Wrote a little bit about how the idea of "a browser for documents, not apps" doesn't make any sense in a modern age. milezero.org/index.php/tech/we

Worth noting that I think there's some real chauvinism around form in these discussions: the idea is that "documents are easier," which isn't actually true on the web--but also isn't really true on paper. Flipbooks, mad libs, crosswords, House of Leaves, Choose Your Own Adventure... the history of "interactive" ergodic documents is rich and complex.

@thomaswilburn Totally agree with this. I get the impression that the "web should be documents, not apps" folks attribute everything they hate about the modern web (bloated pages, ads, tracking, too much JS) to the app-centric model and assume that if the web were forced to be documents then the alternative would be automatically better. And that the attention economy wouldn't just flow to some more locked-down proprietary system like iOS/Android, with the same bad stuff intact.


@nolan @thomaswilburn
What I'd love to have is a middle ground.

I feel that certain non-Safari browsers are way too eager to include countless features, and we could do with less over-appification of the web, but a return to the imagined purity of the document-only web is also nonsense.

One the one hand I see the argument that Safari stunts the web, on the other I'm secretly relieved someone is providing a counterweight to largish other browsers.

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@ppk @thomaswilburn Yeah, I'm glad that we're not in a Chromium monoculture (yet) too. In terms of a counterweight, I feel what's missing is a Mozilla with the zeal of the Firefox OS era, where they were adding PWA-like features at a breakneck pace but while keeping the interests of the web at heart.

I feel like Apple and Mozilla today are just under-investing and pretending like it's some kind of grand strategy.

@nolan @thomaswilburn

I am considerably more negative about the Firefox OS era, but losing Firefox would be a serious problem.

Unfortunately I don't know what to do, given that Firefox managed to completely ignore mobile for crucial year after crucial year and became irrelevant.

Maybe we should hope for competition within the Chromium market, with Microsoft being the most obvious candidate. But that doesn't seem to be happening either.

@nolan @ppk Agreed, the degree to which it feels like Mozilla has just kind of... opted out of the conversation (and is largely silent about the situation on mobile) is really discouraging.

@thomaswilburn @nolan

Firefox opted out in 2008-9, when it decided not to do anything about mobile (partly because back then Gecko was too massive and unperformant - that was the main reason the early mobile web went for WebKit.)

They just haven't stopped moving yet.

@nolan @ppk @thomaswilburn Lol and then Apple has the "courage" to say 'well if companies don't want to abide by our rules and publish apps (especially cloud gaming apps) to our store, they have the wide-open Internet, though Safari, to use', while Safari sucks with PWA's, not even supporting push notifications. And if apps capture video, like the one at:


the screen will *still* lock. And all because some people want a mobile presence, but don't have enough money for $100 per year for just allowing users to install an app. Also developing and distribution Android apps is free, when sideloading, and I believe just $25 when put on Google Play. Sorry, just, something I care about.

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