Re: [dev] surf rewrite for WebKit2GTK

From: Teodoro Santoni <>
Date: Sat, 25 Oct 2014 21:55:44 +0200

On Sat, Oct 25, 2014 at 04:29:58PM -0200, Daniel CamolÍs wrote:
> [snip]
> I dream with the day when the Internet will be built
> around a model simple and generic enough that a reasonable programmer
> will be able to code a complete "browser" in a month of work or so.
> Am I alone? Is there any hope out there?

TL;DR: Imho, there is none. W3c is the total opposite of suckless software.

Let's start by the simple fact that this technology is based on sgml dialects
and something you could call visual java.
I can see only two strategies to make it suck less (in the suckless point of
view, so the flexibility is maximum, it can fuck up your program and it's most
likely user's fault or his/her responsibility to hack and patch it): kick NS
plugins, cross-platform treatment of platform-specific things (like the codecs
used for <video>) out of the
code base and introducing better ways, nearer to what you see than what you
get, to customize what you get from a given page (than JS userscripts and
extensions, think about elinks scripting addons with an api that allows you to
hack the DOM without workarounds like piping the page, or about w3m with a
real GUI); and/or treat web pages as packages or apps, being able to compile
them and even create overlays and repositories.
Both the approaches are stupid, given the goals of w3 pages: the first is
inconsistent and incredibly prone to Thompson hacks, the second is totally the
opposite of what HTML is after the v4.
What can we save? Either if it's by scripting or patching the source code, a
suckless user shell for web pages (let's be honest: if we have to talk about
web browser, thus developing something that renders more or less the same than
firefox or chrome, one can only write a big pile of bloat just like
gecko/blink/webkit, but in C) has to ship with a simpler and less
standard-prone API for manipulating what happens on the screen when parsing a
DOM, and maybe should have a static compiler for javascript, to C or to the
scripting language for the "browser".
That would break, however, the classic workflow a user has with a browser.
This is a rant based on "mantaining the status quo but having something that
doesn't coredump on google maps", one can instead do something lesser dumb
and adding the modern capabilities to dumb terminal logic.

Nothing impedes to create extensions to VT1XX, for images, GL, videos, and
replace cgi things with, for example, 9p-style interaction. Or
replacing the actual html, css and js files in webservers with tcl scripts or
things like that. Something you would download, with its corresponding media
files, and feed to a wish shell or similar software.

In either paths (interpret w3crap or deprecate it) lots of work may be
involved. And may end with another shitty bloated system. We are talking about
taking over the world wide web, after all, lol.

Teodoro Santoni
Received on Sat Oct 25 2014 - 21:55:44 CEST

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