DRM is technically the only difference.
False. Australis isn’t just a theme, it’s a set of technologies that deeply changed the way Firefox presented its UI. Pale Moon’s Australium theme has technically little to do with the real Australis.
The fact that it’s difficult to tell the visual differences between the Australis UI and the Australium theme should speak to both the extension system’s versatility and the theme author’s capabilities. :)
“WebExtensions may (and have already) introduce issues, security and otherwise, of their own.”
LEL. Yeah..and Xul add-ons are safer..not. The opposite is the case
Thats what i thought. What a poor excuse. XUL addons are much more dangerous because they don’t have restrictions. By the way, whats the point of using old XUL addons which probably don’t get updates anymore? Makes it even more unsecure.
cause they work, unlike the nonexistent WE ones that rely on nonexistent APIs
and even if we can restore the most of functionality (like in newsfox’ case, just the interface won’t be native anymore) there’s no sane reason to migrate all accumulated data
though I’m not with Moonchild here, we need both old and new and to gradually move towards the new ones as the API grows, I have tons of WE in my waterfox and just the ones that can’t be replaced as classic ones (Pocket, Newsfox, Fire Gestures)
@zakius: Newsfox cannot not be used in Firefox Quantum, but from your comment I get the impression you have found a workaround: is that right? If so, would you care to share how that’s done?
I guess the reason is that the guys don’t have mainpower to make Webextension compatibility and stay with old, unmaintained and unsecure add-ons.
That was the reason for me to leave pale moon and use Firefox again
@Malte: “whats the point of using old XUL addons which probably donâ€™t get updates anymore?”
The point is that the new system is less powerful and cannot do many things that XUL can do. If those things are important to you, then XUL is your only option.
Pale Moon is having XUL addons created/forked for it by the team behind the browser, that way there would generally be no issues with compatibility or addons not working. The idea behind Basilisk is a test bed for future iterations of Pale Moon to be built off of. Basilisk may end up looking more like Pale Moon as time goes on and as Mozilla specific updates to the backend no longer mesh with the forked engine Goanna.
You won’t be laughing when the “less secure” “old” XUL Legacy uBlock Origin will offer better blocking capabilities (which already does btw) than the “more secure” “New” but ultimately crippled WebExtension version, Google has some really nice surprises for you ;-)
1. who says XUL uBO offers better blocking capabilities than the WE version?
2. Google’s “nice surprises” relate to Chrome, not to Firefox.
1. Mozilla says https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Mozilla/Add-ons/WebExtensions/Comparison_with_XUL_XPCOM_extensions
2. What makes you so sure that Firefox won’t copy google this time?
Ad 1: that article is about XUL and WE generally, not about uBO. But let’s say uBO is also affected. WE was developed for increased security, so XUL should eventually be dropped by users if they value their online security. So I don’t understand your fervent support for XUL.
2. Firefox might copy Google, but it might not. You are speculating, which is fine, but the way you presented it above is as if it is a certainty that FF will copy. It is NOT.
1. Why wouldn’t uBO be affected? it was originally developed as a XUL XPCOM and then was ported as a hybrid add-on and later as a WebExtension. Regarding your second point, True WebEx API uses a sandbox model to protect the browser, however this has the disadvantage of the limiting access to browser’s internal code hence why WebEx add-ons are vastly inferior to XUL XPCOM add-ons, not to mention that most APIs in WebEx are still in experimental stage.
So you have sources for that? Don’t think so
Also Google isn’t Firefox and I don’t care about privacy shitty google
>which already does btw
Um, no. The webextension version offers way more capabilities than the legacy version. Just refer to the official changelogs: https://github.com/gorhill/uBlock/releases. The legacy version doesn’t receive much new features, and sometimes pull requests are required for bug fixes e.g. https://github.com/gorhill/uBlock/commit/3f3ace27efbfc019b9d7431b709060eff38c98e2.
>Google has some really nice surprises for you
Nothing is concrete yet about manifest v3. More discussion here: https://github.com/uBlockOrigin/uBlock-issues/issues/338
No, WebExtension doesn’t offer more capabilities than the XUL version for the simple fact that it has way more limited access to various API’s, therefore all these new features you’re talking is already available in the Legacy version due to the far greater API access.
Straight from the horses mouth https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Mozilla/Add-ons/WebExtensions/Comparison_with_XUL_XPCOM_extensions
Looking at google’s business practices and history, the manifest v3 is more likely to happen than not.
>WebExtension doesnâ€™t offer more capabilities than the XUL version for the simple fact…
We weren’t originally comparing webextensions in general vs legacy extensions, but specifically comparing the two versions of a particular extension – uBlock Origin. Your original comment was:
>You wonâ€™t be laughing when the â€œless secureâ€ â€œoldâ€ XUL Legacy uBlock Origin will offer better blocking capabilities (which already does btw) than the â€œmore secureâ€ â€œNewâ€ but ultimately crippled WebExtension version
which is factually wrong because webextension *uBlock Origin* has more features than legacy *uBlock Origin*. Stop moving goalposts.
> What makes you so sure that Firefox wonâ€™t copy google this time?
What makes you sure they will? Firefox’s WebExtensions API already offers capabilities which are not to be found in Chromium’s version of the WebExtensions API, so no reason to think they will flush the webRequest API (which already is better designed than the Chromium one).
>What makes you sure they will?
With a merely 5% global market share that decline each year they have no other option.
>With a merely 5% global market share that decline each year they have no other option.
How firefox market share has to do anything with chrome’s new API ?
it isn’t like chrome’s new API are going to force websites to make changes and in return force firefox to copy it.
Webextensions are even so weak they allow no proper real UI customization as compared to what XUL offered.
Also, the only REAL reason why Mozilla implemented Webextensions was because of Chrome parity.. to get users back who are using Chrome now. One of many decisions why Mozilla is/was mimicking Chrome.
Also – XUL and Webextensions are to the same degree not secure – you can exploit EVERYTHING if you want. The only 100% secure add-on technology is to have NO add-on technology.
Everything what Mozilla dropped, was stronger/better than what Google Chrome offered. But Mozilla dropped it, because their goal is to to combating Google and to become number one market-share wise. And to reach the simple users, you have to exclude everything which they think is bloat. Simple math. As simple/basic users have a different need as compared with Geeks or power users.
Mozilla only follows these days the system of greed – That’s it. So, your knight in shiny white armor is as bad as the multi-billion-dollar corporations. Nothing of being proud of – at least no-more!
Your post doesn’t make sense.
Webextension add-ons are not weak and why have uBlock + uMatrix (for example) same and even more features then old xul if it’s so restrictive?
@Lord-Lestat is just going on about how WebExtensions don’t allow for UI modifications the way XUL extension do. As for me, I like how Quantum looks, so I don’t need UI changes. It just works.
XUL is more powerful. There is nothing that the new versions of uBlock can do that the XUL version couldn’t do. The only reason a web extension version would have more features is because the author didn’t put them in the XUL version. Consider downthemall! The author of downthemall had issue after issue trying to get his extension ported. Even now the APIs needed for it to work as it should aren’t implemented. Maybe someday it will get them, but Web Extensions are playing a long game of catch up.
There’s nothing inherently insecure with the XUL overlay or bootstrap ways of doing extensions. It’s just that Mozilla was too lazy/greedy to pay capable add-on reviewers and instead, now relies on faulty automatic reviewing. Just look at the myriad of trash that AMO now hosts. This wasn’t the case in the start of the decade.
I’ve been using Basilisk regularly for a while now, together with Pale Moon. Had to find older, working versions of some add-ons (uMatrix, All-in-one Gestures), set it up, add my userChrome, and that’s it. Never had any big issues, light and fast. Since Firefox started eating more RAM than Chrome, Pale Moon and Basilisk are my go-to browsers. As for differences between them – don’t know, except that I like the old Firefox look.
Just because Chrome feels faster, doesn’t mean it’s “eating” less ram. Chrome actually eats a lot more ram than Firefox. Just look in the taskmanager and add up all Chrome instances.
I have 2 GB of RAM on my computer. If I’m using Firefox for longer than 15 minutes RAM usage keeps growing and my computer might freeze, then I get mad and force restart it, and after the last Chrome facelift it’s not much better. May not lead me to unplugging my computer, but not much better. I did all the tweaks in Firefox, including limiting the number of processes, didn’t help. I can surf with Basilisk and Pale Moon all day without keeping my eye on the System Load Monitor, may or may not not be safer but I’m using Linux and I’m careful about where I’m going and what I’m doing, a habit from my old Windows XP days. ;-)
MDN, Your RAM memory problem is quite easy to fix with the free Firemin program (Latest version 188.8.131.5260 (portable & installer) (the latest version is from -’18-11-24).This a really great memory leaks fixer for not only Firefox and Chrome but also for almost countless other programs with memory leaking problems. . I have been using for quite a while now.
So I’m not the only one. Thank you! I see there is no Linux version, but I have a friend with a Windows machine in the same situation, so I’ll send him a link.
@Paul(us) thank you very much for your suggestion. I have tried also the memory booster of the same author, https://www.rizonesoft.com/downloads/memory-booster/ and it works so pretty well that I can’t believe why MS has not implemented yet this way to optimize memory by default. Before this fantastic memory booster I had around 35% free RAM while browsing with Chrome, however now I have, after 30 minutes using it and ten tabs opened, around 50% free RAM. Just simply amazing! If I used both (Firemin + memory booster) at the same time the amount of free RAM using Firefox increases up to 55%, not too much, however it’s good value after all. I hope @Martin will do a review about these two marvelous pieces of software. Thanks Ghacks to let me know some useful info! :)
While this is great news for XUL add-ons, what happens to add-ons, where the xul-type is not maintained anymore? I’m talking about Ublock Origins, Adblock etc.? A browser without up-to-date addblockers won’t survive 2019.
Well, as it happens, the legacy build of uBlock Origin was updated to 184.108.40.206 yesterday. But your worries are probably justified. The current uBO version for Chrome and Firefox is 1.17.4 with 1.17.7 coming soon. Will there ever be a v. 1.17 (and higher) legacy uBO build? I have my doubts.
Also, there is no recent legacy version of NoScript (a very popular add-on) and no development of a PM compatible alternative which does the same thing.
On the plus side: Pale Moon and Basilisk users can still install and use the Secret Agent add-on (which hasn; t been updated since December 2016.
Adblock Latitude and ABPrime are proper Pale Moon/Basilisk extensions. UXP doesn’t rely on Mozilla to have its own add-on ecosystem.
Ad blockers rely on filter lists which will continue to update and work even if the extension isn’t updated.
You don’t understand how adblockers work.
Did you try Basilisk or use it regularly?
Yes & no, just one time, just five minutes, 1 min to install, 3 min to open and load one page, 1 mn to desinstall it completely.
(Hey, why the favicon on the screenshot still loading the Ghacks website?)
Seems to me Moonchild once again shows he has no proper business plan. It was the same with FossaMail: he developed it, kept it going for a while, then dropped it abruptly for lack of resources.
Now he has 2 browsers going, which were slightly different, and lo & behold, lack of resources is once again making him change direction. Before long he’ll have to give up either Pale Moon or Basilik, and drop his users in the sh*t. Typical.
pretty much what Mozilla did :shrug:
@Klaas Vaak the only typical thing here is your type of comment. First of all, lack of resources was not the only reason, so read again. Lack of resources only became a reason because Mozilla actively does and will keep doing changes.
“Before long heâ€™ll have to give up either Pale Moon or Basilik, and drop his users in the sh*t.”
Guess you can predict the future, too. “Before long” especially is hilarious, because I keep seeing these type of comments here on gHacks for years. Even if Pale Moon disappeared tomorrow (won’t happen, even if you seem to desire it), it would have been quite a ride for those able to appreciate it, since it was first released in 2009. I’d say that’s pretty good for a free, independent browser.
1. lack of resources *may* not have been the only reason, but, once again, it was a contributing reason, as before
2. I did not state that I would drop PM, I stated he’ll drop either. I don’t give a toss about PM nor about Basilik, whether either or both survive or die. If they survive, so much the better for the users. The more browsers there are the better for users’ choice.
My point is that Moonchild keeps having resource problems that, perhaps among a number of other factors, force him to drop projects, but then happily takes on new projects. Fossamail is a beautiful case in point which you conveniently sidestep. Here he started a 2nd browser, then has to change direction again, leaving users out in the cold; luckily I am not among them.
@Klaas Vaak “leaving users out in the cold” – what “cold” is that, exactly? No one made any promises or contract, the browser was labelled beta/experimental from the start (and still is) and a final, minor detail: it’s still there.
I doubt anyone uses Basilisk for its WebExtension capabilities, there’s Firefox for that. And please, what’s with the drama? “Leaving out in the cold”… that’s mental.
@Alex: leaving out in the cold means dropping users who started using the app, some for experimental reasons, others for permanent reasons. In both cases the WE aspect was undoubtedly a consideration since it was 1 of the distinguishing features compared with PM.
Moonchild then does an about-face and drops the WE side. Fine, but that leaves the 2nd group I mentioned as having to choose a replacement and yet again reconfigure the new browser.
I understand that as a PM fan you cannot stand to see any criticism of neither your app nor your hero Moonchild. Contrary to what you are trying to prove, I have nothing against PM, I do have something against Moonchild’s haphazard behaviour that keeps popping up. If you don’t like my comments, sorry, but that’s just too bad for you.
@Klaas Vaak “Fossamail is a beautiful case in point which you conveniently sidestep”
I sidestepped FossaMail? How is FossaMail even related to a Basilisk-feature announcement?
Funny though you’d even consider this as a… beautiful argument, because a FossaMail replacement (Interlink) is already in place and fully working as a Thunderbird alternative, and it works a treat. And FossaMail was still there for anyone to use with security updates, just without support and official development.
Let me remind you once again, since you are obviously the one sidestepping things… Basilisk is BETA, WebExtension support on it is/was EXPERIMENTAL, everything is FREE, no one is forcing you to use any of it.
You keep insisting on “manpower”… why not help them yourself then if you want more, larger and better projects? Did anyone on the Pale Moon team make any claims being a large corporation with unlimited resources to make every single Internet user happy for all eternity? At least they are trying.
Get real please and stop moaning about mundane things. Since people fail to do anything else, I’d wish for all of us to moan about tech giants like Google and Facebook endangering the freedom and privacy of the entire Internet… but I guess moaning about Moonchild removing experimental features from an experimental browser makes more sense. Definitively easier, too.
@Alex: the Fossamail saga was mentioned as an example of Moonchild’s haphazard behaviour, no business plan. Stop pulling my comments out of context.
Fossamail replaced by Interlink? Wow, another one of Moonchild’s products? Guess what the future holds there.
Basilik may have been experimental, but coming up with experiments then changing course drastically like that does not contribute to one’s credibility, esp. if carried out by someone who has a history of doing that.
So, my statement remains that Moonchild has no real business plan, or in any case not the resources, keeps coming up with projects he cannot follow through (e..g. Fossamail), then changes course and leaves users out in the cold.
Now, if that does not bother you, by all means keep using his apps, good for you.
Interlink Mail & News is a software project by Binary Outcast. BinOC is my site and brand and predates Pale Moon or Moonchild Productions.
BinOC Development of Interlink has NOTHING to do with Moonchild Productions and while Interlink is an alternative to Thunderbird or the discontinued FossaMail it is not a continuation of them. It will follow its own path as I define it. Moonchild has no control over the project.
You can always check out out at binaryoutcast.com!
How do you respond to this Tobin? removing authorship/info from the patches you get from firefox, if true, it’s a very serious offense, and yes this person is gorhill, author/dev of uBO.
My response? Re-read the Mozilla Public License 2.0..
Because it is followed to the letter.
@Alex: another one of your comments shown to be utter BS by the dev himself, in this case Interlink. Elsewhere here it was uBO.
Next time you try to convince someone of something, some with facts instead of BS. Thank you.
>Lack of resources only became a reason because Mozilla actively does and will keep doing changes.
I like how the Pale Moon crowd keeps jumping between “Pale Moon is a true fork, completely independent of Mozilla” and “Pale Moon is facing trouble because Mozilla keeps changing things,” depending on whatever’s convenient for the moment.
And my favourite one from Tobin – “Pale Moon is not and will never be Firefox again”
It is actually “Pale Moon is not Firefox and never will be again”.
@Matt Tobin (cause I know you like when I say it that way)
Why thank you for clarifying that quote.
@Lurker you are comparing apples with oranges: software forks with WebExtensions. Completely irrelevant.
Even more likeable is how people here take every single Pale Moon forum announcement and turn it into a universal technological drama.
Of course, it always the same ones. Borrowing your own, well-worn words: the anti-Pale Moon crowd. Also, this is not about Pale Moon at all. Quite revealing – you didn’t even bother read the announcement and the present article properly.
If Pale Moon / Basilisk are true, independent forks, as is often parroted, then *no* amount of upstream changes should affect them. The fact that the upstream changes in question are related to webextensions is completely irrelevant. Unless the claim that they are independent forks was hollow to begin with…
>Even more likeable is how people here take every single Pale Moon forum announcement and turn it into a universal technological drama.
Do you think it is strange that Waterfox discussions don’t rile up people while Pale Moon discussions almost always do? Could it because of the difference in attitude of their developers and their userbase?
>Also, this is not about Pale Moon at all. Quite revealing â€“ you didnâ€™t even bother read the announcement and the present article properly.
PM and Basilisk have much in common and what I said applies to both: From https://www.basilisk-browser.org/, emphasis mine:
>This browser is created and maintained by the team behind Pale Moon, and is *a fully independent fork of the Mozilla/Firefox code.*
If it is, then blaming Mozilla for continuing to “change things” makes no sense.
@Lurker: +1. Moonchild has no business plan and needs excuses for changing course drastically each time he “discovers” he has insufficient resources.
The reason why Pale Moon discussions are “riling up people” :
– As it is for the criticism crowd non-acceptable that Pale Moon does not go like Firefox the Chrome imitation way
– That it does not embrace Webextensions – Google’s “holier than you” add-on technology
– Pale Moon tries to stay a customizable browser and tries to avoid of becoming another feel-good-have of the simplicity crowd
Basilisk has always been a development platform and web extension support was always experimental. The API was not being expanded so web extension support was already in decline from the get go. Users were already going to be frustrated by only partial web extension support. At what point should we expect the user who is using a development platform browser created for testing to know that’s what it’s for? I’d say it would be unreasonable to get upset even if Basilisk were discontinued altogether.
I actually did try Basilisk a while but it was so goddamn sluggish, even regular Firefox 52 was faster (and compatible with more sites). If I had to choose between PM or Basilisk, I’d choose the former definitely, I’m even using it now.
This is bullshit. There’s no reason for Basilisk to be slower and less compatible with web standards than Firefox 52, with all the effort that has gone to the platform and the application code.
XUL extensions will not be maintained for long, given the minuscule amount of users running browsers that support them.
So now the only viable option for those that want both XUL and WebExtensions support is Waterfox.
Pale Moon is used by a silent and happy majority of million of users everyday, far more than the weekend hobby project that Waterfox is. Their next-generation Add-Ons Site (Phoebus 2.0) will be launching at the end of the month which will empower its own add-on ecosystem even more, so I don’t know what you’re on about.
Do you have any statistical data that you base your assertion on?
Can you suggest what percentage of users use Pale Moon?
Can you suggest now many non-trivial XUL extensions are in active development?
Here is my data:
“StatCounter estimates that Pale Moon had a 0.02% market share for desktop browsers in November 2018”
Raw data from http://gs.statcounter.com/browser-market-share shows it is 0.01% now.
How many extension writers would choose XUL given that market share?
https://addons.palemoon.org/extensions/ lists a total of 177 extensions. How many of them have been updated in the past 6 months?
Like it or not, WebExtensions is where the development is and I prefer a browser that supports both, weekend hobby or otherwise.
Nice data you had there /s. I always change my user agent, so I can be chrome or chromium or even edge. This data is bullshit, irrelevant, unnecessary. Nobody in no one in their right mind will not share his real useragent and platform.
All right then. How many users would change user agent? I consider myself as a power user, been using computers since ZX Spectrum and Amiga500 times and never had to change useragent. Never.
A lot of Pale Moon users regularly need to spoof their user agents for specific sites (general.useragent.override. in about:config) because a lot of sites use user agent sniffing, which often only accounts for three or four major browsers and tells everyone else that they are bots or “unsupported”. Having to spoof UAs in Pale Moon means that the native UA gets less exposure across the web. In addition, many users use adblocking methods that will prevent third-party statistics counters from counting their visits. Therefore, any user counts you see on e.g. StatCounter for Pale Moon usage will always be artificially low.
That seems like a bad move. You may as well stick with PM as it’s faster, had far more work done on it, plus it’s cross platform. It now has the same problem as PM, going forward hardly any devs are going to invest any time in extensions for it. So for example Bitwarden, Enpass, 1Password. are never going to work.
@Tamris: Are you from MSFN? :)
Happy with Quantum ESR. Basically with userChrome.css, I have tabs underneath, so it looks like a classic browser (other than the flat look – which I’ve now come to like since goes well with Windows 8). And yes, initially I missed a progress bar, but really you don’t even need it. I can tell instantly when a site isn’t loading anymore.
It’s called adaptability people.
It is called giving up, accepting to have no choice – embracing the dark side – of Google style!
Also THIS is hardly something of which one should be proud of @Jody Thornton
That’s great! If I could make post-Quantum Firefox work as well for me as pre-Quantum FF, I’d be using it as my daily driver too. But I can’t, and the problem seems to be growing worse with every release.
OK so @John Fenderson, what is it that you’re not able to do with Quantum (I don’t mean to be argumentative, I was just curious)
Sure… there are really three big sticking points for me. I have more issues than these, but I might be able to live with the other losses if the new Firefox brought benefits to balance them (which, for my use case, it does not).
I cannot modify the UI to be something that works well for me, I cannot have extensions such as DownloadThemAll, and the issue with NoScript (the WE version is painful to use and more limited compared to the XUL version).
Not really an extension but as an alternative to DownThemAll I suggest JDownloader and for NoScript uMatrix.
Both of those alternatives seem a lot more powerful to me anyway. Although JDownloader may be a resource hog compared to DownThemAll.
I’m not saying that Firefox Quantum changed everything for the better but it actually seems more stable and snappy to me and I found an alternative for everything that I care about. If you need anything else, let me know. I was in the same situation as you, I’d like to help, if I can. :)
Thank you. I have tried both of those (and more!), but they don’t really do it for me. I mean, I could get by with them if I had to, but by using Waterfox, I don’t have to compromise at all.
“it actually seems more stable and snappy to me”
I don’t have any stability issues, so I can’t honestly say that post-Quantum Firefox is more stable. Snappy? Maybe, but that’s not something that is terribly important to me. Sure, if I could get that without losing other benefits, that’d be great — but that’s not on offer.
Mozilla is optimizing Firefox for things that don’t matter to me, and in the process has rid itself of things that are very important to me. I have already come to terms with the fact that I am not Mozilla’s target demographic.
@John Fenderson: I find Xtreme Download Manager in combination with its Firefox extension a very fast downloader.
I hadn’t heard of that one, but it’s not clear to me that it does what I want. I don’t download streams (and I’m not terribly concerned with download speed, really). What I want is the ability to select a bunch of items on a webpage and download them.
In any case, this isn’t as much of a problem as the other two that I mention (especially the inability to alter the UI, as there is literally no solution, not even a poor one, for that).
Regardless, I’m not actually asking for help with this stuff (although I appreciate the efforts!) As I mentioned in my original comment, the development direction that Firefox has taken means that each release is less appealing to me than the last anyway.
I am not Firefox’s target demographic.
@John Fenderson: sorry to have misunderstood you and to have troubled you.
Just to clarify: I don’t download streams either, I only download files, and if you have to download a .iso file you’ll appreciate a bit of speed ;-) XDM can be used for files too. Anyway, if it’s not what you want, then don’t bother.
I do frequently engage in very large downloads (mostly large datasets and .isos) where speed is important, but I don’t use a browser for those at all. I usually use either scp or bittorrent, depending.
OK, clear. I have tried several bittorrent clients but cannot get them to work as I expect them, i.e. large throughput in a short period. It is probably me not handling them well. Right now I have Tixati, but am not impressed so don’t really use it.
Which client do you use, if I may ask?
I mostly use utorrent. How fast you can download using bittorrent depends on how many seeders there are for the file in question, and where you set the ratelimiting in the clients. I mostly use it between my own machines, not for downloading from others, so I have a great deal of control over the things that impact speed.
@John Fenderson: thanks John.
Happy, and will stick with Palemoon.
I Don’t follow the sheep.
So … the difference between Pale Moon and Basilisk is?
Australis, DRM, WebRTC.
Remember the number one policy of Pale Moon and indeed adopted by related projects. You should always use what works for you.. If that is Pale Moon or Basilisk? Great, if not, then by all means use what ever you want.
I have adopted the same principle my self when it comes to Interlink Mail & News. If it works well for you and it is what you want.. Then that is fantastic. Else, use webmail or Thunderbird, or hell Outlook Express on Windows XP..
We only want to develop applications that are intended to be useful. If they aren’t to you, no one is forcing you to use them. NO ONE. Unlike some other vendors and companies ;)
ALSO, people here have cited a “business plan”. While it is true Moonchild does this stuff for a living and manages to scrape by month to month.. It really isn’t a business in the sense that it is a for profit company with stockholders and loans and such. Even if Moonchild wasn’t able to scrape by month to month on developing Pale Moon and the broader Unified XUL Platform that would just mean he would need to find other sources of funding like an unrelated job. Sure this would cut into his time dedicated to coding and running services but if worse came to worse I am sure the rest of us could pick up the slack.
People cite resources. Yes, doing things on a shoestring and largely on a voluntary and contributory basis does mean there are limited resources.
ONE person summed it up pretty well.. WebExtensions is a moving target and no one, not developers, not users would be happy with WebExtensions in their Basilisk state as-is. We merely need to focus on what does matter to all of us which is the XUL and related technologies we are committed to continuing.
Some of us were never exactly happy with WebExtensions from the start but I am not going to reiterate that whole story. The simple fact is.. Basilisk STILL has much to offer some users. DRM for their netflix and hulu and Youtube Premium. WebRTC for their Discord and Skype. As well as pretty much static XUL + Jetpack/SDK support for extensions targeting the Australis Technologies.
As a Firefox-like Web Browser from the late Australis era, I think Basilisk still has much use outside the Platform Example and Testing Application role. Though, I think Pale Moon is more true to the classical mozilla role. It does show that radically different applications can exist side-by-side on UXP.
Hope this helps to clear up any misconceptions and questions.
PS: Martin, cover Interlink, I did kinda work hard on it :P
Glad that was resolved.
One of the advantage of Basilisk over Pale Moon is the WebExtension support, now they remove it what’s Basilisk used for? Why don’t the dev just merge both the browser project into one?
@Anonymous: simple, the dev has no plan.
There is a plan though. Several in fact by several people. I for sure have one. Moonchild has one. Travis has one. As does Ryan, JustOff, Ascrod, and everyone else.
In general we are all going in the same direction but the travel details are the ones that are sometimes difficult to work out to everyone’s satisfaction and of course a few get changed along the way.
This is the reality of life.
Just because plans you aren’t fully aware of changed for reasons you don’t agree with doesn’t mean they cease to exist or were never there to start with.
@New Tobin Paradigm;
1. I don’t know who you are, but assume you are a member of the PM/Basilik team
2. Each team member may have their own plan, but that is of academic interest only
3. The only plan that counts for the outside world is the master plan, which is the responsibility of the leader/manager/head guru/whatever
4. I don’t who your leader is, but since Moonchild is always mentioned or replies here to comments I assume it is him, although at the end of the day it does not matter
5. That master plan may or may not be commercially based. Someone else here mentioned that a business plan is commercially based, but that is not necessarily so
6. I have never seen anything resembling a master plan mentioned, so, despite your comments and those of others here, I remain unconvinced there is anything like a master plan/business, and I base that on what happened with Fossamail and now with Basilik.
The broad plan of the Unified XUL Platform is to realize the full potental of the classical mozilla-style codebase our Netscape and “Old Mozilla” forefathers worked their fingers to the bone to create before the mass purgings of 2009, 2011, and finally 2013 left us with the Social Justice disaster of the Google following, virtue signalling, for profit, regressive, and destructive “Modern Mozilla” we have today which has all but obliterated the Mozilla Application and Mozilla Add-ons ecosystem along with their Firefox-above-all-else marketing-lead stratagy to redefine years and years of work as old and insecure out of ignorance of just how wonderful the technologies they were given really are.
The platform in the mid-2000s was designed from the XPFE suite to be so much more than that.. This is where dozens of mozilla-based applications became possible including Firefox, Thunderbird, Sunbird, XULRunner, Kompozer, BlueGriffin, Songbird, Nightengale, The original Flock, Camino and many more arose from.
Besides, ancient versions of those you might find on an old site or two you won’t find many of those projects active let alone in existance anymore and that is a great loss and shame..
There are also 12-15 thousand Firefox extensions and themes that represented up to 13 years of tireless work by people just like you that were also simply chuck in the bin one day because destruction is a casual desision if not policy at MozCo these days.
Wouldn’t it be nice for these things to be given new life either by those whom Mozilla ultimately betrayed or by the power of open source a new generation of developers to discover the power and joy those who have came before us enjoyed?
How about the same for mozilla-style applications via UXP?
You see, there are many plans, as I discussed, but there is really only one dream and try as they might, and they have, Mozilla and you cannot stop us or take that away from any of us as it was given to us by our Netscape forefathers on the eve of the first disaster in 1998.
@New Tobin Paradigm: thank you for clarifying the broad plan. You obviously have not understood the difference between a masterplan/business plan and a set of ideals of the team, the latter being a mission statement. A mission statement is not a business plan: the former is what you are striving to achieve, where to get to, whereas the latter is a specific set of steps of how to get there.
That said, you answer confirms the point I have been making that there is no real business plan, only a broad idea of what the team is striving for, and to get there the team leader from time to time launches an experiment, roping in a number of users to try it out. When he discovers he needs his resources elsewhere he drops the project and his guinea pigs with it.
As for your last sarcastic remark, “Mozilla and you cannot stop us or take that away from any of us as it was given to us by our Netscape forefathers on the eve of the first disaster in 1998”, you clearly have not understood what I have been saying, but let’s just put that down to my inadequate capability to communicate my thoughts clearly.
I can assure you that I have no axe to grind about either PM or Basilik, I could not care less whether they thrive or go under. In fact, the more browsers available, the better for user choice, as I stated in another comment in this thread.
So, I’ll leave you to have the last word if you wish; as for me, I have stated my thoughts and opinion probably ad nauseam for others here, therefore I’ll leave it at that. Goodbye and good luck with PM, Basilik, and whatever other projects the team launches.
Read Tobin’s comment instead of parroting nonsense.
@Anonymous: as far as I know no one else has mentioned a lack of plan, so your vacuous comment about “parroting” is based on getting a kick out of seeing your own words in print. Don’t worry, there others with the same problem.
As was stated when Basilisk was first released, it was designed to test and exercise the platform that both it and Pale Moon share (as well as a growing number of applications, such as Interlink and Ambassador). It was intended to be in a perpetual beta state for this reason, though it is also meant to serve as a closer relative to FF 52 than Pale Moon for anyone interested in using it.
Basilisk also supports DRM and WebRTC, while Pale Moon does not and never will – these features are disabled in the platform at build time for Pale Moon, and no UI is provided to configure them. Hence, the browsers will likely remain separate projects.
Perpetual beta state? So they can remove DRM and WebRTC too as they like?
@Anon In theory, developers can do whatever they like to their software products. The beauty of free and open source software is, if someone else doesn’t like it, they can fork the project and make their own changes as they see fit.
As for removing DRM or WebRTC, AFAIK there are currently no plans to remove these features.
“As was stated when Basilisk was first released”……
Clear as mud, thanks Ascrod !
“Masterplan”, in the understanding and meaning of “business plan”, that’s something which bigger companies have to make a cash cow out of a product and it’s users. For the business world this works fine. It’s raining money with a good product until the business plan says ‘Make more’ and in many cases product quality declines and users have to pay with money, time, nerves, data…
My interest in a browser is that is stable and functional for my needs and without selling my soul to some hidden business plan behind, or at least, let’s me reduce that to an acceptable level.
If Basilisk and Pale Moon provide this, without any “business plan” in the back, that’s one very good reason to use them and no “lack”. – BTW I haven’t met anyone on this planet who asked for a (mostly non-public) “business plan” before a software decision, so that seems to be just throw some bad fantasy into discussion.
Returning on topic, for web extensions users it’s surely not nice that Basilisk drops those. On the other hand, it’s still a demo and there’s enough legacy add-ons with almost same functions and I can understand that the Pale Moon team actually wants to focus on Pale Moon with its own, contributed and maintained add-ons.
1. I was not aware that there are people who meet every computer-using individual on the planet – you must be unique, or in any case 1 of very few people. Congratulations on that.
2. Before deciding to go for a browser, or any other piece of software for that matter, I don’t ask any company for a business plan, whether it is a Google or Basilik type business. I have not stated here that that is a sine qua non before I use a browser. What I have said is that Moonchild (or whoever the leader of the team is) keeps changing direction 180Â°, which strongly suggests he does not have a plan. I called such a plan a business plan to indicate something thought through, rather than some vague, noble “plans” by each of the team members as described by New Tobin Paradigm. Since business plan sounds too commercial for certain people, incl. you, I mentioned “master plan” as an alternative.
I have seen enough non-commercial projects/operations go down the tubes for lack of a master plan, which meant everyone was doing his own bit without having any specific, well-defined goal that a leader keeps on the radar screen and steers towards. That is my impression of the Basilik/Pale Moon set-up. I may be completely wrong, or I may be right but that in this particular case it does not or will not lead to going under, and that would be great for the team and the users.
I don’t pretend to hold the truth or the facts on this matter, I just expressed an opinion. Thus far I have not heard any convincing arguments to make me change my mind. You may call this “throw some bad fantasy into discussion”- it is of no more or no less interest than your criteria of “my interest in a browser is that is stable and functional for my needs and without selling my soul to some hidden business plan behind, or at least, letâ€™s me reduce that to an acceptable level.” After all, who gives a damn about your criteria; you just threw them in to present your point of view to our fellow users, like I do with my comments about a master plan.
Can you please list other recent instances where, as you put it, the developers of Pale Moon and Basilisk have “changed direction 180Â°” in a way that qualifies as “having no plan”?
@Ascrod: sure, Fossamail.
@Ascrod: why not comment on this one?
@Klaas I did below.
@Ascrod: good, so what else do you want? Or do you mean to tell me that a 180Â° change on FM is not enough? Or that that 180Â° change demonstrates “vision”? Or if you are trying to show that I am wrong about my premise that the organisation does not have a real plan, then that is fine by me too. I have stated my position sufficiently here so I will not repeat it. You can do with it whatever you like, that’s your right, I have nothing else to say.
I do want to thank you for a civilised discussion, which is in stark contrast to Tobin who is unable to take criticism and discuss factually and non-emotionally. Thanks again.
I’ll say. Look at how he reacts to a question about Interlink.
Sure, Matt is technically right, but sheesh, show some decorum on the forum.
@Jody Thornton: having read his replies here and at the Pale Moon forum page you linked to, as well as having seen his “website”, I now understand his aggressiveness. It is typical of someone who is unsure of himself because what he has to offer is …. well, not much.
His “website” is under construction, there are no screenshots to show what Interlink is about about but that pseudo-screenshot there is gives me the impression it is not dissimilar to Thunderbird or PM. Furthermore, there isn’t even a forum. So taking all this into consideration I certainly will not touch Interlink despite someone else’s suggestion here.
I am also aware that you get a lot of flak for your criticism of Pale Moon, but all I can say is keep up reasonable criticism as that is the only way to get improvements, and the likes of Moonchild and Tobin badly need to brought down a peg or 2.
Opinions should have a basis in facts dude. Since you “hold no truth or facts” and no desire to inform yourself of any of it how can you even form an opinion?
You don’t know who we are, what we have done, I doubt you have even bothered to run our software for one minute let alone seen a screenshot beyond an article or two..
Who are you? What do you want? Why are you here? What exactly is YOUR master plan, hmm?
Though I do wonder, since you stated you don’t care one eay or another about any of it why should anyone care to consider anything you say at this point?
Additionally, you have claimed that someone was just talking so they can see their words in print (do peple really consider comments sections the same as the articles them selves?) nevermind the relevance of what they say. May I suggest this is a touch of projection on your part.
I look forward to the very likely non-answers to follow.
@New Tobin Paradigm: sorry to have hurt your tender feelings. I understand your defensiveness, and many people have a problem with someone calling a spade a spade. I also apologise for not asking your permission 1st to form my own opinion.
To cut a long story short: yes, I happen to have used 2 of your products for a few years – Pale Moon and Fossamail. I ditched PM when its performance became so poor I could not use it comfortably anymore. Apologies if I hurt your tender feelings again.
I still have FM installed because I have been too lazy to ditch it. In fact, there isn’t an urgent reason to ditch it since it performs just like its parent Thunderbird. In fact, when Moonchild had to decide what to do I understand he dropped FM because there wasn’t a unique feature distinguishing it from its parent. Makes one wonder why this project was launched at all. Once again, sorry if I hurt your tender feelings here.
Last but not least, you have a lot to learn in terms of discussion. Your last comment betrays the arrogance that is so typical of Moonchild himself, and therefore of the team. But let me be clear: whether I hurt your tender feelings or make comments that you don’t agree with or don’t like, I will continue making them in the same style, and I shall refrain to ask your permission, or anyone else’s for that matter, to form my own opinion. As for “non-answers”, it takes an expert to identify them.
@Klaas Vaak Please check your facts again. FossaMail wasn’t dropped due to lack of interest or distinguishing features from Thunderbird, but due to lack of manpower available for fixing bugs and security patches. Rather than offering an unmaintained product that was not up to the project’s standards, development was shut down so that the lead developer could focus on the browser. This decision was only made after careful deliberation and more than a month of looking for someone who would maintain the client; that’s hardly indicative of a lack of planning.
Also, now that Interlink is out, it should prove a very suitable replacement for FossaMail. It is not an official Moonchild Productions product, but it builds on the same platform as the browsers. Why don’t you give it a try?
@Ascrod: FM was dropped because of lack of resources, which is the problem Moonchild has had, and which I have referred to here repeatedly. Not wanting to offer an unmaintained product is a good decision, not bringing a product on the market without a proper plan would have been even better.
Looking for someone to take over the development is not planning, it borders on crisis management.
As for Interlink, let me quote Matt A. Tobin (= New Tobin Paradigm?):
“BinOC Development of Interlink has NOTHING to do with Moonchild Productions ….”
But thanks for bringing Interlink, I’ll stick with Thunderbird from now. Interlink only has a short track record so far.
My feelings are not hurt by you. I am more confused about how you think opinions not based on facts can be a thing. What I feel for you right now is pity because I know no matter what I or anyone else says you will never be more than you are.
I would argue that you are the one concerned with emotions above anything else such as logic. It is astounding how so many people I run into are the very same way especially these days.
You can’t call something an opinion based on feelings with no insight. That is called fantasy. Opinions are beliefs based on something objective. Here is what an opinion looks like: I don’t like Google Chrome because of the multi-process model uses more ram than the single process but multi-threaded Pale Moon.
The facts in that opinion are that Chrome is multi-processed and thus has to load a minimum of code for every process and that Pale Moon isn’t and doesn’t. The Opinion is based on those facts and I don’t like Chrome because of it. Why? Because I believe one method is better than the other. BAM, Opinion formed!
What I see from you was rightly called out as fantasy based on emotional state not logic except a sprinkling of the flawed kind.
In addition, how can you judge a whole Team based on one or two people. You don’t even know for sure that Moonchild is the Lead Developer of Pale Moon and Basilisk. Did you know that I am not even officially apart of this nebulous Team anymore? Haven’t been since late 2016. I am however a continuing contributor and have lots of background in what the Pale Moon Project and UXP are doing because I helped set a good chunk of it.
You continue to act and comment without facts or basic knowledge which is easily attainable via the websites, forum, or merely asking one of us.
As a matter of fact, 2017 was a very hard year for all of us and for people in general and FossaMail was a causality of it but that’s fine. I created Interlink recently and in my view it is a superior E-mail client than stock Thunderbird and FossaMail simply because it is focused on not being a swiss army knife of stuff the Thunderbird Team kept piling on because their leadership has been in chaos for 3 years now.
Want to know another fact? I am responsible for pushing the removal of WebExtensions from Basilisk. How about this one? I am also responsible for the initial port of Pale Moon to Tycho (27) and to the Unified XUL Platform (28) and also the porting of the Tycho Add-ons Manager to UXP so that WebExtensions could be avoided in its entirety.
I also wrote the Pale Moon Add-ons Site software and created the entire initiative in the first place and I am a week or so away from releasing the next major version of that site software which is an almost totally new Phoebus. Phoebus 2.0 will introduce not only the Self Service and Administration Panel but also adds multi-application support via which domain name access the server. A Unified Add-ons Site Software Package one to serve Pale Moon, Basilisk, Interlink Mail & News, Ambassador, and Borealis Navigator (if I ever find time to get it done and released). I also created Adblock Latitude originally from Adblock Plus as well as ABPrime also from Adblock Plus but from a different era of code. And so much more.
I work most days of the week for 12-15 hours on some damn thing relating to all of these projects and it isn’t even just Pale Moon. My own projects, other people’s projects. Shared Service Infrastructure and Administration. All with the goal of realizing some part of the broad dream I laid out for you.
Tell me what have you been doing during the same time period? I been doing this as official parts of teams and as a contributor since 2014. All for little to nothing except to help others. Am I perfect? Hell no, but I try and in the end isn’t that what is important in the end?
Thank you for your attention.
@New Tobin Paradigm
> …. no matter what I or anyone else says you will never be more than you are.
That is an extremely wise observation, impressive even, esp. since that goes for you too, and just about every other human being in the world.
I understand you do not like my opinion, esp. since you have not been able to demonstrate that what I have said about Moonchild’s (sorry, don’t know the name of the organisation) is not true. Your explanation of every team member’s own vague plan merely confirms what I said.
FYI, I could not give a damn about your current or previous interactions the Moonchild team, nor how you spend your time and all the marvelous things you develop – I am just interested in the topic here, so how I spend my time is just as irrelevant as your fantastic achievements. All I can say is keep up the good work if you are happy, and good luck with your Interlink project – I hope it is more successful that failed product called Fossamail. May your “broad dream” come true.
You know just one thought here. If you look into Roytam1’s build of Serpent v55, on the MSFN forum, you may get achieve better compatibility with WebExtensions. What he does is recompliles the Pale Moon and Basilisk browsers to allow XP and Vista compatibility, but what really important here, is he backports updates to Basilisk 55 (the original one that the Pale Moon team abandoned. Apparently, Serpent/Basilisk 55 has better compatibility with WebExtensions.
You realize the Moebius version of Basilisk that 55 version number doesn’t mean a damn thing right? It was chosen as an arbitrary version number. Moebius actually dirives from gecko/53 plus easily backported pieces from 54 and 55 among the normal coarse of backports from even later where applicable. Indeed, current Unified XUL Platform has all this as well. Except the WebEx BS.
Roytam and the other XP person, if they were really so great why haven’t they created unique branding and made a proper project out of their efforts?
That I “somewhat” realized, though, I was just calling it Basilisk 55, because that was that “phrase” being used. Besides, I don’t use it myself. All I cared about relaying was that WebExtensions worked better with that build than the current Basilisk, according to those that tested it. Might be an option for some people.
And perhaps Roytam1 and whoever else, doesn’t want the workload of a full-blown project. They have their following. It works for them. Have they not approached you for branding questions?
Many of them tend to cite your hostile demeanor on that forum (yes the way I do ad nauseum), so maybe that’s why they don’t approach you. It’s worth thinking about.
Calling what they produce as “Basilisk” anything is incorrect. Only Moonchild Productions can deem something Basilisk as it is a copywritten and trademarked name and there is no license terms like there is for Pale Moon that can extend permission to use the mark under certain circumstances. It is NOT Basilisk.
You can call it Serpent but because they refuse to take five minutes and come up with original branding and the unofficial branding has no rights issues but it does cause confusion. But whatever it isn’t that important i guess.
I love Basilisk, except that they don’t allow downloading previous versions. I’m always afraid to upgrade because features may be dropped like this, and there is no going back!!! This is the browser I use for the DownThemAll extension, as no other download manager works as well for me.
Oops, it’d been a while since I looked for archives. I see they are now at: ftp://archive.palemoon.org/basilisk/
so I upgraded to the current version, and see the LastPass Password Manager extension is now gone, and I assume they no longer support one for the old versions of Firefox, so what do folks suggest to use instead? I guess I’ll just revert back one release for now…
I expect DTA will keep working in Basilisk for some time. That’s all I use Basilisk for, with DTA to simply download selected files on dex pages, FTP and such.
I could care less that Basilisk dropped web-extension support, as I use modern browsers for such, and with that I only miss DTA.
Note, Basilisk is “experimental” and as such a security risk. I only use it on a VM in a sandbox, on a dedicated test box.