Pale Moon, open source Firefox-based web browser that uses Gecko engine to use new layout and rendering engine Goanna from Pale Moon 26.0 onwards, which is in alpha stage and in development. Gecko is a fork of Goanna. “We are working on a new milestone release, Pale Moon 26, which is currently in alpha state, which will debut a new layout and rendering engine: Goanna.”

Pale Moon v26 to use Goanna Engine

Why to switch to Goanna from Gecko?

“The technical problem with how Pale Moon (and FossaMail) carry the “Gecko” revision is that it is currently, similar to Firefox, tied to the product version. The problem is, however, that “our” 25.0 is nothing alike “their” 25.0 – and this is carried through to the Gecko platform version as well. This causes problems, because it leads to confusion about what is and is not supported when “Gecko 25.0” is found by a website, web application, or extension. There is no “closest match” to current revisions of gecko anymore, and even if there was, it would still just be an approximation. This isn’t a situation that can be solved in the current setup and versioning of the browser, so it needs an actual change – this change is why Goanna now exists.”

Pale Moon browser with Goanna engine

This change will impact extensions.

READ: WinPatrol 31 adds PaleMoon Support

Transition or how the change to Goanna takes place 

  • The identifying name of the engine will be changed to “Goanna” throughout the code where applicable.
  • The version of the engine will be reset to 1.0 on the first release, and will, from that point forward, carry its own, independent, milestone.major.minor[.point] version independent of the products it is used in (similar to how Mozilla used a non-product-bound version of Gecko in Firefox prior to 4.0).
  • The Platform Version will change accordingly. For the sake of compatibility, we are planning to at least keep the original Gecko-equivalent (from an extension point of view) of the platform version present, and expose the Goanna version separately so as to break as little third party software as possible in this transition period.
  • Goanna will be put on the fast track for new major improvements and additions to the engine, while the current engine will be deprecated and receive fewer feature updates until the new milestone is ready for release. Of course, security and stability updates will continue to have priority on the current development “trunk”

At present, Pale Moon 25.5 is the stable version that uses Gecko.

For more information, read this post.

How Pale Moon users react to this? Wait and see.