Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

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Re: Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by CharmCityCrab » 2019-09-08, 19:24

New Tobin Paradigm wrote:
2019-09-08, 08:27
You can not compete with a non-blink rendering engine on android. That battle was lost before there ever was a "Pale Moon" on android. Period.
Firefox for Android runs Gecko and I've had it set as my default browser on Android for years now with minimal issues.

If you want to narrowly define "compete" as having a certain degree of marketshare relative to Chrome on Android, then, yes, I agree, nothing will compete in that sense that doesn't run on the Blink engine. A working non-Blink browser that competes on features and functionality is already a thing, though. Sometimes it seems like I am one of only six people in the world who uses it, but FFA is proof of concept that it's not impossible.

Granted, I've read that FFA has adopted some Chrome-specific (Or Blink-specific) rendering rules, and I'd imagine essentially any Android or mobile browser would have to adopt some Chrome or Safari (Blink/Webkit) specific rendering rules,

I kind of see what you're getting at, and I could definitely see a situation where non-Blink/Webkit based browsers are defacto locked out of the Internet, but I can't accept that it's happened yet when I could easily literally be typing this on a non-Blink phone browser right now (I'm not, it's charging while I watch the end of the football game, but I could be).

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Re: Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by New Tobin Paradigm » 2019-09-08, 19:50

Think of the bloody majority who never had a proper computer or stopped using one once they got a smartphone. Not the subset (of a subset) of our users who largely want a mobile supplicant with Sync.

Those are people who will never accept a website not working, flipping a preference, or typing out both the pref name and value of a god damn user agent override on a freaking slab of of glass.

Pull your head out of your ass and think.. Cause the vast majority of those who might download us from the app stores won't and the moment they are told to.. Back to something else that just works they go.

It isn't the same environment. There is no such thing as a power user or a techie in the mobile market. They won't understand why something doesn't work perfectly only that it doesn't. What they do understand is something that does work troublefree is only a swipe and couple of taps away.
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Re: Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by athenian200 » 2019-09-08, 21:51

New Tobin Paradigm wrote:
2019-09-08, 19:50
Think of the bloody majority who never had a proper computer or stopped using one once they got a smartphone. Not the subset (of a subset) of our users who largely want a mobile supplicant with Sync.

Those are people who will never accept a website not working, flipping a preference, or typing out both the pref name and value of a god damn user agent override on a freaking slab of of glass.

Pull your head out of your ass and think.. Cause the vast majority of those who might download us from the app stores won't and the moment they are told to.. Back to something else that just works they go.

It isn't the same environment. There is no such thing as a power user or a techie in the mobile market. They won't understand why something doesn't work perfectly only that it doesn't. What they do understand is something that does work troublefree is only a swipe and couple of taps away.
I know who you're talking about, and I really don't like those people. I feel like they started ruining the lives of real computer users the moment the first iPhone was released. It brought a new breed of user into the technology ecosystem, and increasingly everything was designed to cater to them instead of to the people who had been using computers all along. PC gamers, developers, IT professionals, workstation users and similar types of people were left out to dry in the mobile revolution. At one point we had all these huge companies that cared about meeting our needs, then suddenly one day a bigger market opened up and our wants/needs didn't matter anymore.

Anyway, the way I see it, there were only three options... turn Firefox into an entire OS, create a limited Firefox sans XUL that works on Android, or ditch the idea of a mobile version and cater to Firefox power users on desktop. The first option is unrealistic (and was tried), Mozilla has now taken the second option, and I believe Pale Moon was primarily created to take that third option that Mozilla left on the table. I don't know how accurate my perception here is, but I perceive the Pale Moon community primarily as a place for the power users who got left behind by the mobile revolution, which is part of why I'm drawn to it.

I just don't see a point in trying to replicate what Mozilla is doing with Firefox on Android, because that's all it would be. I mean, if someone would be happy with a no-frills Gecko browser on mobile, then Mozilla's got that covered, that's their main focus these days. I don't really see how having Goanna on mobile would be so much better than having Gecko on mobile. I mean, if you want to imagine what a version of Pale Moon that made the necessary compromises and sacrifices to be able to run well on mobile would look like, you're... basically looking at Firefox without Mozilla's telemetry. You might as well just download the current Firefox source code and find a way to build an Android version without telemetry. Because the desire to support Android and get people using it on there is the entire reason behind a lot of the decisions they're making that we don't like.

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Re: Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by moonbat » 2019-09-09, 03:23

athenian200 wrote:
2019-09-08, 19:18
I agree. Honestly, the real elephant in the room that I think isn't being addressed is the fact that desktop computers have plenty of room for extensible applications on top of the OS layer, while smartphones tend to be very locked-down and severely limit the ability to extend applications or build platforms on top of the OS that interact with one another. As long as that's true, mobile apps are going to be unsuitable for anyone that likes actually having control over their machine.
Around 2013, internet access by handheld devices overtook that from regular PCs, and since then things have taken a turn for the worse. Websites optimizing exclusively for mobile, forcing mobile UI as the default, etc. The sad truth is that power users who value customization and control over their OS are a shrinking minority, and today there are tons of people, kids especially, who don't have a computer/laptop at all and exclusively use mobile phones for accessing the internet running apps.
athenian200 wrote:
2019-09-08, 19:18

The reason why companies felt forced into trying to pursue crazy, desperate projects like Firefox OS or Steam OS during that era is because the layer of API access they relied on to be able to implement their platforms on top of the OS layer was being cut off on mobile, so they were basically facing either producing severely limited apps that work within the constraints of what little the OS vendor allows and being a lot less relevant/useful, or just accepting that their applications would only ever work 100% on desktop Windows/Linux. So what do companies do if they fear not being allowed to develop their platform on top of an OS anymore, and find the constraints of the OS vendor's platform unsuitable? Their back is to the wall and they have so few options that bad ideas start to look good. Platform vendors trying to roll their own OS in order to save their platform from being steamrolled by smartphone OS vendors forcing everyone onto their locked-down OS/platform combination is a symptom of a huge underlying problem with smartphone ecosystems that has never been properly addressed.
And sadly, network effects ensured that none of these initiatives got off the ground. Same reason why Facebook has cornered the social media market - just try convincing people to try anything else today. Locked down devices optimized for content consumption are the norm, and the general public simply does not care about privacy or lack of control as long as they can keep swiping on Instagram and the rest.
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Re: Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by CharmCityCrab » 2019-09-09, 19:12

So, Vivaldi launched a beta Android version of their browser on Google Play. No extension support, limited built-in ad blocker that allows "acceptable ads". Someone asked the maintainers if extension support was coming- answer was no, because Chromium for Android doesn't have it and it'd be too hard to build in and maintain against code changes. At least they're honest...

However, that shows you where Pale Moon's (Or any Gecko fork) potential market is on Android- extensions, including support for more robust ad/content-blockers than some of the other browsers include natively. That wouldn't make it mainstream, but its not mainstream on Windows either.

Right now, Firefox offers extensions, so I see where they fill the niche, but imagine the new code Mozilla has in beta which doesn't yet have extension support and which they are cagey on whether or not will get it when it replaces the present Firefox, doesn't. After that you're dealing with stuff like the Kiwi browser that is rarely updated and trying to clunge desktop Chrome extensions onto a mobile browser.

There is no real backup to Firefox in the mobile space. A fork of Fennec from about nowish suddenly becomes a contender for its market if Mozilla ditches extensions for its new code base on mobile. Hopefully Firefox included extension support on its new code base before it goes gold, but who knows?

I agree that we're still talking half of a percent at best for PM or a similar browser in the mobile space. But I'd use it if Firefox switches to a no-extension model.

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Re: Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by New Tobin Paradigm » 2019-09-09, 19:46

And I am telling you. No way in hell. It's gone it's over and no amount of your long winded posts will change that. The decision is final.

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Re: Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by CharmCityCrab » 2019-09-09, 21:17

New Tobin Paradigm wrote:
2019-09-09, 19:46
And I am telling you. No way in hell. It's gone it's over and no amount of your long winded posts will change that. The decision is final.

RESOLVED WONTFIX
That's fine. Of course someone could still make an Android browser and call it something other than Pale Moon and you wouldn't get a say in that.

Firefox for Android is working fine for me right now. I don't care that much about there being another non-Blink browser as long as FFA doesn't go off the rails. My concern is basically just that if FFA drops extension support or otherwise goes sideways, there are no other mobile browsers with that type of extension support that are worth using. It'd be nice if users like me had another browser waiting in the wings as a Plan B. Right now, if FFA went in a direction I hated, I'd just be using Edge with it's built-in Ad-Block Plus and dark theme, which doesn't allow much customization beyond that, and where one can't block annoying non-ad content (Better than Chrome, but not nearly as good as what I've got today).

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Re: Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by New Tobin Paradigm » 2019-09-09, 21:37

Are you THAT far behind.. Fennec is dead even at mozilla.. Fenix will replace it and it will be even more limited.
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Re: Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by CharmCityCrab » 2019-09-09, 21:56

New Tobin Paradigm wrote:
2019-09-09, 21:37
Are you THAT far behind.. Fennec is dead even at mozilla.. Fenix will replace it and it will be even more limited.
That's kind of my point. Fennec has the extension support I want (There could always be more and better, but it's doing alright for me in that department.) and is still the current Firefox on Android (Though one can run the Fenix beta and some other limited specific-purpose Firefox branded browsers if one wants to, like the one they have that is just a private browsing window, essentially). Its still up in the air as to whether Fenix will support extensions to the extent I want, or even whether it will support extensions *at all* when it's finished and is released as an update to the current Fennec-based browser.

Not knowing whether Fenix is going to support extensions, I could see myself in the market for a different primary Android browser when Firefox switches from Fennec to Fenix (*If* Fenix doesn't have extension support by then). Since the Fennec Firefox has only recently gone over to being based on the ESR branch of desktop Firefox and I think Firefox 69 (the current one) is the first release of the regular Firefox it missed (Sticking with 68), this would be the ideal time for a Fennec Firefox fork, while it still works, and to get it to users and keep refining it and build an extensions AMO with forks of popular extensions so it is ready if Firefox abandons extensions on Android (Waiting until that happens would put them a bit behind- dealing with a Fennec that hasn't really gotten any attention between now and then and having work extensively on *restoring* it's web compatibility, rather than starting from now and trying to *maintain* it's web compatibility by making changes in real time to a new browser based on user feedback and general web trends and news. Forking popular Fennec extensions now rather than waiting until later could also help if Mozilla gets rid of them from their AMO immediately upon the transition to Fenix.).

I know you and Pale Moon in general aren't going to do the above. Most likely, *no one* (Including the possibility of folks unrelated to PM doing it under a new browser name) is going to do the above. I'd just like to see it. I'm concerned about where my phone browser experience could be headed. Can you blame me? You may not be a big phone user, but a lot of people are.

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Re: Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by New Tobin Paradigm » 2019-09-10, 03:22

I am NOT a Pale Moon developer and haven't been since 2016. I don't have a Pale Moon logo in my signature. I am an individual Unified XUL Platform Contributor (which sometimes includes helping out with ANY UXP Application such as stepping up to help with the current Linux situation) and apart of the semi-official UXP Alliance.

I only reiterate Pale Moon project policy when I know it for a fact is because I was there and apart of it at the time.
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Re: Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by moonbat » 2019-09-10, 03:43

CharmCityCrab wrote:
2019-09-09, 21:56

You may not be a big phone user, but a lot of people are.
And all of them are goddamn sheep who use the phone as a media consumption device(not that it's suited for anything else) for mindlessly swiping through Instagram/Tinder/Snapchat/what have you, i.e. using apps and not the browser.
Watching videos has replaced reading as the primary activity on the net, and they use dedicated apps for Youtube or Facebook or whatever else they watch on. Where adblocking is concerned, there are several VPN based adblockers that work at blocking all ad traffic, not just your browser, and don't need root to function either. The few people who are aware of ads on Android would go looking for these since they're banned from Play Store for obvious reasons. Other than blocking ads, there's little else that you could customize even otherwise on a touchscreen phone.
tl;dr - power browser users are a vanishingly small subset of mobile users - those who consider themselves as such wouldn't use it as a primary device in the first place barring extreme financial or other constraints.
I use Kiwi Browser since it supports extensions unlike vanilla Chrome, and even there all I need is uBlock Origin. Meanwhile here on PM I have around 65 extensions in all and happy as a clam with browser performance/memory usage ever since I switched to using an IMAP client for Gmail.
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Re: Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by CharmCityCrab » 2019-09-10, 04:26

moonbat wrote:
2019-09-10, 03:43
CharmCityCrab wrote:
2019-09-09, 21:56

You may not be a big phone user, but a lot of people are.
And all of them are goddamn sheep who use the phone as a media consumption device(not that it's suited for anything else) for mindlessly swiping through Instagram/Tinder/Snapchat/what have you, i.e. using apps and not the browser.
Watching videos has replaced reading as the primary activity on the net, and they use dedicated apps for Youtube or Facebook or whatever else they watch on.
I'm not saying I'm the average phone user, but, for what it's worth, the browser tends to be towards the top of my power consumption and mobile data used numbers on my phone. I actually intentionally use the browser instead of the apps for news sites and YouTube, among other things. I was literally posting to this forum while I was getting my oil changed earlier, I think. If I wasn't, that's certainly something that's happened in the past. :) I also send a fair number of emails and text messages from it, as well as take pictures, none of which are consumption activities. I edit my fantasy football lineup from my phone at times- granted, I use the app for *that*, but it's not pure consumption. :) A computer is usually preferable, but I'm not going to take my laptop out places or take it to bed with me when I'm trying to fall asleep and whatnot, it's not fun to use in those settings and I feel good about setting some boundaries and stretching things out between devices so I can pretend I'm not just staring at a screen all day (Instead I'm staring at *various* screens. :) Big difference. ;) ).

It also avoids always making the same repetitive movements with a keyboard and track-pad on the one hand or a touchscreen on the other.

Besides, the mobile web is a mess without a good browser and a good content/ad-blocking extension (at least). It's not just the ads and how easy it is to accidentally "click" on stuff with one's finger, it's also that everything has social media buttons and top and bottom panels that scroll with you and this, that, and the other. The extra content and cosmetic blocking filter lists and individual custom additions become a really big deal with that, and one needs a fully featured content/ad-blocker to go that route, not one of those integrated ones on non-extension-based browsers where at best there are two settings to toggle.

I see Firefox for Android as the only decent mobile web browser out there right now, and I feel that's problematical, because the second they go down the wrong path or discontinue that, what do we have left? I'll have to fall back to something that's considerably worse. I'll still be able to do better than Chrome, but we could use a broader browser ecosystem than currently exists for Android (Don't even get me started on iOS where everything is reskinned Safari- one of the many reasons I'm not an Apple guy.).
Last edited by CharmCityCrab on 2019-09-10, 05:41, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by moonbat » 2019-09-10, 04:45

Give Kiwi Browser a try - it has some adblocking baked in and supports all desktop Chrome extensions.
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Re: Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by Moonchild » 2019-09-10, 08:56

OK let me step in and make a clear statement as lead dev of Pale Moon: No.
The answer to the topic question is no. There is no hope to ever see an Android port of Pale Moon (2 words, capitalized, please).

That said: anyone is free to fork Pale Moon and attempt to create an Android version of it, but Pale Moon (or Basilisk for that matter) as an application will not be ported to Android (by me/us), and that will not change. UXP as a platform will also drop Android support as a whole, so if someone wants to make a fork for Android and base it on UXP, then now would be the time to fork the platform before we remove the plumbing for it in the renderer, etc., entirely. You may already have to revert some things as it is to have a chance.
Anyone creating such a fork needs to properly and uniquely brand it, since I want to avoid any potential confusion as to whom develops any such fork.
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Re: Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by IMNdi » 2019-09-25, 08:14

Can we at least get an official Sync thingamajig?

PM stopped working, completely, on my new phone and I am peace with using other browsers on mobile but I am not with password saving.

Right now I VPN to my desktop with RDP. There has to be a better way.

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Re: Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by moonbat » 2019-09-25, 13:23

Due to changes in 27.* or 28.*, it won't sync at all with the last Android version, which was 25.something IIRC, and has been removed from the play store.
If you want an adblocked mobile browser that isn't Firefox, try Kiwi Browser on Android, it supports all desktop Chrome extensions unlike other Chrome mobile variants.

Edit - I use the open source Bitwarden as a password manager - has standalone apps for Windows/Linux/Android, and browser extensions though not for PM obviously. You shouldn't rely on your browser's password saving feature alone.
Speaking of sync, PM uses Mozilla Weave 1.1 which can be implemented standalone if one wants to.
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Re: Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by vannilla » 2019-09-25, 15:53

In theory, it's not too hard to implement the client-side part of Weave 1.1 for Android.
The hard part is making it operate using the system APIs (because you'd need a fairly good knoweledge of how Android works) and testing it, which might not be as feasible as testing a "desktop" version.

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Re: Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by Lootyhoof » 2019-09-25, 16:02

Technically there is Shaman (details) for read-only access. Haven't tried it myself though as I don't use Sync. It's currently abandoned it seems, but it looks like you could get it off the F-Droid Archive repo if you have F-Droid installed (or build it yourself). As it's not been updated since 2012 though it's quite likely to have compatibility issues with the latest Android releases.

Someone could probably fork it if they wanted to see it survive.

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Re: Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by RoestVrijStaal » 2019-09-26, 22:21

IMNdi wrote:
2019-09-25, 08:14
Can we at least get an official Sync thingamajig?

PM stopped working, completely, on my new phone and I am peace with using other browsers on mobile but I am not with password saving.

Right now I VPN to my desktop with RDP. There has to be a better way.
If a PaleMoon for Android is really important to you (only) due password sync, you could also ask yourself if you really want ALL your passwords on a device which could be easy pickpocked...

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Re: Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by moonbat » 2019-09-27, 03:18

RoestVrijStaal wrote:
2019-09-26, 22:21
If a PaleMoon for Android is really important to you (only) due password sync, you could also ask yourself if you really want ALL your passwords on a device which could be easy pickpocked...
Bitwarden works great on mobile, desktop and as a (not for PM) browser extension. The Android app supports fingerprint authentication as well if you have the hardware, and the entire password database is encrypted with a passphrase.
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