Mozilla is going completely insane: they began to delete XUL-related articles from MDN

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Mozilla is going completely insane: they began to delete XUL-related articles from MDN

Unread postby JustOff » Wed, 12 Sep 2018, 13:33

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Re: Mozilla is going completely insane: they began to delete XUL-related articles from MDN

Unread postby Isengrim » Wed, 12 Sep 2018, 13:44

Wonderful. Just wonderful.

Shall we start making some backups?
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Re: Mozilla is going completely insane: they began to delete XUL-related articles from MDN

Unread postby vannilla » Wed, 12 Sep 2018, 20:16

What is the rationale behind this?
They had them already in the obsolete content archive, why remove them completely?
Were those 120KB per page really that much?

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Re: Mozilla is going completely insane: they began to delete XUL-related articles from MDN

Unread postby Sajadi » Wed, 12 Sep 2018, 21:51

What do you expect.. XUL is no Google supported/backed technology ;) Been a while that i have seen a company so determined to get rid of their whole much more amazing past...

The only example i remember which was the same way as vicious is Opera.
Last edited by Sajadi on Wed, 12 Sep 2018, 21:53, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mozilla is going completely insane: they began to delete XUL-related articles from MDN

Unread postby back2themoon » Wed, 12 Sep 2018, 21:59

Agreed, there's some great history there. Any developer would be proud and at least conserve it in some way - not saying always display it in front or anything... but no: looks like there's an active effort to eliminate all traces of it. Doesn't make much sense - but what does, in Mozilla land lately? :-(
Last edited by back2themoon on Wed, 12 Sep 2018, 22:00, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mozilla is going completely insane: they began to delete XUL-related articles from MDN

Unread postby Isengrim » Thu, 13 Sep 2018, 00:31

They could have at least shuffled it into their "Archive of Obsolete Content" like everything else, but I guess they can't spare the server space or bandwidth, just like with the old add-ons.

Long term, I do think it would be best to collect and organize the XUL and XPCOM documentation into our own developer wiki. Just need to find someone with the time. ;)
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Re: Mozilla is going completely insane: they began to delete XUL-related articles from MDN

Unread postby FranklinDM » Thu, 13 Sep 2018, 02:10

An archive of the old MDN (2012 perhaps?) seems to be available at this link:
http://mdn.beonex.com/en/index.html

It looks like a complete copy except that some links are broken (i.e pointing to MDN).
Last edited by FranklinDM on Thu, 13 Sep 2018, 02:19, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mozilla is going completely insane: they began to delete XUL-related articles from MDN

Unread postby CharmCityCrab » Thu, 13 Sep 2018, 23:27

Playing devil's advocate here, Mozilla has no obligation to support competing browsers. They make an open-source source browser, so they have to publish their source code and allow others to use it to make their own browsers and software according to the terms of the licenses involved, but that's it.

They actually in a sense gave competing browsers and people who want to archive stuff for a history of browsers type of archive or site plenty of time to do so. It seems like it's been years since they announced they were moving away from XUL, it's been many months since the regular version of their browser supported XUL, and now the long-term service browser isn't compatible with XUL either. None of the extensions or the documentation is relevant to what they do any more, so, from their perspective, the only thing having them on their official sites can do is confuse developers and users.

A little foresight and a good web crawler could have gotten the documentation. You might still be able to find some of it using the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine.

Similarly, the old extensions could have been downloaded and preserved- I think Waterfox announced plans to do it, but I don't know if they did.

I'm not sure what licenses the documentation or the extensions had, though (It's possible that some of it can't be legally hosted on another site), I'm not sure how much of it would even apply to Pale Moon, which is closer to that than to WebExtensions, but has also diverged in it's own way, and in the long run it's not a good idea to be using an extension that will never get another update anymore, from a security and stability perspective.

In the end, people who use Pale Moon are going to have to get Pale Moon extensions from the Pale Moon AMO. Extensions that are designed for and maintained for compatibility with the web browser they are using. And using Pale Moon's documentation, if it has it. That's the end result when you fork something and then let them go right while you left and leave a huge divergence. Compatibility is gone. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it's one of those things that people seem to be struggling to except. Pale Moon isn't intended to be an old version Firefox, even though it tries to preserve some of the UI elements, features, customization options, and allowing add-ons to do more than the top browsers.
Last edited by CharmCityCrab on Thu, 13 Sep 2018, 23:31, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mozilla is going completely insane: they began to delete XUL-related articles from MDN

Unread postby Moonchild » Fri, 14 Sep 2018, 17:13

Illuminating the other side of the argument (devil's advocate for the defense):
Mozilla no longer supports XUL add-ons in any of their products, and they have no obligation to have documentation up. It's no longer "current" for them so they have started removing (for them) obsolete documentation from their websites.
That has nothing to do with bandwidth, server space or malintent. It has everything to do with removing non-current information from their websites.
Although it would be nice if they did not, there is no practical reason for them to keep the documentation if it no longer applies to any of their currently-maintained products. In fact, making sure obsolete and irrelevant documentation is no longer present prevents confusion about what is current and what it not.
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Re: Mozilla is going completely insane: they began to delete XUL-related articles from MDN

Unread postby vannilla » Sat, 15 Sep 2018, 13:09

It's true that they have no need to support non-current documentation, but it's also true that they have an archive of obsolete content.
Most of the pages related to non-webextensions extensions were there already, too.
What's baffling is that they are removing pages instead of moving them to the obsolete archive.
If they were to remove that archive in its completeness, it would've been understandable, but it seems they're not doing that, so it's natural for people to be confused or enraged or whatever.

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Re: Mozilla is going completely insane: they began to delete XUL-related articles from MDN

Unread postby therube » Sat, 15 Sep 2018, 13:28

Correct, ^vannilla.


And insane is probably an accurate word.

Just what benefit could possible come from outright deletion?
It's not like Mozilla is flying high & mighty these days.

And yet they do something, something that is of relatively no consequence had they done nothing at all, or had done in a smarter manner, like simply archiving the pages somewhere, that instead, well, instead shows them for what they are (once again).

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Re: Mozilla is going completely insane: they began to delete XUL-related articles from MDN

Unread postby JustOff » Sat, 15 Sep 2018, 13:50

I would also like to draw your attention to the fact that they did not keep their promise not to delete this documentation:

eshepherd@mozilla.com wrote:To be clear: we have not yet removed any previously-written XUL/XPCOM/Mozilla platform documentation. This will almost certainly happen at some point, but we will not *delete* it. It will be moved somewhere, and we won't make its new home a secret. :)
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Re: Mozilla is going completely insane: they began to delete XUL-related articles from MDN

Unread postby Isengrim » Sat, 15 Sep 2018, 15:10

Perhaps someone should bring that contradiction up with them, then? If they'll even listen at this point.

I do see a download link for a tarball of the full MDN site at the bottom of that thread. The XUL/XPCOM docs from mid-2017, when that snapshot was taken, should be sufficient for our purposes.
Last edited by Isengrim on Sat, 15 Sep 2018, 15:11, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mozilla is going completely insane: they began to delete XUL-related articles from MDN

Unread postby JustOff » Sat, 15 Sep 2018, 15:19

Isengrim wrote:Perhaps someone should bring that contradiction up with them, then? If they'll even listen at this point.

Sorry, but personally I'm tired of beating my head against the wall.

I do see a download link for a tarball of the full MDN site at the bottom of that thread. The XUL/XPCOM docs from mid-2017, when that snapshot was taken, should be sufficient for our purposes.

Unfortunately, this snapshot is just a piece of shit: links are broken, styles are missed and so on :evil:
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Re: Mozilla is going completely insane: they began to delete XUL-related articles from MDN

Unread postby Isengrim » Sat, 15 Sep 2018, 15:30

JustOff wrote:Unfortunately, this snapshot is just a piece of shit: links are broken, styles are missed and so on :evil:

Took me a while to download, but I see that now. Lots of stuff missing or corrupt. Ugh.
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Re: Mozilla is going completely insane: they began to delete XUL-related articles from MDN

Unread postby Moonchild » Sun, 16 Sep 2018, 19:08

I've been using a portable version of Zeal for my reference needs, which has included a complete XUL docset.
Unfortunately the docset maintainer believed it was "unmaintained" and removed the docset from their repo, but it should still be available. If not, I have a zip archive of the .docset folder at about 17MB that can be shared.
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Re: Mozilla is going completely insane: they began to delete XUL-related articles from MDN

Unread postby JustOff » Sun, 16 Sep 2018, 20:03

Moonchild wrote:I've been using a portable version of Zeal for my reference needs, which has included a complete XUL docset.
Unfortunately the docset maintainer believed it was "unmaintained" and removed the docset from their repo, but it should still be available.

If you mean the one from Dash, it still can be added to Zeal as a feed. However, unfortunately this can not fully replace MDN.
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Re: Mozilla is going completely insane: they began to delete XUL-related articles from MDN

Unread postby Public Enema » Tue, 18 Sep 2018, 03:28

I'll second Isengrim's idea. Does someone here have an account there? Please ask them to move these docs to the archive section instead of deleting them. Do bring up the promise JustOff mentioned.

vannilla wrote:What is the rationale behind this?
They had them already in the obsolete content archive, why remove them completely?
Were those 120KB per page really that much?

They weren't in the archive, they were out there in the main site. As to why not sending them there instead of deleting, God knows. It seems it was an over-eager MDN editor, so it's not an emergency yet.


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