Port PaleMoon to Haiku?

I know that we already have Web+ and Web+ is utilizing WebKit and you have spent very much efforts to it. But Web+ can’t really be a replacement for real browser (a platform indeed) like Firefox, Chromium. But they are too big to port. Recently, I found PaleMoon. It’s forked from old Firefox codebase so it’s doesn’t have any Rust code. It’s a big plus for the porting of it. It’s build ontop of the UXP platform. The only thing we need to do to make PaleMoon available on Haiku is to contribute the Haiku GUI backend to UXP. UXP currently only has two GUI backends: Win32 and GTK+ (could be GTK+2 or GTK+3). Having the Haiku GUI backend worked, the non GUI code is pretty much portable, we would have a real browser (with support for extensions) on Haiku which is PaleMoon.

Do you think it’s worth enough to port PaleMoon to Haiku?

I think it’s worths. Haiku needs a real browser to be a viable operating system and Palemoon fully suitable for this.

I know we have Otter. But Otter currently can’t match PaleMoon. The last time I tried it, with filter list turned on to block ads, the performance is really suffered. PaleMoon + Ublock Origin Legacy is a much better combo.

Note: When building and distributing PaleMoon, just keep in mind don’t use the official branding, and you will be safe with the silly MPL license that both PaleMoon and Firefox used. You could contact them at palemoon.org to receive the rights to use the official branding.

p/s: The limitation of the MPL about branding is well known. If you ported Firefox, not PaleMoon, you still suffered from the same limitation. So this is not an disadvantage of PaleMoon at all.

  • I want PaleMoon ported
  • I want to focus on Web+ only
  • I want the modern Firefox to be ported instead
  • Why about Chromium and QtWebEngine?

0 voters


Start to port, create a haiku ports recipe.


If I could do it. I don’t have coding skills! The only thing I can do is to persuade people. BTW, I don’t think a single hobbyist person could do it at all. So I tried to persuade the developers here to attempt to port PaleMoon. All of my conclusions above is just from my own experience, I don’t know how hard it really is to actually port PaleMoon. Only the developers could try and have final conclusion if it worths or not. I myself really hope PaleMoon could be ported to Haiku. Web+ is good as a browser alone, but modern browser is a platform, not just a web browser!

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Issue on HaikuPorts: https://github.com/haikuports/haikuports/issues/5132

Haiku has all the necessary prerequisites to port PaleMoon or Firefox. The only limitation is interest and expertise in doing this. I would rather target Firefox than PaleMoon from a upstreaming point of view and to get security fixes from upstream Firefox.

WebPositive is a ‘real browser’. It uses the same technology (WebKit) found in Apple’s Safari Browser. I’m not sure how using a hard fork of Firefox that isn’t updated for security patches would be worth porting to Haiku. Maybe I’ll look at it as a historical reference. But in the long term, I’m all for porting official Firefox to Haiku instead.


It could make you unhappy but I have to point out that Safari is one of the biggest nightmare web developers have to deal with, the other being internet explorer, due to it lack of standard conformant and Apple’s refusion to conform to standard. WebKit is alive, but not really standard conformant as Firefox and Chromium. Firefox and Chromium are the only real players now. Don’t get me wrong. Most of the WebKit based browser I have used are if not primitive (Midori) then crash prone (Midori again) or poor performance (Otter). Netsurf is faster than Otter!

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Web+ is a toy browser just like Midori. Or if it’s insult you, let’s call it a lightweight browser the same way people called Midori. A real browser is a development platform. Does Web+ has plugins, extensions? Does Web+ possible to watch youtube properly (in high definition as other browsers)? Does Web+ could load facebook and it overused javascript without crash? If it’s so, then it’s a real browser!

You should do some research before actually spread wrong information. The latest PaleMoon just released a few days ago and you could read the release notes to see if it’s being updated or not: http://www.palemoon.org/releasenotes.shtml Check it yourselves before you claimed anything! PaleMoon has incorporated the last non-Rust Firefox, which is 52 ESR. Without Rust, it’s much easier to port than latest Firefox. Also keep in mind that latest Firefox doesn’t care about platforms other than Win + Lin + Mac, on BSDs system we used to got a lot of crashes of Firefox and on NetBSD we even don’t have latest Firefox working!

And I’m sure you will not have the resource to catch up with latest Firefox! The BSDs, being bigger projects, still being troubled with it. So I think PaleMoon is really worths porting. Please reconsider it. Thank you.

Interesting pick for comparison.

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You probably compare a Otter running on Haiku with PaleMoon on other platform. Can we say for sure nobody will come after 6 years of work invested on PaleMoon and tell: “this is slow, just look at my MyFavoriteBrowser on MyFavoriteOS, thats fast! We dont need PaleMoon, lets port MyFavoriteBrowser!”
You probably not yet seen the plenty “Lets port Firefox/Chrome/etc.” threads here. The consensus is so far: ”Show the code.”
Can you show your code, or do you expect it to be delivered by somebody else?
If somebody else, then why not the Mozilla Foundation or the Chromium project? They have the most xp to work with their codebase.

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You are discussing things with experiences developers who have worked on porting many things to Haiku.

Why is that? We have a port of Rust and it’s working perfectly and actively maintained. Rust isn’t a problem.

PaleMoon doesn’t even have Mac on its download page. One point for Firefox which has 50% more platform support.

Yes it does, after years of effort of development.

Maybe not yet, but things are coming into place slowly. And the best way to go about it, unlike most people seem to think for some reason, is “let’s add these missing features and fix the bugs”. Not “let’s throw away 10 years of work and start over”.

Porting a web browser, no matter which one you decide on, is a lot of work. Like, it will take years to get everything operating perfectly. We didn’t pick WebKit at random, it was a comparison of different engines and a careful decision. We picked WebKit because it is the one which can use as much of the native platform code as possible. WebKit uses app_server to do the rendering, which means exactly the same font rendering as native applications. WebKit uses our own HTTP backend. WebKit uses the Media Kit for video decoding. WebKit can use translators to decode images. It is a well-integrated native application, and this makes sense, because that’s also what Apple wants on their systems.

This also means there is a bit more work to be done. WebKit helped discover may limitations in app_server, and in the HTTP code. It pushed us to add the ability to play videos from an internet source (still a work in progress). Native apps do benefit from all this work, as well. It is not the easiest path, but it is the one that makes Haiku remain relevant as a whole: the idea that the operating system enables apps to do what they need.

If you take any other web engine, you will need a separate graphics rendering library (cairo or skia or…), a separate network backend (curl, probably), a separate media integration (using ffmpeg), non-native font rendering. Yes, it’s easier because you can pretend Haiku is a strange kind of Linux or BSD and get the thing running. But it doesn’t help Haiku move forward.

Should it still be done? Yes, because having more choice of browsers would be nice. But should it be done by the Haiku core development team? I thnik not, as our focus is to make Haiku a better operating system, and a project like WebKit is what gets us there.

So, I would rather approach the PaleMoon developers and ask them if they would port their browser to Haiku and support it. This makes more sense, they know the browser code, they already made it work on other platforms, and we can help them if they have questions. And it’s more likely to work this way.


Also I just saw this in the PaleMoon website:

I usually don’t talk about political matters here but I would prefer to avoid people with such attitude, personally.


Hi. I understand your thoughts and fully agreed with your reasonings. But please keep in mind that filter list performance impact is a known problems for Otter for all of the platforms it runs. To be able to block ads with Otter, you will have to suffer the performance, just that. It’s 2x or 3x slower compared with when running without filter list enabled. And I don’t know how to block ads with Web+ at all. Perhaps by modifying hosts file? The last time I tried this approach (on Linux), it didn’t work. Only Ublock Origin or Adguard could defeat those annoying ads, no other solutions helped, even Adblock Plus, Adblock Lattitude (PaleMoon’s own fork of Adblock Plus!).

BlueSky withdrawn his post, but it’s the same idea as you. So I address all of you here. Otter seemed to have problems loading web sites with heavy ads. I keeps loading put will never able to fully load the web sites. Netsurf, in the other hand, loaded everything just fine and speedy. I know of course Otter is much better, much standard conformant than Netsurf, but from my experience, Netsurf always faster, Otter seemed to have something that caused it to looks heaviness. I surprised with this result too, because I think Netsurf would crash loading these heavy ads web sites, but the fact is it fully load them without problems.

First, prejudice is for everyone, even experienced porter has it! You seemed to be biased about PaleMoon. I just addressed it and let you know your biases are wrong.

Second, you should know that Haiku is an exotic platform. PaleMoon has very good support for exotic platforms. One example is SunOS. The fact is it’s the only web browser that worked smoothly on my OpenIndiana box, much more smoother and stable than the OpenIndiana’s default Firefox ESR! And they are going to have an official release for SunOS! Do you know any other vendors that have the same level of supports for exotic platforms like that?

Third, I didn’t mean to abandon Web+. Web+ is good, but we need a real browser that supports plugins and extensions and being able to block ads! It’s nothing wrong to have PaleMoon on HaikuDepot!

Fourth, when I posted this, I don’t have any ideas about the separation of core system developers and haikuports developers. I think you are just a whole of a group. Sorry about that, I’m wrong. Porting stuffs is the job of porters. But stuffs like PaleMoon also needs the cooperate of core system developers.

Fifth, let’s forget about it. PaleMoon’s developers are assholes. They are arrogant and a bit of crazy. But you know, only extremely crazy and arrogant people would do such a job like forking a very big codebase like Firefox and maintain it. Sane person would just give up and continue with the modern Firefox or switched to Chromium. It’s a known problem! If I’m even dare to talk with them about porting to Haiku, or even porting to BSDs, my forum account will immediately banned, my github issues on their repo will be immediately closed. It’s just that. This is the reason why I go to you but not them. Of course, it’s just what I think would happen based on my observation of their past actions. But I can’t be sure about that. Might be they would act better regarding Haiku. Who know?

I know about all of the problems of the people developed PaleMoon but I still use it because it suited for my needs. Just that. And I also think it’s the best candidate to be ported to Haiku. But if you could port latest Firefox then I still fine with that! I only need and think Haiku also needs, a modern web browser. It’s better to have one rather than nothing! I still think Firefox is more portable than Chromium but, who know if we have Chromium/QtWebEngine before Firefox or not?

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So you wanted to avoid PaleMoon? OK. I can’t force you to love it. As I completely don’t care about politics, if their products worked for me, I will continue using it. Without a modern browser, I can’t use Haiku as a daily driver. I would just keep it in VirtualBox and try to port some Java stuffs to it. Hopefully the haikuports people could got openjdk stable enough.

BTW, what would you do with a modern browser for Haiku problem? Would you port Firefox or add plugins and extensions support to Web+? Please let me know. Thanks.

Sorry but that’s wrong. Look at the Haiku project, we are now 20 years into making a new operating system. Surely that’s a bit of crazy or insane, but certainly no one is allowed to be arrogant or asshole here.

Technical competence and ambitions anre not an excuse for unacceptable behavior.

I do not want to act as your shield against their bad behavior, thanks. I will continue to focus on projects where collaboration with other developers is possible.

I put a lot of energy, time, and emotional involvement in Haiku. I may as well do it with people I enjoy working with.

I will continue my work on making Web+ a better browser, because I think that’s the way to go, and yes, it’s still missing a few important features, but it’s nothing impossible to solve, and it’s less work than restarting from scratch with another engine, and more interesting to me.


Hosts file (you can try hblock from the depot) or an standalone firewall/adblocker solution (Pi Hole) could work.

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Please do not compare apples to orange. Otter based on QtWebKit, so it uses plenty different abstraction layers and it sports a complete browser engine with HTML5, media CSS and JS support, while NetSurf have HTML4 rendering capability, no media support and a really basic (and AFAIK optional) JS engine and the GUI is also much closer to native. So comparing them doesn’t really make sense.

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Let’s test your theory: https://github.com/MoonchildProductions/Pale-Moon/issues/1807
It is still strange that you fear to approach the PM project members, but whatever.


Good luck to you. But don’t be disappointed if they are rude with you. Beware of this guy: https://github.com/mattatobin He’s a good and competence developer, but his behaviour is not that good. I admit I sometimes admired and like to be asshole and rude like him, very straight forward and so… menly. I have used to political correctness too much, have to said what I don’t believe and don’t like, I have lied too much so being able to tell hard truths like that make me impressed and feel it’s cool. Perhaps I would create a github clone account and fscked all of the projects I hate, hehe. I used to did so with my fake Google account. I marked all of the videos of the youtubers I hate with porn flag and not forgot to add a dislike. He he. It’s very relaxing after a hard worked day :wink: