Pale Moon 20.0.1 tempts Firefox users
Moonchild Productions has released Pale Moon 20.0.1 and Pale Moon x64 20.0.1 for Windows. Also available in portable 32-bit and portable 64-bit forms, the Firefox variant had only just been updated to version 20.
Version 20.0.1 includes all the best bits of Firefox 20, including the new panel-based download manager, per-window private browsing support and ability to close individual non-responsive plug-ins to protect the current browser session.
The update also includes Firefox’s unspecified performance improvements related to common browser tasks, but also comes with specific Pale Moon performance-related fixes for Cairo scaling, panning and zooming tasks on HTML5 drawing surfaces, plus general drawing elements -- including gradients.
The HTML5 canvas now supports blend modes among other unspecified audio and video improvements, while the Status Bar code has been updated to work with the new code base.
Developer tools have now been enabled by default due to their lack of impact on performance -- this includes the new “Toggle tools” option and ability to detach the developer tools into their own, separate window.
Another platform-specific improvement is one that improves the contrast on Pale Moon’s glass/dark themes to work around styling issues that emerged in Pale Moon 19. Other changes include fallback character sets being updated to Windows-1252 for better impmenentation of the Encoding Standard, restored legacy function key handling, fixed UNC path handling and a switch to always enabling the use of personas, including in Private Browsing mode.
The decision to quickly switch code base to Firefox 20 has been explained due to difficulties patching issues with critical vulnerabilities in the Firefox 19 code base along with the significant improvements implemented in the latest release. As a result, Pale Moon 20 also ships with eight specific security fixes, including one that resolves a privilege escalation through the Mozilla Updater.
Pale Moon 20’s release also coincides with a recent announcement from Moonchild that it plans to drop support for Windows XP after April 8, 2014, to coincide with official support ending from Microsoft. XP support has been scaled back already, with the developer pointing out that internal development and back-end has been increasingly focussed on the capabilities of later versions of Windows.