We need a multi-national, publicly funded research organization akin to CERN/within CERN, whose whole purpose is to develop a state-of-the-art browser that's not Chromium-based. Make #Google follow our lead, rather than us having to follow Google.

If the Web could be developed using public money, why not a modern browser? Public funding would remove the Mozilla problem of them having to depend on Google.

With the amount of money governments waste annually, we could fund this AND Mozilla.

There could be incentive problems here as well, of course, like governments threatening to withdraw funding in case a certain backdoor isn't included, or if it blocks ads too aggressively and some corporate-funded 'representative' starts receiving pushback from the industry etc, but which is why it would need to:

- Be funded by a wider variety of states than the Five/Nine Eyes members.

- Developed entirely in the open, each important change reviewed by a committee of experts from the public.

@MatejLach But how would you unseat Chrome at this point? Google have the incumbent advantage and the platform advantage. Technical excellence is only part of the story.

@cbowdon That's definitely going to be a challenge, but #Google did some smart marketing by having ads IRL, like in trains and such, even in smaller countries if the % of connected users was high enough.

Since it would be publicly funded, you could also install it on computers in publicly-funded educational institutions. A lot of software spreads by children installing it for their parents. If students are using it at school, they're likely to install it at home.

@MatejLach Ooh that last one is a good one. That’s what MS/Apple/Google are trying after all. You wouldn’t necessarily need CERN-like levels of funding to achieve it.

@cbowdon @MatejLach
but wouldn't you need CERN-like levels of fuding to develop a browser that keeps up with the moving target of shitty WHATWG standards?

@Shamar
I think to pull regular users in, we'd have to start with today's web. But once we have sway in the committees, you can begin to redefine what state of the art web should look like.

@Wolf480pl @cbowdon

@Shamar@mastodon social It won't work. Just take some time to, say, explain recursion or graph algorithms, image compression or even cryptography math to a totally untrained user. We will never get to a point of end users to read or understand their software. IMHO, trying to do so is a waste of time that could better be spent on building more ethical solutions that just work for this crowd.
@MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

@z428 @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon My position is that they should be *able* to (perhaps with a little training), but not obligated to.

@Shamar We're at a point where some adults have issues understanding higher math, some even have real issues learning to master natural language to understand complex texts or express themselves. And we actually did invent an alphabet to help these folks: Icons. Symbols. Easy interactions. So far this works well. Will we be able to do meaningful programming on that level?
@alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

@z428 @Shamar @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon in simpler systems, the meaning of "meaningful programming" might be a lot different than it is in bloated corporate software. just want to get that noted.

@Shamar I think we very often fall victim to oversimplification because we have totally lost sight of how incredibly much specialized we already are - and how extremely basic and "trivial" some of the issues users are struggling with actually are. Google, Apple, ... are successful because they do better here, no matter why they do that.
@grainloom @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

@Shamar And now, provide those kids with, say, a batch of hardware and the most simple fully featured implementation of something like e-mail. Do you think they will have a chance to understand what happens, let alone fix it? If that was possible, most programmers apparently are pretty dumb, looking at how much time is spent on fixing ...
@grainloom @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

@z428 @Shamar @grainloom @alcinnz @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

My take on that is that most of the required info is already out there, but I am all for simplifying it.

I don't think that would lead to some massive influx of programmers, because some people just have different passions like painting, music and such and some just want to watch TV.

There's a pretty large artist community on the Fediverse, don't think they're much interested in the tech side and that's honestly fine.

@MatejLach @z428 @Shamar @alcinnz @Wolf480pl @cbowdon idk, you need to know a lot of "engineeringy" stuff to get things done with digital art tools
you need to use logical thinking for setting up complex things in Blender or Krita
we are already forced to learn a large subset of MS Office, why couldn't we learn UNIX(or hopefully Plan 9) instead?

@grainloom @z428 @Shamar @alcinnz @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

Well, am not saying we shouldn't But many people learn a specific tool to achieve a specific tasks. Things like operating systems, programming and such are such open-ended things that unless you're creatively interested in them, there doesn't seem to be as much of a point in doing so.

@MatejLach @grainloom @z428 @Shamar @alcinnz @cbowdon

I think the primary reason why we'd want to teach everyone programming isn't so that they come up with new ways of implementing some part of an operating system, but so that they can make minor adjustments to the software they use on a daily basis, without being dependent on other programmers' willingness to implement such a feature or fix a particular bug.

@MatejLach @grainloom @z428 @Shamar @alcinnz @cbowdon

It'd be awesome to get to the point where "fork it if you disagree" is a viable option for everyone.

@Wolf480pl Yes, but way more than that I would hope people finally got away from that high frequency forking and "my way or the highway" kind of community to some sort of actual cooperation again, willing to iron out even personal differences and come to a consensus. But that's possibly another thing.
@MatejLach @grainloom @Shamar @alcinnz @cbowdon

@z428 @MatejLach @grainloom @Shamar @alcinnz @cbowdon
Maybe it's just me not looking in the right place, but I don't see too many forks recently...

Anyway, IMO it's better for a program to have a coherent vision behind its design, rather than have design-by-committee. And how do we check which vision is better, if not by forking?

@Wolf480pl @z428 @MatejLach @grainloom @Shamar @alcinnz @cbowdon honestly, a BDFL 'vision' model isn't much better than a traditional committee model

@a_breakin_glass @Wolf480pl @z428 @MatejLach @grainloom @alcinnz @cbowdon

What about BOFH? 🤣

Just kidding...

The point of what we are saying is that if everyone in the planet was able to hack his operating system (or whatever), you woudn't need BDFL. You woudn't need maintainers or funding. And no corporation could win against free software.

@Shamar @Wolf480pl @z428 @MatejLach @grainloom @alcinnz @cbowdon
>You woudn't need maintainers or funding.

you might; after all, you need infrastructure to share patches, etc over

@Shamar @a_breakin_glass @Wolf480pl @z428 @MatejLach @alcinnz @cbowdon This works best if the modifications they make don't mess things up. Eg. if I have a patched version of ls but other software wants to use ls, that might be a problem. So we need good package management tools.

@Wolf480pl @Shamar @a_breakin_glass @z428 @MatejLach @alcinnz @cbowdon I still haven't been able to try NixOS because the VM kept running out memory but uuuh, it's probably what I want? Or at least close.

@xj9 @grainloom @Shamar @a_breakin_glass @z428 @MatejLach @alcinnz @cbowdon
I read some Hurd's design docs and parts of code some time ago, and came to the conclusion that it is basically an adaptation of Plan9 to a microkernel.

@xj9 @Shamar @Wolf480pl @cbowdon @alcinnz @MatejLach @z428 @grainloom public domain is mostly indistinguishable from permissive licenses and more jurisdiction dependent

@Shamar @xj9 @cbowdon @alcinnz @MatejLach @z428 @a_breakin_glass @grainloom

IANAL, but from what I understand, under current copyright law network protocols temselves are not copyrightable. I can always get one person to reverse-engineer your program and write a spec for the protocol in such an uncreative way that the spec is not copyrightable, and then have another person read the spec and make a clean-room impl.
And there are copyright exceptions for "reverse engineering for compatibility".

@Shamar @a_breakin_glass @xj9 @cbowdon @alcinnz @MatejLach @z428 @grainloom

Because by definition, only creative works can be derivative works.

Ideas cannot be copyrighted.
If a certain work is the only way to express a particular idea, then it is not a derivative work, and copyright does not apply to it.

@Shamar @xj9 @cbowdon @alcinnz @MatejLach @z428 @a_breakin_glass @grainloom
How will the protocol encryption prevent me from reading your code and documenting how it uses the network?

@Shamar @Wolf480pl @xj9 @cbowdon @alcinnz @MatejLach @z428 @grainloom I don't think it is. after all, if you decompile and clean room reverse engineer it, that isn't vulnerable to copyright problems. why should the source make much difference

@a_breakin_glass @Shamar @xj9 @cbowdon @alcinnz @MatejLach @z428 @grainloom

For a good measure, you could first run the source through an obfuscator that renames each variable with names like var001 var002, etc.

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