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.
I have a vision to propose: all people should be able to read, understand and modify each software they use or feed with their data.
Modern Web is not going to survive such vision, so building a browser is wasting money imho.
@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
@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
We need to be like Moses.
We can all see how badly broken is current IT.
We can all see how much power we have (which ultimately is much much more we are fooled to think).
We call all see how hard corporations try to lock us in, layer over layer.
Can we think the promised land?
Just like ancient scribes couldn't think of a phonetic alphabet.
But we can try new roads.
We can experiment.
We can teach kids that they can reinvent the future in a different way.
Not just with our lessons but with our code and our example.
It IS possible.
Yes there's a lot of complexity to subdue, we still lack fundamental tools like Egyptians lacked the number zero.
But we need #hope to look for them! ;-)
@deejoe @z428 @Shamar @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon imho there were/are better systems that give users more freedom that were commercial failures because they weren't marketed properly or weren't lucrative enough for developers looking for a quick profit. Linux package managers are better than app stores, but app stores don't require you to share your source.
@grainloom I'm always back to XMPP and WhatsApp as maybe the most crucial example of everything that possibly could have been done wrong: The "tech" and FLOSS elite fully ignoring or laughing at a new piece of technology that doesn't fit their world view. The XMPP crowd that always focussed on a technology but never cared about building a product actually working for users - 1/4
Ok, but that means that:
- (assuming you're not in your target group) You need to make a piece of software that will not be useful to yourself.
- You need to understand what your target group wants. This requires understanding other people, which is exteremly hard.
- Your users will expect certain quality from your product
- You will have to support those users
- None of those users will ever become contributors
IMO this is the opposite of success.
@Wolf480pl I can delete my XMPP account without much issues. I can delete WhatsApp and be sure to cut digital contact with about 80% of my contact list, including quite a couple of folks who don't even know or use e-mail or SMS. User base is quite an important aspect for a communication channel.
@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
Uhm... just to be clear: I don’t want to eliminate users but to free them from the people who use them through the software.
When most people will be programmers, it will much easier to build usable free software for those who aren't because most (all?) software will be free.
The problem is that it's a race.
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.
So we need to be smarter and spread what they fear most: #knowledge.
It's not Knowledge that is power but Ignorance that is weakness. By empowering people we subtract them users, data, revenues... we shrink their market and make their product useless or even annoying: "WHAT? why I can't change this code? Refund me now!"
@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.
@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".
@Shamar Pretty interesting however, is that early Google freed a lot of internet users from flaky, incomplete and painful web searches and became the defacto search engine even within the FLOSS community for very long. Why Google? Why not something open or decentralized? 😉
@deejoe @grainloom @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon
"I appreciate SDF but it's a general-purpose server and the name doesn't make it obvious that it's about art." - Eugen Rochko