Development :  K-Meleon Forum
K-Meleon development related discussions. 
Development Status
Posted by: pjpw2320
Date: January 10, 2014 11:51AM

I question the apparent effort being put into a 1.8 version of K-Meleon when the latest stable build is 1.6 and 1.7, whilst having enormous potential to advance the K-Meleon project and keep it alive, needs so much work still to get to even Beta stage from a practical and broad based user perspective.

Wouldn't it be better to concentrate all efforts on getting 1.7 to the stage where it is ready to be offered for mainstream use? Hell, the latest official release is still 1.5.4!

I have been a long time user of K-Meleon on and off for much of its life cycle to date, probably from the late pre 1.0 release versions. I have always been super impressed with its speed and page rendering capabilities, not to mention its very light use of resources. It has only been in the area of compatibility with some websites and lack of functional working extensions to rival those developed for FF that it has fallen down.

I have tried so many alternative browsers over the years looking for one that would not constantly drain my computer resources but provide fast, responsive performance over an extended period of time as well as maximum compatibility with sites and the plug ins required to access some sites.

FF has been my primary browser for the past several years, then more recently Google Chrome, although both of these take a heavy toll on computer resources, especially FF. I have also used Opera since its very early days and have come and gone from that for much the same reasons as I have done with K-Meleon.

If a modern version of K-Meleon can be produced that is relatively bug free and is compatible with the vast majority of current websites and current and emerging web technologies, while maintaining the speed and responsiveness it has become renowned for among browser aficionados, and there continues to be a loyal band of developers willing to put in the time and effort into ongoing development, then its future is assured for some time to come in my view.

I have little to no programming skills although I have used and tinkered with computers since the late 70's and have been a heavy Internet user for the past 20 years.

Sorry for raving on a bit, I get carried away sometimes!!

Oh, the other thing I recall reading recently somewhere only the other day was something to do with the future of the Gecko engine used in both FF and K-Meleon and that it was possibly going to be discontinued. Maybe someone could shed some light on that for me.

Peter Wills



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/10/2014 12:06PM by pjpw2320.

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Re: Development Status
Posted by: guenter
Date: January 10, 2014 01:40PM

Today many pages take a much heavier toll on resources that cannot be met by older PCs any more. K-Meleon has a light weight Windows native GUI. It can only try to be no extra burden on older hardware. It cannot change the way the web goes.

1.6 is based on Gecko 1.9. 1.7 is based on 1.9.2 x. Like Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.9.2.14pre) Gecko K-Meleon/1.7.0 whose rendering engine I compiled for my own use. That is the contemporary of Firefox 3.6.

HTML and Java Script standards change. On some pages the older Geckos are not supported anymore. New html or java script functions that they simply do not know. Other pages bugged K-Meleon users with nagg screens such as Your browser is outdated please upgrade to the newest IE, Firefox or Chrome version. And worse the creators of some pages intentionally crippled the functionality of their pages when their scripts find what they regard as outdated browsers.

The only choices this project has are a contemporary Firefox/Mozilla HTML/JS engine or a contemporary chrome/webkit HTML/JS engine or to end the project for good.

I personally would have preferred a change to chrome/webkit because they offer a stable embedding module. But I am no developer and do not have to decide what to do next.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/10/2014 02:17PM by guenter.

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Re: Development Status
Posted by: siria
Date: January 10, 2014 05:03PM

Don't know, but as a non-developer the KM74 threads sure sound to me like they are progressing in lightning speed at the moment. After all, when was the last time that not just 1, but 3 or more programmers were working on KM at the same time, and all intensely?! Things look extremely positive, like an official dev version (alpha? beta?) being just around the corner every moment now smiling smiley Stepping back at this point to developing outdated 1.7 instead of brandnew 74 would probably slow down things rather than speed up, and I'm very happy they'll get out a really modern version soon instead of yet another version that's outdated already at birth ;)
That said, once the new version is finally ready and published, I personally wouldn't mind if someone looks how to make it run on older machines (win2000?) too cool smiley

PS: It's on wikipedia saying that KM supposedly could NOT be developed any further after 1.7, due to some gecko embedding process not functioning anymore, and citing as source two forum threads here. Obviously that is wrong, since Dorian got over that hurdle. Anyone here who can correct that in wikipedia...? smiling smiley

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Re: Development Status
Posted by: JamesD
Date: January 11, 2014 03:11AM

@ sira

Check wikipedia again now. I was not sure how much to say.

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Re: Development Status
Posted by: pjpw2320
Date: January 11, 2014 03:33AM

James, is this the bit you added to the Wikipedia article?
"In late 2013 the K-Meleon group began testing a new version. It is based on Mozilla's XULrunner 25. It is code named "74".

Can you also advise if KM74 is now the version to follow rather than rodocop's "Twin?" I have been using both and like them both but favor the look and feel and options in Twin compared to 74 which seemed to have lost many menu options. Having said that I am able to kind of get the Springpad bookmarklet working in 74 but the Evernote bookmarklet will not work for me in either Twin or 74. Other than tinkering with the Javascript myself, which I am totally unfamiliar with at this stage, I don't know what to try.

In relation to 74 utilizing Mozilla's XULrunner, is this going to impact on K-Meleon performance and bloat as it has in Firefox, and continues to be one of the biggest reasons why I keep switching away from FF?

I did read somewhere that as long as K-Meleon continues to use the native Windows interface API then all should be good. Is that actually the case?

Peter Wills

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Re: Development Status
Posted by: JamesD
Date: January 11, 2014 04:43AM

I am not a developer, but I suspect the physical size and resources required will be larger for the 74 code compared to the 1.6 code. It is a little early to be specific on this. Lots of code from XULrunner is still included which the final product may not require.

As the price of memory and storage space has gone down, and the complexity of HTML and CSS have gone up, the memory and storage space requirements have increased. It is sad but some older hardware and operating systems will have a hard time adapting to the new environment.

I am not sure if rodocop has gotten a new "TWIN" completed yet. I am currently working with naruman's latest code while trying to also maintain contact with code from Dorian and adodupan. I feel sure that they will communicate with each other and some day we will have an official version. I have no idea how long that will take.

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Re: Development Status
Posted by: pjpw2320
Date: January 11, 2014 05:27AM

Quote
JamesD
I am not a developer, but I suspect the physical size and resources required will be larger for the 74 code compared to the 1.6 code. It is a little early to be specific on this. Lots of code from XULrunner is still included which the final product may not require.

As the price of memory and storage space has gone down, and the complexity of HTML and CSS have gone up, the memory and storage space requirements have increased. It is sad but some older hardware and operating systems will have a hard time adapting to the new environment.

I am not sure if rodocop has gotten a new "TWIN" completed yet. I am currently working with naruman's latest code while trying to also maintain contact with code from Dorian and adodupan. I feel sure that they will communicate with each other and some day we will have an official version. I have no idea how long that will take.

Forgive me but it just seems counter productive for a number of people to be working on different versions of code when it would seem more conducive to ironing out bugs and problems if all those actively engaged in programming/development were working on a common trunk.

Is it the intention for the individual trunks to be merged into a single final product? To get the browser to be adopted on a large scale this would need to be the case. After all, the majority of users just want a browser that works and allows them to do what they do on the Internet without getting involved in the nitty gritty of the browser's functionality or operation.

I should add that I am not a developer either but have been an avid daily Internet user since 1994 for both work and personal purposes and a computer user since the late 70's.

Peter Wills



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/11/2014 05:29AM by pjpw2320.

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Re: Development Status
Posted by: siria
Date: January 11, 2014 06:43AM

Thank you James smiling smiley Just IMO that sentence with "is on indefinite hold" is just not true anymore and could simply be deleted. Have also read somewhere (cited here in the forum?) that this thing about withdrawn support for embedding was only a misunderstanding. One of the mozilla developers said that and explained that the process was just somehow more work now, more complicated, but anyway still supported. Or some such.

Peter, I'm no developer either and can't even test the new versions myself, being on win98, but my impression from reading the KM74 threads is rather some sort of very 'creative chaos' due to current hurricane speed, with nearly daily bugfixes posted from the various developers grinning smiley They do exchange about bugs and do post their fixes as soon as someone figures anything out, so that in the end Dorian can merge it all together into an official version. And until then there may be the one or other interim version from any of them, to facilitate testing the new stuff for everyone else. But of course that's just my personal interpretation smiling smiley
I just wouldn't worry so much about theoretical concerns at the moment, while development status is so quickly progressing and things are changing everyday. Guess I just have some trust in Dorian that he knows what he's doing, as always, and the others give me that impression too ;-)

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Re: Development Status
Posted by: pjpw2320
Date: January 11, 2014 09:16AM

Quote
siria
Thank you James smiling smiley Just IMO that sentence with "is on indefinite hold" is just not true anymore and could simply be deleted. Have also read somewhere (cited here in the forum?) that this thing about withdrawn support for embedding was only a misunderstanding. One of the mozilla developers said that and explained that the process was just somehow more work now, more complicated, but anyway still supported. Or some such.

Peter, I'm no developer either and can't even test the new versions myself, being on win98, but my impression from reading the KM74 threads is rather some sort of very 'creative chaos' due to current hurricane speed, with nearly daily bugfixes posted from the various developers grinning smiley They do exchange about bugs and do post their fixes as soon as someone figures anything out, so that in the end Dorian can merge it all together into an official version. And until then there may be the one or other interim version from any of them, to facilitate testing the new stuff for everyone else. But of course that's just my personal interpretation smiling smiley
I just wouldn't worry so much about theoretical concerns at the moment, while development status is so quickly progressing and things are changing everyday. Guess I just have some trust in Dorian that he knows what he's doing, as always, and the others give me that impression too ;-)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
siria, I took the liberty of updating the Wikipedia page again to more correctly, in my view, reflect the position.

@JamesD Hope you don't mind. Please feel free to amend it if you feel it is not correct.

Peter Wills

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Re: Development Status
Posted by: siria
Date: January 11, 2014 05:05PM

Uhm, you're citing this thread as "source" in wikipedia for that Mozilla embedding thing?? But this is just feeble heresay, by far not solid enough to post it like a fact there. So that part should really be removed as long as the real source isn't linked!

Of course I tried now to remember where I had read that and googled around a bit, but no luck so far. From my memory as clueless non-developer it was something along the lines of Mozilla did remove the embedding interface or whatever from their package, but if someone has lots of time to develop the code themselves they can still embed mozilla stuff.
To speak in images, it sounded sort of like they removed the draw-bridge over the water ditch into the castle, because it was too much work to maintain it, but that doesn't mean the door were closed too. It's still open and people are happily invited in if they just bring their own makeshift bridge ;-)

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Re: Development Status
Posted by: pjpw2320
Date: January 12, 2014 12:33AM

Quote
siria
Uhm, you're citing this thread as "source" in wikipedia for that Mozilla embedding thing?? But this is just feeble heresay, by far not solid enough to post it like a fact there. So that part should really be removed as long as the real source isn't linked!

Of course I tried now to remember where I had read that and googled around a bit, but no luck so far. From my memory as clueless non-developer it was something along the lines of Mozilla did remove the embedding interface or whatever from their package, but if someone has lots of time to develop the code themselves they can still embed mozilla stuff.
To speak in images, it sounded sort of like they removed the draw-bridge over the water ditch into the castle, because it was too much work to maintain it, but that doesn't mean the door were closed too. It's still open and people are happily invited in if they just bring their own makeshift bridge ;-)

Interesting analogy siria!!

I take your point but there seems to still be conflicting reports or at least a conflicting undrstanding of the position. The point I was trying to make is that there is more to the gecko issue than was originally referenced in the article and that development has not stalled because of it, so that average users looking for an alternative browser are not turned away simply by reading the Wikipedia article as it was before my edits.

Peter Wills

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Re: Development Status
Posted by: guenter
Date: January 16, 2014 01:22AM

Quote
pjpw2320
Quote
siria
Uhm, you're citing this thread as "source" in wikipedia for that Mozilla embedding thing?? But this is just feeble heresay, by far not solid enough to post it like a fact there. So that part should really be removed as long as the real source isn't linked!

Of course I tried now to remember where I had read that and googled around a bit, but no luck so far. From my memory as clueless non-developer it was something along the lines of Mozilla did remove the embedding interface or whatever from their package, but if someone has lots of time to develop the code themselves they can still embed mozilla stuff.
To speak in images, it sounded sort of like they removed the draw-bridge over the water ditch into the castle, because it was too much work to maintain it, but that doesn't mean the door were closed too. It's still open and people are happily invited in if they just bring their own makeshift bridge ;-)

Interesting analogy siria!!

I take your point but there seems to still be conflicting reports or at least a conflicting undrstanding of the position. The point I was trying to make is that there is more to the gecko issue than was originally referenced in the article and that development has not stalled because of it, so that average users looking for an alternative browser are not turned away simply by reading the Wikipedia article as it was before my edits.

Siria. The Mozilla support for their embedding project was half hearted at best after Mozilla 1.6. As example: K-Meleon 0.9 updated by Fred had a chrome with less bugs than what they offered to embedders and can still be possibly found in the net. And the subsequent versions by Dorian, kko and alain even surpassed that.

And there were grave problems with exe and plugins that did not work well with the GRE because of little changes in the GRE. IMHO after GRE 1.8 Mozilla dropped the pretense of support to embedding. I have reason to know as early tester/guinea pig. And I got builds was after Dorian fixed all immediately visible problems.


pjpw2320. K-Meleon development stopped when Dorian as core dev and kko as main macro and Xul coder had no time to spare. Users can only try to maintain and update a little but they cannot do the needed development work to change to another GRE.

Dorian has great experience in adapting the code to a new GRE and/or compiler version. He has accomplished both of that three or four times now.

Currently it makes sense to me that all test several builds (improvements) since Dorian works on the exe and dll and e.g. naruman creates fixes via XUL. But I am no dev - so maybe I am wrong.

& Thanks for editing Wikipedia.

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