Firefox as the asphyxiating canary in the coalmine of the web.
Prompted by my talk, The State Of The Web, Brian zooms out to get some perspective on how browser power is consolidated.
The web is made of clients and servers. There’s a huge amount of diversity in the server space but there’s very little diversity when it comes to clients because making a browser has become so complex and expensive.
But Brian hopes that this complexity and expense could be distributed amongst a large amount of smaller players.
10 companies agreeing to invest $10k apiece to advance and maintain some area of shared interest is every bit as useful as 1 agreeing to invest $100k generally. In fact, maybe it’s more representative.
We believe that there is a very long tail of increasingly smaller companies who could do something, if only they coordinated to fund it together. The further we stretch this out, the more sources we enable, the more its potential adds up.
What I want instead is an anarchist web browser.
Throw away everything and start again and focus intensely about what people care about when it comes to the web.
Good to see Google, Mozilla, and Apple collaborating on fixing cross-browser CSS compatability issues:
- position: sticky
You can track progress here.
This is a terrific approach to tackling cross-site surveillance. I’d love it to be implemented in all browsers. I can imagine Safari implementing this. Chrome …we’ll see.
I’ve thought about these questions for over a year and narrowed my feelings of browser diversity down to two major value propositions:
- Browser diversity keeps the Web deliberately slow
- Browser diversity fosters consensus and cooperation over corporate rule
John weighs in on the clashing priorities of browser vendors.
Imagine if the web never got CSS. Never got a way to style content in sophisticated ways. It’s hard to imagine its rise to prominence in the early 2000s. I’d not be alone in arguing a similar lack of access to the sort of features inherent to the mobile experience that WebKit and the folks at Mozilla have expressed concern about would (not might) largely consign the Web to an increasingly marginal role.
This is a great bit of detective work by Amber! It’s the puzzling case of The Browser Dev Tools and the Missing Computed Values from Custom Properties.
Who do I know working on dev tools for Chrome, Firefox, or Safari that can help Amber find an answer to this mystery?
Myself and Stuart had a chat with Brian about browser engine diversity.
Here’s the audio file if you’d like to huffduff it.
Like Brad, I switched to Firefox for web browsing and Duck Duck Go for searching quite a while back. I highly recommend it.
I absolutely love this in-depth history of the web, written in a snappy, snarky tone.
In the beginning, there was no CSS.
This was very bad.
Even if you—like me—lived through all this stuff, I guarantee there’ll still be something in here you didn’t know.
Excellent news! All the major browsers have agreed to freeze their user-agent strings, effectively making them a relic (which they kinda always were).
For many (most?) uses of UA sniffing today, a better tool for the job would be to use feature detection.
Here’s an end-of-year roundup of all the data that Mozilla have gathered through their Firefox browser—very impressive!
A good overview of the unfair playing field of web browsers, dominated by the monopolistic practices by Google and Apple.
Mozilla is no longer fighting for market share of its browser: it is fighting for the future of the web.
This would be a fascinating experiment to run in Firefox nightly! This is in response to that post I wrote about third-party scripts.
Latest Firefox Brings Privacy Protections Front and Center Letting You Track the Trackers - The Mozilla Blog
I really like this latest addition in Firefox to show how many tracking scripts are being blocked. I think it’s always good to make the invisible visible (one of the reasons why I like RequestMap so much).
If you haven’t done so already, you should really switch to Firefox.
Then encourage your friends and family to switch to Firefox too.
This’ll be handy the next time I want to send someone a file: drop it in here, and then paste the link into a DM/chat.