Pale Moon 15.1 released! (detailed changelog)

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Pale Moon 15.1 released! (detailed changelog)

Postby Moonchild » Mon, 17 Sep 2012, 11:17

This is a major update to the new v15.0 release, to address a fairly large number of issues with the initial version.
This forum post will give a list of changes and additional explanation/notes for each change (detailed changelog) considering a few important things have changed in this version that may need clarification for Pale Moon users.

Important note:

From this release onwards, the system requirements for your operating system have changed: If you are still running Windows XP, you are required to have Service Pack 3 installed on it, or the browser will not start.


  • Restore Windows XP Professional x64 compatibility in the installer.
    The installer for Pale Moon 15.0 did not allow for the browser to be installed on Windows XP Professional x64. A second installer was created and made available for this O.S. specifically. This has now been fixed, and no separate installer is needed anymore for Windos XP x64
  • Fix the mouse wheel smooth scrolling preferences in the preferences dialog box (did not work in v15.0)
    The preferences in the Optiond dialog box (and Pale Moon's default values) would not apply to the browser. To change the values, you had to change them manually in about:config. This has now been fixed.
  • Prevent memory inflation on some integrated graphics drivers in canvas games
    Some integrated graphics chips (most notably Intel IGPs) would suffer from rapid memory inflation in some circumstances when using canvas. A fix has been implemented to stop using "miscellaneous" GDI resources to prevent this kind of inflation.
  • Fix for private browsing mode (Firefox 15.0.1 top fix)
    Private browsing mode would have files stored in the browser's disk cache, while they shouldn't be saved to disk at all. Although important from a security point of view, looking up the locations visited through the browser's disk cache is not straightforward, and private browsing sessions were secure otherwise. The security subsystem has been rolled back to a previous version (Firefox 14 equivalent) to fix cache handling in Private Browsing.
  • Fix for Javascript stability issues on 32-bit versions (speed/stability trade-off)
    Pale Moon 15.0 would display some issues due to compiler problems in the 32-bit versions of the Microsoft compiler, resulting in unstable compiled code. This could lead to irregular behavior of the browser, including page load issues, web elements not displaying properly, javascript stalling and other hard to reproduce problems. To solve this issue, the build process has been altered to exclude javascript from the 2-stage profiled build method (PGO). As a result, benchmark scores for javascript functions may be a little lower, although in a real-world scenario and overall operation of the browser, it will have negligible impact.

Regression fixes:

  • Restore the favicon in the URL bar. (Behavior change: new logic)
    Pale Moon 15.0 saw a change in display of icons at the start of the address bar. Previously, the browser would display a site's "Favicon", and with the change it would either be a generic "globe" icon for normal sites or a padlock for secure sites.
    This behavior has changed, bringing back the "Favicon" at the start of the URL, and selectively a padlock for secure sites, but only at times where displaying the lock is pertinent for your security. Because the behavior is different than what other browsers will do, now, a run-down on when the padlock shows:
    • When first visiting a secure site, the padlock will show if the site uses high-grade encryption (and only then!). Low-grade encryption should not be considered secure anymore today, so Pale Moon will not display the padlock in that case, and show the Favicon instead
    • When visiting a site with mixed content (secure and non-secure elements), the Favicon will be shown instead of the padlock
    • When switching your focus to another page (switching tabs) and returning to the secure site, the padlock will be replaced with the Favicon for the site, and the padlock will no longer show
    • When navigating a secure site (switching pages on the secure site) and when reloading a secure page, the padlock will once again show
    The logic behind this way of working is to only show the padlock for a secure connection when it actually matters to the user, i.e.: at the time when you would normally want to verify that you are on a secure site. At all times, you can click either the padlock or the Favicon to pop up the Site Identity panel and get more details about your connection to the server.
  • Fix for top level images with transparency (white background)
    When viewing images directly in the browser, Pale Moon 15.0 would show a white background for the transparent part of images, instead of using the background color like before in 12.3, as well as having the incorrect background color (a darker grey). This has been fixed, and the images are shown with a transparent background again on the intended background color (configurable from this version onwards, see below).
  • Remove noise from top level image background
    Firefox added "noise" to the background when viewing images directly in the browser. This was an undesirable change, would look particularly bad on some TFT screens, and would interfere with the new feature of being able to select a custom background color because the "noise" would not work well with the full range of available colors.
  • Undo the redesign of the Safe Mode dialog box
    Firefox 15's "Start in safe mode" dialog box (shown when restarting from the Help menu, starting the browser with SHIFT depressed or when using the -safe-mode command-line parameter) was redesigned to only have the option to completely reset your user profile or start in Safe mode to manually troubleshoot the problem. The options to disable all add-ons (still called this way in the Help menu!), reset preferences, reset toolbars and controls, and a few more options were removed. Pale Moon 15.1 restores these choices to the dialog box allowing the user to selectively fix the parts that need fixing, instead of taking a sledgehammer to the profile as the only option.
  • Restore Alt-Click save dialog box
    Pale Moon 15.0 doesn't show the "Save as" dialog box when holding down Alt and clicking on a link (shortcut for right-clicking and selecting "save link as"). This has been restored.
  • Restore proper identity panel for domain-verified sites (blue panel)
    "Domain-verified" sites, meaning secure sites that have not enrolled in the so-called "Extended Verification" certificate program to show a green lock and identity in the browser, would not have the verified domain name displayed anymore (previously the blue identity panel) and just show a grey padlock. The blue display of the domain name has been restored to show the domain has been verified and your connection is encrypted. This impacts a lot of sites (including e.g. Google!)
  • Restore support for the browser.identity.ssl_domain_display setting
    Support for this parameter, allowing you to select whether to display the domain verified domain name, the complete host name, or nothing (used in the previous point) was removed in the Firefox 15 code base. This has been restored.
  • Restore address bar autofill preference to its desired default state (no autofill)
    The address bar, when typing part of a previously visited location, would automatically fill in the top level web site address, interfering with searching from the address bar. This has been reverted to not automatically filling in the partial address - also considering using the awesome bar with arrow-down gives finer control over which previous location to revisit if that is what you want.
    As in previous versions, you can switch autofill on again by setting the parameter browser.urlbar.autoFill to true in about:config

Added features:

  • Add control for a custom top level image background color
    When viewing images directly in the browser, you now have the option to set your own custom image background color.
    To use this, you need to go to about:config and set the parameter browser.display.standalone_images.background_color to your desired value. You can use named colors (e.g. "white", "black", "red") or hex colors (e.g. "#FFD0D5")
  • Implement Direct2D brush caching (performance win) Azure only
    Using Direct2D brush caching, Pale Moon 15.1 can be significantly faster for some uses. For example, it gives a large boost in the IE tests Accelebration and BrowserHunt when azure is enabled for content. Thanks go to Tete009 for supplying the information needed for this patch
  • Implement multi-threaded box blur (performance win for multi-core systems) BACKED OUT IN 15.1.1
    Using a multi-threaded method for canvas box-blurring, a graphical effect very often used, a significant performance improvement has been achieved on multi-core CPUs by making this a parallel process. Thanks go to Tete009 for supplying the information needed for this patch
  • Add a Profile Reset feature (from Help -> Troubleshooting information)
    If you have a need to completely reset your user profile, you can now do this from the support page found through Help -> Troubleshooting information or by typing in about:support. You will now have a reset button on the top right of the page that allows you to quickly and automatically reset your entire profile, if required. Backups of old data will be saved in a folder on your desktop.
    Please note that this feature only works if you are using the default profile - in other cases the option will not show.
  • Build with faster floating point method
    Pale Moon 15.1 uses a faster method for transcendental floating point functions, which may speed up some operations.
    Transcendental functions are converted to inline code.
Last edited by Moonchild on Thu, 20 Sep 2012, 09:31, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Updates for 15.1.1
Improving Mozilla code: You know you're on the right track with code changes when you spend the majority of your time deleting code.

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