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Two big issues for me that have kept me on Firefox despite being a huge cryptocurrency nerd:

1. The decision to base on Chromium is a bigger negative for me than any feature. We're all going to regret contributing to the One True Engine someday and it's going to be so painful to fix.

2. BAT is a pure money play. There's no inherent utility outside buying and spending. And Ethereum is nothing if not the biggest utility crypto out there. This is always one of those things in the Ethereum ecosystem where I point out that you didn't have to make yet another ERC-20 if your only play is money.

It's too late now, of course. But man, it would have been terrific to recommend a browser that blocked ads out of the box and wasn't part of the engine hegemony.

What would you have the Brave team do? Create a new html rendering engine from scratch? That is an incredibly challenging engineering project that would probably require years and many tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars to do well, and what would be the benefit to Brave's users and investors? It would just lead to loads of performance and compatibility issues, and it is fundamentally irrelevant to the core value proposition of Brave, which is to monetize ads on behalf of users and content creators.

No, of course not. I would have had them base on Gecko.

As I understand it, Gecko is much harder to work with, so it would take a lot of time to make something like brave compatible with both Chromium and Gecko/Firefox's APIs (or to even only move to Gecko/FF). See the following comment from [0]:

> More significantly, in my book: it’s difficult to use Gecko and Firefox in these ways. Even the simplest app requires substantial and arcane boilerplate. And the docs are comprehensive but outdated. The platform may be powerful, but it’s hard to use.

There's also now qbrt[1], but the readme itself recommends not using it, and it was last updated 7 months ago. If this matures to a usable state, I can see Brave developers considering it.

0: https://mykzilla.org/2017/03/08/positron-discontinued/

1: https://github.com/mozilla/qbrt

We started on Gecko -- see https://brianbondy.com/blog/174/the-road-to-brave-10. It lost on many dimensions, as it has for other newer browsers.

Your desire for us or anyone to die on the Gecko hill would, had we acted on it, simply have helped Google cement the Chrome (not chromium) hegemony. The crucial battle right now is a layer up, at ads/donations/subscriptions/privacy -- where Firefox has been slow and weak vs. Brave and Safari.

There will be time for better engines later, once Google loses share due to innovations that attack its deep conflicts of interest with its users, along with likely prosecution of the open antitrust case.

I suspect that Eich of all people was informed about the pros and cons of Gecko. Then again, I guess it could have just been bad blood

Don't quote me on that, but Gecko must not be the easiest engine to build upon. How many browsers out there are based on Gecko, apart from Firefox?

AFAIK the only choice nowadays is between Chromium and WebKit. I honestly would like to see more WebKit based browsers instead.

I wonder if Webkit still have any resources behind using it on Windows since the documentation for building it[0] still says "Windows 8.1" (and I can't find links to the documentation or website SVN repo).

0: https://webkit.org/webkit-on-windows/

We evaluated WebKit too. Nope, for the Windows gap you cite, among others (e.g., no free-as-in-beer DRM plugin).

I used brave for about a year but stopped. There were issues with the Linux version - eg, it wouldn’t start after a system boot without using the terminal for the first time

There is no meaningful technical criticism of Chromium that I have seen. All of the anti-engine folks’ main argument seems to be “it has the Google stink on it”, but I can’t see how that is relevant in an application explicitly designed to avoid their ad/tracking/cloud services. It’s just a renderer.

What it is, is a backsliding into the days of IE where only one implementation was correct. Competition, yes, even at the engine level, is critical to a healthy web.

Google is the steward of Chromium and Manifest v3 is just the beginning. When a single corporation has Total Control over what goes in to their codebase, we're going to see more and more abuses making it increasingly difficult to maintain healthy forks. Given the tipping point of users, certain websites now simply refuse to work with any browser but Chrome.

> It’s just a renderer.

It’s just a renderer that calls home with hardcoded references to Google’s services. You can’t avoid Google if you use Chromium’s source code without patching it [1].

[1]: https://github.com/Eloston/ungoogled-chromium

> It’s just a renderer that calls home with hardcoded references to Google’s services.

And unless you believe in ghosts putting the calls home back when you aren't looking, that isn't a problem for Brave [1].

[1]: https://brave.com/brave-tops-browser-first-run-network-traff...

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