Re: [dev] Talk about sane web browsers

From: Pinocchio <>
Date: Sun, 06 Sep 2009 17:38:33 -0700

On Sun, 06 Sep 2009 16:50:50 -0700, Ray Kohler <> wrote:

> On Sun, Sep 6, 2009 at 7:30 PM, Uriel<> wrote:
>> You can't have a "sane web browser"[1] with an insane rendering
>> engine. All you are doing otherwise is giving a turd another coat of
>> paint.
>> At the moment my only hope for a minimally sane web rendering engine
>> is
>> The latest released version is not too useful, but development seems
>> to be fast and they are moving forward quite fast.
>> Peace
>> uriel
>> [1]: Of course there can't be a sane web browser, but a different coat
>> of paint on top of webkit is not going to be any saner than Chrome,
>> and unlike all this so called "sane browsers" at least Chrome mostly
>> got the process model right.
> I think it's more like, "You can't have a sane web browser with an
> insane web". As long as the content creator makes assumptions of how
> the user wants the content presented, and things break when the
> assumptions are violated, there can be no sane web experience. And
> that's still better than the model where the creator's assumptions are
> simply enforced upon the user. (Of course, this can be gotten around
> by just avoiding all the broken parts of the web, but I find that
> rather impossible given that my livelihood is tied up in it.)
> FWIW, I made a post of this sort in uzbl's Arch Forum thread recently,
> and it doesn't appear that anybody responding to it got what I was
> driving at. Dieter, in fact, admitted not understanding me. It didn't
> seem worthwhile to continue the thread there, since I don't really
> want to convince browser programmers that their cause is hopeless -
> and that's really what "victory" for me would look like on that front.
> I'm still quite interested in both uzbl and surf, and I'm hoping one
> of them will prove me wrong and actually tame the web into a uniform
> UI / presentation experience that somehow smooths over any dumb things
> the content creators do without sending me back to Firefox to handle
> broken pages all the time.

A few months ago caught my eye. Its a browser written in java (hold on... don't kick me off the list... :) ) but the thing I liked about it was its support for alternative document formats. It supports JavaFX out of the box and that's definitely a more suckless version of document rendering / scripting than HTML + Javascript.

I got the idea then that it may not be a bad idea to develop a "suckless document rendering / scripting application" which supports a document format the suckless community would actually like. I haven't looked around a lot but I liked the minimalistic nature of the enlightenment project's evas + edje library. Evas takes a image-only (no SVG) approach to document rendering with very good results.
Of course we would have to support HTML + Javascript too but it could be a plugin similar to the way Adobe PDF and Flash are plugins for the regular browsers. We could also write tools to convert our document format to HTML + Javascript on the server side.

In many ways HTML + Javascript is the "assembly" of the web. Web frontend developers rarely deal directly with HTML + Javascript. In this case, we could try and write something simpler and just write tools to directly render it for suckless browsers or convert it to HTML + Javascript for non-suckless mortals :)

Received on Mon Sep 07 2009 - 00:38:33 UTC

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