BLOG: Mozilla to deprecate... itself, really.

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Re: BLOG: Mozilla to deprecate... itself, really.

Unread post by _Poke_ » 2015-08-29, 20:26

XUL extensions would surely have to be hosted as long as a current (so ESR) version of Firefox could run them. Maybe even a little longer to give authors time to update. Since they're planning to do this long term I'd guess we have over a year, maybe even 2 with ESR keeping them afloat.

But yeah, when Firefox no longer supports them, that's a lot of backlog that it doesn't make sense for them to keep. Maybe they'll hand it over to an archival site. They might keep hosting them anyway, since they still have so many outdated extensions now.
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Re: BLOG: Mozilla to deprecate... itself, really.

Unread post by 11ryanc » 2015-08-29, 20:34

Well what I'm thinking is maybe they'll allow the AMO's to stay up, and labeled as older versions so that if/when the developer makes a similar extension for updated versions of the browser. ESR 31 was just recently discontinued, 38 ESR is well in it's cycle.
Considering there are still extensions for essentially pioneer releases of Firefox stored in AMO, I suppose this should be no different.

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Re: BLOG: Mozilla to deprecate... itself, really.

Unread post by SvenG » 2015-08-29, 21:04

11ryanc wrote:Starting to collect XPI's on the hard drive.
If I got that
Matt A Tobin wrote:The goal of Project Looking Glass is to mirror unmodified, working out of the box Firefox extension at a version that is compatible with us.
right, Tobin plans to do something like it for APO. I don't think there is need for haste, I wont expect any changes within the next couple of month, still it would be good to keep backups of those XPIs that were already removed from AMO.

Just in case you don't know it, you can use FEBE to create properly named (installable) XPIs from the extensions you have installed.
Last edited by SvenG on 2015-08-29, 21:47, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: BLOG: Mozilla to deprecate... itself, really.

Unread post by Moonchild » 2015-08-29, 21:21

I'd say having backups of the XPIs you have installed is a good thing for quick recovery regardless of what Mozilla will do with their AMO site.
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Firefox OS and addon deprecation

Unread post by Omitooshi » 2015-10-10, 00:48

I don't get it!!!

About Firefox OS. I thought that their plan was, to use a browser as a virtual machine(a bit like Java). I thought, that meant, that customization should remain very high, the apps should be capable of going deep down in gecko to do almost anything. And that apps for the mobile, should be able to run on the desktop also (most of the time anyway, a bit like the seamonkey/firefox incompatibilities). And off course all this, meant some compromises, like importing mobile interface in to the desktop (australis), or mandatory signing.

Now, they deprecate everything. New addons should not be very powerful. How can you make apps like this??? Desktop Firefox will be some type of chrome clone. If chrome could do apps really well, then why they have android for the apps? They just seam contradictory. If anything, the "permissive addon model" should have continued.

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Re: BLOG: Mozilla to deprecate... itself, really.

Unread post by LimboSlam » 2015-10-10, 05:12

I'll tell you straight up bro, "Firefox is jealous of all Chromes girlfriends and the dough he makes for his 1 million smile." And so Firefox wants to be just like Chrome.
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Re: BLOG: Mozilla to deprecate... itself, really.

Unread post by Moonchild » 2015-10-10, 10:34

Let's make a tally about what (in broad strokes) has recently be deprecated by Firefox:
  • UI configurability (Australis)
  • Complete themes
  • Binary components in extensions (this has landed on release)
  • XUL and SDK extensions as a whole (to be replaced with Chrome "extensions")
  • XUL as a browser framework language
  • NPAPI (plugins)
If all this lands, what will Firefox be, lacking all three types of add-ons?
It will be a browser that cannot be extended, cannot be themed and cannot use plugins. You'd have a browser that can only be used in the way Mozilla intends it, using only components Mozilla deems fit for inclusion (including those you might not want to have). IMHO that isn't Firefox anymore.

Shall we recall why Firefox became a thing, to put it in perspective? It was exactly because it was extensible, configurable, flexible, and could be made to work exactly the way the user (or IT department) wanted it, without compromising on its core function to browse the web.
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Re: BLOG: Mozilla to deprecate... itself, really.

Unread post by superA » 2015-10-10, 11:46

It would be interesting to know if Mozzila will deprecate the other two plugins which they are set to ''always'' by default (forgot the names, H264 and the ''hallo'' one..).
Flash will still be on board as it seems.. ( they already removed the ''plugins.enumerable_names'' pref ), so.. :thumbup:

Artemis

FF addons being replaced by Chromium and signing system?

Unread post by Artemis » 2015-10-11, 04:28

http://techcrunch.com/2015/08/21/chrome ... o-firefox/

Say it ain't so! Mozilla is going to completely overhaul its add-on database over the course of the next 18 months, and start from scratch just to keep up with (merge with?) Google Chrome aka the Borg Hivemind. :cry:

It will also require add-ons to be signed and then stamped with an OK by Mozilla.

Will this break Palemoon's ability to use current Mozilla add-ons because Palemoon isn't on the official "approved" guest list? Will Palemoon have to incorporate "Mozoogle" code in order to keep up with the Mozilla add-on system, thus breaking its ability to remain "unique" and separate from all the changes to Firefox (like Australis UI, native advertising, privacy-leaking "add-ons" like Hello and Pocket embedded into the software as features) that drove so many users to the simpler, saner (and IMHO far better) Palemoon?

I can see this being potentially catastrophic for add-on developers too. Any add-on that doesn't meet both the Chrome and Firefox specs (whatever those may be, I'm not a programmer myself) and/or get the thumbs-up from the brass might end up getting chucked.

I just want to know how this dramatic shift in Mozilla's ecosystem will affect forks like Palemoon. It actually worries me that they're making so many changes and not really listening to the user base that is shouting "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Hi, I'm a little confused (and very depressed) about this whole Mozilla joining the Chrome hivemind thing and what it means for Pale Moon.

I don't use plugins at all -- plugins being things like Flash, Java, Silverlight, etc.

But like probably 99 44/100 percent of users, I do use add-ons -- things like Adblock, DownThemAll, Disconnect, Greasemonkey, etc. In fact I've got 45 (!) going right now and working just fine.

What does this bizarre action by Mozilla mean for the add-ons from addons.mozilla.org?

- Will the majority of them be completely chucked and have to be rewritten from scratch, leaving a lot of add-ons completely incompatible with forks that don't go along with this decision?
- Will Pale Moon have to poison itself with "Mozoogle" code in order to remain compatible with their add-ons ecosystem?
- Will the signing requirement for add-ons mean that forks are blocked from Mozilla's ecosystem without jumping through a bunch of hoops or having users perform certain "hacks" in about:config, something that can certainly be intimidating to novice users who just want to be able to update their ad blocker?
- Will there be far fewer Pale Moon-compatible add-ons, i.e. will it be restricted to those which are specifically listed on the Pale Moon addons page?

Can anyone list any other changes to the add-on system that could negatively impact Pale Moon?
Moderator Note: Thread merged and nearly duplicate post contained in "Show/Hide" tag.

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Re: BLOG: Mozilla to deprecate... itself, really.

Unread post by Moonchild » 2015-10-11, 08:06

Artemis wrote:Will this break Palemoon's ability to use current Mozilla add-ons because Palemoon isn't on the official "approved" guest list?
it all depends on what you call "current", but if you mean "always the latest" then, it will break Pale Moon's ability to run extensions written for later versions of Firefox (even more so than is already the case) because the browser it is written for will be significantly different.
That is, of course, unless we add code to support WebExtensions in the future (which may or may not be desirable - impossible to tell at this point, but ultimately our compatibility efforts with Firefox can only go so far)

As far as signed extensions go: this doesn't apply to Pale Moon. Pale Moon does not require Mozilla's "seal of approval" even on Firefox extensions that it runs in compatibility mode.
Artemis wrote:I just want to know how this dramatic shift in Mozilla's ecosystem will affect forks like Palemoon.
I don't think there are any other "Forks like Pale Moon" because I don't think anyone else has actually truly forked Mozilla.
But to answer your question: this will not impact any true forks. We will be able to continue running the current style of extensions and plugins, as well as offering a growing number of Pale Moon specific extensions that are built on the currently available Mozilla technology, regardless of what Mozilla does in the next 18 months.
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Re: BLOG: Mozilla to deprecate... itself, really.

Unread post by Artemis » 2015-10-11, 17:10

Moonchild wrote:
Artemis wrote:Will this break Palemoon's ability to use current Mozilla add-ons because Palemoon isn't on the official "approved" guest list?
it all depends on what you call "current", but if you mean "always the latest" then, it will break Pale Moon's ability to run extensions written for later versions of Firefox (even more so than is already the case) because the browser it is written for will be significantly different.
That is, of course, unless we add code to support WebExtensions in the future (which may or may not be desirable - impossible to tell at this point, but ultimately our compatibility efforts with Firefox can only go so far)

As far as signed extensions go: this doesn't apply to Pale Moon. Pale Moon does not require Mozilla's "seal of approval" even on Firefox extensions that it runs in compatibility mode.
Well that's good. I was hoping they weren't just going to tear down the add-ons site altogether and start from scratch. :?
Moonchild wrote:
Artemis wrote:I just want to know how this dramatic shift in Mozilla's ecosystem will affect forks like Palemoon.
I don't think there are any other "Forks like Pale Moon" because I don't think anyone else has actually truly forked Mozilla.
But to answer your question: this will not impact any true forks. We will be able to continue running the current style of extensions and plugins, as well as offering a growing number of Pale Moon specific extensions that are built on the currently available Mozilla technology, regardless of what Mozilla does in the next 18 months.
Moonchild, can you explain what the difference is between Palemoon as a fork and other "Mozilla-like" browsers, such as Waterfox, Comodo IceDragon, GNU IceCat/IceWeasel and SwiftFox? From what I understand, Palemoon has undergone a much more significant rewrite than the others which are still largely linked to Firefox. Matt Tobin has said the correct term for Palemoon isn't "unofficial Mozilla build," as Palemoon is its own distinct browser even though it has Mozilla-esque features. Can you and/or Matt explain further? I'm curious about the terminology. I actually hadn't even heard of add-ons being called extensions until now. :oops:

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Re: BLOG: Mozilla to deprecate... itself, really.

Unread post by megaman » 2015-10-11, 17:38

I assume you are talking about the UI.
People don't install a browser and start snooping under the hood.
If it looks like Firefox Pre-Australis, it will be seen or mentioned as Firefox, despite the fact it is developed under Goanna, WebKit, Trident, etc.

Chrome uses the term "Extensions," which is why I still like calling them "Add-ons."
Yet, Firefox is undergoing the Chromification, so extensions are being forced on us.
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Re: BLOG: Mozilla to deprecate... itself, really.

Unread post by CharmCityCrab » 2015-10-12, 02:14

Artemis wrote: Moonchild, can you explain what the difference is between Palemoon as a fork and other "Mozilla-like" browsers, such as Waterfox, Comodo IceDragon, GNU IceCat/IceWeasel and SwiftFox? From what I understand, Palemoon has undergone a much more significant rewrite than the others which are still largely linked to Firefox. Matt Tobin has said the correct term for Palemoon isn't "unofficial Mozilla build," as Palemoon is its own distinct browser even though it has Mozilla-esque features. Can you and/or Matt explain further? I'm curious about the terminology. I actually hadn't even heard of add-ons being called extensions until now. :oops:
Here is my understanding, and the people who actually know what they are talking about can chime in later with better answers if they are so inclined when they have the opportunity. :)

Most of the Mozilla-like browsers take the Firefox code, add or subtract a few things, and then release a browser. When Firefox puts out a new version, those other browsers again take the new updated Firefox code, add or subtract their usual additions or subtractions, and then release an equivalent version of their own browser. So, basically, they are just modified versions of Firefox, and rely on Firefox's new releases to base each of their new releases on. They never really try to branch out and become a separate browser that does all the work you'd do as a totally separate browser- they are still relying on each new version of Firefox and incorporating them instead of coming up with their own new versions based only on past versions of their own browser. As a result, they tend to be highly "compatible" with each new version of Firefox, but tend to have to swallow some of Firefox's changes to some degree whether they like those changes or not, because they are basing their browsers on each new Firefox release going forward, and if a new Firefox release is majorly rewritten, they kind of have to take those changes if they want to keep doing what they're doing.

Though I think Pale Moon *began* like that way back in 2009, it has stopped using that methodology in recent years. Pale Moon at some point took the Firefox code as it was at a moment in time, modified it, and then completely independently made their own updates from there on forward completely separate from Firefox without ever taking a new version of Firefox as a base. So all these changes that Firefox makes that are bad? Pale Moon is not basing new versions of itself off the new Firefox versions and never "sees them" or has to "change them back". Pale Moon has been doing it's own thing writing new updates and changes mostly from scratch for years now- making it's own changes and writing it's own code without taking anything further from Mozilla.

That means that all these wacky changes you see in the Firefox code base never go anywhere near Pale Moon after a certain point in Pale Moon's development. Pale Moon is basically it's own Mozilla and Mozilla is about as relevant or irrelevant to it's future development as Chrome, Internet Explorer, or Safari are. It's like Firefox and Pale Moon have a common ancestor, but now have nothing to do with each other beyond similarities in code that go back to when Pale Moon forked off.

Gradually, with Firefox going in one direction and Pale Moon going in the other, their code bases are getting pretty different. That's why extensions made for one browser often no longer work in the other. It's also why Firefox and Pale Moon share fewer bugs than they used to- a lot of Firefox bugs are related to things Pale Moon never put in to begin with and I would imagine some Pale Moon bugs are related to things Firefox has never put in. They have gotten very different.

So if Firefox makes a change, Pale Moon doesn't have to think "Hey, should we 'keep' that or change it" because Pale Moon isn't basing anything off the new Firefox code anymore. It never had the change. It makes it's own changes. In fact, many of the changes each browser are making now would not work in the other browser because the code isn't compatible with the other browser's current code base- it couldn't be added in easily and might need to be approached a different way and have totally different code written to get the same effect if it wanted to.

Imagine Firefox as a person walking down a long dirt road, making releases and developing their software as time goes by. A lot of the Mozilla-like browsers are essentially walking down that same road beside them, taking every new release of Firefox and using it as a new base for new versions of their browsers. Pale Moon is more like a person who began on the same road as Firefox, but then when there was a fork in the road with with two roads going in either direction, Pale Moon walked left when Firefox walked right. Now they are on two separate roads.

Most of the other Mozilla browsers are basically each new version of Firefox with customizations. Pale Moon is a totally separate browser that just happens to have a common ancestor. The other browsers are tied to the Firefox boat still, whereas Pale Moon is floating off to the horizon doing it's own deal, no different from if there was no Firefox at all any more.

See the difference?

Pale Moon began with Firefox's code base, but after a certain point, the two stopped interacting at all, and each was developed totally separately.

If Firefox disappeared tomorrow, browsers like Waterfox would have a big decision to make because they'd no longer be able to feed off each new version of the Firefox code to do most of their work for them. If Firefox disappeared tomorrow, Pale Moon would just keep doing what it's been doing for years because it has no connection to Firefox other than a common history.

I mean, all these browsers are open source, but only Pale Moon is actually developing totally independently and doing all the functions the major browsers have to do in terms of development. The other Mozilla-clones depend a lot on Firefox week to week or month to month for new code. Pale Moon doesn't.
Last edited by CharmCityCrab on 2015-10-12, 02:17, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: BLOG: Mozilla to deprecate... itself, really.

Unread post by CharmCityCrab » 2015-10-12, 02:15

Actually, I kind of wonder if the time might be coming where WaterFox, CyberFox and all these other "foxes" might decide to base their projects on each *Pale Moon* release instead of each Firefox release. Pale Moon has been doing better work and making better choices than Firefox, and if I were doing one of these other browsers that base each of their releases off something, I'd rather be basing my releases off Pale Moon at this point.

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Re: BLOG: Mozilla to deprecate... itself, really.

Unread post by CharmCityCrab » 2015-10-12, 02:24

Another way to look at this is like evolution. Dogs and cats had a common ancestor millions of years ago that all modern dogs and cats are the descendants of, but at some point between then and now, their ancestors forked away from each other and began developing enough different traits to the point where they could no longer breed and produce off-spring together. Now, dogs and cats are different animals and further changes will likely only further separate them. They are different species.

That's essentially what happened with Firefox and Pale Moon.

Here are some articles and drawings about the common ancestor species of dogs and cats:

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/34 ... here-it-is

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... -dogs.html

The other non-Firefox browsers based on Firefox basically never really branched off from Firefox and can still interbreed with Firefox and, do, on a regular basis- they're the same animal with a few different traits, like a golden retriever (A dog) and a poodle (Also a dog). Pale Moon is a totally different animal.

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Re: BLOG: Mozilla to deprecate... itself, really.

Unread post by Moonchild » 2015-10-12, 11:41

CharmCityCrab wrote:Here is my understanding, and the people who actually know what they are talking about can chime in later with better answers if they are so inclined when they have the opportunity. :)
I think you explained it pretty well, actually :)

In the case of Pale Moon it's actually been a very gradual forking off, going back quite far. For a while it required a lot of manual changing each and every release because we'd re-base Pale Moon on a newer Firefox, then had to go in and re-do our changes on it every time. The last time we re-based was with Firefox 24.0 in late 2013, but even before that we were already on our own "evolutionary path" so to say for some years.

As for the other "foxes", yes, they are minimal rebuilds. They have to swallow not just most, but all of the changes Mozilla makes to the Mozilla-central code. As such they are directly tied to Firefox's progression (or regression, depending on your viewpoint) and any change made to Firefox. If it comes down to additional separate services that Firefox plugged in recently, it's probably relatively easy for the rebuilds to revert those changes, but it may be rather involved as well. The common question "Will Pale Moon have to adopt x or y unwanted feature from Firefox" is always a "no" because unlike Waterfox, Cyberfox, etc. we are indeed not at all tied to Mozilla-central anymore. We have our own development and our own base code. Only features that are specifically ported over or re-implemented will end up in Pale Moon. Nothing will be "automatically adopted because Firefox has it". (For some reason a lot of people don't "get" this yet. Pale Moon is truly independent.)
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Re: BLOG: Mozilla to deprecate... itself, really.

Unread post by megaman » 2015-11-17, 18:42

Will Pittenger wrote:In fact, I have the impression that Mozilla wants to actively kill TMP.
Onemen(Developer of TabMixPlus) asked me for Palemoon's code when I reported a bug, and he mentioned fixing it, which he did.
That keeps him on-board with Palemoon.

Other developers might jump on-board to support Palemoon, it doesn't have to be Palemoon exclusives, either.

I understand about Mozilla trying to lean the browser, there's merits...somewhere.(I guess, but don't quote me on this)
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Re: BLOG: Mozilla to deprecate... itself, really.

Unread post by megaman » 2015-11-17, 18:52

Will Pittenger wrote:Yes, but if PM's market share remains a fraction of that enjoyed by Chrome and FF...
Opera, Maxthon, and I could go on, they also don't have much recognition but they have people developing add-ons/extensions just fine.
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Re: BLOG: Mozilla to deprecate... itself, really.

Unread post by LimboSlam » 2015-11-17, 19:07

Yes I've been talking to many developers and they say once the time comes to choose between Firefox revolution and Pale Moon evolution, they will certainly be more in favor of siding with Pale Moon.
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Re: BLOG: Mozilla to deprecate... itself, really.

Unread post by NotFunny » 2015-11-17, 20:06

LimboSlam wrote:Yes I've been talking to many developers
Well that's good to know, care to name them and the Extensions/Themes in question?

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