Idea for a new browser product

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Re: Idea for a new browser product

Post by Moonraker » 2016-03-22, 21:55

If ESR38 is to be the re-base,What happens in the future when this is deprecated.?
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Re: Idea for a new browser product

Post by Thrawn » 2016-03-22, 22:19

I highly doubt that any future bases will be feasible. Between Australis, e10s, deprecation and removal of XUL...Pale Moon isn't going to adopt those things.

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Re: Idea for a new browser product

Post by Moonraker » 2016-03-22, 22:37

Ok.
So a total new code base then.Completely new browser with completely newly created source code perhaps...?
Very interesting concept.
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Re: Idea for a new browser product

Post by Moonchild » 2016-03-22, 23:47

Moonraker wrote:If ESR38 is to be the re-base,What happens in the future when this is deprecated.?
Did you read the rest of the thread? because I think you missed a few statements asking this question ;)
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Re: Idea for a new browser product

Post by mr tribute » 2016-03-23, 21:31

Moonchild wrote:
Moonraker wrote:If ESR38 is to be the re-base,What happens in the future when this is deprecated.?
Did you read the rest of the thread? because I think you missed a few statements asking this question ;)
If you cannot provide a short answer to this question, then this thread is doomed... I don't have the answers, but this thread was meant to make things clearer. I don't think I am the only one (obviously not) that wonders how a re-base will keep Pale Moon going in the long run. Web development didn't stop when Firefox 38 was released. :)

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Re: Idea for a new browser product

Post by Lunix » 2016-03-23, 21:42

mr tribute wrote:
Moonchild wrote:
Moonraker wrote:If ESR38 is to be the re-base,What happens in the future when this is deprecated.?
Did you read the rest of the thread? because I think you missed a few statements asking this question ;)
If you cannot provide a short answer to this question, then this thread is doomed... I don't have the answers, but this thread was meant to make things clearer. I don't think I am the only one (obviously not) that wonders how a re-base will keep Pale Moon going in the long run. Web development didn't stop when Firefox 38 was released. :)
You're not the only one. I am completely lost and I actually did read the entire thread. :(

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Re: Idea for a new browser product

Post by Moonraker » 2016-03-23, 23:33

Thrawn wrote:I highly doubt that any future bases will be feasible. Between Australis, e10s, deprecation and removal of XUL...Pale Moon isn't going to adopt those things.
Then ESR38 would be the last feasible rebase then if later mozilla additions are not to be included in later versions of pale moon.I have read this thread and it seems to me that the only way forward would be to completely write new code in house.

Sorry but that is how i see it.
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Re: Idea for a new browser product

Post by CharmCityCrab » 2016-03-24, 00:03

mr tribute wrote: If you cannot provide a short answer to this question, then this thread is doomed... I don't have the answers, but this thread was meant to make things clearer. I don't think I am the only one (obviously not) that wonders how a re-base will keep Pale Moon going in the long run. Web development didn't stop when Firefox 38 was released. :)
I raised a similar issue earlier in the thread. I'm going to try to explain how I interpreted the responses. Keep in mind that this is just my interpretation and not a direct quote. I'm using wording that maybe they wouldn't use or that may not be 100% accurate in an effort to explain "the gist" of it in a way that people may find more digestible than the original explanations (Not that what I'm going to say will likely be any more clear than what they said in a generic sense- just that different people's brains work different ways, so some people who don't get one way of explaining it might get the other way of explaining it, even if the first way was more clear to more people :) ). My explanation may also, to some degree, reflect my own potential misunderstandings.

One thing that I've occasionally take grief for online is that I also will sometimes tend to explain things at great length that others find obvious. Some people find that annoying or patronizing, but others find it helpful, because it spells out something that they didn't understand was being implied in the more concise explanations.

Anyway:

My interpretation of the response was, essentially, that when they first stopped rebasing with each new Firefox release and took a certain release as their "last rebase" and started working on their own update schedule with their own unique code changes and variations on the Firefox theme, no longer incorporating new Firefox code unless it really made sense, and designing unique Pale Moon code that, at that point in time, they didn't know as much about the code base and didn't have as much experience and as many skills as developers as they do now.

So, if I am following correctly, they are saying that as a result of some early mistakes or things that they would have done differently now that they know better and have better skills and more experiences, they have fallen far enough behind in some areas that they would need a lot of help to catch up. Coders aren't volunteering to offer that help. They don't have the manpower (Is personpower a word? I don't mean to imply that woman can't be coders, obviously they can be) to do it themselves. It's a hole.

Also, they note that essentially it was the release right after the one they used to base, that Firefox cleaned up a lot of it's bad code and implemented a lot of new under the hood improvements in rendering what is increasingly becoming the modern web. The way the Pale Moon code has drifted does not allow identical implementations, so they have to do all that work from scratch in ways that are compatible with today's Pale Moon, and if they can do it at all, which they may not be able to, they will fall so far behind that other things will suffer.

They think they will avoid falling into the same "hole" in the future, because:

1. They will be dealing with a lighter, better organized, easier to understand code base as a starting point relative to what they initially forked.

2. They understand the Mozilla code a lot better now than they did back during their first forking point, so they won't make the same mistakes, or similar mistakes, to the ones that are making life more difficult on them today. Some of those early decisions put in place some code that they built on and built on and built on over the years, so that they can't just rip that code out without ripping out a ton of browser improvements along with it. If they rebase, those early mistakes are erased, and they get some of the features both Pale Moon and Firefox implemented built on top of code they feel is better, or at least easier to change without the whole "house" crumbling, plus some new features that would be hard to implement with their current code base. Then they can implement the Pale Moon specific improvements we love on a more solid foundation before releasing the new Pale Moon.

3. They will make changes with an eye towards making it easier to maintain and reconfigure in the future than they did the first time. Less "Let's just get this working as well as possible" and more "Let's make sure we get this working as well possible *plus* in a way that is easier to get rid of, change, supersede, or build on in the months and years to come if necessary or desired".

4. They are better at doing what they do than they used to be.

5. They believe that the code that will result from this will be easier for a small group of people to maintain than the code they initially forked from, or the PM code as it exists today, which will be helpful, because they are a small group of people.

6. They hope that by rebasing from a later version of Firefox, potential volunteers will be more familiar with the code and, you know, actually volunteer. They really need more volunteer coders. I think there may be some inference that essentially Firefox is now going into a weird place, and people are going to want to fork from there, and if Pale Moon can sort of be in a place where people who just recently or slightly into the future decide they want to fork, that Pale Moon is better positioned to get those coders and developers if it is based on the more recent code base those people would be more familiar with. It also positions Pale Moon to pick up more extensions, in theory.

Of course, they probably thought that was true on the initial fork, and not enough people joined the project then. They hope now will be different. I don't know if it will or not- it seems like people don't want to, or are unable to, help the project, and I don't know what kind of carrot could be dangled to them to make them want to help. Pale Moon is even offering a bounty program now, so they are trying to figure out ways to draw in people.

In the long run, I think it is looking more and more like the only way Pale Moon will make it is if the development team expands, or at least outside people contribute code and patches on a one-time basis, and they start getting those type of contributions more frequently.

This is a big job that huge corporations spend millions upon millions of dollars to do. Those corporations have dozens if not hundreds of employers working on their browsers. Pale Moon seems to have under a half dozen people, all volunteers (Maybe they have more than that, and some people are just less outwardly visible than others to people browsing the forum and stuff). Pale Moon needs more volunteers. If you have the skills to help and want them to survive, you may have to help in order to make that happen, or else not help and watch the browser disappear.

It doesn't sound like they require a lot from any given individual. People are free to contribute a patch here and there on their own or even to say, "Here are my skills. I have x number of hours to contribute to this while things are slow at work this, what do you want me to do? This is probably just going to be a one time thing.".

Disclaimer 1: I may have overstated things. No offense is intended if anything was portrayed incorrectly or in an exaggerated way. I love the project and am grateful for all the hard work people do.

Disclaimer 2: I am not trying to tell anyone what to do. :) Sometimes I think I am perceived as telling people like "Hey you, volunteer your time". That's not *really* what I'm saying. If people have the skills and would rather watch the new season of Daredevil on Netflix than code for Pale Moon, there's nothing wrong with that. :) I'm just saying, my impression is that the browser may not continue long-term, at least not at the level we'd all like, if there aren't more people contributing. I'm just trying to bring a little grim realism to it and say "They need more people", and of course I hope they get those people, but *obviously* it's up to those people. I'm not trying to tell anyone what to do- I'm just talking about what probably is needed and people can make their own choices from there without any judgement from me. :)
Last edited by CharmCityCrab on 2016-03-25, 04:19, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Idea for a new browser product

Post by CharmCityCrab » 2016-03-24, 00:07

Some ideas:

1. Maybe a merger with another project should be considered?

I know the politics of a lot of these smaller browser projects are such that one project doesn't get along with the next, for whatever reason, but if the team feels it is too small to do what needs to be done, and can't get fresh volunteers, and wants to survive...

It's just an off the wall suggestion.

Maybe an email to every similar project head would be in order. If they say no, you've only wasted as much time as it took to type the email and track down addresses.

2. Is there a list of past contributors to the Mozilla code listed within the code itself or otherwise publicly available somewhere? Maybe MoonChild could mass email everyone who ever worked on Firefox's code and ask if any of them want to volunteer for Pale Moon. There are probably some ex-employees or ex-volunteers who have the skills but are no longer working on Firefox who might be interested. It's a longshot, but it probably couldn't hurt.

I've got to think that there are some old Firefox devs from the early days who really hate the way the Firefox project has gone, and who's vision while working on the project is more in line with Pale Moon's vision than the current vision Mozilla has. Maybe some of these folks were always volunteers working from home and it wouldn't be a huge transition to do the work for one browser instead of another.

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Re: Idea for a new browser product

Post by LimboSlam » 2016-03-24, 00:21

Ummm......... I think a much shorter recap is in order, how about it MC, Matt. No offense CharmCityCrab. :)

Anyways, I think we should push on and stay true to "Pale Moon is not Firefox and never will be again." But to do this we need more users to get involve and bring a positive attitudes to the drawing board. So as I heard these developers cries for help, I'm now making time to get back into coding and maybe in a couple of months from now (probably a year though as coding takes time and lots of patients) I'll be able to contribute more.
With Pale Moon by my side, surfing the web is quite enjoyable and takes my headaches away! :)
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Re: Idea for a new browser product

Post by LimboSlam » 2016-03-24, 00:27

CharmCityCrab wrote:Some ideas:
Advertise Pale Moon. Yes I've seem other projects do this, even those smaller based-off browser. Also I know Facebook and Twitter allow advertising, just an idea.
With Pale Moon by my side, surfing the web is quite enjoyable and takes my headaches away! :)
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Re: Idea for a new browser product

Post by CharmCityCrab » 2016-03-24, 01:17

LimboSlam wrote:
CharmCityCrab wrote:Some ideas:
Advertise Pale Moon. Yes I've seem other projects do this, even those smaller based-off browser. Also I know Facebook and Twitter allow advertising, just an idea.
Good idea. Maybe Google AdSense? When people search for Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Edge, or even Netscape Navigator, they could see "Pale Moon" as a paid advertiser. Does DuckDuckGo sell their own ads? Maybe that would be more likely to get the type of potential user who would enjoy Pale Moon.

Also, PM could potentially advertise for volunteer coders as well as just advertising the browser to users. Like find websites coders use, maybe especially ones people use to learn to code, and then buy ads telling them where they can use their new-found knowledge.

Of course, the high prevalence of ad-blockers among the type of people who'd be interested in using, and especially coding for, Pale Moon, could render an ad campaign difficult. Pale Moon also has a certain retro appeal as well as it's customizeability appeal, though, so you might have at least one class of potential users who want an old interface and aren't necessarily technological enough to be likely to be using an ad-blocker with acceptable ads disabled. Maybe different ad campaigns emphasizing different things to different groups of potential users.

An ad campaign might also require money that isn't there, though- unless we're just talking the Twitter/Facebook page route, which might be the way to go, if that's the case. :) Social media is big these days, obviously.
Last edited by CharmCityCrab on 2016-03-24, 01:28, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Idea for a new browser product

Post by richardboegli » 2016-03-24, 01:28

tl;dr summary so far: This is as brief as I could get it.
  1. Lots of Lessons Learnt thus far of what to do / not to do
  2. Need more developers
  3. Going to rebase from some ESR version of Firefox
    1. Missed the mark with last rebase
    2. Undecided on which
    3. Final rebase as future rebase not possible due to internal changes within Firefox
  4. This will be a new product, Palemoon as it is will still exist.
  5. Going to keep Palemoon UI, Gonanna, Sync 1.1, XPCOM binary components in extensions, XUL, XBL, complete theme support, etc
    1. Not going to be a fork of Webkit / Blink eta all.
    2. Minor updates to addons will be required to work with new browser; Firefox addons will not work going forward
  6. Be compatible with the current Web by far and large.
  7. Be able to adopt additional changes from Mozilla code more readily.
  8. Be more compatible with Windows 8.1 and 10.
  9. Not include telemetry or DRM of any sort (goes without saying).
  10. 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.

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Re: Idea for a new browser product

Post by richardboegli » 2016-03-24, 01:39

One way to attract future users and developers, is to ask and answer the question:
What can this new browser offer when Firefox removes XUL support?

First one that comes to mind is DownloadThemAll, to quote the authors from The likely end of DownThemAll?
...DownThemAll! will be dead if XUL-based add-ons with XPCOM access are gone. Simple as that. The new APIs would only allow for a severely limited in functionality, severely stripped down DownThemAll! at best.

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Re: Idea for a new browser product

Post by richardboegli » 2016-03-24, 01:46

Another thought on how best to proceed with how we build the new browser is to find out why people chose Palemoon in the first place; what is/are the Unique Selling Point/s / Features which attracted and kept the userbase we have today.

Some of these reasons may no longer be relevant with newer offering in browsers and it might just be familiarity which is keeping the userbase here. Not that there is anything wrong with that!

richardboegli

Re: Idea for a new browser product

Post by richardboegli » 2016-03-24, 02:22

richardboegli wrote:Another thought on how best to proceed with how we build the new browser is to find out why people chose Palemoon in the first place; what is/are the Unique Selling Point/s / Features which attracted and kept the userbase we have today.
To me the value add of Palemoon is the UI and the additional functionality via the addons that I use as these allows me to be the most productive.

WHY I TRIED OUT Palemoon
  1. 64bit build on Windows - I leave my tabs open, so the memory of my browser creeps up and up and up. I use to use a memory purge tool, that would help with my massive tab count until I noticed that you could set Windows and tabs to reopen from last time
    1. This might be more a bad habit and the fact that I have a lot of small tasks, get interruped by another task, have to park it, and come back to it later
  2. Upon release of Australis a number of addons I was using at the time didn't work
  3. The UI changed in Australis
  4. Open Source

WHY I STAYED with Palemoon - Windows PC
  1. Firefox took FOREVER to come out with a 64 bit build
  2. Chrome and Chormium don't have tree style tabs
  3. Firefox increasing their telemetry and baked in addons eg: Pocket
  4. Addons / Functionality I need (In decreasing importance)
    1. Tree Style Tabs
    2. Palemoon UI - Simple like Chrome, but I can move elements if it's not to my taste
    3. Omnibar
    4. uBlock Origin (Previously used Adblock Edge)
      1. I'd find another way if my browser didn't support it, using HOST file, firewall etc…
    5. Tags in Bookmarks
    6. Downloadthemall
    7. List all Tabs (Palemoon functionality)
    8. Email This! Bookmarklet Extension
    9. Web Developer Toolbar
    10. Download Helper
    11. Flash Video Downloader
    12. Duplicate This Tab
    13. SQLIte Manager
    14. Menu Editor

WHY I stayed with Palemoon - Android
  1. Old school select highlight and copy
    1. It doesn't work the same as Android and I LOVE IT!
  2. Supports Phony addon like Firefox Android so I can be a Desktop browser while on the phone
  3. So much faster than Firefox Android

Final point, which is not Palemoon specific:
I don't care what the rendering engine is as long as I have UI and the functionality listed above.

I understand and appreciate MoonChild's view on not having a monoculture of browsers, but in the end I need a browser that will work with what's on the web.

If the new browser can support the features I need then I'll happily stay.
If a competing browser offered the features and Palemoon / new browser didn't I would switch.

I choose my browser based on functionality, usability and stability, not brand affinity. ;)

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Re: Idea for a new browser product

Post by Moonchild » 2016-03-24, 07:12

CharmCityCrab: Thanks for your thorough summary/extract -- it's pretty much right on the dot with each point.

And no, personpower is not a word. 'man' as a signifier doesn't have anything to do with gender.
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Re: Idea for a new browser product

Post by Moonchild » 2016-03-24, 08:04

Thank you

Thanks everyone for your participation in this thread. It's given us some good insight into the general objections, weights of features, overall approach of this idea by the community, level of understanding and expected short-term participation and how it all balances out as regards directions to follow. There's a definite likelihood that we will go this route as opposed to pushing forward on our current code base for the long term, and we'll see about getting something concrete in the form of a proof-of-concept or prototype out to give some idea of the resulting browser to make this concept more concrete. This thread has provided us with the incentive to make such an investment of time and effort.
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Re: Idea for a new browser product

Post by richardboegli » 2016-03-24, 08:30

Moonchild wrote:And no, personpower is not a word. 'man' as a signifier doesn't have anything to do with gender.
Its no different then mankind. :)

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Re: Idea for a new browser product

Post by Trippynet » 2016-03-24, 12:42

I've been reading this thread with interest, despite not contributing up until now. I think that a great many valid points have been raised and discussed, and it is genuinely heartening to see this kind of discussion taking place openly and publicly like this - a world apart from the closed-doors, fingers-in-ears style of developing that MozCo are currently championing.

I don't use many extensions myself. Just an ad-blocker (which I disable on sites with sensible ads such as here, GHacks and the likes), tool to modify tab widths, password manager, Flashblock and a Flash video downloading tool. This does thankfully mean that browser upheavals are less of an issue for me than they may be for someone with 40+ addons running.

I fully agree though that the primary goal of a web browser should be to render the current web with as few issues as possible (and unfortunately, websites that have odd niggles with Pale Moon are on the rise). Therefore, I see the whole idea of re-basing against a newer version of Firefox code as a positive one if it helps to ensure that Pale Moon remains "current" regarding web technologies. Obviously there's little we can do about sites which deploy UA sniffing, but if it'll help in other areas then this is obviously a good thing.

At the end of the day, I moved to Pale Moon because it was just like Firefox used to be before Mozilla started drinking the crazy juice. It's a browser that puts me in control, and as long as this development ethos continues, then I see this possible re-basing as a positive move for Pale Moon.

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