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

@z428

They do 'better' because they, through inordinate market power accrued through tactics at least as shady as anti-competitive hiring practices, get to define what 'better' means.

@Shamar @grainloom @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

@deejoe No. They *do* better because they made technology available to users in a way "accessible" to these. They do things such as thinking about "target groups" or user personas and actual requirements in term of usability as well. They do that for profit, and of course they use marketing for that, but in the end WhatsApp, Google, Facebook *did* make technology accessible to people who never used a computer before - 1/4

@deejoe @Shamar @grainloom @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon We can try to ignore this or argue it away but the amount of people using these channels and tools (both because they are easy and/or because they aren't able to use any other tools) possibly will not care - 2/4

@z428

it's a cycle, of course: They can do usability work with the ill-gotten gains from vertical lock-in & other anti-competitive shenanigans.

@Shamar @grainloom @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

@z428

on the one hand we have people who want to eliminate the 'normal' user by making them all programmers

on the other, those who want to 'fight for the user' on a battlefield of their opponents choosing

@Shamar @grainloom @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

@deejoe @z428 @grainloom @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

I think it's very evident that we cannot compete with corporations paying thousands of developers (and fooling even more to work for free "because fOSS") on building successful applications because they decide what successful applications must look like.
They WANT us to waste our energy trying!
So they can hire and subdue us.

@Shamar @deejoe @z428 @grainloom @alcinnz @MatejLach @cbowdon
I think one example of how corpos defined what "successful" means, is when Apple started making smartphones with touchscreens w/o physical keyboards, and everyone else followed suit.

@Shamar This will fail. People never will have enough knowledge to compete with Google or Apple either. We shouldn't forget it's not just about marketing - they actually *do* have a bunch of very skilled people in their teams, way more skilled than average programmers or even an end user trying to write code.

@deejoe @grainloom @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

@z428 @deejoe @grainloom @alcinnz @MatejLach @cbowdon

I think what @Shamar is trying to do is to change peoples' expecations so that their requirements are incompatible with Google's and Apple's business model.

@Wolf480pl That won't work however because the difference between his approach and Google/Apple is that Google/Apple are way closer to peoples actual individual requirements. We should learn to respect those if we don't want people to ignore us.
@deejoe @grainloom @alcinnz @MatejLach @cbowdon @Shamar

@Shamar You will never get a tool on par with AutoCAD entirely built by a "free" community. Not as long as people have to pay bills. For a whole bunch of reasons, starting with those tools being utterly complex in any way and tools for users highly specialized in "not programming".

@deejoe @grainloom @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

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