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Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Anything related to the Android/mobile version of Pale Moon.

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Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by hannahmontana » 2019-09-05, 09:32

How feasible is porting xul to android? IIRC Firefox on android never had XUL.

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Re: Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by moonbat » 2019-09-05, 12:24

There already exists PM for Android, but it has been abandoned because there's nobody to maintain it. Completely different codebase from the regular PM.
What would be the point of porting XUL? Android already provides its own UI and has a very restrictive security model since it is a mobile OS. You can't recreate desktop widgets and spacing/alignment on a mobile device.
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Re: Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by hannahmontana » 2019-09-06, 08:16

moonbat wrote:
2019-09-05, 12:24
What would be the point of porting XUL?
Addons of course! Also, a more-or-less shared codebase.

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Re: Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by vannilla » 2019-09-06, 08:34

hannahmontana wrote:
2019-09-06, 08:16
Addons of course! Also, a more-or-less shared codebase.
Considering that mobile browsers can't by design be as featureful as desktop ones, porting an extension from desktop to mobile requires enough changes (at least at the UI level) that using the same "framework" (XUL) doesn't bring any significant advantage.

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Re: Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by RoestVrijStaal » 2019-09-06, 18:32

I'm not familar with the codebase, but after some browsing around:
- XUL = very likely not.
- Goanna = possible, but you need to cut XUL away from it.

It won't be an easy ride, that's for sure.
Off-topic:
Maybe the "New to Pale Moon on Android? READ THIS FIRST."-topic should get an update about the Android port status....

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Re: Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by New Tobin Paradigm » 2019-09-06, 19:30

The status is Pale Moon for Android is long dead and won't be coming back. Period.
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Re: Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by Moonchild » 2019-09-07, 10:06

It's not discoverable anyway, unless it's being distributed through a channel I don't know about. It's been long since removed from the Google Play store, and the only other location it might still be is in an archive somewhere. So... people "new" to pale moon on Android will have had to go through a number of hoops already to get it, at which point it should already be clear it's abandoned...
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Re: Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by moonbat » 2019-09-07, 12:09

Is it open source like the regular PM? Off chance that someone decides to pick it up..
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Re: Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by CharmCityCrab » 2019-09-07, 21:25

hannahmontana wrote:
2019-09-05, 09:32
How feasible is porting xul to android? IIRC Firefox on android never had XUL.
It sounds like someone could create an Android browser using the Unified XUL Platform if they wanted to. However, the folks involved in the Pale Moon project don't want to, so someone who did want to would have to use a name for the browser other than Pale Moon (The XUL Platform itself is open-source and available to use, from what I gather, though it may have limitations when it comes to Android compatibility). I guess one could do the work and then present it to the Pale Moon folks and ask to use the name, and then if they say no, use your own name, but if you're doing all the work on the port and want to do the application code independently, you may want to have the control that your own branding and organization brings.

As far as the old Pale Moon Android browser goes, I would suggest that it was abandoned long enough ago that it wouldn't be advisable to carry that forward. It's too far behind. Instead, I would think it would be worth considering forking from the current Firefox for Android. FFA allows extensions now and is up to date, but it is being replaced imminently by another browser (Currently in beta) which will be called Firefox for Android, but is different under the hood, and the replacement may or may not allow extensions (Currently, the beta does not, but they are open about the possibility that it might by the time it becomes "the real" Firefox). *So*, moving forward from today's Firefox (With a different name, of course) and preserving extension compatibility might be a feature no one else has after a certain period of time, but any updates past the date Mozilla moves on to the new FFA would be done entirely on your own, which would require a huge amount of work and skill to do if one wants to keep the browser secure and fully compatible with the modern mobile web.

Unified XUL (if you went in that direction instead of a FFA fork) would essentially be doing a large portion of the work for you (Though you would pass some patches upstream, presumably, helping them out in the process), but has it's own challenges, among them that I am not sure whether it can render mobile sites without some sort of adjustments.

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Re: Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by New Tobin Paradigm » 2019-09-07, 22:04

We already made the decision to rip out everything android from UXP. It isn't going to happen in the fennec way of the past. We are retaining arm cpu support however.

IF there is to be a reintroduction of UXP on android it will have to be done from scratch by someone or a team who not only knows what they are doing but can implement it as not just an overgrown hack from 10 years ago but can actually document it so it is done properly from the start.

But I think it is unwise to even try. See my recent posts in a similar thread.
Last edited by New Tobin Paradigm on 2019-09-07, 22:07, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by Nigaikaze » 2019-09-07, 22:06

CharmCityCrab wrote:
2019-09-07, 21:25
It sounds like someone could create an Android browser using the Unified XUL Platform if they wanted to.
Except the old "mobile" part of the code (the "Fennic" browser for Android, which Pale Moon for Android was originally based on) was removed from UXP several months ago. It would be nice if some Android developer would swoop in and use UXP as the base for a new Android browser, but if that was going to happen I would think we would've already had someone pick up the old version to maintain it by now.

EDIT: Ah, Tobin beat me to it. Thanks, Sheriff.
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Re: Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by New Tobin Paradigm » 2019-09-07, 22:09

Here: viewtopic.php?f=65&t=21351&start=20#p174249

Off-topic:
I am still shocked that despite us all telling, explaining, and posting over and over again what we are doing before, during, and after about everything all the time everywhere only a small handful of people outside developers and contributors have any semblance of what is going on around here.

It's damned embarrassing actually. Come the hell on and step it up guys.

With that said, kudos to you Nigaikaze. Keep it up!
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Re: Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by athenian200 » 2019-09-08, 02:47

No, but I think it might actually compile on an ARM version of Linux with a bit of tweaking, so you could run it on your phone that way. If you root your phone, there are ways you can get it working like a more standard Linux distribution, and some people have been known to just replace Android with Linux. So technically speaking, you could run Pale Moon on a rooted Android phone that has the standard Linux desktop stack installed, as long as you can manage to compile an ARM version. Building a custom UI that's more touch-friendly at that point wouldn't be too hard. Might even be doable as a summer project for a bored CompSci student looking for a way to amuse themselves and avoid dealing with people.

But running it on top of normal Google Android? What would be the point? You would get none of the advantages of Pale Moon like privacy or freedom to write extensions. Sure, I guess if you really like the Goanna engine that much better than Gecko or WebKit, you're free to go for it, but... it seems like it would definitely not be a practical project.

But basically yeah, if you want XUL on smartphones, you would have to turn UXP into something like an operating system or desktop environment like KDE/GNOME and convince people to write applications for it, and then you'd end up with something an awful lot like an open source version of Microsoft's UWP, which was a market failure. It's... not really a good idea.

The best way to use Pale Moon on your phone right now, in my opinion, is virtualization. Just run it on your computer at home (or a Citrix server, or something) and VNC or RDP into it on your phone. It's more secure and a little harder for Google to see exactly you're doing on the phone that way, too.

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Re: Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by moonbat » 2019-09-08, 03:09

athenian200 wrote:
2019-09-08, 02:47
The best way to use Pale Moon on your phone right now, in my opinion, is virtualization. Just run it on your computer at home (or a Citrix server, or something) and VNC or RDP into it on your phone. It's more secure and a little harder for Google to see exactly you're doing on the phone that way, too.
Have you tried this? Using a desktop GUI optimized for keyboard+mouse on a touchscreen sounds as horrible as the reverse, which is the norm these days - forcing gigantic icons and acres of wasted white space more suited to touchscreens on a desktop display.
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Re: Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by athenian200 » 2019-09-08, 03:33

moonbat wrote:
2019-09-08, 03:09
Have you tried this? Using a desktop GUI optimized for keyboard+mouse on a touchscreen sounds as horrible as the reverse, which is the norm these days - forcing gigantic icons and acres of wasted white space more suited to touchscreens on a desktop display.
Actually, it works okay as long as you have a stylus, like you would on a Galaxy Note for instance. You'd want to rely on handwriting recognition rather than touchscreen typing, and stylus taps can replace a mouse with no issue. In my opinion, an interface like that is vastly superior for content creation, the way smartphones are designed nowadays is only ideal for content consumption.

Weirdly, I've never had a hard time adjusting to a touchscreen UI on a desktop or a desktop UI on a mobile device. On desktop, I would use a touchscreen monitor, tilt it back and place it at a lower angle, and place the mouse and keyboard in a tray underneath for ergonomics. For a phone, I would adjust to a desktop UI by relying on a stylus for input. For some reason, I don't find the idea of doing either one of those things jarring and never have. I never realized until a few years ago that I was at all unique in that regard.

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Re: Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by moonbat » 2019-09-08, 03:37

athenian200 wrote:
2019-09-08, 03:33
Weirdly, I've never had a hard time adjusting to a touchscreen UI on a desktop or a desktop UI on a mobile device. On desktop, I would use a touchscreen monitor, tilt it back and place it at a lower angle, and place the mouse and keyboard in a tray underneath for ergonomics. For a phone, I would adjust to a desktop UI by relying on a stylus for input. For some reason, I don't find the idea of doing either one of those things jarring and never have. I never realized until a few years ago that I was at all unique in that regard.
Ah, so you have a touchscreen monitor then. I was referring to the idiocy of forcing touchscreen UI on regular desktop/laptop setups. Forcible dumbing down of the UI, wastage of screen space resulting in having to endlessly scroll content and less functionality on-screen...I could go on.
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Re: Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by New Tobin Paradigm » 2019-09-08, 08:27

I am not saying a UXP Mobile Android browser XUL or not is impossible but it it is improbable to ever happen again without people and doing it well completely from scratch. And I don't think it us worth even attempting at this point.

As I said, the moment you would have to do a site specific user agent override on a mobile phone we have already failed in the mobilesphere, as well. Let alone the fact that every mainstream mobile site IS ONLY for blink regardless of the desktop version of the site.

You can not compete with a non-blink rendering engine on android. That battle was lost before there ever was a "Pale Moon" on android. Period.
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Re: Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by Moonchild » 2019-09-08, 09:25

athenian200 wrote:
2019-09-08, 02:47
But basically yeah, if you want XUL on smartphones, you would have to turn UXP into something like an operating system or desktop environment like KDE/GNOME and convince people to write applications for it, and then you'd end up with something an awful lot like an open source version of Microsoft's UWP, which was a market failure. It's... not really a good idea.
This is the exact thought that led to the creation of Firefox OS and the massive failure that turned out to be despite a focused effort of a 400-million-a-year corporation driving it. It's already been tried, it won't happen. The platform isn't an OS or DE and isn't designed to be one; don't try to use it for something it wasn't designed for.
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Re: Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by New Tobin Paradigm » 2019-09-08, 10:27

The logic of writing applications for an application has always escaped me. This code, this platform is for extensible applications but Pale Moon or Interlink is not a platform in and of its self and UXP divorced of an application is just a bunch of inaccessable features.

That is what we learned from watching one of so many massive endevors that ended in failure over in Mountain View in the past decade.
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Re: Is there any hope to ever see an android port of palemoon?

Post by athenian200 » 2019-09-08, 19:18

New Tobin Paradigm wrote:
2019-09-08, 10:27
The logic of writing applications for an application has always escaped me. This code, this platform is for extensible applications but Pale Moon or Interlink is not a platform in and of its self and UXP divorced of an application is just a bunch of inaccessable features.

That is what we learned from watching one of so many massive endevors that ended in failure over in Mountain View in the past decade.
I agree. Honestly, the real elephant in the room that I think isn't being addressed is the fact that desktop computers have plenty of room for extensible applications on top of the OS layer, while smartphones tend to be very locked-down and severely limit the ability to extend applications or build platforms on top of the OS that interact with one another. As long as that's true, mobile apps are going to be unsuitable for anyone that likes actually having control over their machine.

The reason why companies felt forced into trying to pursue crazy, desperate projects like Firefox OS or Steam OS during that era is because the layer of API access they relied on to be able to implement their platforms on top of the OS layer was being cut off on mobile, so they were basically facing either producing severely limited apps that work within the constraints of what little the OS vendor allows and being a lot less relevant/useful, or just accepting that their applications would only ever work 100% on desktop Windows/Linux. So what do companies do if they fear not being allowed to develop their platform on top of an OS anymore, and find the constraints of the OS vendor's platform unsuitable? Their back is to the wall and they have so few options that bad ideas start to look good. Platform vendors trying to roll their own OS in order to save their platform from being steamrolled by smartphone OS vendors forcing everyone onto their locked-down OS/platform combination is a symptom of a huge underlying problem with smartphone ecosystems that has never been properly addressed.

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