Related (chat with Andreas Kling about SerenityOS and Ladybird):
However I don't understand why many people are longing for Ladybird as another free browser. There are already some and Firefox is losing marketshare every day. So please do use it.
Ok, I guess Mozilla Foundation's running the Firefox project is not to everyones liking, so that would be a valid reason. But not to throw out the baby with the bathwater.
Firefox is a great browser and the only reason I sometimes use Chrome is that more and more sites require Chrome (e.g. Teams).
I think it's more excitement about the idea that it is possible to write a web browser from scratch, than about this specific browser. This is just one of the most promising implementations of that idea.
I am very much team Firefox and think it is important to protect and promote it as much as possible. But I don't think the attention that people are giving to Ladybird would otherwise be dedicated to Firefox. Maybe when Ladybird gets more functional and stable they might become competitors but not right now.
IMO it is exactly because building a fully featured browser from scratch is considered basically impossible today, that we so desperately need Firefox to succeed.
Teams works for me in firefox on linux if I change the UserAgent with this add-on:
For these urls
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/85.0.4183.102 Safari/537.36 Edg/85.0.564.51
Some of the discontent comes from Firefox not being very interesting compared to other browsers.
The various Chrome-clones are doing interesting things like adding toggleable vertical tabs built in (Vivaldi, Edge) or even vertical-only (Arc) and Arc is playing with using native OS widgets for UI across platforms for example.
There’s also functionality advantages. All the chrome-clones have better out of the box profile support, as does Safari as of the last major release or so. Safari also IMO has a better stock tab groups implementation than any of the other major browsers.
Firefox can be fixed up to support these things, but you’ll need multiple extensions and if you want to make it all look good (e.g. hiding the ugly sidebar header, extending sidebar into toolbar area, configuring Sidebery/TST/etc), a substantial amount of tinkering is needed. More of this should be rolled into the base browser and “just work”.
I use Firefox, but I still want more browser engine diversity. Blink and Webkit have a significant shared ancestry, and the only other major one is Gecko.
Adding another free browser changes nothing. People don’t choose free browsers because people don’t choose. The owner of the platform chooses (with the notable exception of Windows where Google has spent billions of dollars to advertise it).
> However I don't understand why many people are longing for Ladybird as another free browser. There are already some and Firefox is losing marketshare every day. So please do use it.
Having more options in the FOSS world is always a good thing. Firefox unfortunately lost market share because the Mozilla Foundation does absolutely nothing to promote it, and that's not going to change until they find a better source of revenue than Google.
> However I don't understand why many people are longing for Ladybird as another free browser.
I'm longing for a free web browser *engine*.
Neither Firefox nor Chrome like being used as a component of something else. Chrome is used by Qt, but only by force through a pile of hacks.
I'm really hoping a new project drops that nonsense and just allows rendering HTML to a texture without needing a big corporation to maintain a patch set to make it actually possible.
I'm not sure if longing is the right word, and I think you may be confusing excitement and buzz around Serenity and Ladybird as longing for another free browser, when it is more accurately excitement and curiosity about a technically very impressive project.
That's strange, I sometimes (once every few months) use teams with Firefox on Linux and it seems to work fine.
Firefox isn't made, run, or owned by the Mozilla Foundation, though. You're thinking of the Mozilla corporation, which is a for-profit company working on the Firefox product.
The Mozilla Foundation is a separate advocacy and campaigning non-profit (which is also why donating to the foundation means your money goes towards advocacy and campaigns, not Firefox)
It's time to sunset Firefox and usher in The Next Age of libre browsers.
Mozilla has betrayed FOSS for Google monies, at last the chickens come home...
This is fine.
Seriously though, that's insane.
Author here - this figure is insane but also a bit of an exaggeration. I calculated it by running 'cloc' on the source code directory, not excluding node_modules. Many modules in there are actually unused or only used at build time. The built output (from Nuxt) that is actually run is much more compact (though partly minified so line counts are not that interesting). Also, Nuxt specifically is a bit overkill here, but greatly improved my productivity developing this website (and was chosen because it aligns with our other web applications, so less 'innovation tokens' ).
The irony is that I clicked on the website and it looks like you could make it with wordpress...
I put it to you that the web browser and the operating system are the two most sophisticated applications ever built.
No doubt it’s possible to build a simple web browser that gets some 50% of the job done and could serviceabley display some websites.
However there would a very very long tail of detail and nuance and edge cases that would be very very hard to catch up.
This is why you should use Firefox and we should never lose Firefox.
If you don’t follow it closely, the pace of new feature development in web browsers is stunning. There is a huge amount of new stuff going in constantly.
I’m not knocking this project….. developers can build whatever they like. I’m just observing that the web browser is already the Pyramids of Giza or some other such gigantic human endeavor.
It's been a while since I had a need to know, but Firefox is certainly over 20 million lines of code by now. The web platform has a lot of features to support, both standardized and proprietary, and it needs to also work when web authors mis-write their sites and apps. (Forgot to close that tag, Firefox still works, that kind of stuff.)
What are the chances that a group of people come together to build another 20 million line browser? I'm with you in thinking not great. I'm also with you in supporting Firefox. That shouldn't be surprising as I'm one of the guys that started Firefox back in 2002 at Netscape when I was a member of [email protected]
Ladybird is doing an excellent job of demonstrating that the putative unreproducible complexity of the modern web browser is just FUD.
I'm glad they didn't listen to all the people repeating the conventional wisdom that writing a modern web engine from scratch is impossible. Success is the best proof.
But is it really necesary to use the such a bloated piece of software as a web browser? i think it would be better to discard the whole web and replace it with the gemini protocol.
It can do 99.99% of what you use the web for with less resource usage. you can implement your own gemini client in 100 lines of code.
For the remainder 0.01% of stuff, use a dedicated application. Dont trust it? Use it with docker or similar.
As far as Im concerned all the browser bloat is worse than useless. Much of it is just to spy on you. Im sure these dedicated spying apps, you call web browsers, are deliberately full of security holes so they can upload your data to their servers
Looking at the screenshots, it’s crazy good. I only frequent 5-6 sites on a daily basis; will actually daily drive LadyBird if at least 3 work
He was lucky that the fix was to disable the functionality.
More likely would have been that it was non-compliant but chrome renders it anyway.
And from there starts the work of figuring out how exactly to make it bug-compliant with Chrome.
Very cool project, but this article isn’t really about complexity, and complexity makes a background appearance at best.
Author here, I guess I could have chosen a better title. This article is about diving into complexity that seems insurmountable at first, with an engineer's mindset.
Engineers don't do stuff for fun, they do it for money.
no true scotsman
>> I think it's more excitement about the idea that it is possible to write a web browser from scratch
Depends on your definition of “a web browser”.
It’s not possible to clone Firefox or Chrome without huge huge resources and time and effort.
It is probably possible to make something like a web browser from 20 years ago.
I think Ladybird has already surpassed that mark. Maybe not in 100% of attributes, technically modern Chrome/Firefox don't even meet that mark, but it's also already gone well beyond in most of them. This including that they are doing everything in house from the image decoding to the font rendering (well, on Serenity - for other platforms like Linux/macOS they have QT bridge their implementation to existing stacks).
Still a long ways to go to be a Chrome/Firefox for sure but that it's already beyond what you suppose might be possible is just the point of why it's its own kind of excitement.
That might be true, but if that's where we've found ourselves it seems like the best course of action is to start over with a fresh web spec focused on staying as simple as possible.
Browsers have never had a sustainable revenue model. If we're at a point where building one is so complex that it requires a massive resource investment we're setup to eventually be left with only one or two highly centralized and controlled browsers. That defeats the whole purpose of the web.
Changing the user agent seems to make things work more often than not in the case of sites/apps like this. My inclination is that most of them don’t actually have hard browser requirements and just haven’t been tested against anything but Chrome and the devs (or those managing them) would prefer to not change that.
It seems to work for me on FF / linux out of the box, without any user agent change.
Chrome is also very big on macOS even though it's not preinstalled, although yeah, that also has to do with the marketing. It seems hard to find good stats on this but it's definitely in the web developer zeitgeist. On mobile, though, people do pretty much just use whatever comes installed.
It's disingenuous to not explain the connection between these organizations. You're making it sound like they both happen to be named "Mozilla", when the reality is much more nuanced and interdependent, but in terms of their current funding and leadership, as well as their history.
No, it's not. Having worked at the foundation for a decade: to the vast majority of folks, the difference that matters is that "one makes Firefox, the other does campaigning/advocacy/outreach".
The history behind why there are two different entities is fascinating, but also doesn't change the fact that they are two completely different companies with completely different org charts and completely different focuses, united under the Mozilla manifesto.
(And even in the tech crowd, far too many people have no idea that there are two different things called Mozilla, and that their donations to the Foundation go to "the things the Foundation does", not Firefox)
Maybe we should wait for a viable alternative before sunsetting things and ushering in ages.
You can make anything short of million users per day ecomm with WordPress, and even that would only take a few hardy engineers willing to put on waders.
I thank you for your service!
Use it for a week. It's not really a complete web browser, IMO, kind of like trying to navigate a massive Microsoft Office document repository with Open Office in 2004.
It isn't finished, that's true. But my bet is that at some point it will be.
The web browser is one of humanities greatest achievements and I don't mean that ironically.
The more you understand about the modern web browser and how stunningly powerful it is, the more you should be amazed.
And far from bloated, the modern web browser is trim and fast given the unbelievable feature range.
And if you don't trust something you're free not to use it.
When I see Chrome or Firefox and I deeply gladdened.
Go back 25 years and any time you wanted to do something at the user interface in any context it was hard and glitchy and maybe couldn't be done at all. Want to do something in a user interface today? Chances are the browser can do it.
Truly breathtakingly beautiful and powerful software and I love it.
maybe, but it absolutely won't happen, so why bother suggesting it?
Why won't it happen? If everyone agrees that what we have isn't right and will only get worse, are we supposed to march down that path anyway?
I'm aware and I hate it. I have zero interest in most of the crap the foundation gets up to, but I keep sending them money because it's the only way to "support Firefox". I want to support Firefox but I resent every cent I send them because I know they're wasting it on irrelevant crap.
I would really love to see a mass resignation of Firefox engineers, who then set up a new nonprofit + ff fork, and I could just switch my attention and my donations over there.
You can't fight for an open web just by making a browser. As dire as the Firefox market share is today, it'd be so much worse if the Foundation didn't spend its time and effort making sure the folks who don't give a shit, but should (e.g. politicians, law makers, lobbyists, news outlets, etc. etc.) learn why they should give a shit about the open web.
It sucks that you can't donate to Firefox directly, but calling what the foundation does "irrelevant" feels like you're not looking at the very real big picture of everyone wanting to lock down the web, all the time, everywhere.
Now you're misrepresenting things. The Foundation fully and wholly owns the Corporation and if the Corporation ever strayed from the Foundation's intentions, the Foundation could literally shut it down or sell it off. Leaving off that critical detail -- and I was an original MoFo and original MoCo employee that predates anyone else here, suggests you've got some agenda here other than informing folks about the corporate structures.
It may feel like an important detail, but not one that's realistically relevant? In no real world would the foundation ever sell the corporation off? O_o
And no one at the foundation has any say over what happens to Firefox (certainly not during my tenure) which was the original point: the comment said "I guess Mozilla Foundation's running the Firefox project is not to everyones liking", which perpetuates the mistaken belief that the foundation manages Firefox.
(My agenda is mostly to get folks to understand that the foundation has nothing to do with Firefox, something that isn't particularly well-communicated to this day)
But the Corporation is wholly owned by the Foundation, isn't it? In that context, I don't see how it makes sense to see them as completely separate. The Corporation is answerable to the Foundation, the Corporation's profits go to the Foundation and I imagine it is similarly possible for the Foundation to fund the Corporation (unless its charter prohibits it or something).
Corporation profits don't go to the Foundation. That's not allowed. The Foundation owns the Corporation and you are correct that MoCo ultimately answers to MoFo which is their full owner, but tax law doesn't let a non-profit create a for profit to generate funnel commercial activity cash back to the non-profit as that defeats the purpose of having non-profits and giving them tax exemptions, so the Mozilla Foundation gets its money from fundraising while the Mozilla Corporation gets its money from commercial agreements. Those pools of money are almost entirely separate. Your overall point stands. MoCo ultimately answers to MoFo in the big picture.
Yes, claiming they're separate is like saying Walmart and Walmart.com are separate. Except in that case, Walmart only owns 88% of the .com... so thats actually more independent than the Mozilla Corp.
Honestly I didn't realize that you worked personally with the Mozilla Foundation, so I'll defer to you (and color myself surprised).
My apologies, and thanks for the information.
Which one fired most Rust developers?
The foundation or the corporation?
Corp. The Foundation doesn't make products.
I think it’s mostly the ‘everybody agree’ part. There are millions worth of years of effort pit into today’s webpages.
A more likely successful path is to standardize markdown links, and just let browsers start showing markdown natively. Throw in a simple optional style sheet for good measure.
Yes, but sometimes, just sometimes, I. Want. To. Support. The. Freaking. Browser.
I realize that there's some creative bookkeeping and bureaucratic barriers set up so that the only entity that can meaningfully support Firefox financially is Google in the end, but I hate the fact.
I'll probably donate to Andreas instead.
I'd much rather have the option to sponsor specific bugzilla issues, to be honest, I don't want to give Mozilla any money if it means it just pads out the CEO salary a bit (here's hoping whoever the new CEO will be takes the job in the understanding that it's not a million dollar position, with a sensible salary instead).
If they ditched the other stuff, maybe they could afford to run Firefox without taking money from Google. That sounds much more interesting to me than acquiring pocket, for example. Or running thunderbird. Or any of the various grab bag of random charity type projects they have going on at any time - I'm sure some of them are interesting, but actually I just like Firefox and want it to stick around. I'm not interested in lobbying the government.