I enable Safari or Firefox Reader View. I no longer "experience websites the way they were intended to be experienced." Because it's way, way better! When will Chrome implement a reader mode? Dumb question: they barely snuck it in on Android and drag their feet everywhere else.
Browsers may be the user's ally or adversary. We know which one Chrome is. Microsoft has one hell of an opportunity here - not in a financial sense, but in a way that could greatly benefit Windows users.
Browsers need to be on the side of users, if only because authors are demonstrably terrible at user experience.
This isn't just because there's intrusive, bright/colorful/motion ads everywhere (though that's part of it). It's because authors suck at font choice, text size, line length, line height, text/background color & contrast, reflow across device sizes, and all the other basics of written content.
Browsers need to also do things like:
- make content more accessible to people with visual impairments and other disabilities
- filter out content that doesn't need to be loaded
- translate content into your language
- make content appear consistent across sites and according to your preference (e.g. most recently, dark mode)
- protect users from malicious content
- bake in standard functionality like sharing & bookmarks
A necessary feature of browsers should be 'render the author's intent faithfully', but that's by no means sufficient in today's browser market. Browsers are translators of content, both figuratively and literally. They're a window to another world, but also your guide. We need a guide we can trust, something that's on our side.
It need on the side of users not only because authors are demonstrably terrible at user experience, but also the user may wish to override anything.
Remember when stylesheets were just a suggestion & you were supposed to be able to swap it out for your own preferences?
In fact, Google is doing everything they can to help Microsoft do this. Consider the fact that logging into Gmail from Chrome logs you into Chrome. (Yes, there is an option to disable this but that's a fake non-functioning option.) If Microsoft offers better privacy--and they will--CEdge will be the preferred browser in no time!
Actually Microsoft is being real smart here because the swell over time will become Chrome is Microsoft Edge so why do you need to install Chrome? This is the downfall for Chrome IMO.
My source on Mozilla financials is the "Mozilla Foundation and Subsidiary: 2016 & 2017 Independent Auditors' Report and Consolidated Financial Statements" -
I very much like privacy, but better privacy is only a market winner when coupled with an advertising budget. Firefox has proven that.
Problem is, at this point it would be hard to convince people to try Edge again.
The second issue is that Microsoft (and it's not just them, here) is terrible about advertising their new features. It's hard to get users to go through walk-throughs and tutorials when they first set up a device, because most users just want to jump to actually using the devices, but I'm a big fan of the 12-15 tab slideshows that Mac devices show right when you first update. It's not thoroughly intrusive (it's pretty similar to Microsoft's "Tips" app), but it's got animations and really shows how useful the features could be.
Microsoft has to get better at showing off new features, and they REALLY need to get better at making extensions available to users. The Microsoft Store just doesn't feel like the best place for Edge Extensions as it is right now.
If people cared about privacy, they wouldn’t be using Facebook of anything Google made.
Except both of those companies still track your activity across the web, with or without an account... In order to care about privacy, a user has to do a hell of a lot more than just not use any of these invasive services.
iOS has a built in content blocking framework that other developers can plug into
The content blockers submit rules to iOS that Safari uses - the ad blocker doesn’t have access to your browsing history.
In the US, iOS has more market share - it surprised me too. iOS market share is relatively high in more affluent countries.
Is that feature and others like Chrome syncing your bookmarks available to non-official Chrome browsers?
A monopoly on anything is rarely a good thing.
However, on the apps side, there's definitely a preference for Chrome. I've noticed a couple web apps over the past few years do this, recently and most notably Coda (https://coda.io).
Fast forward to today, where every messaging platform is proprietary, yet there's no lawsuit to force them to open their systems out to other messaging software...
However, often HTML/HTTP(S) is just the wrong protocol for many things (I am not so sure it is so good for this Hacker News either!); we have other protocols as well as other file formats, such as plain text over HTTP, plain text over gopher, telnet/SSH for interactive sessions, IRC for chat, NNTP, SMTP, MIDI, and one reason I invented Remote Virtual Table Protocol for exposing data sources.
Indeed! First we lost all of the IP protocols except TCP and UDP, thanks to aggressive firewalls. NAT managed to kill any hope of end-user hosts acting as true servers, so we ended up with a client-server internet.
Another round of aggressive firewalling killed off pretty much everything except for 53/udp, 80/tcp, and 443/tcp. Middleboxes playing with unencrypted DNS and HTTP then broke 53/udp (good luck introducing new RR types or extending the protocol now!) and 80/tcp. Now we're left with HTTPS on 443/tcp as our only remaining protocol that actually works reliably for end users in the real world internet.
[Not to mention the fact that iOS and Android 8+ both prevent applications from holding long-lived server connections. Want real-time notifications? No choice but to go through the vendor's push notification service.]
I'm more concerned about where the internet as a whole is heading. All the privacy violations and censorship that's going around makes me want to find an alternative or maybe become a hermit.
This is an optimistic take on the situation. A more grim one would be that the web is now dominated by a nominally open browser that caters to the whims of a single corporation that would like nothing better to have complete control over the web, using its leverage over the dominant browser to push de-facto standards that will end up being adopted by others. The truth is likely somewhere in between those two extremes, or a mix of both.
> I'm more concerned about where the internet as a whole is heading. All the privacy violations and censorship that's going around makes me want to find an alternative or maybe become a hermit.
And, unfortunately, said company doesn't have a particularly spotless record on this front.
Changing the browser engine doesn't change the power these organizations have either. They would still be doing these things if Gecko was the dominant engine.
State of web browsers in 2018 (ferdychristant.com)
212 points by petethomas 2 days ago | 196 comments
Today we have: Blink, Gecko, Webkit. Basically three major companies/organizations. Goanna (Pale Moon: old FF codebase) brings up the rear here.
Like before, one company takes a huge lead. It was Microsoft, now it's Google. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
The only thing that's changed for me is that I feel much more protective of the work Mozilla is doing with Firefox. I consider them vital whereas before, they were an option.
Note to Mozilla: stop playing around with borderline business practices that force users to question your ethics.
source, browser engines: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Browser_engine