You clearly believe that if they were forced to compete on equal terms with Chrome, they would loose.
Do explain how forcing inferior browser on iOS users is better than Chrome winning on merits?
The road to better products has always been competition.
Apple, Microsoft and Mozilla can, and do, compete with Chrome.
Apple not allowing competition is the root of all evil.
Neither Apple nor Google spends money on developing browser out of the goodness of their heart.
In a battle of two evil corporations I'll side with the one that's making a better product. And in web browsers, it's Google.
People say this all the time, have you ever actually used Safari? I use it daily and it’s rock solid, I have zero complaints.
From a developer point of view, Safari is widely lagging behind other engines in terms of features, and has been rigged with hundreds of show stopping bugs for years, including relative to very basic features like scrolling. As an example, as of today, it is still impossible to reliably prevent page scrolling in Safari on iOS. Don't tell web developers "Safari is rock solid"; for us it's the bane of our existence.
IE 5 was a buggy browser lacking a lot of features, but was used often by people not building things online. And forced on people by bizarre site requirements. Though this came worse with IE6.
Microsoft was embroiled in legal issues of their browser at this time, and anyone with a sense of logic (most programmers) could see being locked into one piece of software instantly degrades the value of that software.
Sept 2002 was when Phoenix was released.
IE 6 came out only a year before Phoenix. And you if you were involved with Slashdot back in the day you were tracking browser usage as a daily trend. Phoenix was doing well.
I must have missed the implied “for developers” preface there
i've been a web dev for 20 years. safari is rock solid but has quirks, yes.
iOS/Safari is worse than IE because it's exclusive. At least with IE/Windows you could install something else.
OS lock-in and slow adoption of new web features is perhaps lame but Safari doesn't have anything even approaching it's own box model, or `-ms-filter` equivalent, or quirks mode... the list approaches infinity.
Also, "install something else?" Do you know what the browser landscape looked like back then? IE had >80% dominance for years, and your other option was Netscape, which lacked huge swaths of custom features in IE.
The expectations and businesses relying on browser functionality back then is minimal compared to today which amplifies the core issues at hand.
Try building an PWA with offline capabilities (trivial in modern browsers) that's your core of your business, and you will see what I see. Apple is _trying_ to strangle non-app store apps. Where IE was just a dumb lumbering problem by comparison.
I have, for one of the world's largest companies. You're missing the forest for the trees if you feel PWAs are this much of a linchpin to the broader conversation.
So if your PWA works on iOS/Safari, great for you, but it doesn't mean everyone's does.
Safari offers the most refined developer experience for web dev and testing (my favourite are the automation capabilities which are incredible and private as it separates my data from test data during a run). With technology preview updates delivered directly in macOS, I'm always confident I have the latest setup to test my web apps...
1. Safari, performs worst on wpt.fyi by a VERY wide margin
2. In State of CSS last year had the most number of complaints in relation to bugs. 360 related to Safari, compared to 30 for chrome and 10 for firefox.
3. In the MDN developer Survey developers ranked Safari as the second biggest problem after IE. A browser that's no longer supported.
3. Doesn't really support Web Apps, no user findable method of install (install prompts), no push notifications.
4. Huge numbers of bugs (some of which haven't been fixed in over 7 years)
5. and the devtools are still far behind chromes.
6. and missing all of these:
Notifications / Push API
No AppStore Support
App Store Support for Web Apps
Screen Orientation Lock
Web Share Target
Keyboard Lock and Keyboard Layout APIs
Background Fetch API
Background Sync API
Declarative Shadow DOM
Shared Array Buffers
AV1/AVIF and VP8/VP9/WebP (Open Media Codecs)
Scoped Custom Element Registry
You can see other replies for details lists of functionalities and capabilities often pioneered and supported by Safari long before other browsers (even Firefox).
Some loud voices from the community have very selective memory, and they momentarily forget all the evilness pumped into Chrome regularly. (remember FLoCs? Advertising API? AMP?)
All that hate for Safari can be much more productive if channeled as constructive feedback on browsers' bug trackers and governance discussions, improving the ecosystem as a whole (which is what you want if you care for the web). Such conversations can even lead to the natural evolution of standards and implementations towards more refined engine customizations on each platform.
Today, iOS allows for open browser choice on iOS, so any technical requirements for the implementation are of no meaningful consequence to iOS users. Everyone can get the look, feel, and service integration with their preferred vendor's ecosystem. Consumers and developers also get a consistent experience throughout the entire operating system - a piece of content will appear the same in any context. Simple, efficient, and reliable. All this will be lost the moment someone decides to prop a "To view this website, download browser XYZ." Imagine you are faced with this in a stressful situation when you need your phone to work the most.
Hell, remember logging users into Chrome without permission because they logged into a Google website like Gmail and then "accidentally" synching all the user's bookmarks and browser history to Google?
Mozilla, Google, Microsoft, EFF, the uk regulator, the Japanese regulator, the EU and most importantly the group of people who actually build web software on iOS.
Chrome-only non-standards that both Firefox and Safari are against.
> Declarative Shadow DOM
Actually proposed by Safari, and stalled for multiple reasons. Moreover, at the start of the whole web component brouhaha Safari wanted to have declarative ways of specifying Web Components, but Chrome said "no, we want to move fast and break things"
Proposed by Safari
Can't be bothered to check others, but off the top of my head, but most of other standards that you just dumped without understanding fall under the following categories:
- Chrome-only non-standards with multiple issues that have multiple objections from both Safari and Firefox
- Originally proposed by Safari
- Have specific technical objections from Safari, and specific reasons for not implementing
- (very small minority of specs) No idea why they haven't implemented these yet
- Install Prompts 7 Years behind. Many thousands of requests. - Notifications 7 years behind.
- Fullscreen API 11 years behind.
- Badging 5 years behind.
- Deep Links 7 years behind.
- Screen Orientation Lock 10 years behind.
and what's your excuse going to be the myriad of bugs/stability issues?
1. This is clearly moving goalposts
2. Why would Apple or Firefox provide you with an "alternative implementation for access bluetooth / nfc"?
> Instead they offer for you to install
No. Instead both they and Mozilla consider these non-standrads harmful and have no intention of implementing them. Or are you going to pretend that Mozilla is in Apple's pocket and does this to enrich Apple?
I'm not going to react to yet another mindless list of things that you have little knowledge of.
2. Neither Apple or Mozilla have described in detail what they think the harms are and why the specs do not cover those harms. But Mozilla is not a gatekeeper and doesn't ban the competition from 50% of mobile devices, so IMO they should be free to decide to do whatever they want even if I disagree with their decision.
Apple on the other hand not only doesn't describe the security issues in ANY detail, or outline why the specs don't cover them, it bans the competition from bringing any solution to the problem while at the same time providing a significantly insecure solution on native which is widely used to track and surveil users and for 9 years didn't even require a permission prompt.
As for resorting to insults about mindless list of things, have you even attempted to build a web app for iOS?
In every single case of the most ardent Safari defenders the answer is no. Unsurprisingly the people that care about the issues in Safari are the ones with the most knowledge that have to work with it daily.
> Neither Apple or Mozilla have described in detail what they think the harms are
> As for resorting to insults about mindless list of things, have you even attempted to build a web app for iOS
Doesn't explain why you keep dumping these lists without thinking and parroting Google's talking points
I really like Safari but no, they are definitely not "leading the gang" in adopting features.
At the bottom right there is a chart and Safari is in 3rd.
I built a company based on browser testing and Safari in general was/is always behind.
They have hired some good people so maybe that situation will change but in general Safari is the currently the boat anchor of browsers. Hopefully the situation will change over time.
not sure what your scrolling issue is, hidden overflow and blocked pointer events have always worked just fine for me. typically when someone gets scrolling wrong they're using 100vh instead of stretch and/or not scoping overflow correctly
It would have been much wiser for Safari to catch up on the dozens of features they don't support that both Chrome and Firefox do, or to focus on bug fixes for the most basic features that's been broken for years. Instead, they chose to ship shiny new ones to try and convince both regulators (from the EU, UK, US, etc) and web developers that they are leading the way in feature adoption. Unfortunately this seems to be working to some extent in the web devs community. Regulators are unlikely to fall for it though.
Here is the 7 years old scrolling bug I'm referring to, which prevents any decent implementation of modals in Safari on iOS: https://github.com/web-platform-tests/interop-2022/issues/84
Here you can see that Safari has 5 times more API failures (representative of both missing features and bugs) than Chrome, and 3 times more than Firefox: https://wpt.fyi/
Subgrid is progressing thanks to engineering from the Edge team, and I expect it to land this year.
why would it?
it's a USER-Agent after all. if there is something to scroll, the user probably wants to and should be able to.
1) I agree. Apps have maps, but most websites?
2) Zooming and panning can be done without WPA. At most some basic JS, although I think you can do the same via HTML+CSS.
3) The old way of zooming panning was buttons for zooming and panning. Those worked fine. In face ,they worked better than zooming and panning buggy implementations.
Until m1 I am not sure apple has the intel experience considering the hackintosh. But apple dominate for a while the developer market.
The question imho is whether apple provide a good enough solution for its users. And for monopoly I am not sure why os pre-installed browser is that relevant. Remember why edge exist. Just to download chrome.
Btw I use both as there are things can be easily done by one cannot by the others. I hope we have more. Not less.
I really don't see how that translates to "Safari and Chrome trading blows" and Safari taking over Chrome by "50%"?
Also, here is more representative dataset, where you can see that Safari has more than 5 times the number of API failures compared to Chrome, and 3 times compared to Firefox (in the stable channel): https://wpt.fyi/results/?label=master&label=experimental&ali...
Interop2022 is probably what your referring too but that’s just a small (but still important) functionality that the browsers have agreed to focus on. Interop is great, but using it as the primary metric for your browser is very dishonest. Apple tried to do this in their regulatory filing but every other vendor and developers said that the overall stats are much more representative.
I don't trust Chrome. When I went to App Store to get it, and the data Chrome gathers that is linked to your identity is: financial info, location, contact info, contacts, user conten, search history, browsing history, identifiers, usage data, diagnostics and other data.
Safari also collects browsing history and location information, but they don't link it to your identity.
And this is so much better than the alternative which is a 500 page legal document.
When you install the app you see what data can be collected and decide if you trust the provider of the app with that data. And for that you don’t need any context. Because you don’t know what the code in this app does.
They have to declare everything they might use, but everything is still subject to the various Chrome privacy policies. I can guarantee that if Chrome were found to be violating those policies, people would sue.
Why do I have a work iPhone? Because Safari is the one browser that you can't just assume things will work for so I need to occasionally use it before pushing website changes.
Say what you want but it is so frustrating when you run into problems like this. It does remind me of old IE days where we had to produce one gazillion hacks for IE.
People have different priority, most end user gives no fuck about the pile of garbage APIs that just keeps growing in modern browsers, they just wanna read some stuff. When developers cry about their "api", some kid in africa isn't able to access knowledge on ther internet because sites have to use look behind or whatever.
Personally I find Safari a great browser on iOS and prefer not to add to the test matrix burden with different browser engines on iOS. Also this restriction is the only thing keeping Chrome from dominating the future of Web, who can't be trusted to not use it as an anti competitive weapon as we've seen with AMP.
And in Safari there's zero visibility into why things break, they just silently don't work. At least Chrome is pretty good (in my experience) about throwing an exception or at least logging warnings to the console
Is it really as bad as the IE days though? I didn’t work on web back then, but these days if I run into a safari comparability issue, the workaround is usually pretty painless.
At least in the IE days everyone _knew_ IE was a problem, so we were looking for a solution as a community. Now? We comments that are dismissive of crap instead of inspiring towards quality.
But it's not really a polyfill, just a library.
Safari is the modern IE in this respect.
If you’re just building a standard body scroll website with a simple ui/ux you’ll likely be ok. As soon as you start doing complex stuff with pinned panels, or gestures, animations, drag and drop then you’ll hit the bugs.
Some of the bugs developers have been complaining about for 7 years.
Every browser we develop has bugs, Safari just has 10x as many.
Multiple times I've hit issues with things that I would have expected to be 100% complete, like SVGs not being able to properly transition animations in certain cases.
- CSS outline not being affected by the border-radius property.
- Drag images being completely screwed up if the dragged element, or any of its ancestor, has a CSS transform.
Both of these problems have workarounds (insanely ugly hacks would be a better term), but they shouldn't have.
- Regular expression lookbehind
- Web push
- SVG favicon
- Web Bluetooth (haven't run into this personally, but someone complained about this)
- Nice to have
- Don’t want it, will never allow it
- Nice to have
- Don’t want it, will never allow it
Of the five items you list, I only see one as a real problem. Two of them are privacy misfeatures that have no business being on the web platform. The other two are annoying and would be better to have than not.
For example, taking web push notifications, you and many others may not want it, but someone else and many others too may want it for whatever reason:
- maybe from a developer perspective because they're a hobbyist and don't want to create an app instead of a website just to get notifications, but would be happy if they had the option. And before you say you don't need them, you DON'T know their use case, e.g., if it's a chat web-app it's going to be pretty damn useless without notifications.
- maybe from a user's perspective because they're not happy granting additional permissions (or making it harder to use an ad-blocker) that could be required by an app from the store, they just need the push notification to get some alert, but don't want to give up access to their photos, files, or contacts too.
In any case, it's about having empathy towards allowing others to have wants/needs different from yours, and if you do that and put yourself in other people's shoes, you should be able to see that Safari is clearly lacking in implementing a bunch of features (or delivering them several years after every other browser).
Finally, all that doesn't take away the fact that Safari does some things better than others, and that other browsers do things worse or push features that are in line with their own agenda or monetisation strategy.
On mobile platforms that's a pretty major feature to brush aside.
As a user I don’t care nearly as much if my browser supports WebOnions v2 or whatever feature-du-jour as I do that it’s not wantonly burning through my battery just doing basic browsing.
I find Chrome absolutely murders the battery life of my work 16" MBP, though.
I never used Safari as my main browser nor I hate it as a developer. I'm just talking about the argument here.
At the same time by lacking features it becomes the lowest common browser api target blocking progress.
Because, perhaps, the main one of those "other browsers" is widely considered to be a surveillance tool first, browser second, for a surveillance company and one of Apple's main current marketing thrusts is "we help you avoid people spying on you on your phone"?
This argument falls over when the most popular apps on their store are YouTube, Google Maps, Instagram and TikTok.
They’re fine with “surveillance tools” if they get a cut.
Unless you consider the minimal $100 / year that Google has to pay to be "a cut".
Definitely should be getting a cut of the ads too.
...yes? Who are people going to complain to when ANOther browser leaks their PII from an iPhone? Who will get the bad PR? It won't be ANOther browser because lord knows they've been getting away with it for years with little to no consequence. Why would Apple put themselves - and their customers given their marketing claims to care about their privacy - in a position where that privacy can a) be compromised and b) reflect badly on Apple?
It is astonishing reading like Safari is some derelict junk when the edges are laughable trivial stuff. "But it doesn't support some random, irrelevant standard Google tried to railroad through last month..."
no browser product these days compete in a completely free market.
Both Firefox and Chrome would have appreciated a way to install their browsers on iOS, even if it was harder.
Google making their sites function inadequately in other browsers should be illegal too. Many features don't work in Firefox.
I see it as Google will use the same techniques they used for desktop to aggressively push Chrome regardless of technical merit - aggressive banners & popups on their own web properties, user-agent based blocking of functionality, etc.
edit: I suppose due to the nature of the app store (at present), they can't do the bundling stuff - like they used to do with Chrome-by-default when you downloaded Adobe Reader, for instance.
Mozilla is at the edge of extinction, they lost.
Except safari doesn't exist outside of Apple's luxury walled garden.
> they are still winning.
The strategic purpose of Safari is to extract dollars from Google and push users to the app store. Indeed a second rate, mediocre Safari is in Apple's best interest. On the other hand Google has every reason to develop the best browser possible and the incredible scale of chromium development demonstrates that.
That luxury walled garden owns 23% of the world.
Funny how the same anti-M$ crowd pushes for Google no matter what.
Yes. If you think Safari is terrible and you want to use Chrome on your iPhone then argue that. This incredible reach around that Apple not letting you install Chrome harms browser diversity is ridiculous.
Actually what he said was that they can't compete on equal terms.
If Apple were forced to open it's platform, they wouldn't be competing on equal terms, Google would have a clear advantage. Google can put up Ads for Chrome on all of it's properties for free. Apple cannot put up Ads for Safari on all of Google's properties for free.
What if part of the agreement to open the iOS platform to competing browsers was that all competing browser makers must agree to provide equal advertising time to all other competing browsers across their platforms?
The argument is Google has such a stranglehold on the web that they can extend their monopoly to the browser engine.
Woah there. Will they actually compete on equal terms, or will YouTube/Google/Gmail (the most popular sites on the internet) tell people that not using Chrome is causing a variety of issues.
I don't think Chrome ever really won "on merits", it won on "Google keeps telling me I'm interneting wrong".
Besides that, "better" isn't really a recognizable concept. What you want and what I want are different. And if what I want is a way to prevent ad-tracking, and what Google wants is better ad-tracking, I don't think I win that war of words.
That is, I don't really care what features a browser has if I cannot block ads, and not blocking ads is high on Google's list.
WebKit bug reports are ignored, for years.
Here's my personal pet peeve. 4 years ago, Chrome broke the ability to open pages in the background on Mac.
People complained, and so Google locked the bug report for comments.
I've reported bugs to WebKit and got absolutely nothing.
Here's one from 2020 which is still open:
Sorry to break it to you, but Safari is the better browser.
I’m glad they limit the engine choice. At least apples authoritarian policies are limited to their own platforms, meanwhile Google is quickly fencing off the web for itself in pure EEE style, with new “standards” flying out as fast as they can tweet them.
unless you are in the 92% of the World that does not use Apple HW for computing and/or the 87% of the World that does not use an iPhone.
Apple make products for the top end of customers and they don't want to be dealing with complaints from Grandma about battery life because they hit a series of dark patterns and accidentally installed Chrome and made it default.
They've made it quite clear IMO that pwa style products would be better served by a native app.
No. Developer productivity is important, and it does impact the end user in quality and amount of features.
~65% of users are not savvy enough to see this as the marketing statement it is, and will treat it as a real reason to get chrome. I’ve watched it happen in front of my eyes.
> I’m glad they limit the engine choice.
Why is that necessary if Safari is the better browser anyway?
There are plenty of browsers available for iOS. In all the ways that matter to consumers, they can choose a browser and the services associated with it.
All the WebKit haters are so loud and driven in their quest to "liberate" others, while the alternative is just looking for the most optimal ways to monetize their browsing habits. Google is the company US legislators need to beg not to collect personal information so citizens can be safe... which makes them much closer to the "root of all evil".
What consumers also expect is for things to work. Reliably. I can't wait for pages to start asking people to download browser X because "opinionated" devs decided they only want to support their favorite brand.
It's really dubious to say the chrome has or would win on merits alone, and not through a monopolistic advertisement push.
For an entrepreneurial forum, it's pretty incredible how frequently magical mind control powers are attributed to marketing/advertising. Anyone who has ever made a real product knows that advertising is not enough, it only works in the long term if your product is actually good and worth using. By this logic, every Google product should automatically win. All they have to do is slap an ad on their homepage and sponsor some installation partnership deals and boom, nothing can stop Google.
Alex Russell’s position has always been that web developers (especially library authors) need as many browser features as possible to help them build the most flexible / capable web applications possible. He has consistently pushed for browsers to ship new features ASAP, with the idea that developers can paper over the differences or work around a buggy API, but can’t turn nothing into something. My impression is that he joined Google because he thought that was the best way to further that pre-established goal; it’s not fair to say that he’s just promoting this because he thinks it is in Google/Microsoft/Chrome’s interest.
By contrast, Safari developers’ position has long been that new browser features should be carefully evaluated and then implemented at leisure, because this is a long game and we don’t need rush jobs. Their focus is more on client-side resource use (it’s shocking how far behind Chrome is on this one), correctness of the features they do decide to implement, performance, and user privacy (Google’s whole business model is ubiquitous surveillance).
These two positions are both defensible, but are at odds with each-other. For Safari developers, Chrome trying to ram big piles of half-baked new features down every browser’s throat ASAP is just a recipe for churn, and getting developers to adopt them right away so that users then come complain that “Safari is broken” is endlessly annoying. For Chrome developers (or web developers who want to build on new shiny features right away instead of waiting 2+ years for cross-browser adoption), Safari lagging behind is “holding back the web”.
If this was the case, I would hate Safari significantly less. If the only issue with Safari was that they didn't implement certain features, that would be fine. I could check the compatibility matrices and just avoid features that aren't implemented. The problem is that every now and then they support something, and it _appears_ to work, but then there's some weird interaction that breaks some interaction and it takes forever to debug.
Sometimes it's reproducible in Epiphany(webkit issue), but other times it isn't. Safari updates their webkit version pretty infrequently so bugs that are fixed in webkit are not fixed in Safari. So the only way to know if it works in Safari is to test in Safari, which requires OSX.
Safari is the new IE. IE had better client-side resource use for a long time compared to firefox/netscape. IE didn't implement new features and they had IE only features just like Safari (you can select text in images in Safari). IE only worked on windows and made linux/osx developers suffer just like Safari makes linux/windows developers suffer today.
Safari is worse than IE.
With IE, Microsoft at least provided a VM I could test with.
With Safari, Apple expects me to buy their hardware. And both a phone and laptop, since iOS/Safari supports even less stuff than desktop Safari.
https://build.webkit.org/#/builders/67 (give it a sec)
They require "Apple Application Support", which is installed with iTunes; you can crack open the installer and only install the support library.
I'm not sure if EULA is legally binding in EU (and if it can prevent you from using a product), but I think companies would rather avoid this if possible.
Developing on Safari it feels like the opposite.
A few years ago I’d have agreed somewhat, but Safari has accelerated considerably and improved wrt standards. In fact better than Chrome as of late, if you follow the Interop project, and it feels as much.
I am not a language specification lawyer. If I hit a difference in behavior, I don't open up the spec to try and figure out who is right and wrong. It's entirely possible that Safari is in the right. But when Chrome/Firefox/Latest webkit agree, and Safari doesn't, I'm fairly confident it's Safari's fault at that point.
But even if it was Safari's fault and I could test that on Linux/Android, that would be fine. The biggest annoyance is that you can't possibly know if what you're doing would work without buying Apple hardware.
Apple had no problem rushing things when they were at the brink of death and had to compete with IE and Mozilla by making a better browser.
Only when they could kill the competition by simply saying so they switched to a leisurely mode of development.
Not to mention they are also very leisurely about fixing bugs.
Spin that one to make it look good for Apple, please.
The only consistent position that Apple has is: what's good for our business.
When they had to compete, they were forced to compete.
Now that they don't have to, they don't and instead pay a few PR people to spin it as good for customers for this or that reason.
With a generous free help from folks like you, also telling us how Safari is really superior browser.
All we ask Apple is to put that theory to test: let Chrome and Mozilla compete and we'll see what actual users prefer.
The existence of a Chrome-based iOS browser would quickly lead web developers to drop Safari and Firefox support (“just install Chrome bro!”) so I for one am thankful that Apple is not budging here.
Their browser is, for me, strictly superior. And their political decisions are the last defense of a multi-browser web.
Yeah, that would totally happen because websites that force people to install some massively resource hungry and sluggish browser first will obviously out-compete those that don't.
This is not hypothetical: developers have been putting up “this site works best (or only works) in X browser” warnings for decades by now.
And yet their monopolist behaviour is the only thing countering Google's monopolist behaviour with Chrome.
I fear witnessing the incoming manifest v3 apocalypse, when Google will nerf adblockers and plenty of other extensions. And all Chromium based browsers will most probably also be affected. So no capable adblockers in Edge/Vivaldi/Opera/etc. either, probably.
Web Assembly is a new and rapidly changing feature. SIMD support in Web Assembly is even newer. Neither one has yet been adopted by most websites / web applications.
In a few years I would expect more developers to start adopting these technologies and Safari to have finally gotten around to a SIMD implementation.
Personally I hope the browsers all figure out how to get double-precision FMA operations (fused multiply-add) in wasm.
The entire problem with the web is they keep adding high level half-solutions over and over, many that intersect and almost none that actually solve things at the right abstraction. What we need is lower level primitives and performance. Instead we got Web Components, a disaster, and seemingly a thousand new CSS features (coming only from Chrome) that serve only to further entrench Google.
Simpler and lower level APIs and ruthless work on performance would have given us a far richer platform to target, leading to better interop with cross compiling native tools, better experiences, and less bloat.
Seems like weekly a Google evangelist tweets a gushing, emoji-laden joyous tweet about a new feature they’re shopping tomorrow adding some super arbitrary thing (the latest is some page transition spec which again is such a half-solution). Extend and extinguish!
They’re going for that juicy promotion, no matter what! The future of the Web be damned…
He spent inordinary amounts of time vilifying anything that even remotely looked like competition.
Then he went to work for Microsoft, and... nothing really changed. Though quite infrequently (hur hur pun) he mentions Chrome now.
This make me question the story of Microsoft. MS-DOS, Windows and especially the Internet-Explorer (Trident). All of them won in a competitive marketplace and where of questionable quality and in long term harmful.
I cannot defend Apples locked platform! Yes, WebKit is crucial to the web and also needed on Linux (WebKitGtk, GNOME, Qt-WebKit, Epiphany, RasPi). Actually I'm quiet happy with WebKit but would appreciate always more speed. Feels like a lot of folks use Chrome and expect every other web-browser must use the same engine so they don't need to care about compatibility? Which is bad.
* KHTML - gone
* Trident - gone
* Opera - gone
To be read cum grano salis. The list is long (including VHS) so, what is the best product in a marketplace? Probably, the definition will not be a technical one. It may be more like with an auction, where the result doesn't honor the value, but rather defines it. More cynically, it may be like with competing (traditional, non-alt – not entering that discussion) coins, where it's the worst coin which is the one left in the marketplace. (© Adam Smith, I believe.) In both perspectives, there are reasons for this. To say the least, to the customer technical aspects are just features among others. Vendors exhausting their capacities in rapid development cycles doesn't help either, often it's the vendor left with most capacities for marketing and connecting to non-technical users and media who wins the competition, often with a clearly inferior product, even with no development at all (DOS anyone?).
(E.g., personally, I'm absolutely horrified by the experience of the desktop Chrome UI. Even more so on macOS, where there's a menubar anyways, so why don't use it to make functions accessible? This is really mocking the user. – And no, at this point it's not about screen estate, it's about who's controlling the window, if there's a controllable app with controls worth controlling at all, or just that god-given/sent viewport. Mozilla on Win isn't much better nowadays: even, if you activate menus, there's not much to be found, in contrast to the Mac edition.)
P.S.: Also agree with the statement on developer bias by laziness and locked-in expectations. (As is, Chrome is the new IE. An example may be the storage implementation. Apple's implementation was fully standard compliant, but we must do it the Chrome-way, because Chrome and anything else is a bug. On the other hand, when Chrome messed up the Web Audio API for several iterations, nobody complained. Or, when Chrome messed up repaint of the canvas element, etc, etc.)
Are you aware of how a company with a large market share in one part of a market, can anti-competitively use it's market power to effect another market?
For example, Microsoft could ban all competing browsers from the PC, in windows, and this would likely work to cause more people to use internet explorer, or edge.
This, of course, would be illegal and anti-competitive. But it would work.
E.g., did you know that Chrome doesn't manage to render preformatted mono-space text at a uniform character width, 30 years after the introduction of the "pre" tag, in its +100 iteration? (E.g., Greek characters in formulas. So, where is the problem, there's MathML, a standard since the 1990s and part of HTML5. Oh… So let's add training wheels for Chrome, making each character a span of its own and fixing it in CSS… – To be fair, MathML doesn't enjoy a decent implementation in any browser, but with regard to implementing standards… Or take the implementation of certain UI elements like range inputs: let's make a slider from -100 to +100 preset to 0 in the center. Now +2, a discrete value, is rendered as an accent-colored range of 103 units, which somehow is supposed to make sense, and users become subtly shamed into picking higher values by the means of a more or less colorful experience. No option to disable this utter nonsense and Mozilla even followed on this path, because Chrome is the standard. As a result, if you need a basic, non-biased input, you have to come up with a non-standard implementation of your own, probably involving all kinds of accessibility issues.)
I was responding to you making the false claim that users can just choose to use chrome, in the competitive market.
That's not true because Apple anti-competitively prevents users from installing the real version of chrome, that isn't handicapped.
And then I used the analogy of Microsoft banning all competing browsers, which I'd hope you agree is and should be illegal.
So then you agree completely with me that apple is engaging is some anti-competitive practices, you just think other people are also engaging in anti-competitive practices.
That doesn't refute my point. You are agreeing with me that yes Apple engages in anti-competitive practices that limit user choice.
So back to the original point. You said this "if the best product wins in a competitive marketplace".
This statement is false because Apple is engaging in anti competitive practices that prevent a competitive market from happening.
So that is "where the problem is". The problem is the anti competitive practices that you agree with me that Apple is engaging in.
This is the future people are advocating for with Chrome dominance.
Firefox has temporarily saved itself from this but don't worry, Google will eventually tie their hands as well.
No one is safe from an unstoppable spyware company.
uBlock Origin unfortunately isn't viable since it needs to see the data and Apple doesn't permit that. Safari content blockers have to provide a list of rules what should be blocked and Safari acts on it without providing any data back to the content blocker.
Their reasoning is that they want to make it impossible for an adblocker to collect any data.
But I don't care about that because I would chose one adblocker that I trust (uBlock origin). It's a non-issue.
Now I'm forced to use a multitude of native apps that all have far more data collection and access than webapps.
Apple, caring about privacy? Perhaps I'm just old-school, but I'll never be able to read that without the risk of coffee all over my screen.
And then I'll ask the_gipsy how this is different from every other browser under the sun except Safari and Firefox being just repackaged versions of Chrome?
I think that just about says it right there.
On any other operating system you have Chrome, Chromium, Brave, Firefox, Tor Browser, Webkit-based browsers, Text-only browsers, etc. There are so many options.
But on iOS you can use Webkit or you can go fuck yourself.
I am in awe with the lengths that apple apologists in this thread have gone in order to avoid making reasonable value judgements.
What is it about Apple in general that makes swathes of people take it personally whenever any kind of criticism is leveraged against that particular mega corp?
Why do they need to refute it? Nobody can see the future and whether that statement is true or not still does not change the fact that Apple should not be mandating WebKit.
Chromium is open source anyway. What does it mean for an open source project to "take over"? Who wins there? I suppose in this instance that Google wins but so do users. The only loser is Apple because it puts a hole in their prison ecosystem.
And once Chromium dominance has been achieved, there will be no party that can mount a meaningful opposition due to the velocity of Google’s Chrome/Chromium team stacked with the ever-taller demands of web engines. With every feature added Google builds the moat more deep and wide, further ensuring their monopoly will never be unseated.
With all that considered, the only real winners are web devs who only need to care about testing against a single engine (once Safari is out of the picture, Firefox’s ~2.5% marketshare will not be large enough for most to bother with).
We are getting a free and open source browser engine that anybody can fork. Microsoft forked it to create Edge, Brave uses it.
Frankly, I wish Apple would either open source Safari, release Safari on other platforms, or contribute to Firefox.
> Chromium being open source does nothing to change that because nobody but Google has the same level of manpower
The goalposts were never moved. It's a thing that ardent anti-applers do not understand.
Google is a web ad agency. 80% of its profits come from web advertisement. At the same time they:
- control the browser market
- control the search market
See how many conflicts of interest there are?
> Why does manpower matter?
Chrome releases 40 to 100 new APIs with every release (so, every two months or so). And these new APIs are immediately taken up as gospel and standard by gullible web devs who now claim that all other browsers need to implement them.
This is the question of manpower.
So is this: it is absolutely impossible to build a modern web browser . Microsoft, a trillion-dollar company tried and failed, and is now repackaging Chrome, with minor changes.
> I wish Apple would either open source Safari
WebKit is as open-sourced as Chromium. Safari is as closed source as Chrome.
 For example, https://drewdevault.com/2020/03/18/Reckless-limitless-scope....
Manpower matters because no matter how much Chromium/Blink are forked, forks can’t be meaningfully different because they have to keep up with the firehose of changes Google is pumping out, which also makes it progressively more difficult to keep parts of the codebase that have diverged up to date. It’s a losing battle unless you’ve also got a dev team with the size and scope of Google’s Chrome team, which is a ridiculously high bar.
Even your cited examples of Edge and Brave are only superficially different, with a handful of features switched off compared to Chrome. They bring practically no diversity to the web.
> So now all open source software needs to be developed equally by purely non-profit orgs?
No, this is a special case. Web browsers are critical public infrastructure that’ve been on the precipice of total monopoly multiple times now.
The author has an entire section that says “Apple is anti-diversity.”
If you think Safari is a bad browser and Apple should use Chrome that’s fine! But to twist your argument to make it seem that we will have more browser diversity if Apple lets iOS run Chrome is what I have a problem with.
Does it have to? It's a rather strange claim to advance. I cannot read it as anything other than the recognition that in an open competition, even given the headstart of being the default browser, Safari/webkit would lose to Chrome/blink, which, again, I cannot read as anything other than the admission that Safari is an inferior browser. And if that is the case, if users are not free to choose the browser they prefer, then what good is the argument against the browser monoculture anyway?
The reality is that the highest impact on user share is the default browser.
Shortly after that is habit and user experience and this is what apple controls, it is fairly easy to restrict options for the competition or use dark patterns to impact the ux and apple is using this already to their advantage.
The reality here is that we need to be objective and ask what benefits the user gets from this restrictions and what risks they bring and i think two decades of defaults do make a lot of people ignore that instead of being critical.
What I wish more people acknowledged is that the phrase "improving Safari" is shorthand for "improving Safari for advertisers and developers" not "improving Safari for users".
Yes, it may be true that users experience some benefits, but it is infrequently acknowledged that most users hate popups, hate tracking, and don't want notifications from websites.
The author is not trying to refute this point. He's saying it's a re-wording of "we (Apple) can't compete with better browser rendering engines" and he's right.
Are you saying that iOS users, given the choice, would not use Safari?