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[dupe] Show HN: Open-source app to turn headless Chrome into a normal browser (github.com)
64 points by slowenough 3 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 38 comments





Don't hit the free demos too hard. I made the instances alot smaller since last time. Just posting because it's clear that this is more than just a security product. It's a UI and backend to use headless chrome like a regular browser, except in the cloud instead of your device.

Apart from security, or automation (not finished that part yet), I don't know why you might want this, but I thought it was cool and so I'm sharing it because you might need it for something.


Recording and playback of complex bug reports might be nice.

Instead of having a user install screen recording software or hop on a screen share, just have them click a link that opens the app in one of these, repro the bug, and then close it.

Could be a feature of BrowserGap (or something built on it) to send that recording to whoever set up the link.


so the big question... Why? I don't get what the purpose of this project is and the link doesn't explain why I would want to use this.

Not all projects need a why, some people just like coding and it probably looked like a fun project.

ummmmmm.... that's a why.

There is a big reason but I don't know what you need so I can't say.

There is a big reason but I don't know what you need so I can't say.

Don't blame me if you're unhappy with that response, "Anon" . You need to let people know what your pain points are. Not prepared to provide any details in your question? Then don't expect any details in a response, is that unclear to you? Your reaction is your responsibility, "Anon".


Anon didn’t downvote you, when you reply to somebody they can’t downvote your direct reply (but can proceed to downvote further down the chain if need be).

I wasn’t the person who downvoted you either.


Sure they did. Some anon was unhappy with that response. Could be main account of the throw but who cares? My repliy is directed at anyone unhappy with that response.

Don't blame me if you're unhappy with that response, "Anon" . You need to let people know what your pain points are. Not prepared to provide any details in your question? Then don't expect any details in a response, is that unclear to you? Your reaction is your responsibility, "Anon".



Thanks. There were some good points raised there specific to the secure remote isolated browser use case.

I'm posting because it's clear that this is more than just a security product. It's a UI and backend to use headless chrome like a regular browser, except in the cloud instead of your device.


The concept is this could perform much better than local Chrome - the cloud has much lower latency to CDN's, a much bigger pipe, and a much better CPU than my phone/laptop for all that javascript.

But the reality (for me at least), is I get a far laggier experience than local Chrome. Hopefully a bit more performance tweaking will flip that.


Please don't repost Show HNs that often and not until there's some major change in the project. This is in the rules:

https://news.ycombinator.com/showhn.html


I just signed up to say this:

I think this a really neat idea and for some could be an alternative or addon to the average VPN provider. I did not read all the comments in the other thread but found anti-malware mentioned as a use-case. I have been thinking a while about some more advanced anti-fingerprinting/tracking techniques. In many cases you can be fingerprinted even if you change your IP. Some kind of cloud browser or desktop which randomizes your browser, underlying OS, IP + all the other stuff which can be used for printing, would be awesome. In principle tinkering together something like that should not be that hard. Maybe automating and maintaining the whole setup.

There is https://www.bromium.com/our-tech/bromium-secure-platform/ which isolates each tab in a VM, Would it be possible to isolate each tab in a different cloud server? i.e. in tab 1 I'm aptrgangr on ycombinator with edge on windows, in tab 2 I'm lurking as uptrgungr on irc with firefox on MacOs, in tab 3 I'm writing my business mails with chromium on linux. I'm not sure about the isolation of those 3 identities though, when everything is running in the same browser.

I don't know if you could setup up kind of a light version of this model: for example open this link in a new tab but with a different IP, user agent and other factors which could easily be used for fingerprinting.


this would be possible. you can create incognito tabs via right click. each of these has a separate ephemeral profile, so separate sessions and cookies. you could then modify the user agent and navigator platform for each of those different browser contacts. however they still all go over the same IP.

not sure how to make different IP per tab, but perhaps proxy settings are scoped to the browser context, so it might be possible, haven't read the devtools protocol deeply about that.


their landing page design is... unusual; sets `dir=rtl` on english text, making the fullstops show up at the beginning of sentences.

I find that to be the least of my concerns when viewing that page. It's horrifying in general

Thanks, what's been the biggest horror for you? The page is what I was going for. So there's that, and ah... horrifying you is a bonus, I guess?

I don't know much about doing contemporary design, and I think I can emulate something. Maybe you can suggest a landing page this should look like and I can copy that style? I would appreciate it. Up to you :)


Looks like a Geocities site. Would have been great 25 years ago. :)

It's too random and hacky, it misses coherence. Proportions, colors, paddings are random.

I can do you some minor adjustments, will send a screenshot/css later.


Um, that's awesome! Thanks!

Aside from the weird sentence periods, I love the look and feel! It's refreshingly uncompromising.

I think it has a certain chic - yes there are shades of 1998 about it, but its not over the top, and some of the effects are quite nice! Would like something quiter if I were reading.

sometimes I get lazy and creative about HTML/CSS. "I don't wanna work out how to get it just there...okay RTL, done!" :)

Well, have you heard about our lord and saviour, text-align: right? :)

I did a quick search that there are 3 LICENSE files. 2 of them are close-sources. Do you intend to open source all the files?

Typing a FQDN into the URL bar results in a duckduckgo search. Must I type http(s):// ?

There's no reload control.

I would like a cloud browser used for whatever purpose to at least have some of the same basic functions as my typical browser.


Sorry, yes you must type protocol/scheme. Sorry I did not think of FQDN as enough. I'll add the issue now, thanks! :)

Also, it's not obvious, but you can reload by right clicking to get context menu -> selecting "realod", or you can click on the "->" button to the right of the omnibox/address bar.

If you look a little closer, and spend a little more time, I think you'll find it does have "at least have some of the same basic functions as my typical browser."


You could stick with the `head` pun with "Headful" etc...

or to go with a different spin and a double pun.

In the world of contracts it is often asked if some language "has teeth" As in, "will be bite them if they misbehave", or "will it bite us if we misbehave". Often this is even discussed the contract has been "givien fangs" if it will bite hard.

So in a world where large corporations would like to co-opt my broser to not be my browser. You could call it "fangless" has in you have removed the teeth that can bite me from my own browser, as in this browser can bite you, or if it tries nothing will happen. Also plays nicely on the capital markets acronym term of FANG who are the largest purveyor of sites that try to use my browser to bite me.

Or perhaps you could smush them together for a `reheaded (as in opposite of be-headed) fangless` browser.


Just call it Dullahan

I like this a LOT

What about defanged?


I'm a bit disappointed it's not called reheading or some pun of that nature

Damn, that's a good idea. Thank you. :) Reheadless. Frankenchrome... Anyone got some good names?

Horseman.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow popularized the myth of the headless horseman.

This is a headless browser given a head. If we gave the headless horseman a head, he'd just be a horseman.


bodyless

Ichabod

Headful Chrome

Mindful Chrome



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