Pale Moon: Technical DetailsSo, you want more details about the browser? I'll be more than happy to explain:
The Pale Moon browser has the following features:
Requirements for the regular Pale Moon browser are, in short: a 7th or later generation CPU with SSE2 support.
Since many people will not know off-hand what their CPU is capable of or what generation it is, here is a run-down of a number of popular CPUs and if they are supported. In case of doubt if your CPU is supported or not, please find a CPU information tool like CPU-z or Crystal CPU-ID to check your CPU's capacities.
The web installer will attempt to automatically detect your processor and inform you if your system can't run Pale Moon.
This table might be incomplete:
Version 3.5 and 3.6 showed an overall performance increase of about 25% over Mozilla builds.
New tests were performed for version 12.0 by an independent tester, results used with permission, wherein Pale Moon scored no less than 33% higher in Dromaeo's "recommended" tests, and 9% higher in Futuremark's Peacekeeper browser benchmark.
A more detailed description about how to look at benchmarking results can be found on the forum.
The differences are small, but significant.
First off: the source code used for actual (C/C++) program functions to build Pale Moon is almost completely unmodified, this means that whatever functionality there is in the Firefox code, will also exist in Pale Moon, with the exception of the parts of Firefox that aren't included in Pale Moon. Where specific functions have been changed, it has been done carefully and with due consideration to provide better performance and efficiency while not endangering the security of the browser.
Secondly: Some functions have been completely disabled to cut down on input complexity (accessibility, for one), unnecessary/unused code (multiple additional modules) and to remove non-essential tools that would be better left to the free choice of the user. This improves stability and speed, and reduces resource use.
Thirdly: Pale Moon comes with a number of different default configuration settings than Firefox. These basic "tweaks" (I'd prefer to call them "more sane defaults") are done to provide you with the smoothest browsing experience on Windows as well as to be considerate towards website/service providers and residential gateways (e.g. by reducing the number of concurrent http and total dns requests needed when browsing). Note that "internet speed boosters" can actually harm Pale Moon's speed as the configuration defaults are made with in-depth knowledge of the browser back-end and "a higher number" or "bigger buffer" isn't always better. You are strongly advised to always use defaults as supplied in Pale Moon.
Fourth: Some changes were made to the user interface, to incorporate functionality and visual elements in different locations than what was chosen by the Mozilla team, as well as retaining useful elements that were removed, and either removing or disabling (by default) components that would never be used by the average user, like web developer tools. These changes are still user-configurable. In addition, some other user interface changes were made to provide an as consistent and intuitive interface as possible while still staying close to Firefox.
Fifth: The status bar has been retained as a fully configurable module, allowing the user to get as much or as little feedback while browsing as they desire. Initially this was supplied as an add-on, but eventually integrated back into the core while retaining add-on bar compatibility for Firefox extensions. Pale Moon also offers more configurability for other features, like additional tab preferences and full control over smooth scrolling.
Last but not least: a stock Firefox executable is built to run on, by today's standards, ancient hardware (are you still running a first generation Pentium processor? I wouldn't think so). The build environment used for Pale Moon allows for specific optimizations in the building process that actually uses the capabilities of the computer hardware it runs on (specifically: advanced processing instructions) and gears the machine code at the assembly level specifically towards certain generations of processors, as opposed to trying to compromise for different ways of working of old (read: museum-grade) hardware. This is the biggest contributor to the speed increase seen in Pale Moon, as it impacts every aspect of the browser, from loading pages to drawing graphics and running scripts. Synthetic tests aren't able to test against every aspect of a browser, but optimizations here are cumulative - therefore, if you see an improvement in a browser benchmark, it is a partial picture and should be considered a lower limit of improvement. Comparable improvements will be present in parts of the browser that cannot be tested by such tests.
Firefox is the name for the complete package as supplied and intended by the Mozilla Corporation, which this browser deviates from by excluding certain features, having a different user interface and configuring the program differently. With the later versions, Pale Moon has started to diverge more from Firefox as well making it clearly a different product that should not carry the name Firefox anymore.
Using the freedom of the MPL, I have therefore branded the browser Pale Moon, to clearly identify this browser as an individual product, not related to the Mozilla Corporation or official Firefox installations. Like the Mozilla Corporation, I rely on all of the contributors to this Open Source Mozilla project for the supplied program code and development of new versions. The Mozilla Corporation didn't program Firefox, the community did. This also means that, similar to Mozilla owning Firefox and the Firefox logo, I retain the rights to the Pale Moon project name, graphics and logo; they may not be used elsewhere without prior permission, and only in relation to this browser, and redistribution of the binary executable code is limited by a redstribution license.