Waterfox Classic development will continue, but as a separate project from G4
A few weeks ago, Waterfox G4 was released to the public. The update brought a modern design, but also introduced an unusual hardware requirement, that made it impossible to use the browser on computers that didn't support SSE 4.2. But some users were more concerned about the other browser, Waterfox Classic, and whether it has been abandoned.
Alex Kontos, the developer of the popular Firefox fork, had previously hinted that the Waterfox Classic version was not a priority. He had mentioned that its future depended on the ease of porting security fixes from Firefox ESR. No wonder users started worrying, but if you were among them, you can rest assured that it is still being worked on.
Waterfox Classic development will continue
Kontos has confirmed that Waterfox Classic will continue to be supported, but it will exist as a separate open-source project from Waterfox G4. The developer cites that it has been difficult to keep the browser up to date with the main project, which is why the two variants have been diverged.
This is a welcome move for multiple reasons. Firstly, users who relied on it will get new versions. But more importantly, this will improve the development process of the browser, because previously, issues related to both versions were tackled together. Now that Waterfox Classic has its own Github repository, users will be able to track and report issues related specifically to it. And since it is no longer tied with G4, issues won't be closed because of complications/incompatibilities with the modern version.
The developer says that Waterfox Classic's future will rely on contributions, by which he probably means what he previously mentioned, about porting security fixes from Firefox ESR. A list of unpatched security issues will be made available on the browser's website. The announcement also says that Waterfox Classic will have its own page on the official site, this is something which has bothered some users, as the lone mention of it, has been the link to the releases page, from which you can download the browser. These changes are expected to go live this week.
Waterfox Classic will warn the user that the browser could be vulnerable to multiple security issues, and it is up to the user to decide whether to proceed to user it or not. That is not a very reassuring message, although it is quite understandable and the transparency is appreciated. Kontos has done a commendable job in maintaining Waterfox for over 10 years, and it can't be easy to work on two projects at the same time. Hopefully we will see other contributors chipping in to the project to ease the burden.
Now, the announcement does not mention the availability of an update, Waterfox Classic's previous update was released on October 13th. The portable version of Watefox Classic has not been updated since April this year, let's see if things change with the new project.
Waterfox G4.0.2 update released
On a sidenote, Waterfox G4.0.2 has been released. The update introduces the Waterfox Classic theme, Australis. The release notes for the new version states that there are some new preferences in about:preferences#privacy. It doesn't mention what the new options are, when I compared it to the previous release the only change that I could see is that Waterfox G4.0.2's Standard protection will block Cross-site cookies in Private Windows.
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