On the "Mozilla" subject. Let's face it, we don't have a mature and truly open browser nowadays. Despite the fact that Mozilla exist as foundation they're on the quest for revenue. And this is the main problem.
We need an open browser which is not driven by revenue, backed by foundation, and truly Open Source. And it must be just a browser, no bloatware, no tracking, no commercialization at all.
The web is a public place and we need a browser for public.

@lig Developing a modern browser costs a lot of money. The way Mozilla Foundation earns their money is very different from a normal company. But of course, I would love to see competition. You should start a new browser.

@kaffeeringe I doubt it costs more than developing an OS. And if there would exist some truly Open Source OSes that fact could prove that is possible to do the same with a browser as well. Wait a minute...

@lig Someone calculated that Fedora 9 would cost 11 billion Dollars if you tried to redevelop it. Either you pay for it directly or you have to wait for people to give this much work to your project. Both is hard.

@kaffeeringe Well, it's not easy for sure. However, we see a lot of Open Source projects being developed and a lot of them would cost thousands and millions to develop commercially.

@lig Genuine question: can we say that Linux development is not backed by revenue? I would think that most contributions don't come from devs in their free time nowadays...

Overall I think it's even worse than you say: Firefox is one of the very few "mainstream" alternatives to Google-controlled Chromium. On the one hand, people who "don't care" use Chrome because it's faster, and people who "care" don't want Mozilla because they need revenue, don't get enough donations, and therefore use ads.

@wizzwizz4 @lig @kaffeeringe Netsurf and Dillo can't render anything properly. They aren't even compliant with HTML5 and CSS3, so you can't even really use them on most JavaScript free pages. I tried. At that point l
Links is a better option. Because Links doesn't have to bother with CSS pages don't look as broken and it mostly works well for passive content viewing, Even if most of the time pages can still look a bit weird.

@person @lig @kaffeeringe I meant as projects to work on; they're not fully-featured browsers yet. (Dillo may never be one; I'm not sure that's its goal. NetSurf seems to want to be one.)

@wizzwizz4 Dillo only aims to fully support HTML and CSS. The problem is that it can't do that at the moment. Despite first being released all the way back 1999 it's still not fully HTML and CSS compliant, it couldn't even render Netsurf is in better shape (it can render, but it still doesn't work for things like nitter. I hope over time they gain more developers. Personally I would love to mostly use Dillo. It was blazing fast.

@lig @kaffeeringe The key difference I see between browsers & other OS's is architectural: in the OS space we've been able to heavily parallelise our development because the pieces are largely independant of each other. A "pick the piece which interests you" approach! Heck, this appears to hold for any of the Linux kernel subsystems whenever I peek into one.

I can't say the same about the architectures prescribed by the DOM APIs & other webstandards.

@lig It can be disabled, and ads aren't bad per se, as long as it's distinguished as such. This is a great read on the issue:

I don't see why we should trash on firefox for every decision they make.. they are still the best alternative browser FOSS has to offer against Google dominance. Which is no easy task.

I don't see anything wrong with them trying to earn for the work they do.

@lig They are the main developers behind the engine, they have every right to monetize themselves. But by the nature of there will always be forks with telemetry removed, people who dislike the decisions can exercise the freedom of modifying the code to their liking.

Let us be more "Not my taste, but understandable" than "Not my taste, so unacceptable" as a community.

The codebase is a mess though. They really need to refactor it.

@Aman9das @lig Unfortunately monetizing a browser is seemingly impossible. People are too used to getting them for free so you can't charge for them, barely anyone donates, and unless you are Google or Apple you can't offer the kind of ecosystem integration they have that would drive people in.

@lig I think the big issue is that web standards have become so bloated and complex that you NEED a monied org to build a program that can follow them to a level that people can actually use it.

It's a big enough project that you can't expect even dedicated volunteers to build something like that for free in their spare time while still maintaining a day job to cover living expenses.

Personally, I would love to start seeing governments cooperating and offering grants for public software

@lig I'm developing my own browser engine(s) for unusual mediums.

I've got text-to-speech & back working very nicely, using eSpeak NG, Voice2JSON, & my own CSS engine under the name "Rhapsode"! Currently developing a webpage debugger in preparation for a TV & ereader browser engine.

A custom browser seems eminantly achievable & versatile if you:
- Drop JS support
- Don't worry about parsing invalid HTML correctly
- Move webforms out of line


@lig Other indie browser engines I know of are:

- Lynx & the other commandline options
- Dillo
- Netsurf
- Weasyprint (outputs PDFs)

@alcinnz this strongly correlates with my thoughts about possible approach to this. Especially, relative to JS.

Firefox's code is open source. If you don't like the way they build their packages, then build your own. No need for a whole new browser. Debian did exactly that with Iceweasel when they didn't like Firefox's trademark policy.

It's work. But much less than developing a new browser.

@lig yeah I think this is too utopian.

Even though it’s a browser, by a non profit, they still have to pay people for what they do, they also have other bills to pay as well.

@lig this isn’t my point? They still have to make money somehow

@louiscouture if non-profit seeks revenue in the same place as corporations do this non-profit becomes for-profit. At least, in the way they act which makes no difference for user.
That's my issue. If it's non-profit it could try other ways to generate revenue and, imo, it should.

@lig non profit needs money to pay for various expenses. To create a browser isn’t free. You have to make money in order to pay for your expenses.

@lig @louiscouture What are you proposing as an alternative then?


a browser as it is today is too big

it's not affordable of ot for a really small number of organizations

the web, as it is today, is lost

@lig This.

One small clarification: Mozilla is two legal entities: a foundation (Mozilla Foundation) and a half-billion-dollar/year (nearly all of that money from Google and other surveillance capitalists) corporation (Mozilla Corporation) whose CEO makes over $3M/year.

But yes, if we want a true alternative, we need a publicly-funded independent org to make a browser for the public good. I wonder if there's a way we can make building browsers easier to do. I think part of what makes browsers so insanely complex is javascript. Maybe we abandon javascript and move toward something more simpler and controllable in WASM?

@richard I guess, it's alright to start developing a browser which uses a generic interface for embedding a JS (or any scripting) library.

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