Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Firefox based browser optimized for Windows

Why settle for a basic build of your Firefox browser on Windows Operating Systems when you can have one that performs 25% faster? Mozilla does not provide optimized browser packages for Windows, while many Linux ("from scratch") users get the advantage of a browser built specifically for their system. That needs to change! So, here is the Pale Moon project: Custom-built and optimized Firefox browsers for Windows Operating Systems. Make sure to get the most speed out of your browser!

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Features/disabled features

This browser aims to strike a balance between features and speed. As such, a choice has been made to consciously disable a few features that are not commonly used by the largest group of users. If you require any of the disabled features, then this browser is not for you! Please check the Firefox page to get an official build instead, in that case.

The Pale Moon browser has the following features:
  • Specifically optimized for current processors. It makes full use of the enhanced instruction sets of newer CPUs - as a result, this browser will not run on older systems.
  • Support for Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) and Canvas, both vector-based types of graphics.
  • Support for Firefox Extensions and Themes.
  • Support for Personas.
  • CSS Downloadable Font support (including WOFF).
  • HTML5 and advanced DOM support.
  • 100% Firefox Sourced! This means you get the reliability and stability of the Firefox browser, and the wide array of Firefox options and features.
  • Significant speed increases for scripting and page rendering compared to Firefox.
  • Uses a little less memory than the official builds because of the disabled features (listed below)
  • There have been multiple reports of certain web sites being displayed correctly in Pale Moon, that were problematic in Firefox - I have not been able to personally confirm this.
The following features have been disabled by design:
  • ActiveX and ActiveX scripting. ActiveX is specific to Microsoft's Internet Explorer, and is not natively supported by (any) Firefox builds. There are some extensions that enable ActiveX components and scripts to run in Firefox on Windows, which will, therefore, not run in Pale Moon. This is a security consideration more than a speed consideration.
  • Accessibility features. Most people, and certainly the people looking for speed optimized browsers, don't have a need for accessibility features. This cuts down some on the input complexity, and increases speed, but will, obviously, not be suitable for people who need these features.
  • Parental controls. Pale Moon aims to be a fast browser for general use, not a "secured family browser". The design impact of parental controls as introduced in Firefox 3.0 and later is significant, and has had serious implications for building the browser. As such, parental controls have been disabled.
  • A few miscellaneous things like the crash reporter and automatic updater, since they require server-side components that are not in place at palemoon.org. You will have to check manually if you have the latest version and update accordingly.





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