A hoy hoy! Our old friend Nick Nisi does his best to bring up TypeScript, Vim & Tmux as many times as possible while we discuss a new batch of web browsers, justify why we like the ones we do & try to figure out what it’d take to disrupt the status quo of Big Browser.
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- Digging through Nick Nisi’s tool box (JS Party #278)
- Google gets its way, bakes a user-tracking ad platform directly into Chrome | Ars Technica
- Arc from The Browser Company
- Sizzy — The browser for web developers
- Polypane, The browser for ambitious web developers
- Orion Browser
- Vivaldi Browser | Powerful, Personal and Private web browser
- The Ladybird browser project
- Horse Browser
- Web Browser Quiche on the App Store
- Nyxt browser: The hacker’s browser
- Opera browser goes free with version 5.0 launch • The Register
- Nick’s vim + tmux video
- Vim with Me playlist
- Our viral short on Instagram Reels
- Gabe Kangas on Mastodon
- Rich Harris on JS Party
|Chapter Number||Chapter Start Time||Chapter Title|
|2||00:38||2x Clark Kent glasses|
|3||01:12||Back to the Future II|
|4||02:28||"Gimme a Pepsi Free"|
|5||03:26||Crispin Glover follow-up|
|6||04:17||Start here if you just want browser talk|
|7||04:21||Hold on a second...|
|11||07:51||Safari is not the best browser|
|12||08:32||Chrome v Firefox|
|13||09:55||horse_js is dead|
|14||10:18||The TypeScript "Exodus"|
|15||12:19||New breed of browsers|
|16||13:39||All praise Safari|
|17||17:46||Safari's market share|
|20||22:45||Too many extentions|
|21||23:49||It's not what Apple wants|
|23||28:02||No Chrome since '16|
|24||28:19||Ad trackers in browsers|
|25||30:12||Your data & 3rd parties|
|26||31:00||Tight cloud integration|
|27||33:21||Ads on Smart TVs|
|31||40:55||A FREE TV?!|
|32||41:52||Browser business models|
|34||45:28||Polypane & Sizzy|
|35||49:16||Confessions of Nick Nisi|
|36||51:26||Opera history trivia!|
|37||53:38||A browser for dev is a good idea|
|38||53:58||We own the ++?|
|39||55:42||Mark HackerNoon as spam|
|40||57:30||How Zed does it|
|41||58:16||Warp vs vim & tmux|
|42||58:57||Nick's vim + tmux vid|
|44||1:05:33||More "Vim with me"!|
|45||1:07:01||What do we want?|
|50||1:13:22||Gabe Kangas on Mastodon|
|51||1:15:54||It takes talent|
|52||1:16:43||How long will browsers be relevant?|
|53||1:18:33||Why do we care?|
|54||1:20:34||Nyxt & Quiche|
|56||1:23:43||Should we just take it?|
|57||1:24:07||Momentum is a fickle thing|
|58||1:25:00||We don't know|
|59||1:26:21||The Arc club|
|60||1:27:47||Why Adam likes newer Macs|
|61||1:29:31||What is your tab layout?|
|62||1:33:00||Worryied about crotchety Adam|
|63||1:33:44||No forks of TypeScript|
|64||1:34:02||Speaking of the perfect tweet|
|65||1:34:50||Kids read everything|
|66||1:35:26||A Linux-like take on browser|
|68||1:39:46||When to upgrade your iPhone|
|69||1:40:18||No more lightning|
|71||1:41:34||Where to find Nick|
|72||1:43:35||Coming up next (Changelog++!)|
Play the audio to listen along while you enjoy the transcript. 🎧
We have like the same glasses, Nick.
Yeah, they look very similar.
Are they Nike?
They’re the same glasses.
You guys literally have the same glasses? What are the odds?
It’s that on the little thingy right there…
Yeah, they look the same.
I really only need these to stare at a computer.
My wife likes the whole Clark Kent aspect of me. I get to be this Adam, and then that Adam, with contacts in.
You’re Superman at home.
That’s right. I go into my phone booth, and out I come Clark Kent.
Speaking of phone booths, I watched Back To The Future Part Two with my kids this week.
I did, too.
Did you really?
I did. It was on one of the –
That’s so weird. You guys have the same glasses, and we watch the same movies…
[laughs] It was on on like whatever, Disney TV thing that they had.
Oh, okay… We actually chose to. I thought “Well, it’s about time for them to have the Back to the Future trilogy in their history.” So we went one, and then we watched two… And two is a different experience now, because, you know, 2015. When I was when I first watched it, I was probably –
It was the future.
Yeah, I was probably 10 years old, it was probably 1992… I don’t know when it came out, but you know… It was casting you forward. Now it’s casting you back. And so my kids didn’t like it as much as I did when I was a kid, because I was so excited about the things that might be, and they’re all like “This isn’t accurate. We don’t have any of this stuff.” But one thing they did have - the reason why I said speaking of, is because they did go into a phone booth to make a call. And so they totally missed smartphones in terms of prediction. It’s like, they still had a phone booth that was used for calling people. Which is a thing of the past.
Yeah. Aside from the hoverboard; it was like the only really futuristic true prediction. I mean…
And the self-lacing shoes. Those are cool.
Yeah… That’s because it was a product placement.
There was so much product placement in that movie. Did you notice, Nick?
Yeah, just so much.
Like, “I’m gonna have a Pepsi.”
Do you know where 1640 Riverside–
Are you gonna order something, kid?
Yeah. Give me a tab.
A tab? I can’t give you a tab unless you order something.
Alright, give me a Pepsi Free.
You want a Pepsi, pal? You’re gonna pay for it.
[laughs] Another thing you don’t notice as a kid is like how much product placement there was. I feel like they’re more subtle with product placements now… Maybe not. I don’t watch too many popcorn movies…
They are a little subtle. In some cases, they’re heavy-handed.
I imagine like the MCU is heavy-handed with it.
They’re hit and miss with that… But the thing I just constantly feel like I’m just hit over the head with are all of the amazing shows on Apple TV. They’re amazing shows, but it’s just like “iMac over here. iPhone right here.” It’s just non-stop.
Oh, it’s like Apple gear?
Is it really? I didn’t notice that.
Did you watch the Back to the Future Part Two with the lens of the dad being replaced?
I did. I appreciate you gave me that lens, because I totally noticed it… I don’t know if you’ve heard this, Nick, but there was like contract disputes between Crispin Glover and the people, and so he wasn’t actually in the movie. It’s somebody else, upside down. They put him upside down so you’d never notice. And of course, he’s also in clips, because they go back to 1985, and ‘55. And that’s like previous footage, you know? So he’s in it in those ways… But yeah, that was cool… And then I told my kids afterwards, and they’re like “Wow!” and I was like “Yeah… I’m smart. I knew that. Mister Stacoviak told me that.”
That’s right. On Friends. On this show.
Anyways, phone booths… They missed it.
Yeah, right. Wow.
Well, let’s talk web browser, shall we?
Let’s do it.
Let’s do it.
We have our old friend, Nick Nisi, the JS Party animal himself, the – hold on a second… Your browser is not letting you record.
I’m in Arc.
Recording an Arc?
Dude, that’s risky business. Actually, I did it all day yesterday, so I’m also risky business.
We needed to have that recorded. That would have been a good clip.
As we talk about browsers, yeah.
His local is still going. We can probably use this.
My local is going.
Ask Nick Nisi to refresh the page.
Nick Nisi, refresh the page.
Oh, I just told him, I didn’t ask him. Sorry about that.
Needs to ask.
I declared it.
He’s gone. He’s back.
What do you think happened here?
That’s a great question.
I don’t want it to happen again…
Did Arc say anything?
I think I know what happened, actually.
Okay. Debug this.
I clicked the link… Well, first off, when I opened Arc, I clicked the link from the calendar to go into this… And Arc does this happy little thing called a mini Arc, or a little Arc, or something?
Right. I couldn’t figure out how to work that.
What is that?
It was not the real Arc. Like, when you open it, it’s lik “Oh, here’s like a preview window.” So if you’re doing something quick, you can just do that and close it, and it’s gone.
So I was actually having this whole thing loaded in there, but then I clicked another link to go rubber stamp a PR real quick before we started… And it was like “Oh, I should take over that little Arc, because I’m the new link.”
Ah, I see.
But Riverside was like “No, I’m recording. You have to –” you know, the on exit, or whatever handler.
Too tricky. Too clever. By far.
“No, I’m recording.” I love the inner voice of these browsers… “Nah, I’m recording…” [laughter]
Do you always personify software, Nick? Is that a thing you do?
I personify a lot of things, honestly.
Oh, that’s hilarious… “Nah, I’m recording…” Well, you’re still recording locally, though, Nick, right? The whole time?
Always be recording.
This is going in the show then, because this is browser discussions, like 101, isn’t it?
A new browser, trying to be useful, trying to be different, trying to be – I don’t know what it’s trying to be. Little… It’s trying to have a little preview window… And it ends up screwing something up for you. So one thing I’ve noticed – so by the way, we’ve been using different browsers, we’ve been kind of talking about different browsers… Some of them that Nick put in I didn’t use, because I’m not going to sign up for your paywall, I’m sorry. I was like “Yeah, I’ll try these”, and I actually false-started on both of them… Which we can talk about, but… What you realize is just how used to a specific tool – okay, I say “you realize”… What I realized is how much I’m just used to my workflows. And different is sometimes better, but in most cases I’m just like “Nah, I just don’t like it. I just don’t like different.” And so I’m kinda becoming crotchety, I think…
Definitely becoming crotchety. I resonate with that, Jerod. [laughter] We actually debated, because we were like “We’re gonna be too similar, I think, in our likes and dislikes for browsers, than Nick might be, because I think he’s just generally more adventurous with software…”
At least in this regard.
That’s why you got the invite, Nick, by the way. If you’re wondering why we invited Nick Nisi, our great friend from JS Party, the TS Party animal himself, is because he is adventurous with software and tools, and he’s always trying new stuff. So we thought you’d be a great person to talk about web browsers. Sorry, Adam, I cut you off. Keep going.
Oh, just to say that I resonated. I think that I’ve got my own workflows and simplicity with Safari, that I don’t think is the best browser, but it’s the best browser for me. I think it’s got a lot of pros, but it’s also got several cons… Like, I’ll often go to a website in particular, and it’s like “Well, this site doesn’t work.” Well, I immediately think “Okay, it’s a Safari issue, because they’re just generally –” I even hate to say this, they’re kind of behind, in a way, where Chrome and those things tend to lead with standards in some way, and WebKit’s kind of behind… Maybe I’m wrong. Am I wrong, Nick?
Oh, I’ve got words to say here…
Do you feel that?
Okay, let Nick talk. He’s just dying to say it. Yeah, get into it.
He’s got his hatchet out, he’s gonna whack some weeds, or something like that… Take us through the jungle. What’s the situation?
[laughs] Well, this morning, actually, in my work Slack, I was sharing some of the browsers that I shared with you, and they’re paywalled and all that, and I did try them all, and I recommended not actually trying them…
“I tried them all.”
…but one of them is just amazing from a design perspective. Anyway, somebody was saying that they use Firefox, and they’re like “Oh, if you want this thing that this browser does, just use this plugin for Firefox.” And then somebody else asked, “What happened to the Chrome versus Firefox war that was going on?” And I immediately jumped in and said “Firefox lost when they laid off their whole development team and decided to make a VPN instead.”
Yeah… They did kind of lose the thread there, didn’t they?
They did. Like, they were on top of things. I remember way back, years ago, when CSS Grid came out, and they were partnering with Wes Boss to get course material out for free on how to use it properly, and here’s all these amazing dev tool things that the Firefox DevTools can do, and all that… And then all of a sudden, it’s like 2022 and we’re all waiting around, like “We can use container queries as soon as Firefox ships them”, and they’re like last. And Safari, way up top. They’re great. They’re done. But we were just waiting for that last horse – not to foreshadow one of the browsers we’re going to talk about, but… To cross that finish line.
[09:55] [laughs] Well, that makes me think of HorseJS, which I won’t bring up, because HorseJS apparently seems to be dead, as a casualty of the hostile takeover of Twitter.com. Horse.js I think is dead at this point, but maybe if any listener out there knows HorseJS on a new social network, hook us up, because that was my favorite Twitter account for a long time.
And also, while we’re punning, if Nick sounds hoarse, it’s because he is recovering. He’s recovering from an illness… It was an airborne virus that he picked up called the TypeScript Exodus…
And it made him physically ill, seeing all these TypeScript bashers on the interwebs. No, just kidding, Nick.
Yeah. I haven’t been replying to anyone, but I’ve just been hoarse-yelling at my phone the entire time. “What are you talking about…?!”
[laughs] So those of you who are Changelog-only listeners and don’t partake of the JS Party, Nick and I have a dramatic foil that I invented - probably me - because he’s such a TypeScript fan that I became the TypeScript anti-fan…
…and just consistently troll him for years now, about TypeScript… Having very little knowledge of the thing. I don’t use it, because I can’t, because I’m against it. And one of my predictions was that the TypeScript backlash would happen.
Every lash has a backlash, okay? And TypeScript will have its day, and I’ll be here, waiting… Muhahaha!*
[laughs] And I’ll have a whiplash.*
Not actually because of anything about TypeScript, because this is just the cycle of software, is like the rise and fall… And we can’t wait for those blog posts of the switch to TypeScript, and then the inevitable switch off of TypeScript. Like, it’s just going to happen, and my prediction came true with the loudest voice in many communities; the blog of DHH last week… So… Not our topic for today.
Yeah… Some random guy…
[laughs] Nick’s favorite person. Not our topic for today, but just a funny troll. So I got my – my day in the sun is right now, so I have to rub it in. But Nick actually contracted unfortunately COVID last week while he was on vacation, so that’s why. That’s the actual reason why his voice is a bit hoarse today, so bear with us.
But we’re here to talk about web browsers, and Nick loves trying new tools… A great episode, actually, of JS Party, if you want to dip your toe in the water is when Kball went through your toolbox. Nick Nisi’s toolbox. I remember the name of that episode, but it’s like a deep dive into all of Nick’s tools, and it’s just amazing. All the stuff that you use, and try, and tweak, and can recommend; we can all learn a lot from you.
So we wanted to do a show about web browsers, because it seems like there’s a new kind of breed of browsers coming up, probably led by the Arc browser, which was in like a private waitlist-only beta for a long time, but has since become publicly available, and has some cool ideas in it, and just a different way of doing things that’s quite dramatic; maybe too dramatic for me, if I foreshadow the conversation a little bit. But I started thinking, “What do you want from a web browser? Why do we make these decisions?” etc. We thought it’d be a good conversational topic, and so we’ve invited Nick on; we’ve all been trying different browsers that we probably wouldn’t try otherwise, and thought we’d discuss, like what do we actually want out of a web browser? What priorities do we have? Because it seems like everybody’s a little bit different.
So there’s your setup, Nick… Do you want to kick off and just maybe give a little bit of your daily browsing use, and then maybe what you’ve been up to and what you’re thinking?
Yeah, absolutely. So I, just like Adam, am a devout Safari fan. I really like Safari…
Oh, my gosh.
No way. This is an upset.
So we’re three Safari users here… This is gonna be like the worst conversation of all time, as our listeners are all against us, and we praise Safari, the three of us together. Sorry, go ahead.
[14:00] No, we will have some – because I have to caveat it, that for the past couple of months I have actually been using Arc. But Safari is my true home. I’m just not brave enough to install the latest beta of macOS to get hold of the new Safari features, but possibly today… It might be announced when that’s coming out…
That’s right. It is an Apple announcement today as we record, yeah.
Yeah, you’re always the one that’s on the edge with macOS, too. That’s right. Me, I just finally got to venture lately –what is it lately, what is the latest one?
I have lost track of the names…
I think it’s Ventura.
Is it Ventura? Yeah, it took me a little while to get there. Yeah, Ventura.
Yeah, Ventura. 13.5 is Ventura.
Yeah. Whatever one was previous to this - it was Monterrey - I was stuck there for a bit, because I just couldn’t – I mean, when you do production, you kind of have to lag a little bit, because there’s always bugs in software, as we know.
And so we just can’t really handle that in production flows, because – it’s not my test machine, it’s a production machine in most cases.
Absolutely. Same. And for me, the thing I used to record, which does have some pretty deep internal - so it always breaks with every update - is Audio Hijack, and all of the Rogue Amoeba products; I have to install this Ace thing that can get into the sound, and all of that. And so they’re almost always broken. So as soon as they say, “Hey, our stuff is good”, then I’m like “Alright, let’s go.” Because everything else is fine. Browsers work, everything else works. Safari works…
So Safari is your daily driver, though. I can’t believe this. I was not expecting this, that Safari – I thought you’d be like the person that was against Safari. Okay, what makes you for Safari?
A couple of things. It’s not Chrome, which is like a big plus…
It syncs seamlessly with my phone, which is forced to run Safari no matter what. No matter what browser you install, it’s running Safari. It’s fast, it doesn’t take up my battery, and it feels good to use, because probably it’s not Chrome.
Okay, that’s it. That’s the show. We’re done. [laughter] That’s pretty much it. I mean, that’s how I feel about Safari as well. It’s like –
They kind of make you use it by force. Like, when you use anything on your – and I’m an iPhone user, I’m sure both of you are as well, based on what you’ve just said… Jerod, I know you are…
You can’t use anything else. Even if you install a different browser, you’re still using Safari. It’s just paint.
On your phone.
On your phone. Sorry, yes. To clarify.
The Safari rendering engine. Like, there’s aspects of it that can be quite a bit different, but the actual tech underneath whatever facade, the Firefox… Is there still a Firefox iOS app, or is that gone now?
It’s a good question.
There was a Firefox mobile browser. Anyways, there’s Chrome, there’s Brave, there’s Arc, probably, maybe, I don’t know….
It’s essentially just UX on top.
Yeah. They’re all Safari – the rendering engine, they’re all just like calling Safari calls on it.
By fiat, because Apple says so. Like, none of them want to be, but they are.
Yeah. Do I think that’s the best decision by Apple? No, probably not. But it does keep Safari relevant, I guess.
Well, I wonder if it’s really about – I mean, they can really layer anything “Because of security.” But I think it does really help the platform be more stable, to some degree. Like, if you had just a Wild Wild West with any old web browser, bring your own rendering engine, it might cause some issues. I could imagine there being security concerns with that, right?
…if just anything can be installed on iOS… And they’re really about control from the lens of security, but I think it’s also control. Right? To maintain the monopoly…
It’s good for Apple. It’s good for Apple, for multiple reasons, to do that. So that’s why they have that stranglehold. The side effect, Nick, is what you’ve just said - it’s actually, even though that’s unfortunate, it does provide enough of a market share for Safari that adds diversity at the Desktop OS browser – because otherwise, Safari wouldn’t matter enough at all, for anybody to care about it, and Chrome would basically have the monopoly there. Chromium would, specifically, right?
Right. Because Firefox does not have a mobile footprint, right? They have a desktop footprint still. I don’t know what the percentage is today. It shrunk from its heyday. It hit a high watermark of like 20%, 30%… It was like the percentage of global market share, Firefox’s high watermark was pretty high, wasn’t it? Maybe 15%? I’m just going off memory…
…back in the heyday. And then Chrome just came and just decimated the landscape… By being better. I mean, give it to Google… Chrome got its market share the old-fashioned way. Well, they had one small advantage, which was google.com. But the old fashioned way. They earned it, right?
I mean, Google Chrome came and took the market share because it was the better browser for many years. And kudos to them for doing that. They also had great real estate. It was up in that corner of google.com for years as well, Download Chrome. And that’s like billions and billions of dollars of free marketing. But aside from that, they also earned it.
And Firefox lost it… That’s kind of my story. So maybe – we don’t have much diversity in daily drivers, but we probably have maybe diversity in stories, because I wasn’t always a Safari user.
Well, and I don’t use exclusively Safari. I have several browsers open right now, but day to day I have at least three.
I’m a two-browser user. Just basically the dev and life are my two distinctions. And life also includes work, but dev is work as well… Some people have like a work browser and a life browser, or at least a profile… My distinction is more like development, and everything else.
See and that’s why I’m using Arc right now, because they have that great profile thing, where you can just switch between – you just swipe on the sidebar and you can go between like a work profile and a personal profile, for example. That’s coming to Safari in whatever the next version is. I don’t remember the name of it.
That’ll be amazing. And I have it on my iPad, and it’s really cool.
And the advantages of that are what?
I can be signed into one Google account over here and another one over here, and not have to use their weird little –
Yeah, their little switcher thing. I can have one profile completely dedicated to shopping, so that Amazon can follow me in that profile… But, I mean, they’re probably following me in every profile, but –
They got you.
…I feel better.
And they connect those profiles eventually as well…
This is a feature that’s been in Firefox for a long time as well, right? Profiles…
So Firefox has this feature. Safari has lacked it. I think Chrome also has this feature…
You can sign in, I believe, in Chrome, with your user. Like in the browser, not just into the website; into the browser.
They would love you to do that. Be signed in to your Google account the entire time you’re browsing. They would love that.
Right now I’m Person 1 in my Chrome. Person 1. Not signed in.
So not a unique feature of Arc, but a very cool feature that – I don’t know where it began. I know that it was a big deal and Firefox added it. I know Chrome’s had it for a long time… Maybe not as slick. The thing about Arc as a new browser is it’s just slick. Everything it does is like thought through with a design aspect that is very appreciative… Which honestly is why I don’t use Firefox these days, is I just – I’m sorry, y’all; I appreciate all of the years of effort. I just find it to be unpalatable to my eyes. I just think it’s ugly, and I just don’t like to open – I just don’t like to launch the app. I love the icon, the Firefox icon. It’s so cool.
Yeah. It’s had its day.
But as a Firefox user for many years, I was like – and I was a getfirefox.com guy. Like, tell your parents, tell your friends. Quit using IE. Get Firefox. So I was a converter.
Me too, Jerod. That’s crazy.
Well, I was a diehard GetFirefox way back in the day. I was really into this grassroots movement of better browser, tabs even…
Tabs. Tabs were the bomb. And then extensions, or add-ons…
All the plugins… DownThemAll… I used to download a lot of stuff back in those days, so I had DownThemAll in…
Yeah, download them all. I remember that one.
That was a lot of fun.
Stumble Upon, yeah.
Did you guys have the Stumble Upon extension, where you’d hit a button and it’d send you to a new website over and over again? That was amazing back in college. I was so bored.
Firefox Standalone, that I put on a flash drive…
That was awesome.
Firefox Standalone and plug it into school computers. Like “I’m not using this thing. I’m using Firefox Standalone.”
Hm. I never did that.
So here’s what happened with me and Firefox… I’d love to hear what happened with you guys. I installed so many extensions, or add-ons - I can’t remember what they called them in their particular place - that I just bloated the crap out of my Firefox, and just dragged it to a halt. It sounds like somebody’s Neovim config… Not yours, Nick; somebody else’s. To the point where it was so slow that it just became a drag. And then Chrome came out, and it was just so fast… Which may have partially just been because Chrome doesn’t have all these extensions installed. Unfair. But Chrome was just so fast that I just switched, and I never looked back at Firefox for a long time.
Now, Firebug held me there for development… I can remember the whole history of when Chrome DevTools became so awesome, but Firebug was still great for development, so I still used it for that kind of stuff… But eventually, Chrome DevTools became the gold standard. DevTools - that really stuck me in Chrome for many years.
Similar? Like, why did you guys switch off Firefox? You were your evangelists.
Oh man, this is gonna sound like such an Apple fanboy thing… But it didn’t feel like it was what Apple wanted me to do.
[laughs] Oh, gosh… I love it.
There’s so many secondary features that are just built in, and you get native, OS-level support for within Safari, that you don’t get in those. The first one that came out, I think it was picture-in-picture mode. And you have to do like a double right-click on YouTube; you know, right-click once and it gives you the YouTube menu, you right-click again and it gives you the browser menu. And then you can say “Enter picture in picture.” And it does this smooth animation to move the video out, and it does it all right there. If you do it in Firefox or Arc - they both support it, too - it’s like this weird floating browser thing, that doesn’t always work well, and it doesn’t… It just doesn’t work right. It doesn’t feel right.
So things like that… I was like “Okay…” And then I kind of discovered the browser syncing between like phone and the Mac; that was amazing. But then like other features - when Apple started doing Apple Pay; having the ability to just hit the Apple Pay button and scan my fingerprint is amazing.
Yeah. It’s cool.
Yeah. And then the two-factor authentication thing; when it sends you a text message, which I hate getting those text messages, but –
It autofills it for you?
It autofills it. Yeah.
So nice. [laughs]
I do have a workaround for other browsers, but… It’s just amazing having it built into Safari.
Yeah. Well, the show’s over again; you’ve just echoed all my opinions with Safari. I mean, it’s pretty much the same.
I just want to point out how much of like a religious sentence that was. “I just didn’t feel like it was what Apple wanted me to do.” You know?
I was trying to be dramatic.
I know, but it was great.
I do agree with that, though. They have an aesthetic to their ways… And it translates into their browser as well, which is software; not their typical “This is how we deal with hardware.”
And they get a lot of crap for being a bad browser… But if you actually use it, it is not a bad browser. It is literally only apps like Riverside that come up and say “Hey, you can’t use us here.” But literally, everything else works fine.
Yeah, I agree.
[25:58] Pretty much. You do bump up against some websites, like Adam was describing earlier, where it’s like “This just wasn’t thoroughly tested across Safari.” I just hit one recently, even on a Zoom call with some people with a content site. I won’t namedrop them, because it was a bit embarrassing… Where I said, “When I scroll back up to the top, I can’t see the byline of who wrote this article. Is that a Safari bug?” And first they were like “No, that’s a feature”, and I’m like “This can’t be a feature, because this is a terrible feature”, and they have a good design aesthetic… And so I screen-shared with them. It was like three people on their blog team, and they’re like “Oh yeah, that’s a bug.” And they’re like “You use Safari?” And I was like “Yeah, daily driver Safari user.” They’re like “What?! We’ve never met one of your kind.”
It’s kind of funny we’ve got three of us here on this show, because we are actually a small, small, small percentage of people that use Safari on desktop, like we said before. On mobile it’s a different story. But most people don’t. So you do have like the person who just didn’t cross-browser test everything, and so there’s a UI that looks a little bit weird every once in a while. And that’s about it.
And it’s very infrequent. But when it happens, I’m like “It’s not the site. It’s Safari.” I’m never questioning the site when it does happen, like this kind of obvious issue.
Oh, you think it’s always Safari’s fault. Yeah.
Yeah, I’m like “Well –” It’s like legitimate websites. It’s not like rando indie website, or something like that. It’s something that’s – I can’t do this thing to pick my flight, for example, or a picker for the date range on some flight website, or just something like that, for example. I’m not going to think “Well, this is probably Southwest having an issue, it’s probably a browser issue.” And I’m just gonna swap to Chrome real quick, or in my case Brave, in most cases. I only use Chrome now because I just had an issue with Brave with Riverside…
So I haven’t gone back to Brave since then. I’ve just been using Riverside in Chrome… But I only use Brave as a Chrome thing for Riverside. That’s the only reason I use it. Otherwise, I’m opening Safari every single time. And nothing else. And that’s it.
Oh, man. You know, I haven’t actually had Chrome installed on a machine since probably 2016.
Wow. It’s been a few years for me. Maybe like 2019, 2018…
Chromium - different story.
Yeah, Chromium is a different story, isn’t it? Well, we have that in common. I think if we talk about what we want in a web browser, I think what at least the three of us - and this does seem to be a growing sentiment, even amongst people who use Chrome still, usually for the DevTools, and… They’ve just been using it, and sometimes you’re just used to a thing. What we don’t want is an advertising company inside our browsers. I mean, that to me is – that’s what I don’t want.
And that advertising company has manifested again; this was just news last week on Ars Technica… Google gets its way, bakes a user-tracking ad platform directly into Chrome now. They’re calling this – they call it the privacy sandbox, which is a nice bit of marketing… But because third-party cookies are going by the wayside, Apple’s made it very difficult for third-parties in that way, and Chrome is now saying “We’re gonna be privacy-oriented and disable third-party cookies, eventually.” I think they backed off on it in terms of timing again. And they’re just baking the tracking right into Chrome, through this privacy sandbox.
So that’s what I don’t want in a web browser, really, is that. And I think that that’s not too much diversity on that topic. Like, almost everybody is not like “Yes, please! More of this!” Right? Is there anybody that’s like excited about having Google in their Chrome? Maybe people that have like Google accounts, and it’s really useful in that way. Like, what would be the upside of having Google in your browser? It’s maybe having like the account already… Which is kind of the stuff you were talking about with Apple, Nick… Because if you could use Google Pay, and you’re already signed into your Google Pay, and like if you could have your Gmail, and you’re already signed… So it’s kind of that, only one is an advertising company and the other one’s not, and I think that’s the big distinction.
[30:12] I think for me that is, and it’s probably completely incorrect, but Apple is incentivized to sell me more Apple products; “not my data” is what I think in my head. They probably want my data for nefarious things, too.
Their own sakes.
Yeah. But at the end of the day, they’re a product company that’s selling me products, not selling my data and analyzing me like crazy. Well, maybe not; I don’t know. That’s what I think.
I think what you’re trying to communicate is they both have an incentive to get more from you, but with Google it seems they are willing to give it to third parties without your consent, or leverage your data in ways that you’re not necessarily opting into. Whereas Apple - you’re gonna go buy the phone, or whatever it might be. Like, you’re opting into the continued relationship with the incentives.
So my story to get to Safari was from Firefox to Chrome, from Chrome to Safari, and it was specifically once Apple showed their ability to have that tight integration between my phone and my desktop, specifically cloud tabs, which I use pervasively, and extensively, all the leewards, to this day. And I know it’s been added – like, Firefox can do that now, Chrome can do that now. It’s not the tight integration with the OS, but it’s there, so kudos for them to add that. But that’s what actually brought me over to Safari, was like iCloud Tabs. I even developed a thing called Pushpop back in the day, which was a little web app/extension - it was a Safari extension, because I had to use Safari on my phone - that would allow me to take a web page from my phone and push it. I don’t know how I – I can’t remember, I think I used the extensions, I pushed this, and my desktop would pop it, with a little Heroku app in between. Because I wanted that so bad. I wanted to just have a website and say “Open this on my desktop, because when I go back to my desk, I’m gonna look at it.” And Safari gave me that via iCloud Tabs. And that’s when I was like “Okay, I’m just gonna use Safari all the time.” And that’s when I realized, “Hey, it’s actually kind of a nice browser.” But before that, I was like “Ah, Safari is the worst. It’s so ugly.”
It’s so strange that we have like the same – not the same path necessarily, but the same feelings about the path, that I was sort of not cool with Safari, and came for the nice features of, you know, because it’s multiple computers, multiple mobile devices, and I have a laptop I take with me, I have a desktop at home, I’ve got an iPhone… And trying to live in a world where I’ve gotta sign into a browser or something like that to get that kind of feature set - it’s just not going to be cool. But I came for those features, and I stayed for the simplicity that Safari is.
It’s kinda like TVs… Tell me if you guys like this – Nick, you might be more like this, and Jerod less… I want a TV to be an amazing monitor. I do not want it to be the smartest TV ever, I want it to just be an amazing monitor. That’s it. Make my TV shows look amazing, my Movies look amazing, and get out of the way. That’s it. Just be a monitor. I want to plug into you; I don’t want you to be smart, I don’t want you to have Android TV… Nothing else. I just want you to be the monitor. And that’s kind of how I feel about Safari. It’s just a great browser. It’s not all the complexities that some browsers bring to the table. It’s messy. It can be messy.
This was actually an analogy I was gonna bring up when you asked about browsers doing all of that, spying or knowing everything about you. When you go buy a new TV – I just bought a new TV, and it’s LG; it’s a decently well-known brand. It’s not like TCL, or like one of the – I don’t even know TV brands, but I assume the lower –
Shameless. Shameless, TCL users.
[laughs] Those fools that use TCL.
I think I do have a TCL in my RV, but that’s because it came with it.
[33:54] But all of the TVs - they’re cheaper because… Like, it literally asked me; it had a privacy thing like “Hey, we’re going to screenshot your TV, and we’re going to look at what you’re watching, and then recommend “Hey, you just watched the Dark Knight. Do you want to watch The Dark Knight Rises? You can buy it here from our store.” And it’s creepy, and I don’t want that. So this TV - I can just pull the plug on it and keep it off the internet, which I do. I do it through Eeros software, though.
I was gonna say, do you literally pull the plug on your TV when you’re done using it?
I could, I could… But I just do that, and I exclusively use an Apple TV on it anyway, so that’s how I get all my data. Good job again, Apple.
You give it all to Apple.
I’m with you. How many Apple TVs do you have?
Okay, we’re simpatico here, Nick, because I’ve got – I’ve recently gone to the dark side though, let me tell you… In my media room I have an Nvidia Shield. And it is actually really good, but they’re basically an ad platform. Like, it’s the same thing - “I’m going to sell your stuff. You can’t control the home screen. I’m going to advertise you shows you don’t really care about. When your kids come in the room, you can’t control this content that’s being advertised to you.” That’s disgusting.
But it plays some other things just amazing. It’s got better support for all the video codecs, and stuff like that… Whereas Apple has a little bit limited on the 4k level, so the NVIDIA Shield is – and it’s got some really amazing AI upscaling. It is uncanny how good it is. Like, it will take HD –
Scale it up?
And I’ve never seen it work this good, but it makes 4k content at HD, and it’s just so good. So good.
So I have a bunch of old DVDs and I wonder if it would – will it take my DVDs and upscale them to 4k?
I haven’t touched a DVD in 10 years.
Well it’s funny, I have them all ripped. I can still see the –
You were just talking about those recently, Jerod. Yeah.
…on my bookshelf over there. Yeah, I can’t remember if it was on a show or not, but…
It was just me and you.
I ripped all these. I took all the time, handbrake, my old DVDs, digitize them, categorize them, library-ize them, so I can watch them on in perpetuity. I haven’t watched one in a very long time. I forgot how bad 720p is, and then I have –
Lord of the Rings. That’s what it was.
Yeah. And then over the last Christmas holiday we decided to do a Lord of the Rings marathon… And I’m like “Cool.” I load up – I have all the extended editions, all nine, whatever, whatever… I loaded up the first one on our TV in the basement - which is large; it’s like an 85-inch 4k… And I could not believe it. Like, if you stretch a 720 – is it 720p? I think that would be DVD quality.
Yeah. If you stretched a 720p to 4k, 85-inch screen, and like the pixels are like the size of like a tater tot. It’s like that big. You can see every pixel. [laughter]
Should’ve said quarter or this is a tater tot.
Well, they’re square, you know?
Napoleon, give me some of your tots.
No, go find your own.
Come on, give me some of your tots.
No, I’m freaking starving. I didn’t get to eat anything today.
But without all of that creepy advertising, TVs would be a lot more expensive.
There’s even a TV now that has its own dedicated ad player at the bottom, that you can get for free.
The TV is free?
The TV is free, but it has sensors, and stuff. So if you try and cover up the thing that plays ads at the bottom, it doesn’t work; it shuts down.
So you just have to be accepting of that. And it does all the UI for the TV, the channel menu and all that is down there, and it lets you play games on it and stuff.
Think how profitable that has to be in order to be literally like free hardware is worth it for them.
Because they can make so much money on advertising and tracking. That’s crazy.
What a world to shift from. Like, we had box TVs back in our parents’ day. Like, they were furniture.
It was a cabinet, like made of wood. And now, the thing has drastically changed. The TV of today is not the TV of yesterday, by any means.
Oh, yeah. But now extrapolate that out to a browser; they need to be doing this stuff to keep the browsers free. Except in this case, it’s weird, because Apple – it’s a write-off for them, because they make their money on the products. Google makes all of their money on the advertising, which the browser does help feed. But also - who knows? Google might abandon it tomorrow. They’re known to do that stuff.
Which brings us to all these browsers that I refuse to use, is because they ask me to pay them money right up front. There’s the problem. I saw that and I was like “Ah, you want my credit card? I haven’t even tried it yet.”
Or an account.
But that’s where this stuff is going.
I know it’s going to subscriptions. Yeah, account as well. So Arc is, is part and parcel… Which brings me to Arc browser. What’s their long game? What’s their model? What’s going to happen? Do we know?
And I also think about this… I do like Arc, but if I’m not paying them, I feel weird about using them. Because a) they either won’t survive, and so I’ll get used to it and I’ll like it, or b) I’m going to pay for features that I don’t actually need or what.
They’ll add a privacy sandbox in there for you.
I don’t know what their game plan is, but I do know the challenge of a browser company such as - name some of these that you shared. These are like developer browsers. Polypane I think was one…
What was the other one?
Sizzy. And so these are like browsers for developers. And I love the concept. It’s like, we should make a browser specifically for web development. Why not? And that’s cool. But then the immediate paywall - I’m just like “Ah, DevTools is good.” That’s really an uphill battle for them, don’t you think?
I think so. I think that a lot of people have a problem paying for software like that, like browsers. But when you think about it as “Oh, this is a dev tool”, if it actually provides enough value - which I think that both of them do; they both have pretty much identical features. I think Sizzy is a little bit nicer, just in like its interaction and its UI. Its UX is better, a little bit. But they’re both Chromium browsers that support this ability to show you the browser, show you what you’re editing, and have dev tools with it. But then they can also do things like “Here’s a phone, here’s a desktop, here’s a tablet”, and see them all at once, and see them all sync together. And then if you’re developing like the Open Graph stuff, the Open Graph links, you can see that, “And here’s an example of what it would look like on Twitter, here’s what it would look like on Facebook.”
Yeah. So you don’t have to go out and do all of this. You can do it with your local host running app, and see exactly what it looks like, and make sure that’s all working. So that’s really cool. And then just the convenience of having – like, this is not my daily driver browser. This is something that I’m using exclusively for development, so having a development-specific browser for it makes sense. It can do really cool, advanced screenshotting things, because it knows you’re going to want to take screenshots, and markup things, and send it over to your UX team or whatever to verify, and things like that… But also just like the simplicity of having a separate browser for development exclusively, especially like on macOS, Command+tabbing over to that is way easier than - what is it, Command+tilde, or Shift+tilde? I can’t remember which one, to go between this Chrome window versus that Chrome window, or whatever.
Right. Command+tilde, I believe. That’s all cool. And I don’t want to sound like I’m denigrating someone for having me pay for their software; I’m totally fine with paying for software that provides value.
Two things that give me pause in this case. First of all, it’s weird just trying them out for a podcast. So it wasn’t like I was looking for a development browser. So it’s kind of like “Meh.” And secondly, provide a way. So, I mean, Polypane has a free trial; it’s not very expensive - nine bucks a month for an individual. Once you get into the business, you’re getting $39 a month, probably per – that’s your entire team, so that’s three computers per user. 10 users. So 39 bucks across 10 people reasonable. And then, of course, they have the enterprise. If you have more money than Apple, you can get that one. But free trial - great. But then like an account thing at the start. Whatever happened to “Let me try your software”? Because they could easily just do a thing that works – you just download the app, it works for 14 days, and then they ask you for money. That to me is better than this account thing right away. It just drives me nuts.
Yeah, I agree. It could be easier, and I think you’d get better turnover on things like that.
I think I heard about Polypane on a podcast, and Sizzy was actually in – I don’t know if you guys have ever tried Setapp before.
Describe that. It’s a subscription app store for macOS, that lets you pay like $10 a month and you get access to all of these apps. And I finally broke down after I was like “Wait a minute, I pay individually for like 10 of these apps. So paying way cheaper, $10 a month when you’re talking about like a $50 subscription here, $20 subscription there, $70 subscription there…” You put them all together, and I just get this one thing that’s always up to date, and it’s keeping them up. It’s really nice. But it has several different apps in there, and Sizzy used to be in there. And that’s when I first played with it. And then the developer I think pulled it out. But I’ve since continued paying for it, and I really like
Yeah, it’s interesting.
So these two. Is Sizzy the one that you said – you said one of them’s beautiful and awesome.
I think they’re both great, and I think that both developers are –
Sizzy seems to be better marketed at least.
Yeah. I think they just have better UI.
Like, their site looks better… Sizzy and Polyplane are pretty similar in –
My bad. Polypane. It’s not a great name, in my opinion.
Well, because there’s all these panes that you’re looking at.
Too many polys and too many panes… Anyways, I get it.
Too much pain? [laughter]
I understand the name. It does make sense, but it’s just…
It’s hard to say.
Yeah, it’s hard.
Polyplane is actually a cool name, you know?
[47:51] Yeah. It’s like PolyJane, but not PolyJane, it’s PolyPlane. Anyways… Very similar. And even pricing; their pricing is similar. I think they both make the same mistake y’all talked about, but I think the lesson can be learned from Raycast. I think Raycast has a phenomenal model for the way they deliver. They give a lot of good stuff away for free, no lookout required, and you could just use it. They want to be ubiquitous on Mac machines; they want to make every Mac supercharged. Smarter, they say.
I didn’t agree with that model right away. I was like “You guys are giving away way too much for free.” But now I get it. And I think Sizzy and Polypane could – and even Arc; I think any of these browsers who want to compete with the likes of Google or Safari when it comes to browsers, Firefox - you’ve got to give away something for free with no account. That’s just amazing. And then I’m down for paying, because I’m like you, Nick - I don’t want to adopt Arc and like a year later they die because I was too stiff to pay them, or something. I think it’s the business model that none of these guys are getting right. But what does it take to get the right browser business model? In the case of these dev web browsers, I totally get it. And my advice on the Raycast model - they should listen to, write down twice, and do it. But every other browser, I’m just not sure how you build a business around a browser.
It’s certainly not easy.
Do you remember back in the day when Opera was a paid browser?
I never paid for it once. [laughter]
Is this confessions of Nick Nisi?
“I used it, but I never paid for it.”
I never used it, I just… I shied away from it.
Oh, okay. Well, you didn’t say that part. I thought you were just like telling us your piracy days.
Things were different then though.
You were probably younger, so you had less resources… But at the same time, I think the web was new then, so everything was free.
Are you saying in the past Nick was probably younger?
Well, I don’t know if it’s an age thing, really. I think it’s more of like just an internet age even. Things were different, and we didn’t – like, why would you pay for Opera when you had so many other free options? And I think there’s a maturity to our need as a human race to the internet now, that’s different than it was probably 10 years ago, whenever that was the case, or 15. I even know how long ago that was. Gosh, if it was 15 years ago, that’s a long time. But anyways.
I think there’s a change now, because we realize now that we – like when you buy the TV, and you get it for 100 bucks when it should have been 1000, because you’re the eyeballs; you’re the product they’re selling. They’re subsidizing their thing with x. And I think just culturally, we’re becoming more and more aware of this, and we’re willing to pay more, or some it all, when it used to be free, a) because we want to see it live; we don’t want to be taken advantage of with our data or our security. We want to have more control over the home screen. Like, I’d pay 100 bucks more for an NVIDIA Shield if I could just control the home screen. Like, when we open it up - like, it’s never bad things necessarily, but my kids are like “What’s that?” and it’s like a war movie, or something like that, with guns. Like, I’m not trying to show my seven-year-old anarchy and guns at this moment in his life. He’ll find that out at some point, but in due time. Not right now in my media room, you know what I mean? I think that we are willing to pay for things now that we weren’t willing to pay 14 years ago, because we have a maturity, both personally and culturally.
I’ve found the history. This is from the register… Opera browser goes free with version 5.0 launch. Any guesses on what year this was?
You’re off. Adam? One guess. Nick’s wrong…
What was the version?
5.0. Nick’s off. He says 2009.
This was written, if I’ve got this right – yes, even in the URL. 2000, 12, 6. December 6th, 2000 is when John Lettuce wrote this for the register. “Opera browser goes free.”
Jerod here in post-production. I did a little more research after recording, and while it’s true that version five had a free option in the year 2000, it was ad-supported, and you could still buy a license to ditch the ads. Opera version 8, which came out in 2005, was completely free, without ads.
So Nick, how old were you in the year 1999?
[laughs] I was in eighth grade.
Okay, so that’s why you never paid for Opera.
You were definitely not paying for it. [laughter]
I’m pretty sure I had a Windows 95 computer.
Let’s replay that again.
“Do you remember when Opera was paid? I never paid for it.”
[laughs] Never paid for it.
The hindsight makes that so much more funnier now.
“I was in middle school, so…” Yeah, it’s so good.
That was good. It was funny in the moment, too.
I think your guess of 2009 was about what I was expecting to find. I was like “I’m gonna go find this…” Off by a decade… That was ancient history. Wow.
I swear that I thought it was paid when I was in high school.
And it’s way more than 10 or 15 years ago, which is when I said that would be a shame if it was 15. It’s more like 23 years ago.
Ooh. That makes me feel just –
Well, I will also confess I wasn’t paying for much software in eighth grade… [laughs]
No. Yeah, exactly.
I didn’t have internet until 2002 probably.
That was another good reason not to pay for it… [laughs] You don’t have a use for a web browser. That’s funny.
The business model of Sizzy though and the business model of Polypane - gosh, that’s painful to say; sorry, Polypane - I think has legs. I think they’ve got a great idea.
I like the idea.
To make a dev browser for developers… That totally makes sense. Because you’ve got specific desires. And maybe you need DevTools++. Don’t take that, because we own the Plus Plus. Aside from Limewire Plus Plus, or whatever that was. What was that back in the day?
I did read that Mojo - you know Mojo, with the fire emoj?
That those guys are calling themselves Python++. And I was like “You can’t do that. We already did.” And I was like “Wait a minute… C++ also did that before we did, so…” [laughter]
We don’t own Plus Plus?!
We don’t own the trademark on incrementing things.
Can I try – maybe I can do this live here on the air, Jerod, since you like to use it all the time.
“Changelog Plus Plus. It’s better!”
Oh, that’s a good one. I’ll use that.
It’s kind of like that.
That was my voice, Nick. And then we just tweaked it a little bit.
Really? I had no idea.
“Changelog Plus Plus. It’s better.”
Yeah, that’s Adam, doing –
It’s a rough version of that.
And Jerod uses it all the time, and people love it. I don’t use it because I think it’s kind of silly, but…
We don’t know that. We don’t know that at all.
I never use it.
If you love the “It’s better”, please leave us a comment, because we don’t actually know if people love it. I think it’s funny, so I always just drop it in there at the end of stuff… But people may hate it, and they’re like “I would sign up for your guys’ membership if you would stop playing that stupid little soundbite.” So if you feel that strongly, let us know.
Oh, the other one is “Changelog Plus Plus!”
It’s a version I do, with like a Frankenstein voice, or something. “Changelog Plus Plus.”
You try it, Nick.
Oh, I don’t know if I could right now… [laughter]
Like the Nick on COVID version. Like, “Look what’s happening to us because you don’t support our work. We’re dying of COVID over here. Our panelists are just – they can’t even talk anymore. What if we lose our voices…?”
Ah, where were we…? Okay, so Sizzy and Polypane are cool… I’m definitely still going to try them. It stopped me from this particular – I was just like “I do not like to sign up for an account before I use anything. I want to use something. I’ll sign up for an account eventually, but don’t start with that.” I just have a gut negative reaction to “The first thing you want is my email address to try some software out. I’ll put in there eventually. I’m cool with that, but –”
[56:09] I believe Warp was the same way. I believe they required you to have an account to use their software…
I don’t know if it’s the case now, but… Yeah, I like Warp, so I don’t even care. But that’s the problem - until you know you like it, then you do care. Especially for every service you sign up for, or account, you get in their trickle-down emails. It’s like “Hello? Hello, HackerNoon. We have unsubscribed, okay?” I’m about to go on the internet and blast HackerNoon, man.
How many times do we have to unsubscribe from HackerNoon?
We’d never subscribed in the first place.
No, we didn’t. Now we just mark as spam; that’s my new move. Nick, do you get HackerNoon with having never subscribed to it? Because it’s a thing.
I did, and yeah, I think I put it in some black hole.
They won’t let us unsubscribe, Nick.
For some reason, we can’t unsubscribe from it. It just keeps sending.
They take us to the unsubscribe page, they say “You have unsubscribed” and then in parentheses, in small print, it says “Just kidding.” [laughter] Like “We’re gonna keep sending editors [at] changelog.com this email on the daily, whether you like it or not. You cannot hide from us at HackerNoon, okay? You are gonna get it. You’re getting this email newsletter.
“We’re getting spam markers on your guys’ emails.”
Yeah. Anyways, that’s the point. Like, I can’t sign up for these accounts, because it’s like, I know I’m gonna be in their marketing channels… Which I’m cool with if I wasn’t a customer.
Yeah. I mean, I like the way that Zed is handling it, with text editors Zed, from Nathan Sobo and the folks at Atom, where it’s like, you can download us the thing; there is accounts, like you can have an account in there, and that will unlock syncing, and whatever features they’re going to add, and they’ll eventually have a paid tier with teams, and stuff… And I understand, and I don’t have a problem with any of that as a means of building a business around a piece of software. But make me pop in my email address and my user name at the moment when it’s going to provide me a reason to do so, right?
That’s what I said to Zach about Warp, is like, I don’t have a problem having an account. But don’t make me start with the account. Add the account just in time for me to say “Yes, I would love the Sync feature. Here’s my email address.”
I would use Warp if it could run Vim.
Can it not run Vim?
Last I checked, it could not.
I’m on the same thing with Tmux.
I mean, I Vim into things. I’m not doing complex Vim things, but I’m just like, you know, single Vim editor…
It has to be able to run Vim, right?
I mean, it does run Vim. Yeah.
Last time I tried it, it couldn’t do Tmux though, and so that’s my question every time I talk to Adam or Zach about Warp, is “Can it do Tmux?”
That’s probably what it was.
Yeah, if you try Vim inside of Tmux, it wouldn’t work, back when I tried it. I don’t know about today… But yeah, that’s my problem with Warp, is it doesn’t support Tmux. For me, that’s just a deal breaker.
Is that a pervasive thing? Like, do a lot of developers use Tmux? Like, every time I’ve tried to use it, it’s always felt kludgy to me, and I never forgot how to hold it.
Everybody who watched Nick Nisi’s most popular YouTube video of all time…
Is that right?
Vim + Tmux, right?
So you’re a Tmux for life kind of guy, Nick?
Nick makes YouTube bucks on that sucker.
Oh, I have to upload a new video, they just told me, or they’re going to cut me out of the ads program, so…
Why? It’s too old?
Because they’re silly.
Because they’re silly… [laughs] You’re way too happy about this. Shouldn’t you be mad?
I am mad, but I just have to laugh through the pain.
How many views are on this video? So Nick made a video years ago, his Vim plus Tmux setup, and how he does everything… And it has hundreds of thousands of views, right?
It has 726,000.
Which is better than some of your other videos.
Well, you’re missing out, Nick.
At one point. I don’t think it’s true anymore, but at one point it was the most popular Vim video on YouTube. I checked it a couple of times.
They need to put that on a plaque, you know?
Hang that behind your head there.
All I did was I searched for Vim, and then I sorted by Most Popular, or Most Watched, and then I scrolled past hundreds of videos that were not about the Vim text editor, but were like these dance videos that just had the word vim in them for some reason…
But the first one was me, and then there was one right after that that was – it was a ThoughtBot video, I think. But yeah, it was right up there.
Oh, they must have. He scrolled past them all.
So after you scroll past these highly popular dance videos with the word vim in them, then you find your video.
Then I find my video.
Which was higher than everybody else’s, though.
That was back when there probably wasn’t much dev content.
You really should go into that more then… Since they’re making you do a new video, or whatever… If that’s important to you
I’d do a series, man.
I’ve been saying this for years. I wanted Nick to take over our Vim With Me series. Remember that, Nick?
I recorded two of them, I think…
You never even told me. [laughs] You recorded some of those?
I did. I still have them, I think.
Are they still good? Or were they ever good? Probably…
Are they with other people?
Yeah, real people.
So a little bit of background… We did this – now I feel bad, because these people expected their videos to get published. [laughter] So we did a Vim With Me series - this was Adam’s idea - in conjunction with our Vim episode a couple of years ago. And so I have like four videos - maybe three - Vim With Me, Suz Hinton, Gary Bernhardt, Julia Evans… And Nick. I did one with Nick as well.
All very popular, too. Not 700,000 popular, but popular.
Yeah, pretty popular. Like thousands of people, lots of likes… And I thought “This is kind of cool, but Nick is more of the Vim addict than I am, and he has this popular Vim video.” I was like “Why don’t you take over the Vim With Me, Nick, and you can do the Vim With Me videos?” and you were all about it, and I never heard another word. It turns out you went about it, recorded a couple… We need to close the loop on this.
Surprise…! I know. [laughter]
Before we have to rerecord them or you get demonetized. What’s up with this YouTube rerecord thing? I don’t understand. Why is your video gonna get demonetized?
He has to upload new ones.
Yeah, my YouTube channel will get –
Oh, your channel’s gonna become archived, or something.
Yeah. Not archived, but no longer eligible to gain money.
In the Creator program, or whatever.
Yes, that’s it.
How much money have you made out of this video over the years?
Just over 1,200, 1,300…
That’s not bad.
I thought you were gonna say 12 bucks. Yeah, not bad. 1,300 bucks?
For doing nothing, right?
…on 700,000 views…
Well, you did something… It seems like nothing.
But this was a video that I recorded – I mean, I had no script. I put together like 80 slides literally an hour before I was doing this presentation… So there was no thought put into this at all. And it’s far and away the most popular thing I’ve ever done, so I can never replicate it. That’s the problem.
That’s gonna be like our Instagram reel that has 6 million views right now…
…of the – yeah, 6.3 million. It continues to go. And I’m just sitting here, thinking – if you scroll our reels, their watches, it’s like 2,000, 3,000, 4,000. 6.3 million. [laughter] It’s like, we’re never gonna get anywhere near that ever again, so it’s kind of demoralizing… Like, should we keep posting or should we just retire? I guess you chose to retire, Nick.
Oh, you kept posting after the video?
I have posted three or four times in the last eight years.
[laughs] It sounds like your blog.
Just for context - what is that video, Jerod? So that people – like, “What is this video Jerod’s talking about?” What is it?
It’s a short of Damien Riehl who was a guest on Practical AI, who’s a programmer/lawyer, who created all the melodies.info. Him and his friend brute-forced 471 billion melodies, and then put them in the public domain, so that nobody could sue each other over copyright infringement on melody creation, something like this. And it’s held up in court. And so he tells that story… He’s very good at telling the story. I think he’s told it probably at like TED, and other places. He tells it in 60 seconds in a very compelling way. And because it’s a cross-section of AI - it’s not actually AI, the brute-force, but people thought it was AI; it’s on an AI podcast… IP law, you know, copyright and IP law, and music, which everybody has a – and a twist ending, because he doesn’t mention that he put it in the public domain till the very end…
…so people think that he’s a villain, and then he says he published – because he said “I copyrighted 471 billion melodies”, and you’re thinking “This guy’s a villain”, “and then I’m going to sue everybody out of existence.” But then at the end he says “And we put it in the public domain, and so now nobody can sue each other over this thing.” And so he’s actually kind of a hero in that way. Because of that, this thing skyrocketed on Instagram. It did over a million views on TikTok as well, but Instagram was the one that just went insane, with over 6 million views.
And it’s been a fun ride. Now we have followers; I have no idea why they follow us… And so we post our next video, and it’s like me and Nick arguing about TypeScript, and they’re like “Uhh…”
“More of this. Oh, man…! This isn’t the dance video I was looking for!”
“What’s this Jerod guy? He’s so wrong.”
“I signed up for more of this crazy music talk.”
Y’all missed my joke. It was good. I’m not saying it again.
Oh, I missed it. Sorry.
On the podcast they’re gonna get it though. They’re laughing.
Play it back, with a laugh track in.
“More of this. Oh, man…! This isn’t the dance video I was looking for!” [laughter] Let me get us back on track. Can I get back on track?
Let me just end this by saying you need to create more videos on YouTube, man.
And soon, before it’s too late. Alright. Adam, get us back on track.
Let me add one more to your sugar, Jerod. I think there is legs with the Vim With Me concept. I thought so way back then. And all those videos did quite well. And people loved that deep-dive into Vim that Jerod did as a podcast.
And I think VIM is like the thing that almost nobody can get right right away. It always needs guidance, you know? And why not have your friendly neighborhood Nick Nisi to ahoy-hoy and get you – you didn’t even say that on top of this podcast? What’s wrong with us here?!”
Oh no, COVID brain.
Come on, we broke the podcast here.
We’ll splice it again. We’re gonna do a lot of splicing in this episode.
Let me encourage you as well, like Jerod did. I think you should do more of those, and you should do some of that stuff with us on the YouTube… But you know, whatever. It’s fun stuff.
If you would watch Vim With Me videos, tweet at Nick Nisi on Threads. Where do people tweet at you nowadays, Nick?
Anywhere. I’m everywhere.
@NickNisi, @NickNisi.com, on the Fediverse, he’s Threads, he’s on BlueSky… He is still on Twitter, even though he doesn’t want to be. I’m just guessing.
Yes. So use all the social networks to let him know you want to see Vim With Me, Nick Nisi hosting a tour of people vimming, and how they do it. Especially those two videos you already recorded, you should get those out there. Alright, Adam, bring us back to browsers. Browserify this conversation.
Okay. I’m glad, Nick, that you felt the same I did with TVs and browsers. I think they’re the same. Like, it’s your browser to the visual; the browser is your browser to obviously the web. I want them to be simple. But what does it take – I think the question really is “What does it take to make it successful?” Like, how can you really battle the beast? Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Arc… I don’t know, is Arc a contender? What kind of business model does it take? What kind of experience does it take? Like, what does it take to be the browser that we want?
It’s a great question. I think that is a very personal question too, that everyone will answer differently… But there’s the same dials that everyone will turn, plus or minus “I want more of this.” I think for folks like us, the dial that we’ll probably turn the most is privacy. We want as much privacy as possible when going through this, because we don’t want to be advertised to about everything.
[01:08:04.25] But we also want – as we’re all Mac users, we also want something that looks really pretty, and has great UX… So that’s something that a lot of browsers don’t get right. Arc is doing a great job of that. I think Safari is doing a great job. I haven’t touched Chrome in a long time… I heard that they’re redoing things to be more material, which turns me off completely from Chrome.
Yeah, there’s a big redesign coming out for version 15… And I linked to it in Changelog News. There’s a nice Ars Technica write-up; maybe we’ll find that for these show notes as well. It’s not doing it for me, but… Okay.
The aesthetics have to be right. It definitely has to begin there, which is what I like about Arc; it’s interesting to take a new visual take on browsing… But it breaks so many of my baked-in user experiences, I suppose, of a browser, that is pretty much the same across all of them. They redefine and refine… Which isn’t terrible necessarily, but it’s gonna make adoption quite hard.
Right. The biggest interface change that Arc does specifically is tabs on the left-hand sidebar. And I haven’t gotten over it.
And they have some sort of fascination with like this Favorites thing in the folders, and when you navigate through tabs, those are included… It’s strange. I can’t understand it.
Some of that’s cool. But just having the tabs in the sidebar is a culture shock for a person who’s had tabs at the top in all browsers I’ve used, ever since tabs were introduced. And also, tabs at the top in your OS everywhere. Tabs on the side - I haven’t been using it as long as you, Nick. I’ve probably been using it in earnest for a week. I downloaded it a while back. You’ve been using it for a couple of months. Maybe you just get used to that. I’m constantly looking for my tabs, and they’re down in the lower left-hand corner… And I just can’t quite get over that. Have you gotten over it?
No. It’s very, very confusing. And by default, they do this weird thing where they have like today’s tabs, and the actual tabs, and then they have like bookmarky tab things. They keep them like that. And if you just keep stuff in, I think, Today’s Tabs, after 12 hours by default it just like archives the tabs and they’re gone. And you can bring them back, of course… But you leave in the morning or whatever, and come back at night, and you’re like “Okay, what was I doing?” and all of your tabs are gone. That’s terrible.
Great idea, but you’ve got to get that implementation right, because… Long-lived tabs are a thing.
You can adjust it to say “Oh, never delete them”, or “Delete them after a day”, or a week or a month, I think. So that’s good, that there’s that flexibility. But by default, I’ve found it to be way too short, and they just disappear, and then I feel completely lost about what I was doing. So that’s a problem.
I think that one thing that – well, first off, Jerod, you were saying, like, the tabs on the side… If you want that, but in Safari, there is actually a browser called Orion, that is Safari. It’s WebKit, it’s a very Safari look and feel, but with tabs on the side.
I think he doesn’t want that. I think he’s like anti the sidebar tabs, right?
I don’t want it. But I did not know about Orion. I’m always happy to hear about other web browsers. Another one that we haven’t brought up - I forgot to put it in our list, but I’ve found it again while we talked - was Vivaldi.
And I think a lot of people like Vivaldi. And I think that Vivaldi is created by the old opera CEO, left, or something - I don’t know the exact story - and started with Vivaldi. And I know there’s people that bring up Vivaldi whenever we talk browsers on JS Party, so they’re out there… I don’t know anything about the browser, but I wanted to bring it up as just – we didn’t forget about it. Well, we forgot about it, but we do remember it now, and I’m sure it’s good.
We didn’t forget about it, but we did forget about it.
Yeah. [laughs] We forgot to try it. I did, but… I didn’t forget to mention it.
What in the world does it take to build a company around a browser? Like, wow. How do they make money?
They sell your data.
Maybe you don’t want to build a company around a browser. Maybe you want to build an open source community around a browser.
No, I think my Ladybird.
Oh, yeah. Well, Ladybird is kind of a toy for now, but it will become not a toy, potentially.
Yes. So Ladybird is the web browser being built into SerenityOS, but it’s going to be able to run outside of SerenityOS. I think it can run on Linux today, but if it can’t, that’s going to be a thing. And so this is like just a completely community open source hackers’ browser, by a guy Andreas Kling, Nick, who worked at Apple, on Safari, for many years, and is building an OS in his free time. And the support that he has might be the kind of – I’m not saying that Ladybird’s the one, but I’m saying, like, that model where he’s basically supported by Patreon at this point, I think… We didn’t get into his financials very much, Adam, on our interview with him, but it seems to me that he has enough Patreon support that he’s doing Serenity, and later Ladybird.
Yeah, he’s hiring, because he has a commercial sponsor at this point. So maybe that could be a model, at least, for an actual competitive – you know, like the Firefox startup, basically, before it got so big.
Yeah, that’s really cool.
So this reminds me of this post from Gabe Kangas, who listened to our OpenTF interview last week… And he said “Just listened about OpenTF. A bunch of people band together, forked a major project, and found enough people who were interested in it existing and wanted to be involved. I wish this could happen with a browser. Sure, there’s a ton of small indie browsers that are using forks of Gecko and Chromium, but I’m talking about a real organization. A real, open source-first nonprofit, whose job it is to build a browser for the people. No Google slipping in advertising features, no Mozilla taking money from Google, no Brave adding crypto… A browser from the people, for the people, without corporate ownership and direct control. It’s a pipe dream, but it’s a hell of a dream. I’m sure it’d be hard, but I don’t think it would be impossible. Everybody needs a browser. Why can’t it be treated as a public good?” Nice sentiment there, Gabe. That’s what we need… So who’s coming with me?! [laughter]
Jerry Maguire. Alright…
Yeah… So, I mean, something like that could be cool. I’d get behind that. But it’s gonna have iCloud tabs or not? Because…
I mean, this person brings up a great point.
I think that’s the thing. The ones that are succeeding and the ones that will continue to succeed are the ones that feel like they have the most legs. And that’s Safari, Chrome, and I guess Edge at this point. But they’re the browser’s - and in Google’s case the search engine’s - baby, right? They’re there to facilitate them. You can’t sell macOS without a browser. And they’re not likely to give you Chrome, by default. Microsoft kind of does do that, I guess. They abandoned Edge, which was a good decision for them, and went to Chromium, which is great… But it’s pretty well assured that 5-10 years from now those browsers are still going to be there. And all of these other distracting browsers, like Arc, and Vivaldi, and all of them - I hope they’re still around, but if they don’t find their market or find a way to support themselves, the ones that treat the browser as a write-off to the real business are going to be the ones that stick around.
That’s how the rich stay rich, Nick…
I know, I know…
The deep pockets stay deep that way. There has to be hope for a rise.
[01:15:51.23] An upstart. Whether it’s an open source community, or a small business that’s trying to make a run at it. I know it also takes talent. That’s the thing that I think Andreas Kling has going for him, that we didn’t really talk about much… Because of course, you don’t want to just overly compliment a guy when he’s on your show and being interviewed, but he’s an extremely talented developer.
You just know by what he’s put together. And so that’s why I’m kind of like “Well, Ladybird - it’s never gonna be all these things… But it might have an opportunity, because this guy understands web browsers.” It’s not a small feat. Because he’s even going from the rendering engine up. Like, he’s not a Chromium add-on. So that is a major undertaking, and it doesn’t just require money, it requires talent and dedication. So it is a taller order, I agree with you.
Here’s a whole different question. Are browsers going to be relevant in the very near future? How long will a browser be relevant? The desktop eventually is going to – like, will it die? Because I was just thinking about like mobile, and how important that is. You talk to people that are – this is just anecdotal. This is my rough opinion, without any research. You could talk to somebody and they’re like – they won’t even tell you what browser they use. They just browse the web; they don’t know, nor do they care. So I think the behemoths out there are gonna collapse you based upon the fact that people just don’t know or care, necessarily, and it’s people like us who truly do care. But I wonder how long the browser will be in its current form, like, that important?
I think that it’ll outlast the desktop.
Like visionOS, right? Safari is a very prominent example of what you can do in VisionOS, and how well it can work.
Yeah, that’s true.
As long as the web is relevant, then the browser is relevant, right?
So “How long will the web survive?” is really the answer to the question.
I suppose you’ll still go into a web browser, but I guess what I mean by – like, does there need to be a war? Can we just secede to these incumbents, essentially? Not we, but most of the mainstream.
We’ve all clearly seceded to the incumbent that is Apple… [laughs]
Well, or Chromium, right? Chromium is almost – it’s bigger. Is it bigger than what IE was back then in terms of market share?
I’d have to look that up.
It’s gotta be up there.
No, I think IE at its peak was probably higher than Chrome at its peak. But I’m not 100% sure. I think Chrome at its peak is in the 60s…
63, according to StatCounter.
IE in the ‘90s had to be higher than that, but… I don’t have stats. I could be wrong.
What makes somebody care about what browser they use? Like, I know what we care about based upon our conversation, but what makes everyday folks, who have less of a concern like we do - what makes them care about what browser they use? They just have – it’s a utility expected to be there. “I use Android, I use iPhone, so I use what they give me. I don’t really care. It’s the web.” You know what I mean? Like, what makes somebody choose their browser when they have a choice? It takes probably a desktop, which is kind of like a dying breed. Like, most people these days are on some sort of mobilised device… An iPad-like thing, or an iPhone-like thing, and that seems to be the thing that’s rising. Desktop’s still used, but mainly by people who make, and analyze; make and analyze, I would say. Maybe a rough version of – like, that’s where the desktop sort of thrives.
Did we do it a disservice though? Like, your parents get a new computer today, and they’re like “Oh, my little Jerod told me to go to get Firefox.com back in 1997…”
“My little Jerod…” [laughs]
“Whatever you do, don’t buy opera…”
Yeah, “Don’t buy Opera.”
I don’t know. Are you saying that today we’re not doing that? Like, we used to do that, and now we’re not doing that, or what do you mean?
I just mean like – I’m trying to think of my parents, like if they get a new computer, are they just sticking with Safari, or Edge, if they make the mistake of getting a Windows machine, or are they like “Oh, I’m going to open Edge, and then I’m gonna go to trychrome.com”, or whatever, and get that…
…because I told them when I was in high school.
I mean, I can speak to my immediate family, is that they’re just using Safari on iOS, and they don’t even know that it’s Safari. They’re just like “Where’s the internet?” Or “Where’s the web on this phone?” It’s like “Well, it’s that button, that looks like a compass”, or whatever it looks like.
And then they don’t have a desktop, they’ve got iPads. So…
…they don’t need it.
What I said is true.
That’s just my experience though, in my little corner of the world. The world’s large.
It’s probably pretty accurate. That’s how it is in my household, too. I think we’re a version of what’s normal for most of the US…
Western US; beyond the other world.
Yeah. And so when you think about Arc, and you think about – what are the other ones we didn’t even mention yet? We have a list… At least I wrote down our list… We had Arc…
We haven’t talked about Horse yet.
Oh, yeah, you teased it. We have to talk about it before it’s over.
Nyxt, Web Browser Quiche… Oh, my gosh. Who’s gonna say that?
That’s cool. That’s like a very minimal iOS browser, by the way. So it is Safari under the hood… But it’s another take on a mobile browser, and its entire thing is simplicity… Which is kind of nice when you open it. You’re like “Oh, there’s not much here.” It’s like, give it a shot. It’s a free one. It’s free to try. Free to have, I think; in-app purchases maybe, but… That was just the one mobile one that I thought maybe we would give a shot.
Nyxt we didn’t try, because Nyxt is a hackers’ browser. Very cool. I’ve covered it in Changelog News. It’s kind of in the vein of Ladybird, but impossible to run on macOS, it seems, without Docker or something. So I got stopped in my tracks to try Nyxt.
Without Docker… Would you run a browser in a Docker container? Could you?
It said you could install from Mac ports, and I thought, “Oh, man… What year is this?”
I saw that as well… Yeah, Mac ports. I’m like “Are they still around, Mac ports?” And then Docker… No. No, I’m not gonna run anything inside of a Docker container. If my life depended on it, I would. But otherwise, no. Sorry.
Yeah. There have been other takes too, of other browsers, which we didn’t put in this list just because over the years they come and go, essentially…
Because it’s probably hard to fight this uphill battle. But most of these things are fighting for power features, and I don’t think that the power feature user of the browser is growing, generally. It’s certainly not Jerod’s children and his wife, or my children and my wife, you know? Or - same with you, Nick. It’s probably - like, those folks are just like “Where’s the internet?” Not “Where’s the browser?” and then they probably don’t care necessarily about privacy, because they don’t know to care about it. Eventually they will, and then they will care… But then I think when it comes to a browser, I protect my privacy to some degree in a different manner. I use Pi-hole or NextDNS, or other things at the DNS land level, versus the browser level. And even when I’m mobile, I use Tailscale and my VPN through a Pi-hole back wherever, because I’m that kind of person… You could do that with NextDNS as well.
Tailscale is so good.
It’s so good. They’re a sponsor, by the way. We love them. This is not a paid mention, I love them.
I didn’t know that when I said it.
I actually went and begged them, like “I love you so much. Please, please, please…” I’m just kidding, I didn’t say that. [laughter]
Well, while we’re mentioning sponsors, Raycast has sponsored us in the past…
They have, yes.
…and we’re not talking about them because of that. Warp has sponsored us, and we’re not talking about them because of that. We just talk about what we want to, and they happen to be companies that we like, they like us, and they sometimes sponsor us. That’s just the way it works, but… None of this is sponsored mentions.
We’re not like Back To The Future Part Two, where they say “Try a Pepsi!”
“Try a Pepsi!” So I just wonder, should we just like rollover and take it, the Safari, Chrome, Edge way?
[laughs] Well, you make it sound like that…
[01:23:52.27] Well, I mean, what’s the prediction you have for Arc? Like, you’ve been using it for a couple months. Are they going to be around in two years? And if they are, what is it gonna take for them to be around in two years?
That’s a great question. I don’t know how they make money. And that worries me.
Right. What they have right now is momentum. I don’t think they have much else, but they do have momentum.
Well, BlueSky had momentum, too.
Oh, goodness… [laughter]
Sorry. I mean, they have momentum as well.
You’re dropping bombs. No, I agree. Momentum is a fickle thing.
Threads still has some momentum, and they had the best fighting chance, but still yet, I don’t see a massive drove move to Threads even. It’s just more fractured. Yeah, I mean, people are using it, but it’s not like everybody that was once on Twitter/X, now X, is on Threads. There hasn’t been a great migration.
Right. Threads had a really good weekend, and then it was like “Womp, womp, womp…”
Yeah. And with the TV market and the social network market, maybe it’s synonymous with the browser market.
[laughs] Every market’s the same market, is what you’re saying. No, just these three.
Well, I mean…
We don’t know what’s going to happen with Arc. I was trying to find their – the amount of enthusiasm they have by their users is really high. So that’s like a good thing for them to see. I was watching – when you launch Arc, sometimes they have like new updates in the lower-left hand corner… I was looking for my tabs, and I found this thing that was actually a link to a YouTube video of their CEO talking about their latest release, and features… Hundreds of thousands of views; probably more than Nick Nisi Vim + Tmux. And pretty new. And so I see that and I think “Wow, this guy has these people”, but he’s the founder and CEO, so he has a lot of interest. There’s a spark there, and there’s users that love it. And so that’s a start. Now is it enough? We don’t know how they’re going to make money, like Nick says. Maybe they’ll just turn on a subscription service like everybody else, and a subset of their users will do it, and then they’ll have enough money. But I don’t know, they’re probably VC-backed, and stuff. I don’t know the business behind Arc at all. Hopefully they aren’t VC-backed, because then they’ll probably have a better chance of surviving. But they do have a lot of people using it, and a lot of people loving it. Like, they have that early Firefox feel. Not that they have the same principles or milieu that Firefox was coming from, but just that excited initial user base that turns into converters, like we were.
Do you think part of that is because they had that false – what do you call it? They had the exclusivity, right? You had to be invited to it. So…
The private waitlist thing.
Right. That’s over now.
Yeah, but did that like help propel it. Like “Oh, what’s this cool club…?”
It might have. They did also have early users that would blog about it… Because they were in the club, and they wanted to write, and they tried it. I mean, I learned about it from Chris Coyier, who was trying it before I was, and spoke highly of it. I was like “Well, I respect his opinion. He seems to like it”, or at least he did back when he wrote about it. So that’s a thing. I don’t know if that’s like the whole thing… Because the exclusivity can give you that initial bulge, that swell of interest… But how long has it been since they’ve been available for everybody? It’s at least months, and they have still people trying it and using it. So, I mean, that’s – I mean, good for them. We’re not here to – they’re also not a sponsor. We don’t know if they have any money to give us any of their money, but… I’m not going to use it right now…
[laughs] Well, they’re not gonna sponsor us now, Jerod…
Well, I don’t care. That’s the whole thing.
I’m just kidding with you.
I’m a user.
You’re a user. I’m not a convert. I’ve been using it for a week…
I like the idea of it.
I kind of want it to survive. It’s the little guy. I like the little guy. But I’m pretty much back to Safari for life, and Brave/Chromium. Brave is the instance of Chromium I run, because they rip out the Google bits for me, for dev.
And here’s what keeps me on newer Mac world, too. I have older Macs, I’m like, I don’t want to use them anymore, because they don’t have Touch ID…
They are unusable.
[01:27:56.08] Yeah, I mean… I have an older – like a fairly old laptop that still has Touch ID; it’s old, but not that old. And it’s Intel. But here’s what keeps me, is pay with Apple Pay, in Safari. If no one else can replicate that feature, it’s going to keep me there for that alone, as a daily driver. And it’s just so simple. It’s just such a minimal interface… It’s the TV. It’s not Android TV, it’s not the advertisement platform, it’s just the TV. It’s just a beautiful monitor, that’s what Safari is for me. And I don’t need all the extras; the only extension or plugin or whatever it is I have is 1Password, which would just be amazing if it was like a baked-in Apple thing. They still haven’t gotten passwords right, in my opinion. It’s just the worst.
Buried in the Settings app? Come on…
Yes, it’s just the worst. Like, they’re not even trying. But even 1Password too I think has UX challenges as well. I love them, it’s the best way to do it, but it’s still not a good UX in every single case… But I’m getting into 1Password with my biometrics, with my fingerprint, and I’m buying things that way. Not that I’m buying a lot of stuff, but when I do, that process is so much easier. I don’t have to go and create an account. I can bypass that account creation, I can still use coupon codes in most cases for these stores… So why would I not just use Apple Pay? Like, it’s so convenient; not for the payment, but for not having to be creating an account necessarily to buy one-off from rando stores, that are legitimate rando stores.
Okay, here’s the divisive question that this audience is perfectly attuned to answer, because no one else can answer it probably… And that is “What tab layout in Safari are you using?”
[laughs] Yes, this is a question specifically for the three of us… What are the options? So I don’t know what I’m using…
The options are separate or compact.
You go first, Nick.
I’m using Compact, and I like it.
Oh, my gosh… And you also listen to your audiobooks in 2x. What a shame.
See, we’re not so the same, you and I, Nick…
This is where we’re not simpatico, man…
Here I thought we didn’t have any diversity on this panel, but now I’m starting to think we’ve got some. I mean, we’ve got two guys wearing the exact same pair of glasses on this… So our diversity points are way down on this particular episode. But I couldn’t imagine using compact. Are you serious? I didn’t even know there was a compact until you just told me that there’s multiple tab layouts.
Switch to it.
So what does Compact do? It puts them up in the toolbar higher, and…?
Why do you like this?
But it also does things like it makes the top bar – you can control that with the site that you’re on; it can color that to a specific color, so that you could have like a seamless-looking application running in your browser.
How do you control it? …because I go to changelog.com and it’s still gray. And I know we have like the – what setting is that in your manifest, or in your –
Oh, I do see that. I do like that, Nick.
Here’s an example. If you went to – again, I’m not advertising this; this is a tab I had opened… Raycast.com, in Safari, with Compact tabs, you’re gonna see what Nick’s talking about. And maybe ours too, honestly. Let me see if I can advertise ours instead.
No, ours isn’t a different color.
Well, it does make it green.
This doesn’t either for me. Hold on… Mine aren’t changing. Is that another setting?
No, it’s not. They’re all gray. I just switched to Compact, but they’re still all gray. So that might be a separate setting, Nick. Help us troubleshoot.
No, I don’t think so.
Even if you go to changelog.com… Let me spell it for you, Jerod. C, H…
I’m on Raycast.com, I’m on changelog.com…
Really? What a shame.
Try like Socket.dev. That’s a good one.
Also not a sponsor… But a good friend…
Never go there.
Yeah, Socket.dev does it for me as well.
No, they’re all gray, man. They’re all gray.
Huh. You might have to restart.
Maybe – wait a second… Are you guys in night mode?
I’m in day mode.
Okay, same. Like OS-level settings.
I’m in night.
That’s where all hackers live…
I’m in light. I’m in light. I couldn’t go there for everything…
I go light mode during the day, night mode during the night. I just feel like that’s the way life should be. It’s nighttime, it’s the right time for darkness.
I’m dark mode in most cases for some things…
Yeah, I don’t know if I have a separate, like, accessibility setting on, or something… But it’s not happening for me. Anyways, this is turning into troubleshooting…
I can see why you like it, Nick. That is a good point. But it just litters that top bar up quite a bit.
I don’t know, if I could go back between Separate versus Compact…
Separate just looks so old to me now.
It is the old school way of doing it. I’m gonna try Compact for a little while. I’m done with Arc, but I’m gonna try Compact. [laughter] See if I like after a week.
You might be onto something here. This might be okay.
Because I don’t want to be so crotchety, so rigid that I refuse to have any change in my life. Because at that point, we should probably hang it up. Don’t you think, Adam? …like, if we both get there, then we can’t really do what we do.
Well, that’s what I worry about. I was telling my wife the other day, I’m like “Babe, I’m worried.” She’s like “Why?” She thought it was like a sickness, or something. I’m like, “I just realized that I’m becoming more and more cynical on certain things, and that list has gotten bigger… And I’m worried that I’m just gonna be totally cynical at some point in the near future, because I’ve just got opinions, and I’m crotchety, and stuck in my ways, and I don’t like change. That doesn’t lend well…” She’s like “That’s okay…” I’m like “Okay, cool.”
[laughs] “That’s okay…” Good answer. What else was she gonna say? “Yeah, that’s terrible.”
She’s like “I still love you.”
I feel the same exact way. And I’m glad that we’re talking about something as simple as browsers, and not other stuff…
Right, more serious things like this TypeScript exodus… I mean, Nick has taken it personally. I mean, people are switching off of TypeScript, and he just…
Some random guy who’s not relevant switched off… And I saw the perfect tweet against that, and it was “If this project mattered, people would fork it. But there’s no fork, so it doesn’t matter.”
Speaking of the perfect tweet now… On our JS Party emergency pod, which by the time this drops will have gone out yesterday, so it’s in your feed… I’m not sure what it’s called, but the JS Party with Amal Hussein, myself, and Nick was physically ill; he couldn’t even handle it, so he didn’t show up… And Rich Harris. And Rich actually reads aloud his quote tweet of the guy who Nick doesn’t want me to name, where he ends it with the word - and we’re trying to figure out right now if we need to bleep it or not… d**kwatery.
I like it.
So if you liked that tweet, stay tuned for JS Party, or listen to it in the feed, because you’ll hear Rich Harris read aloud his tweet, which includes that final word, which…
It’s a perfect show title.
[laughs] Which we have to decide our policy on bleeping that.
I have to worry about my son too, because he starts reading things now… Like, he’s seven; he totally reads everything, but he reads everything.
So just because it’s not audible, he’s still like “Dad, what does that –” There was a somebody cooking on – I was watching something over the weekend, because I was doing some barbecue, and they were cooking with duck fat. And he’s like “Dad, I think that says the f, v, c, k word and fat. Like, why would they use that kind of fat?” I’m like “For one, that’s funny”
Off by a letter…
“And two, that’s not what it says, but okay.” But it was duck fat.
They read everything. So even the title, as – okay, one thing I want to mention, and I didn’t get a chance to highlight this, because you said that tweet that person said on the Fediverse somewhere… I think there is legs there for a Linux-like take on the browser. I think that’s the best chance we have to a browser that isn’t an incumbent.
This was Gabe Kangas. He’s a listener of the show. This was his idea.
[01:35:47.25] That’s a great idea. I think a lot of what he said was spot on. And I think the way you’re gonna have a good incumbent, or a good opportunity to take down an incumbent is going to be that way. The Linux version of a browser. By and for the people. Open source. Can’t be bought.
But it won’t run on my phone. That’s the only problem.
Get a different phone, Nick…
Well, didn’t Fedora have like a web browser? We just talked to him; they have like a web browser, didn’t he? Fedora? No, it was WebOS. Not Fedora. It was –
It was Debian.
That’s something I haven’t heard in a long time. Oh, Debian.
Debian. Yeah… I don’t know, it’s just so much work.
Well, they’re all just packaging Firefox, aren’t they? If you download a Linux today – I haven’t run Linux on the desktop for a long time. Adam, maybe you know… You just download Ubuntu, and you say “web browser”, are you launching Firefox pretty much? Or is there some other stock Linux web browser that’s in there?
There’s something else… But I think Firefox is usually there, too.
Is the other thing Chromium-based?
I would be surprised. Oh, Chromium-based?
Yeah, I would think so. What other open source browsers are there besides those two?
Alright. Well, we have to let Nick go, because Apple really wants him to go watch their keynote. It just feels like that’s what Apple would want him to do…
Is there a keynote today?
There’s a keynote today, it’s coming up here in 15…
Don’t joke about that, Adam…
Apple’s not gonna be happy with you if you don’t know about their keynote.
What is the – what’s planned, Nick? What’s the leaks? Give us the inside scoop that’s late for Friday.
Oh, you know, iPhone 15, USB-C, Periscope camera, an action button, which is gonna be amazing, instead of a mute switch…
An action button. What’s it gonna do? Anything you want it to?
You can program it to do anything. You can program it to open your camera, to run a shortcut, do whatever.
Oh, that’s cool.
So instead of this little toggle switch over here, it’s an action button?
That’s the rumor. How about new AirPods? I’m ready for some new AirPods.
At least AirPods with a USBC case. Or you can buy a case for your current AirPods…
But no other changes, just a new case?
I mean, that’s the rumor… The software stuff doesn’t leak nearly as easy as the hardware stuff, because they don’t have to make millions ahead of time.
Right. So nothing super-exciting, just a new iPhone and small upgrades. The action button is kind of cool, but…
Yeah. The Periscope camera I think will be cool. 6x zoom, which will be amazing…
Does it literally come out?
No, it uses mirrors to make the light travel down the length of the phone, and then back up, so it has more time in the lens…
Whaat…?! They’re gonna have a cool video about that…
Oh, yeah. I mean, they invented it, right?
I can’t wait for the cool marketing name for it.
What’s the – it says Wanderlust. What does that mean, you think?
They’re running out of ideas… [laughter]
They needed a word that was vague and interesting. Wanderlust.
Is that vague and interesting? It’s vague. Is it interesting?
Well, it has the word lust in there, and wander… I mean, those are both kind of interesting words.
The Apple logo in that is kind of like a metallic dust type thing… I’ve heard, I don’t know if this is true, but that they’re using metallic 3D printing to do some pieces for the iPhones, so maybe it’s related to that… But that seems pretty technical.
3D printing? With like metal?
Yeah. That’s totally a thing, right?
I don’t know.
I thought it was like the same as dusting or same as snapped and that Apple is disintegrating.
No more Apple.
This is where Apple becomes a villain?
Well, by the time you’re listening to this, you already know exactly what they announced, so your guys’es speculation will sound naive…
Well, I had no idea there was an event today, so there you go, Nick…
It’s gonna be fun.
Hey, that’s the advancement, Adam. Maybe you’re just getting old and cynical, you know?
Less cares, I guess, about particular things…
So you’re probably not gonna get a new iPhone.
Oh, my new rule is – I even hate to say this, because I’ll probably be attracted to it and I’ll want it, but I’ll delay it for like a year. And the reason why I tend to get newer phones is usually for the camera. So obviously I want the latest one. But I’ve learned over the last two times I’ve bought phones, I can always get like 800 bucks off a phone if I just wait one year. So if I’m a year behind, I could save a ton of money on the phone. And I like to save that money.
[01:40:17.16] I really want a new one. I really want a new one, just because of USB-C. Like, throw away all of my lightning, except for these stupid AirPods Max that I have…
Ahh… Be careful, Nick. Apple would not want you calling those stupid. [laughs]
So Lightning’s gone. Forever. At this point. It’s USB-C all the way.
That is the rumor. And I think it’s mandated at this point by the –
I was gonna say, weren’t they forced by the EU to do that?
Yeah. But also, that might be an interesting announcement that might have an effect on browsers, is – isn’t it in the EU, or at least some countries, where they’re going to have to allow side-loading?
Oh. That I don’t know.
Hello native other browsers.
But probably not for us, because we don’t have those regulations.
Do you think they would allow it just there and not here?
Yeah, because they do that with other things… Like, you can do alternative payments in like Norway for dating apps, or something; like, very specific things.
Yeah. Gosh, it must be difficult to be such a global software company, where you have to deal with these statutes in each country that you’re operating in. Not for me… Not for me. Software is complicated enough.
Thankfully, we’re just an indie media company, you know?
Yeah. We just talk about this stuff. We don’t have to go do it.
Alright, Nick, where can people find you besides JS Party and the world-famous Vim With Me video series that’s gonna be coming out? Where do people connect with you nowadays?
Those are perfect places… But if those don’t work, literally everywhere else. I’m Nick Nisi.
[laughs] Just look for Nick Nisi. You’ll find him.
Literally everywhere else.
On every social network there is.
Except for TikTok. I hate TikTok, because they stole my name.
I mean, I got on early enough that it wasn’t tied to an account, it was tied to your phone… And then I got a new iPhone, and I lost that.
And you can’t recover it.
Yeah. I’ve tried, and they’re like “Oh, send us something”, and then they just never respond.
So username @NickNisi on TikTok is taken by you, that you can’t recover.
Yes. So I’m @nick.nisi, which is terrible.
Painful. Better than a hyphen…
Here’s what I’ve learned about TikTok… No one cares about usernames.
That’s an unpopular opinion.
On that platform.
Oh, on that platform.
Yeah, on that platform. It’s more about the quality of the content than it is the username… Which I kind of like. It democratizes all the constraints you have as a creator, like “Oh, must have the right domain name, must have the right username…” It takes that out there.
Nice. Maybe my hope will be restored for that.
So @Nick.Nisi coming soon to TikTok, with his Vim With Me videos.
Although I did see a video yesterday where if you have a dot in your name, people are kind of against that…
[laughs] They don’t care about usernames at all.
Jerod’s face for like a split second was like “No way.”
Yeah. Well, I was catching up kind of in the sentence, because I was – I was thinking about someone else, and I was trying to catch up with your sentence, and once I realized it, I was like “Oh, good one, dude.”
That’s a good one, yeah.
Alright. Should we say goodbye?
Yeah. Bye, Nick. Bye, friends.
This was fun.
Yeah, man. Welcome back anytime.
Hey-hey. There he is. He finally showed up. Bye, friends.
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