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!


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.


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.

Discover surf (a web browser)

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!