Who created the extensions we use? (normal users vs experts discussion)

Add-ons for Pale Moon and other applications
General discussion, compatibility, contributed extensions, themes, plugins, and more.

Moderators: Lootyhoof, FranklinDM

User avatar
TheRealMaestro
Fanatic
Fanatic
Posts: 111
Joined: 2019-08-13, 00:30
Location: Cosy Island

Re: Who created the extensions we use? (normal users vs experts discussion)

Unread post by TheRealMaestro » 2022-01-01, 15:39

I had cited Firefox’s 2010 statistics to sketch what we could expect the Pale Moon community to be by default: a tiny group making extensions, upon whom the myriad depends. While I do not know how many use Pale Moon worldwide, I would guess it no more than a thousandth Firefox’s 2010 usage. (If anybody has a firm estimate, maybe based on site downloads or the ‘obsolete Firefox version’ user agent we use by default, I would like to see.) Our hundreds of application-specific extensions, many times greater than one would expect from our size if our community were composed like old Firefox’s, suggest that the core developers have succeeded in building an active extension-developing community, even if it does not feel that way.
Browser: Pale Moon (Pusser’s repository for Debian)
Operating System: Linux Mint Debian Edition 4 (amd64)
Hardware: HP Pavilion DV6-7010 (1400 MHz, 6 GB)

User avatar
Drugwash
Fanatic
Fanatic
Posts: 155
Joined: 2016-01-28, 12:08
Location: Ploieşti, Romania
Contact:

Re: Who created the extensions we use? (normal users vs experts discussion)

Unread post by Drugwash » 2022-01-01, 15:56

gepus wrote:
2022-01-01, 10:18
It is totally irrelevant who created Firefox extensions [...]
Technically yes, however the discussion has been split from a different topic where this argument was brought and there came somehow a need for clarifying things. No idea who chose this particular title for the split topic but it doesn't matter now; we're trying to do more than what it says.
Moonraker wrote:
2022-01-01, 13:53
The past is a good thing,we learn from it and improve.
You're right too, it is imperative to know the truth about the past in order to avoid same errors in the future. And there are those that try their best to hide the past precisely for this reason.
But in this case it's not that important anymore - it's just a topic title. ;)
gepus wrote:
2022-01-01, 14:59
if people look at the past only through their own glasses they perceive a distorted image of the past which can't solve present problems.
That's also true. Reality - be it past, present or future - is only a matter of perceptions. But each person can only perceive things through their own senses, and analyze them through their own mind - unless they watch too much TV but that's another story. :D So the more different perceptions and the more discussion about them then the more we all understand about the true nature of the reality in point. 8-)
Moonraker wrote:
2022-01-01, 15:22
After all history is something either written or can be seen in a physical form.
Yet as they say history is always written by the victors. Therefore there may be a certain degree of inaccuracy. Which is why more points of view are always needed. ;)

Now if we can leave philosophy to the true philosophers, could we please get back to celebrating the present before it becomes past...? Happy New Year everybody! :thumbup:

User avatar
gepus
Astronaut
Astronaut
Posts: 713
Joined: 2017-12-14, 12:59

Re: Who created the extensions we use? (normal users vs experts discussion)

Unread post by gepus » 2022-01-01, 16:14

Off-topic:
Drugwash wrote:
2022-01-01, 15:56
Now if we can leave philosophy to the true philosophers, could we please get back to celebrating the present before it becomes past...?
Technically the present doesn't exist. In the very moment you perceive it, it has already past. :)
Drugwash wrote:
2022-01-01, 15:56
Happy New Year everybody! :thumbup:
La Mulți Ani!

User avatar
Drugwash
Fanatic
Fanatic
Posts: 155
Joined: 2016-01-28, 12:08
Location: Ploieşti, Romania
Contact:

Re: Who created the extensions we use? (normal users vs experts discussion)

Unread post by Drugwash » 2022-01-01, 16:24

Off-topic:
gepus wrote:
2022-01-01, 16:14
Off-topic:
Drugwash wrote:
2022-01-01, 15:56
Now if we can leave philosophy to the true philosophers, could we please get back to celebrating the present before it becomes past...?
Technically the present doesn't exist. In the very moment you perceive it, it has already past. :)
Drugwash wrote:
2022-01-01, 15:56
Happy New Year everybody! :thumbup:
La Mulți Ani!
True... and I knew that. :D
Mulţumesc frumos! (Thank you very much - no, Elvis wasn't here, he left the building loooong time ago :lol: )

User avatar
tlaloc77
Moonbather
Moonbather
Posts: 57
Joined: 2015-11-30, 20:15
Location: Germany

Re: A change of direction for Pale Moon in 2022

Unread post by tlaloc77 » 2022-01-16, 01:10

Moonchild wrote:
2021-12-28, 20:19

So where do you draw the line?

If someone uses the customization window to change the UI around and potentially break everything?
If someone uses about:config?
If they use UserChrome.css?
If they use greaseMonkey or other in-browser scripting extensions?
Here, clearly:---------------------------------------------------------------------------
This is the first step. I'm not willing to make it and so far I didn't need to. But I probably could.
The keyword is "in-browser". Whoever will use an example to make a minimal extension of 5 lines of code to make something work the way they want is unsatisfied on a certain (and specific) level.
Moonchild wrote:
2021-12-28, 20:19
If they use an example to make a minimal extension of 5 lines of code to make something work the way they want?
If they decide to share that with friends?

As Drugwash pointed out elsewhere, there is another, fatter line to draw here:
==================================================================
Moonchild wrote:
2021-12-28, 20:19
If they decide to share that with the world?
Including to take responsibility for updates, documentation and proving a place and instructions on how to install it.
When you announced that old Firefox extensions would become incompatible with Pale Moon and need to be forked, I considered doing that in case one of those I'm interested in would be(come) non-maintained - for less then a minute, then it was clear to me that I couldn't possibly do that, not without very majorly changing my life, which is not an option before I retire.

So - thank you very much for making this change.
I would have liked to see a big ecosystem of developers exclusively for Pale Moon extensions. But you'd need to be Microsoft, Apple, Google or maybe Mozilla (not sure after they (effectively/nearly) killed XUL) to get that train rolling.
Moonchild wrote:
2021-12-28, 20:19
As you can see there is no clear divide between a "normal user" and whatever you want to label the "non-normal-user" class you're struggling to define.
Well, it is obvious that your idea of a "normal user" and a "non-normal-user"/"expert" differs greatly from Bilbo47's, Drugwash's, TheRealMaestro's and mine. Not sure about moonbat's.

Off-topic:
Some science-fiction writer once said or wrote something like "I can claim that the world was created 3 seconds ago and you cannot prove otherwise.

:P
Btw, I'm working professionally as a programmer. But I'm not willing to invest the time and effort needed to start forking stuff and taking responsibility for it. It was way easier to stay with an older version of PM. If that would not have been possible, I would have switched to another browser.

moonbat wrote:
2021-12-31, 02:05
...
Pale Moon's attempt to grow a similar community has been successfully strangled in the crib.
IMHO there was no way this could have succeeded. Not with the relatively small number of developers working on it and the vast majority of original developers not being on board.


@Drugwash specifically: I love you - platonically! You Q&A post spoke my mind.


Edit:
TheRealMaestro wrote:
2022-01-01, 15:39
Our hundreds of application-specific extensions, many times greater than one would expect from our size if our community were composed like old Firefox’s, suggest that the core developers have succeeded in building an active extension-developing community, even if it does not feel that way.
F'ing true!! But IMHO this community is still way to small to do the lifting that would have been needed.

User avatar
Moonchild
Pale Moon guru
Pale Moon guru
Posts: 31927
Joined: 2011-08-28, 17:27
Location: Tranås, SE
Contact:

Re: Who created the extensions we use? (normal users vs experts discussion)

Unread post by Moonchild » 2022-01-16, 09:22

tlaloc77 wrote:
2022-01-16, 01:10
Here, clearly
This is the first step. I'm not willing to make it and so far I didn't need to. But I probably could.
Is it really that clear?
So what is the actual difference between writing a greasemonkey script and sharing that script on e.g. greasyfork or whatnot, and writing a browser extension that uses that exact same script to do the exact same thing?
I'll tell you what the difference is: a few misc files to make the browser understand when to use the script and install it as an extension and zipping it/uploading it to APMO instead of whatever portal is being used for hosting greasy scripts. That's it. And since you'd already be sharing the script with the world, your "clear, fatter line" is also already crossed.

As you see drawing lines isn't all that simple and there is a hell of a lot of overlap. This is specifically why I listed these things in my post so one would think about it and see the grade. But I guess taking it literally without thinking and just looking at the most superficial level, that point was completely lost on some.

So please stay critical of how you view these things. If you are allergic to any form of responsibility (which often, also in the case of extensions, is as simple as listening to feedback from users and deciding to change a few lines to improve something) then yes, you won't want to write any sort of anything that is published. Even a forum post like this has some level of responsibility: to stick to the rules, to not pick fights, to be generally truthful and genuine in what you write (nobody likes trolls), etc.
"You will observe with concern how long a useful truth may be known and exist before it is generally received and practiced on." -- Benjamin Franklin
"Compromise and collaboration lie at the heart of all great endeavours" -- Kassandra
Image

User avatar
Drugwash
Fanatic
Fanatic
Posts: 155
Joined: 2016-01-28, 12:08
Location: Ploieşti, Romania
Contact:

Re: Who created the extensions we use? (normal users vs experts discussion)

Unread post by Drugwash » 2022-01-16, 09:43

tlaloc77 wrote:
2022-01-16, 01:10
@Drugwash specifically: I love you - platonically! You Q&A post spoke my mind.
Danke schön. :thumbup:
Moonchild wrote:
2022-01-16, 09:22
Even a forum post like this has some level of responsibility: to stick to the rules, to not pick fights, to be generally truthful and genuine in what you write (nobody likes trolls), etc.
Well, a forum post is a one-time deal: observe the rules, type it in, publish and good-bye so long - not even required to get back at any time to check for a reply or whatever.
While publishing a script/extension/etc under the requirement of responsibility and maintenance is a completely different deal: it's a long-time commitment that can take time and effort long after it has been published. Nowadays most people are worried how to get along with the screwed-up life in a prolonged world dictatorship, and they have less and less spare time for such projects. At least they are honest in saying "can't afford to do it".
If it weren't for the maintenace requirement then maybe a few people would dare create/fork and publish, leaving maintenance for when they get some spare time or for someone else in the future, hopefully without the need for rebranding and changing a lot of other elements. That's my personal honest opinion.

User avatar
Moonchild
Pale Moon guru
Pale Moon guru
Posts: 31927
Joined: 2011-08-28, 17:27
Location: Tranås, SE
Contact:

Re: Who created the extensions we use? (normal users vs experts discussion)

Unread post by Moonchild » 2022-01-16, 10:16

And once again you completely missed my point!
I give up.
Y'all can see if you can figure out the point I'm trying to make without completely entrenching yourself into your own barred opinions and trying to at all cost win the argument (by e.g. taking an extreme example and trying to make it a direct comparison to the average case) instead of using your brain. I'm done.
"You will observe with concern how long a useful truth may be known and exist before it is generally received and practiced on." -- Benjamin Franklin
"Compromise and collaboration lie at the heart of all great endeavours" -- Kassandra
Image

User avatar
gepus
Astronaut
Astronaut
Posts: 713
Joined: 2017-12-14, 12:59

Re: A change of direction for Pale Moon in 2022

Unread post by gepus » 2022-01-16, 10:20

tlaloc77 wrote:
2022-01-16, 01:10
When you announced that old Firefox extensions would become incompatible with Pale Moon and need to be forked, I considered doing that in case one of those I'm interested in would be(come) non-maintained - for less then a minute, then it was clear to me that I couldn't possibly do that, not without very majorly changing my life, which is not an option before I retire.
A simple question you could have asked yourself (no programming skills needed to answer):
What's the difference between an old Firefox extension and a new one "forked" for Pale Moon?
Maybe you should have thought about it longer than a minute. ;)

BTW, there is a huge difference between a more or less trivial local hack for personal use and the commitment/responsibility for long term maintenance.

As for maintenance: If the underlying code an extension is relying on will change, the extension will break. Simply as that.
This still applies to Pale Moon as it applies to any other browser in development.

User avatar
ketmar
Lunatic
Lunatic
Posts: 369
Joined: 2015-07-28, 11:10
Location: Earth

Re: Who created the extensions we use? (normal users vs experts discussion)

Unread post by ketmar » 2022-01-16, 16:26

hm. as maintenance issue is raising its head again and again, maybe there is something that could be done to make it less scary? i don't know what, but here's one idea: divide extensions on the official addon site to two groups: maintained and unmaintained.

"unmaintained extension" means that somebody forked something, fixed it to work with Pale Moon, but have no intentions to support the thing. basically, it is published "as is", and nobody really owns it. as a consequence, anybody else may make a fix for "unmaintained" extension, and submit a new version to review. i.e. "unmaintained extension" is kind of "crowdsourced". ;-)

i can't tell if that idea will make more harm than good (maybe having many "unmaintaned" extensions will make people to think that Pale Moon is all about unmaintained things; dunno), and i don't know how hard it will be to adapt infrastructure for that. maybe change "unmaintained" to "crowdprogrammed", and become a leader in The Whole New Way Of Developing Things? ;-)

just a thought. it may be silly, but maybe it could help people who cannot/don't want to take the "full responsibility".

vannilla
Board Warrior
Board Warrior
Posts: 1875
Joined: 2018-05-05, 13:29

Re: Who created the extensions we use? (normal users vs experts discussion)

Unread post by vannilla » 2022-01-16, 18:00

In fairness, everyone is making a deal out of "maintaining" bigger than it really is.
If we consider the whole world of software, then sure, on average it is a big deal, but since we're dealing only with browser extensions it's not that terrible.
As far as the extensions I wrote go, for the past year I had to work only on eMatrix: if you look at the git commit history of the other extensions you'll see that the last change was to update the supported major/milestone version from Pale Moon 28 to 29. And for some of them that came out 2 years after the last change.
eMatrix is a terrible codebase and it also does a lot, so it's not surprising that it has bugs and thus requires constant work; the others are still working fine, as in they install and do what they are supposed to do, and nobody reported any bug, so there is no need to spend time on them.
Basically, my point is that maintaining a Pale Moon extension is very easy. You just need to respond to eventual bug reports and keep an eye on the release changelog just in case something you use change, but thankfully that happens very slowly if almost never: the fact that most unmaintained Firefox extensions still work is proof that Pale Moon doesn't break the extensions' platform without good reasons.
Bug reports aren't that numerous either, especially if your extension doesn't try to be the world and only does something very straightforward in the simplest way.
Reports are proportional to the number of features you add to the extension: the simple you are the less trouble you meet.
You don't really need to release a new version every X weeks. Actually you don't really have to release any new version at all as long as nobody reports breakages.
Once the first stable version is out, you can have an "almost-zero required time" maintenance, so the lack of time to dedicate to it can't be an excuse.
It's "almost zero" because you still need to be available if something goes bad, but if that happens once after 3 years since publishing a certain version of the extension, can it really be considered something that takes too much time?

User avatar
ketmar
Lunatic
Lunatic
Posts: 369
Joined: 2015-07-28, 11:10
Location: Earth

Re: Who created the extensions we use? (normal users vs experts discussion)

Unread post by ketmar » 2022-01-16, 18:23

it's not about the amount of work per se, it is more about a "commitment". forking an extension and simply giving it away is one thing. but forking an extension and taking the full authorship on the fork is something completely different. even if the actual amount of work may be very small, it is still some responsibility that not everybody want to take (for various reasons, reasons don't matter here).

i am proposing to split forking part from responsibility part, so some random user who simply wants to fix their pet extension could publish the fix without being scared of the responsibility part. after all, that user may simply don't have enough knowledge to evaluate the amount of work to maintain something. so let's remove this burden from users at all. if somebody will later feel that they want to maintain "crowdsourced" extension, they could declare "maintainership".

i.e. i'm trying to invent the way to remove that psychological barrier. yes, it's a hack. maybe there exists some other, better way, i don't know. or maybe my idea is not as bright as it looks to me. but i myself believe that removing "psychological entry barriers" (even just one) may help.

User avatar
TheRealMaestro
Fanatic
Fanatic
Posts: 111
Joined: 2019-08-13, 00:30
Location: Cosy Island

Re: Who created the extensions we use? (normal users vs experts discussion)

Unread post by TheRealMaestro » 2022-01-16, 19:33

ketmar wrote:
2022-01-16, 18:23
i am proposing to split forking part from responsibility part, so some random user who simply wants to fix their pet extension could publish the fix without being scared of the responsibility part. after all, that user may simply don't have enough knowledge to evaluate the amount of work to maintain something. so let's remove this burden from users at all. if somebody will later feel that they want to maintain "crowdsourced" extension, they could declare "maintainership".
I agree. I cannot help but think of this section from the GPL:
The GPL v3 wrote:This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.
One is not beholden to maintain an extension in future after adapting it once. Your distinction is proper.

I believe also that extension maintenance and user assistance need not overlap. ‘Technical support’ can mean either of these distinct roles. I should think it calmer for everybody involved if a browser or extension developer can direct his attention solely to programming while users help one another through usage troubles.
Browser: Pale Moon (Pusser’s repository for Debian)
Operating System: Linux Mint Debian Edition 4 (amd64)
Hardware: HP Pavilion DV6-7010 (1400 MHz, 6 GB)

Michaell
Fanatic
Fanatic
Posts: 219
Joined: 2018-05-26, 18:13

Re: Who created the extensions we use? (normal users vs experts discussion)

Unread post by Michaell » 2022-01-16, 19:38

I can't speak for anyone else, but for me any effort like this would have to be on a site separate from the existing PM addons site (or this forum). A more open, friendlier place with a community of volunteers interested in helping, and no browser owners/developers dictating to us as if we work for them. Something like the old MozDev site (IMO Github is too involved for casual use). But even then I'd only help with extensions I like/need. Every time I see something posted about asking for help forking, people suggest all kinds of extensions that are of no interest to me. Create a place where we can submit a fix, or discuss errors or suggestions without coming here to the PM forum, and I might just be interested again.
Win10home(1709), PM29.x-port

Post Reply