A brief introduction - I've been using Pale Moon for a couple of years (don't remember exactly when I switched, but I think it was towards the end of the 3.6.x era, probably right after Mozilla started with the rapid version number bumping approach, but before 3.6.x was EOLd). I've been happy with it ever since, and the general development approach of the Pale Moon team appeals to me more than that of Mozilla at this point, so I'm here.
I've been following the forums but only registered recently, after the PM25 release, and all the heck that followed. PM25 works fine for me for now, and all the issues that I experienced in the beginning I worked around using the methods outlined here and on the main site.
However, with FF and PM diverging, I'd like to understand more what to expect in the future in regards to website/extension compatibility and the like.
I stumbled upon a split thread in the Mozillazine forums, where some technical points/questions about Pale Moon were brought up by the participants, which I thought were important. There seemed to be no consensus on some of them, so I thought I better ask directly here, at the source.
The thread is this one:
Pale Moon has changed its GUID
First, this post by LoudNoise:
My questions: Is it really only the GUID, or have some functional changes been made that may have made certain extensions/themes truly incompatible? In the list of currently unsupported extensions - have all these been working on V24? If so, what broke?Actually, at this point there shouldn't be any -- there hasn't been that much change from V 24. If something as complex as AdBlock is fixed by using a version that still supports 24 and changing GUID then everything else should also.
What is interesting is that only one theme is listed as working. Considering that most of them worked with version 24 I am curious what happened.
From this post by patrickjdempsey:
While it is obvious that anything specifically using/coded for Australis is not going to work, I'm curious about the last part of the comment about pre-Australis extensions running into issues with changes to the Gecko back-end.In the case of Themes, the source code may be freely licensed, but the imagery may not, and any Theme specifically supporting current versions of Firefox is not likely to work, AND older versions of Themes and Extensions designed for pre-Austrailis Firefox may be already starting to run into issues with CSS, XUL and XBL changes in Gecko.
My questions: How do you see the future of extension support in Pale Moon? With Mozilla EOLing pre-Australis Firefox, it is conceivable that eventually extension developers will stop catering to those versions. However I assume that at least some of them will continue to support the Classic Theme Restorer, since many mainstream Firefox users still don't like Australis. Is Classic Theme Restorer expected to continue to work? Will extensions that work well with this mode in FF, also work well in PM, which completely lacks Australis, or will PM be stuck with older versions of extensions, the pre-Australis ones? And assuming PM continue to update the Gecko back-end, to stay up-to-date on features and security, is it foreseeable that those pre-Australis extensions do run into issues, as Patrick predicts?
Then there is this post by LoudNoise:
And this post by patrickjdempsey:Like it or not, most of the code in PM is still from Fx 24. PM did not magically rewrite the browser overnight.
My questions:What is PM25 really mostly based on? FF24 or FF31? What does it advertise to websites when FF user agent compatibility mode is turned on, and what does it advertise to extensions? What is the rationale behind this, and what do you plan to do in the future as the divergence continues?Based on digging around the supported features in the Release Notes page for PM 25, as well as the very silly Gecko build-date in your UA string, it is clear to me that PM 25 is based on Firefox 31 ESR. Abandoning Firefox/Gecko's numbering scheme is risky. Another thing I notice in your UA string and the Release Notes:
"Disable Firefox Compatibility mode by default.
This means Pale Moon will no longer have a Firefox/xx.xx indicator in its UserAgent string."
This is pretty much browser suicide. SeaMonkey users can attest to how bad of an idea this is. If PaleMoon is based on Firefox 31, it needs to advertise that it's based on Firefox 31. Period. Maybe it's not a huge huge issue right now, but next spring if they release PM 26 based on ESR 38 then there will almost certainly be major problems with website support for new technologies.
Dropping XP support is also likely not a good move. There's also so technical aspects of telling extensions that they are seeing Firefox 24 that is a bad idea. I also have to wonder what services.appInfo.version reports? There's going to be some very confused extensions from all of this I think.
Comment: Turning on FF user-agent compatibility is one of the first things I had to do, to continue using PM25 normally. As much as I agree that UA sniffing may be bad practice, it is a fact, and Pale Moon being still very much a minor browser in the field, it is very naive to think that PM developers/users will manage to convince all the "bad" websites (which include Google, as we all know) to stop it, or to add special treatment for PM, in the foreseeable future. Therefore this option must stay, probably indefinitely, and maybe even should be enabled by default.
Question: do you foresee that in time the code bases diverge so much that it will be impossible to present a reliable Firefox compatibility string, i.e., PM will not be sufficiently close to any FF version to be able to "spoof" it and have everything "just work"?