Pale Moon 15: building a better browser
Moonchild Productions has released Pale Moon 15, the latest edition of its custom Firefox build, an important upgrade which sees the program take a new direction.
The new focus on the browsing experience is apparent when you look at what’s changed this time. Memory handling has been optimised to help make Pale Moon run a little more smoothly, for instance; the user interface should now be more responsive when the browser is busy; the Speed Dial page has been improved, the padlock returns for secure pages, and Pale Moon restores the Firefox 12-style interface, which may appeal if you don’t like the flat new controls in the latest builds.
And there are plenty of more general low-level optimisations in the new release: improved HTML5 support, performance improvements for the rendering engine, and an attempt to prevent add-in memory leaks, amongst others.
One potential problem here is that Pale Moon omits or disables some quite significant elements of the latest Firefox builds: Windows 8 Metro (oops, Modern UI) support, advanced web development tools and built-in PDF support, for instance. Most users will only benefit here as the tweaks help to keep the browser more lightweight and secure, but if you need one of the missing features then it’s going to be annoying.
For the most part, though, we think Pale Moon 15’s new focus on the subjective browsing experience is a smart move, and if you’d like to sample it for yourself then the build is available now.