Using the Pale Moon Browser
Posted on Saturday 22 August 2020, 16:52 - updated on 05/01/21 - Permalink
For a week, now, I've revisited a nice little browser called Pale Moon, and have been using it alongside my once-main browser Firefox since. My initial impressions told me to go back to Firefox. Why? Pale Moon, next to a Firefox window, navigated slower and looked older. Why revisit a browser that looks old and performs worse when I could use another based on modern design principles and speed?
I had doubts. I didn't know whether I'd be safe using the browser. Whether I could visit important websites with it, like eBay and PayPal, or use it for banking and payments at all. I continued using it, though. Google websites, unsurprisingly, didn't work as well as they did on Chromium, let alone Firefox. Other sites worked well. Eventually, after a few days of regular use, I began to migrate my account credentials to it. And then my bookmarks.
Soon, the browser "grew" on to me; the tab-on-bottom default looked odd at first but now felt natural and intuitive, regardless of the little bit of vertical space it takes up when arranged that way - I had enough vertical space, anyhow, with this external 5:4 monitor. Looking at Firefox now, it looked too minimal to me. And dark - this obviously varies depending on the users' theme setting, but because its design, like almost all modern design, incorporates so much white space, you'd need a use a dark theme to avoid eyestrain late at night. And besides themes (which sadly only change colors and rarely anything else), the flatter design, well, flattened all the buttons and made them notably harder to see than on Pale Moon. It also had just a few buttons on the screen compared to Pale Moon's visible, not-hidden-away array of powertools. Sometimes, I think to myself, an interface too minimal and sparse makes your experience less enjoyable. I realized how much Firefox and Chrome — both of which have started to look suspiciously similar lately — gave me the impression of a smartphone app. Pale Moon took me back to the times when most computers had interfaces that truly targeted mice and keyboards rather than trying to accomodate touchscreens to its own detriment.
But about my security worries: out of curiousity, I looked online for some kind of a website that "audited" a visitor's browser. Immediately I found BrowserAudit. First I tested Pale Moon. Then I tested Firefox. Then I tested Chromium. I took a screenshot because the results turned out entirely opposite to my assumptions. Here are the results:
In any case, I'd like to end this entry here. Pale Moon, so far at least, has served as a great browser for my use case. Notwithstanding its rather toxic forums and intermittently rude developers, I think it's a browser more people should be using.