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I'm not sure "Browser" is a good term for this; I get that they are trying to convey that it's just a client for the existing independent Etherium network, but to 99% of people, "browser" == "web browser". It's just going to cause confusion, especially in non-technical users (which seems to be a user base they are trying to go for here).

Even as a developer, when I saw "tokenbrowser.com", I was expecting to see a web browser. Visually, it looks more like a chat client (makes sense since they are taking inspiration from WeChat).

> I'm not sure "Browser" is a good term for this

Having been on the marketing side of a consumer product which used "browser" to describe what it was, I can confirm that "browser" = "web browser" to nearly everyone (analysts included) and is truly, sincerely not worth fighting.

In my experience, until they fix the "browser" positioning, nearly every conversation they have with anyone who might care about the actual product will include 2-5 minutes of explaining and rationalizing the use of a word that people already believe they understand.

I just clicked because I thought it was a cool new web browser. I don't care about Ethereum and it feels like clickbait to me.

Agree. I thought it might have been a better execution of brave payments.

Frankly, I think brave needs to look at this and realize they could race to be a point of sale payment solution. This miscommunication makes me realize what brave payments could turn into.

The domain name is click bait?

People create language, language doesn't create people. Meaning, words mean what the majority of people think they mean.

If the vast majority of people assume browser == web browser, then yes.

I was deceived too. "Token App Browser" is more apt if that's what it actually can do.



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Hmm, I'm going swim against the current and say I like the fact that it's called a browser. I like this because it is a browser, albeit not a web browser.

I think this is exactly what's missing from blockchain-derived technologies: a simple human interface to remote resources. More to the point, calling this thing a browser anchors it firmly into a well-known context. This should be useful for explaining it to our parents.

> More to the point, calling this thing a browser anchors it firmly into a well-known context. This should be useful for explaining it to our parents.

I think if I told my mom this was a browser, she would be confused to see something that looks more like her text message than a web page.

I'm going to gently accuse you of intellectual dishonesty, here ;)

In the phrasing you chose, you imply that it's a web browser -- this is the source of the hypothetical confusion.

Now try this: "Mom, this is a lot like a web browser (i.e. firefox, chrome, etc) but it's not for web pages. It's for a different kind of content".

Surely you'll admit this a helpful description...

Not at all. Non-experts will always consider only the outward appearance rather than the technical structure, since the latter is basically invisible to them. (Compare for exampl how hackers are depicted on mass media. Same principle.)

>Non-experts will always consider only the outward appearance rather than the technical structure

Exactly, and this thing behaves (outwardly) a lot like a web browser. It's just not browsing the web.

The description is useful for hilighting the similarities between both artefacts, mostly because Token is, stricto-sensu, a browser!

Not to be patronising, but you should try tech support. You'll quickly understand why arguments like this are futile.

Or this: "Mom, this is a chat program that has its own apps".

I don't know about you, but my Mom would find this explanation a lot more helpful than the browser one.


I'm looking at the Apache LDAP browser right now. Not a spec of HTML anywhere.

"Apache Directory Studio™: The Eclipse-based LDAP browser and directory client"

Sounds like that is a tool meant for technical users, e.g. IT staff, though, not general users.

I think the point still stands: calling something a browser implies that it's used for browsing. Most people will immediately think of a web browser, but it's still useful to frame things as "a browser, but not for the web. For something else".

Is this not HN????

If HN is the only market for this product then this would make sense as an argument but the OP was talking about the general public.

Is unfortunate, IMHO, that "browser" as come to mean "web browser". What are we supposed to call user interfaces that browser other information representations?

Has it though? Does nobody else use a file-browser any more? I'm mostly command-line but even I use a file-browser fairly often.

Most people I know never called that a file-browser in the first place. It was just "my files", as if the files were things in their own right that just appeared on screen. OS vendors have played into that, with icon labels that say "My Documents" or "All my files". It's to their advantage to not let anyone know that there's a separate program that sits on top of the filesystem to show the contents of the filesystem. Most people don't care how things work as long as they work.

For that matter, I know a number of folks who don't know what a web browser is either. It's just "The Internet", thanks to Microsoft's marketing, or "the Googles", thanks to Google's. When I used to read Google user feedback, it was amazing how many people thought that anything that happened online or offline due to a Google Search was Google's fault - we'd get feedback like "The plumber came 2 hours late...I want my money back!"

Yeah, the idea of a "file browser" as an application separate from the OS is just not something most people have ever gotten. The file browser is just "Windows" or whatever, just part of the OS.

(You can install file browsers other than the default one on most OSes, true. But how many people actually do that? Even fewer than install Web browsers.)

in windows, to the last of my knowledge from XP, the file manager is integrated into the shell, all together called explorer

I agree. It is always important to remember that to most "normal people" this stuff - the Internet, the web, their smartphone apps - are a huge clumpy ball of undifferentiated "magic". And that's not because they're stupid people, but because this stuff really is quite complicated and most people already have plenty of other things to worry about.

I know a lot of people that use the phrase "I'll PFM that for you." (Pure Fucking Magic)

I actually say I am going to Google something when in reality I use DuckDuckGo...

I do this too... While I cringe internally. But usually I'm saying it to people that have never even heard of DuckDuckGo...

The term in wide use when I came into the field seemed to be "file manager" for an application that was about files. For a file selection dialog box, I've heard "file browser" from time to time.

Technically a browser isn't even a full application. It's part of the interface of a bunch of different types of applications. A "web browser" is a file renderer, a content fetch utility, an object container that's targeted by a built-in scripting language, and a whole lot more. One of its functions - just one - is to follow hyperlinks and let you browser / surf for other content. And yet "browser" means, yes, "web browser".

This is not an argument about what the word means or should mean. It's an admission that we allowed the word to become specialized. Now it's either go with the status quo or try to take the word back, like "hacker", or maybe "Kleenex", "Aspirin", or "Rollerblade".

Looking at the store page, "app" seems like a reasonable choice that seems like it would make sense with most people.

Likewise. I applaud their idea and technical work but their messaging needs an overhaul to make it more accessible/consumable to the average person.

Yesterday there was a discussion [1] about a similar app named Status, which calls itself a "Mobile Ethereum OS" [2]. And between "browser" and "OS", I'm not even sure which is the worse way to describe this type of app.

Perhaps a more constructive question would be: what is the best way to describe such apps?

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14161695 [2] https://wiki.status.im

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