We are now building on the Unified XUL Platform which has been forked off from Mozilla's mozilla-central at a point before Rust and Quantum to continue focus on the XUL interface language and traditional browser extensions. Many thousands of things have changed since the v27 (AKA "Tycho") versions, which can't possibly all be listed here. Instead, the most pertinent improvements in this new release are highlighted here:
- Goanna update: The layout and rendering engine (Goanna) has been updated to its 4th generation (version 4.*) which brings with it improved compatibility with "trendy" CSS styling techniques that build on a few very specific features (e.g. CSS Grid). Goanna continues to build on tried-and-tested software fallbacks in case hardware acceleration can't be used, and Linux remote desktop users can continue to leverage xrender for speedy remote screen updates in Pale Moon.
- DOM enhancements: Enhancements in the Document Object Model provides websites with updated APIs to perform their tasks. (e.g. Fetch, WebAnimations, WebCrypto, HTML Input Element Extensions, etc.)
- Media enhancements: Our media back-end update is, for all intents and purposes, complete. MSE media streaming (for MP4) should be compatible with all major players on the market now. MSE for WebM is still disabled by default due to some compatibility issues that need to be examined, but you may enable this in preferences to e.g. allow 4k video playback on some sites that only offer UHD in WebM format. We now also support playback of FLAC-encoded audio.
- New: WebGL2 support! Pale Moon now supports the WebGL2 standard for enhanced graphical experiences in 2D and 3D.
- Devtools have been given a refresh. Just in case you thought they weren't extensive enough yet, some new categories have been added to inspect and manipulate all aspects of web content.
- Updates to the login manager: Login credentials can now be stored specifically with or without a user name, and selected individually. This is a behavior change from previous, and clicking a password field can now pop-up a selection list of user names for which passwords are stored (if multiple credentials are saved). Clicking the appropriate login name (or date-stamped version if no name is present) will fill in the accompanying password.
- We continue to support NPAPI plugins.
- We continue to support complete themes as well as lightweight themes.
- We continue to offer a fully customizable interface like before. Australis (like seen in Basilisk) is not used.
- We continue to support XUL overlay, bootstrapped and (deprecated) Jetpack extensions (collectively called "legacy extensions" by Mozilla).
- We do not include any DRM in the browser (people needing this can use e.g. the Silverlight plugin to play protected content), even though the platform we build on supports it.
Our primary goal has been to lift Pale Moon up to the new platform and as such most changes are "under the hood" and won't be seen in casual use (aside from more things "just working"). We aim to keep your user experience consistent and logical; but some things will have changed, of course. Browser extensions may need updating or may need a different version, for example.
Of course with such a big change of platform, there are some things that have regressed (worked before but no longer work), and we will work on fixing these regressions over time (hopefully with your help).
Reality check: Even though we have extensively tested the browser in daily use for a few months (also thanks to the brave souls on our unstable channel) we don't expect that the browser will be flawless or bug-free. If you find bugs, regressions or issues with the new release, please discuss them on the forum. Let's work together as a community of users to make this the best browser yet!
Big thank-yous and kudos go out to everyone who has, in one way or another, contributed to this milestone release and helped make it possible. This one belongs to all of you!