I've just made an account here to post (which took three hours for the activation e-mail message to arrive
) but I'm a longtime lurker, user, and admirer of Pale Moon.
wsn90 wrote:It's unfortunate that Pale Moon has run out of time and resources to keep the support going for XP. A very
warm thanks for keeping it going so long. I've cherished using PM.
In response to the internet's ubiquitous, regurgitated propaganda about XP having 'seen its day,' I would say that, in my 25 years of casual, general computer use, my present experience (using a SATA slipstreamed version of XP, on recent hardware) has never been better or faster. XP also continues to be supported by the excellent free programs LibreOffice, GIMP, VLC media player, Audacity, as well as Vuescan and almost all printer and camera manufacturers.
That XP was also designed with the individual in mind also resonates with me. Not only can XP be easily fine-tuned to the users' preference, but one also gets the sense with XP that it's the user that commands, and the system that obeys. I sense the opposite with subsequent MS OS offerings, which disable choice and increase surveillance, and which were really designed (as seen in MS' own marketing literature) more for the wants and needs of corporations than for individuals.
I totally agree with this post. [I'd be quite interested in seeing this marketing literature!]
Windows 95 was certainly the greatest leap forward in UI design of the '90s, and the greatest UI paradigm ever created IMO.
Though Windows 98 did contain a lot of UI refinement, gradients, 256-colors throughout, etc. Despite being the visual and functional peak IMO, it was also the beginning of the end for user choice toward the overreaching control of Microsoft.
In Windows 95, you could choose your own shell if Windows Explorer didn't do it for you, and elect not to install Internet Explorer if you preferred another Web browser. Or none at all!
Windows NT 4.0 brought the state-of-the-art Windows 95 desktop to the power of the NT platform, and then I think Windows 2000 was the beginning of the UI decline.
Windows XP's UI changes were pretty drastic looking, but they were all pretty easily reversible; my systems look indistinguishable from Windows 98 to the untrained eye.
Vista was the real leap of the 2000s. Tons of drastic design changes, new kernel (NT 6.0), and lots of functionality issues, many due to it not being ready for release.
Vista, Internet Explorer 7, and probably worst of all, MS Office 2007 gutted the tried-and-true Menu Bar, (standard element since the Apple Lisa) and fully customizable toolbar system (standard since Office 97, Windows 98, and IE 4) for the "Ribbon", which is nonstandard, takes up an enormous amount of screen space, and is not customizable.
Windows Explorer, certainly a core part of the Windows eXPerience, is ribbonized and no longer customizable which for me, makes the system an enormous pain to use.
"Windows 7" (NT 6.1) tweaks the UI, moving from full shininess of Mac OS X and Windows Royale to the flatter and plainer Aero Glass, and removing the ability to use the heavily researched and user tested Classic Start Menu (more here) with the new one which requires scrolling to view more than a few programs since the cascading feature is removed.
"Windows 8" (NT 6.2) of course flushes the past fifty-odd years of UI design research down the toilet by attempting to force a universal "one size fits all" approach, with a UI that is in limbo between smartphone and desktop PC design, ripping out the start menu entirely to replace it with a ridiculous smartphone lock screen followed by an "app screen", and fragmenting the control panel functions even further between the desktop and smartphone UIs.
"Windows 8.1" (NT 6.3) and finally the signifier of postmodernism, the * "Windows 10" milestone we have finally have reached by fudging the version number and skipping one entirely, as far as I can tell, have simply restored some of the previously ripped out functionality such as returning some semblance of a start menu in Windows 10. (Remember I am not addressing the underlying changes to the OS such as SecureBoot or what have you)
As Windows XP continues to be the best solution for many people due to its incredible efficiency, stability, and compatibility, it is not difficult to understand why so many people have stuck with it for so long.
I understand that the newer Windows NT 6/10 OSes which are now being targeted by Mozilla and the increasing differences between them, such as DirectX support, etc., it would take more developers we have to keep up, or as Moonchild puts it: "To develop Pale Moon to its full potential".
For me, upgrading from XP would be much more than just a simple technical task. In addition to the loss of my familiar, friendly, finely-tuned system that I have no complaints about, an upgrade would also create multiple headaches due to the purchase, activation, and learning of various new replacement software.
My situation is similar. I cannot accept the downgrades
that come with any OS past NT 5.
In planning for the transition away from PM, I would like to solicit from the PM staff, and anyone else, your ideas on 'Which browser would you use if you had to remain with XP?'
Since I began using the Web, it in the days of Internet Explorer dominance. I was quite happy to use IE, and blissfully unaware of the browser wars and broader situation at the time, as it did everything I wanted, supported all the plugins I cared about (Macromedia Flash and Sun Java for games), a superbly designed, fully customizable UI (I'm talking IE 4-5 here), and system-integrated Favorites (the best bookmarking system IMO) as well as colourful favicons (which it pioneered). Eventually, I upgraded as far as IE 8, which is the highest version for XP, as well as the last one customizable to a sane interface (with registry hacks).
Eventually, the Trident in IE 8 became slow and unusable for many big Web sites such as Facebook, but I found Google Chrome Frame, which was essentially Chromium running inside the chrome of Internet Explorer, so Favorites, etc were still usable, which was an inefficient way to allow the running of newer Web sites (though the best solution at the time.)
It was some time after that solution was deprecated that I discovered K-Meleon
through the "ballot box" found in the start menu of the new IBM PC I'd just built (to run Windows XP on the newest Intel chipset which supported it btw [Intel B75; Ivy Bridge/Sandy Bridge LGA 1155; ~2012])
For those who aren't familiar (I had never heard of it) K-Meleon was an attempt to run the Gecko engine inside of the native Windows environment. This began in 2000 (so while the remnants of Netscape were being developed (with the new NGLayout/Gecko engine), but before any Phoenix, Firebird, or Firefox had risen from the ashes. So this program had been around for a while, but Firefox caught up and surpassed it due to resources (being backed by Mozilla). Also, with a native Windows interface, from what I understand, that would make it inherently more work to update, since Mozilla browsers have their own abstracted platform-agnostic interface, so essentially K-Meleon has to maintain its own native Windows interface, which seems similar to what SeaMonkey does except more difficult and time consuming.
K-Meleon stopped development around 2010 when it seemed that Mozilla was going to stop being co-operative, but fortunately when I started using it (2014), they learned it was a misunderstanding, and development began again based on Gecko 24, Extended Support Release!
Development was very fast and the browser improved a lot for a few years, but the one seemingly part-time developer running the project seems to have lost interest, and things have been much slower lately.
It's quite a nice, lightweight, and fast browser, especially for older computers, which (at least attempts) to keep updated with the latest ESR from Mozilla.
It's quite easy to customize, create themes for, and I assume easier to learn expansion with K-Meleon Macro Language, etc. than the mainstream Mozilla method, though I haven't personally been involved further than basic theming.
Supposedly better performance natively in Windows (and even quite good through Vine), especially on older machines.
Native support on Windows XP, SP2; no SSE requirement.
Supports Windows 2000 to XP SP1 as well with KernelEx I believe.
The community is very different from this one, and most members don't speak English as their first language.
Unfortunately for the average user, it is much more difficult to install extensions, upgrade to a new version, or make any changes.
Nothing is automated like it is with mainstream Mozilla browsers.
It has some native extensions and some Mozilla ones modified to work, but of course not as many as the million on addons.mozilla.org
For those who use older machines or OSes, the future does look frightening. I fully realize that Moonchild always tries to strike a sane, moderate approach to development, considering what's commonly used by the community and the things we'd like the browser to include. This overall sane, moderate, and community-considerate approach is something I laud and admire Moonchild and everyone else here for. It is truly a breath of fresh air in these times.
The problem is that there no longer seems to be a sane option left for those who value backward compatibility as well as a sane, customizable user experience. I want an OS/UI as well as a Web browser/UI that is sane, and if not to my liking out of the box, then customizable for the user. It seems that I will soon have to choose one or the other, which is a painful choice considering that I've so enjoyed both for the past two decades!
Though I understand the reasons for dropping NT 5.x support, it seems even more of a shame since projects like K-Meleon and SeaMonkey are finding it ever more difficult to keep up with the increasingly wild changes coming from Mozilla, and being the One True Fork®, Goanna could have been the stable foundation upon which the future of these great projects were continued, without being forced to drop support for NT 5.x.
I think that what's been done with Pale Moon is nothing short of a heroic achievement, the community is incredible, and I don't intend to disparage either in any way. Nor do I believe it's necessarily anyone's "responsibility" to continue to develop our user agents in a sane direction. This fork, as well as the other Mozilla projects all seem to be lacking in resources. I am simply noting the sadness of the situation for many of us.
To me, the ideal situation would be to somehow accrue more resources without corrupting or selling out like the Big Three. I know that we already have a bug bounty system. I know we already have advertisements on the forum. I personally haven't any unique ideas other than for the users who depend on Firefox plugins and extensions to get in touch with developers and ask them to consider moving to Pale Moon once Mozilla deprecates itself. This is the only way I can see to attract more users and developers - by being genuinely better than the competition, and then spreading the word!
This is not just about resources for XP support, but for all the other platforms Pale Moon hopes to support such as Linux, Android, and the Macintosh OS X, as well as the ability to keep up with the other browsers in terms of features we can implement! The reality is that we are at both the mercy of the Big Four, as well as the way that Web developers abandon graceful degradation/progressive enhancement
, in favour of making basic functionality dependent on non-standard methods available in only the Big Four or even just Chromium browsers! (Not to mention when Pale Moon or other browsers do contain functionality but are indiscriminately blocked by user agent string)
Before the end of Pale Moon 26.x, ending suport for NT 5.x and Firefox extension compatibility (again, I understand why; I'm not complaining), I would be overjoyed if my two most longstanding and frustrating Mozilla bugs be fixed.
- The Web page border is missing (though this is somewhat mitigated by the Foxscape theme I've been using.
- The button for drop-down menus doesn't work in any Mozilla product since Gecko 1.9.2, whether in a Web page or XUL chrome. This one really is vexing, as there is no workaround other than switching to IE 8, which is no longer usable for everyday browsing, as I've said (though I'm using it right now)
Both of them have already been reported to Bugzilla, and though (as far as I understand) fixes have been submitted for both of them, neither has been implemented yet.
Believe it or not, I've tried to keep this post short and succinct, but I might have gotten carried away.
If this really is the end of the line for me, then thanks to all developers for this wonderful gift to the community!