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I am sick and tired of constantly reviewing settings in web browsers to see if they have snuck in some new tracking mechanism that I get to disable because "your privacy is important to us".

I am sick and tired of all the black UX that goes into this, like opt out instead of opt in, or at least providing top level choices like, say, Fuck NO I'd NEVER EVER Like You To Track ANYTHING Now And In Every Perceivable Future. Like sync'ing every setting in your profile except tracking related settings, because hey that way you might by mistake opt out of tracking on another installation where you really wanted to be tracked. The list goes on and on.

Browsers are critical infrastructure and clearly an open source stamp on them fails in itself to provide any meaningful shield towards capitalist subversion.

I'd like a browser with a license that explicitly rules out *any* kind of commercial entity or interest contributing or directing development.

@Retrograde I wish some of the few alternative browsers could partake of some of the addon ecosystem. There are just a few that I need to cut over entirely.

@drwho @Retrograde Once I get back to Odysseus, I'll make sure to support content blocker, userscript, userstyle, & share extensions. Then next round I'll throw support in for searching multiple preconfigured search engines simultaneously, and be at a loss at what to do next. Maybe hand the project off to someone else...

If you want something more, I can recommend some projects to tackle which all WebKitGTK-based browsers could share.

@alcinnz @Retrograde ...what's the name of the standard that FF addons are written against? I forget.

Because, if there's an implementation of just that piece of the browser, it may be as simple (hah) as referencing that lib as a dependency.

@drwho @Retrograde I don't know the standard name, but WebKitGTK supports a different plugin API as dynamically loaded executables running inside the sandbox.

valadoc.org/webkit2gtk-web-ext

However you can write these plugins in JavaScript (Gecko Spidermonkey engine) so it should be reasonable to implement an adaptor for. One of the projects I'd recommend.

The second would be a curated addons repository...

@drwho @Retrograde Hmmmm, saving passwords is easy enough for me to do outside the sandbox. Reading passwords would have to be done from inside an extension. But I really should do this...

Does Lastpass provide GNOME Keyring/KWallet integration?

@alcinnz @Retrograde It's an extension (and service) that I find indispensible, for a number of reasons.

I don't think so, no. I open the vault and CnP stuff as required for those use cases.

@drwho @Retrograde @Truck GNOME Web has this feature & also uses WebKitGTK, so I should so how they do it. I don't think they have Lastpass support though... So that might have to come later.

I do know that this has to be a WebKitGTK extension though, so maybe if you're interested in establishing a curated addons center that could help this be more than an Odysseus thing?

@alcinnz @drwho @Retrograde

Don't know if it does either, as I use pass, and then various things to deal with it (wayland only here, so it's sort of a lot of bemenu -> pick -> stuff in copy buffer ) but I do know of github.com/passff/passff which is a plugin for firefox that can query the github.com/passff/passff-host program (wrapper for the pass shell command) and work directly with firefox.

That methodology / source may be helpful in determining what might be needed to do this for other password systems that have command line equivalents.

Pass is basically a wrapper around gnupg (and the main reason why setting it up is a bit wonky; gnupg is just "wait what?" most of the time and the documentation is just very "gnu doesn't care about anything but licensing" (not true but boy you sure can make a case for it based on loads of gnu things)

@Truck @alcinnz @drwho @Retrograde browserpass is another extension that works with pass that could be helpful to study

@drwho @Retrograde
I'd be fine with anything if uBlock/uMatrix could be made browser-agnostic

@Retrograde The problem this is, who pays for the development and continued maintenance.

@Retrograde such browsers exist. But it's damn near impossible to navigate web sites with them that themselves profit from all the tracking and stuff. 😡

@fedops It is true that most the "modern web" is built as a behavioral surplus mining industry and this is a real problem in itself that requires addressing as well.

However, the concept of being able to navigate information resources on the web is not tied to that and there are still islands in the net, though rarely surfaced in today's search engines which are merely sales channels.

The browser is the platform that enables accessing this kind of information and you should at least be able to trust that tool to not be an intrinsic part of the behavioral data robbing industry.

@Retrograde completely agree.

Most of the information resources I visit are navigable with privacy respecting browsers such as Firefox with privacy addons or Privacy Browser on Android. Trackers are blocked, JS is disabled.

When it comes to online bookings or purchases, some sites such as Ebay can be handled in FF containers with 1st party JS enabled.

Everything else must be done e.g. in ungoogled-chromium. That requires removing all stored data at the end of the session.

@Retrograde

What browsers do you use now? I use Firefox primarily.

@dsfgs

@vital876 @dsfgs This was written specifically as a reaction to recent Firefox developments. I have been using Firefox in a long time and trusted it to be better in this respect. I no longer do.

@Retrograde
Generally speaking, #TorBrowser is the only standalone #browser designed for proper use.

There are other genuinely FOSS browsers you can pair with #I2P.

If your bank rejects TorBrowser, or goes through #Cloudflare, use other #banking services or switch #banks entirely.

In #Australia over 30% of our banks go through Cloudflare – and most people who work there have no clue what Cloudflare even is, and why Australian banking passes through an American mega-corporation.
@vital876

@Retrograde Browser: "Hello Sir. We value your privacy! What would you like as a default search engine? – Say no word! - We have a perfect suggestion to go with right away. We're sure Google will do just fine."

@Retrograde what's even worse, these browsers are slowly becoming chrome-only.. whatever it's called, it's got the core from google.. don't be evil? LOL .. and the only competitor, firefox, by default already sends data to some "partners".. well, everyone has to make a living somehow.. the problem is, as you write, the browser is the core application..

@Retrograde difficult because the standards are so complex no one can reasonably make a browser


probably could blame the WHATWG for that

@meeper @Retrograde Who are WHATWG? Google, Mozilla, Apple. Mostly Google.

WHATWG was founded thinking W3C were moving too slow, and wanting the excitement of new features!

@alcinnz @Retrograde

there were more reasons though tbh and the w3c isn't the smartest even then web stabdards absolutely sucked
@alcinnz @Retrograde I was... overly hard there sorry, but imo w3c has been rather incompentent for a long while.

For example for stuff like xml even early on a lot of people well telling it's technical dismerits, and then we have stuff like css which gradually became a start of the mess

compare this to say IETF, writing a http server is trivial.

Instead of webassembly or other messed up things we need to start something new lol and maybe fast (before everything becomes a chrome)

And probably keep it simple sane and pragmatic (weak devices exist and we need to keep it accessible for them, like display just the text and images (and ads even ffs, just not be intrusive) and also isolate stuff properly

There are ways to do this and I have a few ideas that may be realized sometime (probably someone has already thought of something better though).

Anyway people need to accept that the web is a terrible platform and not the future


(also one may consider how old terminals are still being emulated 40 years later, they were massively simple. now imagine a complex abomination like the web..

Maybe even consider how other organisations have a bunch of member companies, and yet the WHATWG which make standards that affect everyone are limited to a few companies, and that to join you must already be a major browser distributer and be voted in by the rest)

So yeah, not make those mistakes and do it in an agnostic way

or we get another incremental mess

Disclaimer: I may not know what I'm saying :P

@meeper @Retrograde Personally I'm tackling a noJS subset of the web, and it looks to me like there's something very salvagable. At the very least this'd help move existing text to a new platform... But I welcome others to tackle the problem however they see best!

I kind of like CSS, there's some good ideas there & for what I'm doing I'd really rather webdevs didn't try to achieve the same thing in an HTML-equivalent!

@meeper @Retrograde Well, between W3C & WHATWG I certainly know who I prefer... Even if the fact W3C couldn't find a compromise between the XHTML & HTML camps doesn't speak well to their competance as a standards organization.

@meeper That absurd level of complexity is of course an issue with the, cough, "modern web" as well, but of course a group of people can collaborate to develop a browser without the goal being commercial interest.

@Retrograde they can't really, the amount of effort required is actually astronomical, that's the problem

@Retrograde@oldbytes.space
have fun trying to make your own browser. it would be comparible in difficulty to doing another apollo project

@neo What makes you think I am suggesting that? Of course a group of people can develop a browser without it being driven by commercial interest. Mozilla used to be one such group - it could be others.

@Retrograde @neo

I'll go further

One or two weekends without football in the US alone is enough effort to get a working web browser/apollo program up

The amount of effort that is wasted ever year on Netflix/MPAA movies is staggeringly high, and only an insignificant fraction of that will give you what you want here

What's missing is people valuing a free and surveillance free, ethical, safe, highly engineered, reproducibly building critical infrastructure

and you can get there from here

@Retrograde I've given up that particular fight about a year ago, and we're out of alternatives. Web browsers today are application platforms, not user agents. And most recent-ish developments feel like they have been about fortifying the former role, with all the complexity that brings.

Gemini is probably right in the regard that the Web with its constant standards creep is not salvageable, but at the same time I think it's too limited in scope and not ambitious enough to be of much help.

@Retrograde @ckeen Then we must all together find a new way to pay for the development of those browsers.

@dentaku @Retrograde

Yes, we could consider them public infrastructure and fund them similarily through public funding for example.
@Retrograde duckduckgo kinda prides its self on blocking trackers
@Retrograde Exactly why i'm moving away from FireFox as they have done just that with FireFox Suggest

@Retrograde @dentaku @galaxis
@ckeen
This has been a concern for lightweight FLOSS OS projects (especially alternatives to Linux and BSD) & to lightweight applications users for a long while. There are projects like fifth, netrider & surf that use webkit or mozilla code as a base and try to make their own browsers. If the different independent projects got together, one could probably have the manpower to accomplish something. It's unlikely there would be consensus on design goals though.

@lmemsm @Retrograde @dentaku @galaxis @ckeen the downside is that such a collaborativie effort would be also subject to takeover from microsoft and their sjw allies just like github and many projects on github have been

what's needed isn't fewer browser projects it's more effort into the ones that exist

@Retrograde @dentaku @galaxis
@ckeen
Lightweight browsers like lynx would work fine if people adhered to using simple HTML/XHTML standards & made sure sites were accessible even to visually impaired users. Campaigns like anybrowser.org/ are out there. Most web developers aren't interested in making sure people can access their sites. They're interested in using the latest features and trends and figure, if you can't access their sites, you're not the types of customers they want.

@Retrograde I just wanted to say that Gemini might be the solution but I see you are already on the platform! Yet your server is not reachable atm.

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