We need a multi-national, publicly funded research organization akin to CERN/within CERN, whose whole purpose is to develop a state-of-the-art browser that's not Chromium-based. Make #Google follow our lead, rather than us having to follow Google.
If the Web could be developed using public money, why not a modern browser? Public funding would remove the Mozilla problem of them having to depend on Google.
With the amount of money governments waste annually, we could fund this AND Mozilla.
There could be incentive problems here as well, of course, like governments threatening to withdraw funding in case a certain backdoor isn't included, or if it blocks ads too aggressively and some corporate-funded 'representative' starts receiving pushback from the industry etc, but which is why it would need to:
- Be funded by a wider variety of states than the Five/Nine Eyes members.
- Developed entirely in the open, each important change reviewed by a committee of experts from the public.
@MatejLach But how would you unseat Chrome at this point? Google have the incumbent advantage and the platform advantage. Technical excellence is only part of the story.
@cbowdon That's definitely going to be a challenge, but #Google did some smart marketing by having ads IRL, like in trains and such, even in smaller countries if the % of connected users was high enough.
Since it would be publicly funded, you could also install it on computers in publicly-funded educational institutions. A lot of software spreads by children installing it for their parents. If students are using it at school, they're likely to install it at home.
@MatejLach Ooh that last one is a good one. That’s what MS/Apple/Google are trying after all. You wouldn’t necessarily need CERN-like levels of funding to achieve it.
@MatejLach What would be the point? It will not be significantly less evil when it's funded by governments instead of a big corp.
@TsRoe Nothing in particular, in fact it is the best existing option, am a fan, but #Mozilla is financially dependent on #Google, forcing them to experiment with alternative revenue streams that sometimes lead to bad decisions, and due to low marketshare they have less say in the standards bodies than I'd like.
That's why am either pro publicly funding #Mozilla, or having a new browser altogether be an equalizing player and public funding makes searching for questionable revenue streams moot.
@MatejLach Of course that might be a solution but it won't happen anytime soon I guess. And again it's waiting for "someone" to fix it. I wonder why the open community doesn't manage to get focussed here and do just that, rather than having fun in fragmentation and re-inventing the wheel of yet another frontend development framework, yet another fediverse server, yet another you-name-it for the mere sake of it.
It’d be cheaper to just maintain an audited fork of Chrome that doesn’t phone home and has less access to the host system.
Just recently there was a change they want to merge into Chromium where only pre-defined ad-blocking lists, consisting of statically defined addresses would work.
You wouldn't want to work with such a codebase. Moreover auditing Chromium would be so expensive that the price difference vs dev might not be worth it.
@suetanvil That said, pouring resources into Servo, or sponsoring #Firefox development to the point where #Mozilla doesn't fill the need to search for shady alternative revenue sources would be an acceptable compromise.
However ideally, am for as many independent browser engines existing as possible, so no one is dominant enough to abuse their power.
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