Fantasy Web Browser

Continuing the discussion from Retro/fringe OS communities as an oppurtunity for more ethical Webcraft:

Okay, let’s discuss our fantasy browser!

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No home to phone

First point: I’d like a browser that does not connect to a network service unless it asks the user, and even then it should be for practical, privacy-respecting security reason (such as an update check, though that should probably be done through the OS).

There is no reason to geolocate or take stats from a user by default. Those should be opt-in services, probably add-ons. Why geolocate millions of people that don’t want to be?! And no one will listen to your install stats, they compare top 1 million sites’ traffic.

  • From the prior thread I think the core HTML5 Markeup spec, without any of the other modules such a Canvas or WebRTC. If they must be included they should be off by default.
  • No javascript. Or off by default.
  • Should be highly portable across operating systems and architectures.
  • Transports as plugins.
  • By default all resources on a page should be isolated to the same domain.
  • Integrated old school download manager.
  • Greasemonkey support.
  • Integrated adblocking.
  • No URL subterfuge. (Hiding transport).
  • Integrated Tor as an option.
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That’s pretty interesting, because then we could throw a lot of neat, interesting protocols at web pages.

It occurred to me during the other thread. It also kind of falls out of the design of some extreme-unix-philosophy browsers like surf who use things like curl as their network backend.

It’s struck me recently id like to see web-documents and more online communications somehow go purely peer to peer in a way thats easily consumable and publishable by anyone. No server setup, no need to trust another person to setup a VPS for you.

HTML can survive that, but it’s definitely post-HTTP(S) stuff.

LiteWeb idea.


I wish browsers didn’t automatically search for favicons. Not everyone on the web wants to be a brand, and filling error logs with 404s sucks as a default behavior.


Anyone know of a use case for popups? I can’t think of one.

Javascript popups should die in a fire entirely. target attributes on links that pop out to new windows/tabs have a few use case.

Directly related to my dayjob, with online learning systems target=“_blank” is useful for linking to content or additional resources without say taking a student out of the flow of the course content their immersed in. Pretty useful if you want to provide links in the middle of a step by step lab, or in a test/quiz and not have a bunch of students loose their place or restart a non submitted test/quiz/survey.

I’ve never built a popup myself, so I don’t know how it works, so I may be thinking of a different use case. Tiny popups, die in fire. But tabs or new windows, hmmm, I wasn’t thinking of those. I want that space to be explored in the client (for instance, a target could be expanded on, maybe load locally in a beat way, like the browser downloading docs and caching them).

I specifically thought of small windows. They are either ads, or poor design.

I think most of those are entirely javascript driven, or atleast often are now a days. When firefox first introduced popup blocking I seem to recall there was kind of a javascript arms race for a bit to see who could write javascript to confuse/bypass the popup blocker.

I like to think we’d be able to plugin and combine protocols. For instance, I’d like to use the syncthing block protocol, where available. Gawd, our fantasy browser is awesome!


Been reading PDFs on my phone lately, or rather trying to, and hating all PDF creators.

Then I thought how one could make such an amazing reading experience if they marked up their content correctly and let user-assistance options guide the experience… that would be nifty!

But it would require JavaScript. That got me thinking… only load a single .js file, and only if under a certain size. Make it reasonable, but small. Make it so I can swipe through the photos already loaded and marked up correctly on the page, but not large enough to load a Turing-complete VR stack in memory.

Have you ever looked at the LibreJS project? Its a Firefox/Gnu IceCat extension that does analysis on javascript. It only loads scripts that declare themselves to be FLOSS or trivial javascript. That last bit is a little relevant because their trying to define and develop a system for recognizing and only running trivial javascript.


My favorite javascript is trivial javascript.


I just got annoyed about the favicon thing, wanted to mention it again. :grimacing:

Would be cool to signal to user agents: this site doesn’t use these features, please don’t use resources to check.