Will Pale Moon support WebExtensions?

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Moonchild
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Will Pale Moon support WebExtensions?

Postby Moonchild » Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:54 pm

WebExtensions are the (chrome-sourced) type of extensions to web browsers using a very limited subset of APIs available through a framework. You can compare them with Jetpack/SDK extensions, but then without having the option to even call into lower level functions.

Pale Moon (as an application) will likely never support WebExtensions, even if we would switch to a platform that technically supports its use, because:
  • Having XUL/overlay, bootstrapped and SDK/PMKit extensions already provides everything any extension developer could want or need for extension development, and then some. Adding a 4th technology to that line-up that is radically different and more limited in what it can offer by design is a maintenance nightmare and time-sink we simply don't want in our project.
  • Pale Moon's front-end doesn't use UI controls or layout that allows html-based widgets (the only way for WebExtensions to interface) to be inserted. As such, it would require a (messy) compatibility layer to enable insertion into our XUL-based UI, and likely will cause many many bugs. Even if a new platform in the future might theoretically allow the use of WebExtensions, Pale Moon's application code will not.
  • WebExtensions are too restrictive for anything but the most basic tools and will not, ever, allow true extension of the browser's functionality as a result. This makes the technology used for it undesirable for Pale Moon since it will, by design, fall short from day 1.
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137ben
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Re: Will Pale Moon support WebExtensions?

Postby 137ben » Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:09 pm

Thank you for this succinct explanation. Next time I am talking to an add-on developer who wants to know "when" PM will "get with the times and add WebExtensions," or says they can't support Pale Moon because it doesn't have the "advanced features" that only WebExtensions can provide, I'll point them to this post.


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