Will Pale Moon support WebExtensions?

Frequently Asked Questions about the Pale Moon browser and their answers.

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Moonchild
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Will Pale Moon support WebExtensions?

Unread postby Moonchild » Wed, 14 Jun 2017, 14:54

WebExtensions are the (chrome-sourced) type of extensions to web browsers using a very limited subset of APIs available through a framework. You can compare them with Jetpack/SDK extensions, but then without having the option to even call into lower level functions.

Pale Moon (as an application) will likely never support WebExtensions, even if we would switch to a platform that technically supports its use, because:
  • Having XUL/overlay, bootstrapped and SDK/PMKit extensions already provides everything any extension developer could want or need for extension development, and then some. Adding a 4th technology to that line-up that is radically different and more limited in what it can offer by design is a maintenance nightmare and time-sink we simply don't want in our project.
  • Pale Moon's front-end doesn't use UI controls or layout that allows html-based widgets (the only way for WebExtensions to interface) to be inserted. As such, it would require a (messy) compatibility layer to enable insertion into our XUL-based UI, and likely will cause many many bugs. Even if a new platform in the future might theoretically allow the use of WebExtensions, Pale Moon's application code will not.
  • WebExtensions are too restrictive for anything but the most basic tools and will not, ever, allow true extension of the browser's functionality as a result. This makes the technology used for it undesirable for Pale Moon since it will, by design, fall short from day 1.
Improving Mozilla code: You know you're on the right track with code changes when you spend the majority of your time deleting code.

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Gorlash
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Re: Will Pale Moon support WebExtensions?

Unread postby Gorlash » Sat, 08 Sep 2018, 21:32

I am *so* glad to hear (well, read) that !!!
I've moved to PM specifically to get away from the crippled modern stuff that FF is glorying in...
PM is perfect !!

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Re: Will Pale Moon support WebExtensions?

Unread postby palacs » Sun, 17 Mar 2019, 19:47

So glad to hear that.

I hope Pale Moon will stay on the same track as it is now and will never get ruined by useless modern idealistic anti-features like Firefox and Chrome.

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Re: Will Pale Moon support WebExtensions?

Unread postby gsrafael01 » Mon, 25 Mar 2019, 14:08

This sucks for developers. Instead of developing a single extension that works on all browsers, you have to keep converting your code to work with specific browsers, which is not ideal. At least I don't have to modify my extensions that much because I use a compatibility layer with the SDK API that mocks the browser namespace, but still. It's the same thing with Safari. I wish all browsers would just support the same standard to make our lives easier.

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Re: Will Pale Moon support WebExtensions?

Unread postby Moonchild » Mon, 25 Mar 2019, 16:20

Think about that approach for a moment, and then realize that you can only target the smallest common denominator between browsers which will be the content they display.
You will never be able to have extensions that actually extend browser features because they are, by definition, unique to the different browsers. So you will only be able to do content manipulation. That is a small part of what our extensions can do now.
Improving Mozilla code: You know you're on the right track with code changes when you spend the majority of your time deleting code.

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Re: Will Pale Moon support WebExtensions?

Unread postby vannilla » Mon, 25 Mar 2019, 17:44

gsrafael01 wrote:This sucks for developers. Instead of developing a single extension that works on all browsers, you have to keep converting your code to work with specific browsers, which is not ideal. At least I don't have to modify my extensions that much because I use a compatibility layer with the SDK API that mocks the browser namespace, but still. It's the same thing with Safari. I wish all browsers would just support the same standard to make our lives easier.

As a developer I believe it's better to give users more power to extend the browser (that's what extensions are for) than make life easier for developers.
The latter folks are usually a very small subset of the people dealing with extensions, and losing features just to make life easier for that 1% is not worth it.

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Re: Will Pale Moon support WebExtensions?

Unread postby 01101001b » Mon, 25 Mar 2019, 18:29

gsrafael01 wrote:I wish all browsers would just support the same standard to make our lives easier.

That's the price of diversity and choice, I guess, but I get your point :thumbup:

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Re: Will Pale Moon support WebExtensions?

Unread postby Moonchild » Mon, 25 Mar 2019, 22:02

01101001b wrote:
gsrafael01 wrote:I wish all browsers would just support the same standard to make our lives easier.

That's the price of diversity and choice, I guess, but I get your point :thumbup:

I don't get that point. How would it make the lives of the end-users easier?
Improving Mozilla code: You know you're on the right track with code changes when you spend the majority of your time deleting code.

"If you want to build a better world for yourself, you have to be willing to build one for everybody." -- Coyote Osborne


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