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.
Remember Xmarks? It was great. Floccus does the same thing and even allows you to sync with whatever server you want: any Google Drive, any Nextcloud, any WebDAV server. With more backends in the works.
A collective effort by browser makers (Microsoft, Mozilla, and Google) to understand where the dev community would like them to invest their energy.
We started this project to collect your feedback about the current state of the web and to give you a voice to help shape what the future of web.
They’re taking this effort on the road to various conferences, but there’s also a non-geographically-constrained way of sounding off as well: you can fill out the form on the website. 😄
From the Microsoft Edge blog:
Today, we are pleased to announce the availability of the Microsoft Edge Canary channel for macOS. You can now install preview builds from the Microsoft Edge Insider site for macOS…
Anyone out there test drive this yet? Chime in the discussion below to share your thoughts.
If you’ve been wondering how Microsoft’s mix of Chrome and Edge would look, then check this out. Tom Warren writing for The Verge:
Most of the user interface of the browser is a mix of Chrome and Edge, and Microsoft has clearly tried to add its own little touches here and there. There’s a read aloud accessibility option, and it simply reads the page out loud like it does in existing versions of Edge. Some features that you’d expect from Edge are missing, though. Microsoft hasn’t implemented its set aside tabs feature just yet, and write on the web with a stylus isn’t available. A dark mode is only available via a testing flag right now.
Peter Bright writes for Ars Technica:
Microsoft adopting Chromium puts the Web in a perilous place. […] With Microsoft’s decision to end development of its own Web rendering engine and switch to Chromium, control over the Web has functionally been ceded to Google. That’s a worrying turn of events, given the company’s past behavior.
This post was mentioned in Slack by James Lovato about a former Microsoft Edge intern claiming Google callously broke rival web browsers. Then, Nick Nisi chimed in to mention this post by Jeremy Noring as “an interesting rebuttal/defense of what they’re doing.”
Dave Rupert feels that Microsoft Edge switching to Chromium makes other browser rendering engines “edge cases”:
If there’s one thing I know about developers, it’s that we love to ignore edge cases because edge cases make our jobs more difficult. Google itself regularly ships Chrome-only products and I’ve been told by Googlers that they’re directed to only care about Chrome.
Like Dave, I feel torn between different arguments. But just as Blink is a fork of WebKit, who knows if we’ll also see a fork of Chromium led by Microsoft in the future.
Should I read this 22 minute read on the state of web browsers? Sure. Count me in!
Microsoft has confirmed the rumor to be true. We now have one less browser engine, and a last man standing (Firefox) in deep trouble (reasons below).
The web now runs on a single engine. There is not a single browser with a non-Chromium engine on mobile of any significance other than Safari. Which runs webkit, kind of the same engine as Chromium, which is based on webkit.
Big rumor coming out of Redmond this week:
Microsoft is throwing in the towel with EdgeHTML and is instead building a new web browser powered by Chromium, which uses a similar rendering engine first popularized by Google’s Chrome browser known as Blink.
I’ve long been a proponent for browsers differentiating at the feature/integration layers and teaming up at the rendering layer, so I view this as good news. What do you think?
Several major browsers you and I use everyday are capable of leaking our browsing history, and they all know about it. Caroline Haskins at Motherboard writes:
Most modern browsers—such as Chrome, Firefox, and Edge … have vulnerabilities that allow hosts of malicious websites to extract hundreds to thousands of URLs in a user’s web history, per new research from the University of California San Diego.
In a statement provided to Motherboard via email, senior engineering manager of Firefox security Wennie Leung said that Firefox will “prioritize our review of these bugs based on the threat assessment.” Google spokesperson Ivy Choi told Motherboard in an email that they are aware of the issue and are “evaluating possible solutions.”
Ben Adida shared this on Twitter:
When first web history sniffing attacks came out, I suggested we had to change the notion of a visited link: a link would be marked visited by origin (edges, not nodes.) That was considered too dramatic a change. Maybe it’s necessary after all.
Who’s ready to dig into this research and share how vulnerable we really are and what types of malicious websites could/would extract our browsing history? If you do, let us know so we can link it up.
Tom Warren writing for The Verge:
Microsoft is testing a warning for Windows 10 users not to install Chrome or Firefox. The software giant is in the final stages of testing its Windows 10 October 2018 Update, and testers have spotted a new change that appears when you try to install a rival web browser. “You already have Microsoft Edge – the safer, faster browser for Windows 10” says a prompt that appears when you run the Chrome or Firefox installers on the latest Windows 10 October 2018 Update.
Yes, the update in the article makes it clear that this is only being tested, but to me, that doesn’t excuse this type of shady behavior. Why is this being tested in the first place?
Unfortunately for Microsoft, invasive and creepy conduct like this will only make people steer clear of its browser and other products.
PWAs are coming to Microsoft Edge and Windows. This is a huge win for PWAs.
We’re all-in on PWAs. In fact, we want to take PWAs on Windows to the next level, by making them first-class app citizens in Windows.
Love this quote:
Progressive Web Apps are just great web sites that can behave like native apps—or, perhaps, Progressive Web Apps are just great apps, powered by Web technologies and delivered with Web infrastructure.
If you’re a web developer and you’re not paying attention to Windows, Edge, and what Microsoft is doing because “that’s not your camp,” means you’re missing out on a massive community working hard to move the web forward. Pay attention.