I was hoping to get involved with some coding when I get a Mac again (Whenever the new MBP gets released), though skimming the forum the OSX codebase seems not to be the best place for me to start.
I've been happily running Palemoon for a couple of months. I'd switch fully if I could run the 1password plugin. I looked to switch as I'm increasingly unhappy with Mozilla's direction and choices. Reading about how they're doing away with their extension format to a more restrictive chrome-like format, and abandoning heavyweight themes pushed me to search for alternatives.
Palemoon is wonderfully stable, it's faster than current FF running similar extensions. It's Firefox before they started ruining it! I'm very happy to have discovered it, even though I'm temporarily on Windows
I can even run my favourite, long abandoned, theme!
New browser? One of the biggest draws, along with no australis, for Palemoon is that it's Firefox derived and you can run many Firefox plugins without all the junk and bad ideas Firefox started putting in. More inline.Moonchild wrote:...is to create a new browser product that will start with a clean slate.
That's usual. You perhaps need banner ad style shouting for volunteers on the homepage and forum banner rather than gentle invitations somewhere in the hierarchy? Yes I know it's there, but unless someone is actively looking at getting involved, like I was, they'll not choose those menu options, and so not get to the github issues list. Is github the master list, or forums?Moonchild wrote:Some of the rationale behind this:
Lack of community development
Despite our clear and open invitation for more people to get involved in both core development and extensions, the uptake has been (really) slow.
I learnt of this issue from HN today, not from a few visits a week to the palemoon site and forums over the last 2 months, messing around with scripts, themes and extensions, or reading about the state of OSX and Linux builds. I'd have hoped to have seen a "Please help, we're drowning" message once or twice. Or every time in 24pt.
If it hadn't been pinged to HN, I don't know if I'd ever have noticed. How many forum users perhaps could help but never go near /development and so don't know?
It sounds like the project is at a potential breaking point. I know I'm a bit wary of getting involved - I've not coded on OSX for ages, C++ for longer, and I remember trying to get involved with Firefox sometime during 1.x days. It was such a pain to build and an ugly codebase, that I gave up and went and did something a lot more straightforward.
I'm particularly wary as I've long forgotten production quality, security aware programming. I can refresh of course, but the hackers have advanced quite a bit too, so I don't know if I can be secure enough in a reasonable space of time.
Has anyone tried putting up a page of low hanging fruit, a list of languages or skills needed, or less technical areas that need some help? Issue triage, docs, or whatever? Prominent, unmissable link off the homepage?
A refresh of the homepage wouldn't go amiss "How to Get Involved, We need your help" wouldn't be a bad place to start.
I'm trying to be helpful, not telling you that you're doing it wrong. I realise I'm new around these parts, and I hope you won't take offence - none is meant. First message, and I'm in your house complaining about the colour scheme and furniture No, don't kick me out yet!
No chance of digging up a copy on some random mirror? There's been a lot of official and unofficial mirrors over the years.Moonchild wrote:Missed the mark
... Unfortunately, that code was destroyed by Mozilla so a minor rebase isn't possible either to try and weave that code in (which would still be a huge task to accomplish - that a small handful of developers would not be able to easily tackle).
Ah, I am remembering now why I gave up C++, and especially hate working on other people's new to OO C++. Overload all the things!Moonchild wrote:Complications in the Mozilla code
... Mozilla code has become extremely heavily reliant on templates, classes, overloading, virtualization of functions and many, many stub and redirect functions to "pass the buck" to the correct module to process things in
Should I have second thoughts about getting involved now, before it's too late?
Are you refactoring as you go?
...I know nothing about Windows coding, so I'll skip...
Extension compatibility seems to be a big selling point of switching to PM.Moonchild wrote:This re-forking would be done on the last stable version of Mozilla code that hasn't had a sledgehammer put to it yet and that offers the features and capabilities we as a project would still want (i.e.: Sync 1.1, XPCOM binary components in extensions, XUL, XBL, complete theme support, etc.).
This new browser fork would:
- Be using (a changed version of) Goanna.
- Be compatible with the current Web by far and large.
- Retain our UI.
- Not be able to directly load Firefox extensions, but be closely compatible, only requiring small changes in extensions to release them for it.
Given how many extension authors have abandoned FF, and how frequently they've had the goalposts moved needing them to update (not forgetting the 6 week release schedule causing regular attrition and abandonment), I'm not sure offering another branch to support is going to sell well.
Fact is I can use abandoned extensions and themes happily. I know a lot of what attracted me to Palemoon was reading about many people being able to use features, themes and plugins Firefox abandoned when they switched to Australis. It seems to be what people write about liking Palemoon, along with not being
If it's trivial I can probably unpack and hack as I have for FF in the past. That's not a route for everyone of course.
I'm confused though. If you're forking a later version of Mozilla code, shouldn't it still be able to use Mozilla format extensions and themes, perhaps at a later version than you use currently? Can you refactor to get that extension compatibility back? What's the problem with themes and extensions in the version you plan to use?
Now, the real issue. What's happening with multiple years of security exploits and fixes? I assumed you've pulled in the various FF security fixes over the years? Won't you have to redo all those again, with another fork on different code?
I can't find mention of Palemoon security team - is there one?
You may not like it, but, that was still part of your selling point, and could become more of one. If Firefox release their chromealike new extensions, it's not yet known if things like noscript will stop working. That would be a deal breaker for many. It's not known how many extension developers will bother with yet more hassle from FF.Moonchild wrote:This is an important consideration since XUL, bootstrap and SDK are being deprecated or already considered "legacy" (read: obsolete) by Mozilla and will be phased out completely. Instead of trying to remain compatible with a range of wildly different Firefox extension versions for a dying platform, it would make sense to evolve the extension ecosystem into something that would be specific to this new browser, with focused development on a stable and unique framework, removing all of the compatibility headaches we've seen recently as well as making things easy for extension developers to maintain their work for us.
They've already announced the end of "heavyweight" themes. Which I expect when it drops will cause more FF users to search alternatives. Will theme format or compatibility be impacted in the new fork?
Nuking all their plugin ecosystem could push many new users your way if you get a little visibility! There's been quite a bit of unhappiness in the various Moz forums at many of these changes.
If Firefox abandons their old historic plugin format, what's wrong with it becoming yours by default?
If you're making a deliberate choice to diverge, what chance getting semi-commercial plugins like 1password and such involved?
Plugin if it must exist please. It opens up attack surface that many won't want.Moonchild wrote:[*]Possibly offer WebRTC as an option if there is enough demand for it. If so, this will still remain low-key and not heavily maintained.[/list]
I hope you find a way to encourage more to get involved, and go prod some of the old mozilla and firefox forums to get some of the old theme and extension authors interested.
I guess I should go skim the rest of the dev forum...