"Github no longer supports this web browser."

Gitlab loops you on a "checking your browser" web page.

Good job, W3C.

Welcome back to days of Internet Explorer, but there are three Internet Explorers: the one Google makes, the one Google feeds, and the one Google stole which was in turn stolen from KDE.

If you don't use one of these, whether your browser can support standards is of no substance.

Web is like those public toilets which you look at then go, "I'd rather go into the woods.".

At least, back in the day, the divide between IE and others was a functional divide: IE had one set of functions, sometimes useful, and the others didn't/couldn't.

Now, it's basically having the wrong user agent string or fingerprint. There's no big difference between Firefox 57, Chrome from 2 years ago, or Safari, Edge, or whatever, apart from version numbers, with regards to rendering standards compliant web pages.



A great deal of this mess comes from the drive to use the Web browser as a "platform" for applications ― in effect, an operating system, rather than a document viewer. (I'm sure I've said this before.) The most positive thing I can say about this is that it strikes me as a truly boneheaded approach to the problem of cross-platform compatibility!

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@publius The saddest part of it in my case is that I was on the bandwagon for a long time, after when this shitshow started early 2010s. In hindsight, there were a lot of clues, and more should've seen that it wouldn't end with a couple fancy "semantic tags" and some CSS QoL.

More globally sad part is, all this stuff is unused. Notifications? Only for spam. Websockets? Mostly for spyware. <canvas? Spyware. CSS3? Who doesn't use Sass/Less/...? HTML5? Everything's in JSX now.

@publius Porting PHP to client side is all we did, after all. But it's fancier with a billion components that don't do much, instead of using FTP to upload PHP files.

@cadadr @publius web notifications are the *only* way to get PM notifications from discord without violating the ToS or installing their closed app.

@clacke @publius @swiley I guess a bit of both. We started with a nice advancement in technology, HTML5 et al, that materially improved our lives at times, but we then generated a socially, economically, and by now technically bankrupt mess, because ad tech, VC, and GAFAM (basically capitalism).

@cadadr @publius @swiley I liked the idea of HTML5 when it came out and the WHATWG started their work, because I was affected by the same forces as society at large ( libranet.de/display/0b6b25a8-2… ), but at this point it all seems like a mistake, for two reasons:

One is late-stage capitalism and its subset surveillance capitalism.

The other is because it was probably the wrong place to put things, even though it Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time. Incremental improvements at its worst: You now need to participate in the App Web to read all of the Document Web, and we should probably have split that better.
@clacke @cadadr @publius @swiley the app web is pretty old, if you include things like CGI scripts. the difference between data and code became blurry pretty quickly. at some point someone decided it would be better to move much of the interactivity to the client side and oops

@thor @clacke @cadadr @publius @swiley That's actually part of the core design of HTTP going back over twenty years. I'll go into that a bit in my @fossasia talk on Thursday, and the main reason I think the web is a dead end.

It's not about client side code per se, though, but more about how the combination of client side code, server side code and underspecified interactions between them creates data silos.

@thor @clacke @cadadr @publius @swiley @fossasia And then serving the user needs just isn't attractive any longer if as a business you can do exploit the user's dependence on you. The web has become the world's largest dongle.

Surveillance capitalism is just shifting the motivations for users to participate towards tricking them into thinking stuff is free. It's bad, but the reasons are elsewhere, somewhat.

@clacke @publius @swiley I wrote and deleted it a couple times because I couldn't express the analogy as nice as I wanted but IMO there's some connections to be drawn between post HTML5 web and how cars broke cities.

@cadadr @clacke @publius @swiley That's a really interesting analogy. Can you elaborate?

@be When cars became a commodity they started to shape our cities. Pedestrians were defenseless meatballs so they had to comply. Soon enough we started building entire cities around cars, esp. in North America, such that not having one meant you couldn't fetch your basic needs even. A more detailed history of this is available in videos of City Beautiful and Not Just Bikes on YouTube, tho surely there would be books that go way more in depth. In any case, now we're

@clacke @publius @swiley

@be left with cities that are dependent on this tech that's inevitably a waste and a huge pollutant, whether it be petrol, or even electric, given a car that uses up so much material and space to carry just one person, even if it was a perpetual motion machine, would be a waste, if of nothing else time as it'd inevitably lead to traffic jams where suburbia meets the urban.

Why di that happen? It happened because it was profitable. Car people sold cars, gas people

@clacke @publius @swiley

@be sold gas, builders built inefficient houses, etc. So it kept on happening, despite being a terrible way of urban design and housing. Now we're in huge crisis part due to our motorised lives, and the solution is public and/or green transport.

In a similar vein, in the 2000s, especially 2010s, the web became the core tech that everything happened around, because there was money to be made. Tech entreprise commodified our data and our gaze. Soon the tech that's

@clacke @publius @swiley

@be useful to them became the thing we desing the entire internet around, where we're stuck with inefficient tech stacks, our social lives hostage to silos, and the set up is optimised to maximise profits, with no care whatsoever to whether people affected by these trends are okay. People, especially those that aren't affluent able bodied people of the "correct" social background, are a second thought, just like they were in car centric cities. They want to vilify

@clacke @publius @swiley

@be ad blockers and piracy just like they did with "jaywalkers" and homelessnes. Criminalise away the undesirables.

Tech wise, what we have is highly inefficient, just like cars and car-topia, but it's desirable, because just like public transport is, the solution to terribleness of web is boring, it already exists, is not luxurious, and ultimately does not generate obscene amounts of money out of thin air, unlike ad tech or venture capital. So we continue to

@clacke @publius @swiley

@be accumulate profitable inefficiencies, despite their harm to ecosystems they're found within, whether literal or metaphorical.

So that's a fairly uncooked one, as I didn't really thing it that long through, and of course no analogy is perfect, but both cases are examples of how capital and social good is at odds and conflict ensues that helps no one and nothing, and the solution is not through innovation or entreprise but community action.


@clacke @publius @swiley

@cadadr @publius @swiley @be > not through innovation or entreprise but community action

All three, but without the third the other two are rudderless and pointless.

@cadadr I hate web crap as much as the next guy (probably a little more since I grew up in the rural US where bad internet is all you can get and most webdevs really don't think about what using their app in a situation like that does.)

But again, some of this sounds pretty silly on mastodon: a tool using the ActivityPub web standard that allows your social media to be silo free. Most of the web is also a far better alternative to the platforms Google and Apple are pushing on everyone.

@be @clacke @publius

@be @cadadr @clacke @publius Meh, I wouldn't use it but you have to admit it's nice to have such a complete and portable sandboxed application runtime.

@swiley @cadadr @be @clacke @publius less ironic to discuss it here than on, say, Facebook, Slack, or Twitter...

@robbystk @cadadr @clacke @publius @swiley I spent two weeks with a trauma surgery service in a hospital in one of the most violent areas of the US. About half of the injured people that came into the emergency department were hurt in motor vehicle collisions. Yet what does public discourse talk about?

@be just guessing here, but alcohol probably contributes a fair bit to adverse incidents including automobile-related ones. I guess both those aspects have equal space in public discourse.

@robbystk @cadadr @clacke @publius

@be We can turn a blind eye to _a lot_ when not doing that would bring about a huge disaster like for example the possibility of some minor and unlikely inconvenience.

Thing is tho, I've never been to US but from what I've learned online in a lot of US zoning has been expressly anti-public-transport. We've some similarly planned areas in Istanbul and it's hard to make public transport work in such places even with a strong, pre-existing network.

@robbystk @clacke @publius @swiley

@robbystk @cadadr @be @clacke @swiley

I'm familiar. Not 100% on board with the viewpoints expressed, in particular because of the disregard of, or even mockery directed toward, electric street railways, which are an incredibly powerful tool of urban mobility. But a lot of what is said is sensible.

@publius As someone who used them a lot esp. during my undergrad in Istanbul, my observation is they have their upsides and downsides. They have to mix in with the all the traffic at least sometimes which can slow them down a lot. But they are way smoother to ride compared to buses, and of course greener and way more silent. And from my experience in Eskişehir, they are a great fit for small <1mln cities, where a metro network would be an overkill.

@robbystk @be @clacke @swiley

@cadadr @robbystk @be @clacke @swiley

Streetcars are also exceedingly useful for peripheral circulation in large metropolitan areas. Basically, an underground is most suitable for the most heavily built-up areas, but you can then carry a lot of traffic on streetcar lines which serve medium density areas around or on the fringes of the subway area. Munich & Toronto both do this effectively (although more lines are desperately needed in both cities).

@cadadr @robbystk @be @clacke @swiley

Helsinki is another place which co-ordinates streetcars with subways. Also the northernmost subway in the world, which I have ridden ― by apparently about 50 km compared to that of Petrograd! Not, however, the most northerly electric street railway, which is elsewhere in Finland, & which I have not ridden.

@publius @cadadr @robbystk @clacke *crashes through wall like Kool-Aid Man* did someone say TORONTO TRANSIT

basically, the cost of a subway and the optimal ridership is so high that in many cases, street-level transit like light rail/trams/streetcars is better.

wrt toronto, our city is on a grid layout and the main subway lines are north-south and east-west, so it is easy for streetcar and bus routes to feed into the subway lines.

@publius hmm, that's probably what makes Istanbul's T1 tram line suck so bad at times, as it's one of the busiest rail lines, and it sections some of the busiest and worst designed roads. Same with the Metrobüs bus rapid transport system.

@robbystk @be @clacke @swiley

@cadadr @robbystk @be @clacke @swiley

Unfortunately, in the day I spent in Istanbul, I didn't get a chance to explore the transit system. That's something I like to do when I visit somewhere : just ride transit around the city.

@cadadr @robbystk @be @swiley @publius Parts of Hong Kong have a really great network of "light rail", which is basically trams that mostly stay on their own separate network with real railway banks and only cross or merge with roads where necessary.

This means they can drive at 50 km/h most of the time, on some rare stretches even faster, and can avoid several traffic lights.

Stockholm has "tvärbanan", the "cross-cutting rail", which goes orthogonal to the hub-and-spoke-shaped subway system and has similar traffic planning: Some sections in general traffic but a lot of stretches separate from other traffic.

@cadadr @clacke @publius I'll still happily take HTML5 over the mobile garbage.

@cadadr i'm imagining what a hell hole computing would be if windows or osx were the only platform choices we ever got.

the web being a platform, being available for all kinds of people to make anything & get it online & accessible in front of other people, has been world changing.

i hear such heartless "the web should have stuck to static documents" comments all the time & it hurts so much to think people would insist online media constrain itself, limit itself to some narrow preconceived definition & not flourish, not enmesh itself more with computing & develop.

@jauntywunderkind420 @publius We never really only had Win and OSX, and I don't really see the big change that's been done, maybe apart from Google's office apps, nothing's much different from the time of AJAX.

It's not really "web should've stuck to docs", but more like "maybe web don't need access to USB devices or Bluetooth or DRM, and almost nobody uses 4/5 of the new features anyway, it's still bootstrap react typescript less jsx ... all the way down."

@jauntywunderkind420 @publius I am not exactly complaining about web apps and platform creep either (I don't like that stuff, but that's off topic).

My main point is that even when I am using these web "apps", and am using a standards compliant user agent, I am obscructed because I am not using one of the few blessed ones.

E.g. I literally can not log in to Gitlab on Qutebrowser, despite a lack of standards compliance issues.

@cadadr @jauntywunderkind420 @publius fwiw, I just logged into my own Gitlab (Community Edition) via Qutebrowser (on Linux)....

@lightweight What version is it? Maybe it doesn't like my version of QtWebEngine, as it's from Ubuntu LTS. I really want to avoid using a custom build but I might have to..
@jauntywunderkind420 @publius

@cadadr @jauntywunderkind420 @publius I installed it on my Linux Mint 20 machine today. It's v1.10.1 with Qt 5.12.8 and QtWebEngine (Chromium 69.0.3497.128)....

@cadadr @jauntywunderkind420 @publius You could try logging into one of my Gitlabs - maybe the problem's a policy decision by gitlab.com on the "Enterprise Edition"?

@cadadr @jauntywunderkind420 @publius I'd be happy to provide you a user on of my 3 systems - DM me if interested.

@lightweight That's exactly what I have, 1.10.1 on Mint 20.1.

I just retried and indeed this time round I did see the browser check page but then I was able to log in.

So maybe it was a temporary thing or a bug, but I couldn't log in for a few months.

Thanks for the heads up and for the offer!

@jauntywunderkind420 @publius @cadadr Documents should be static. Most things worth reading on the web aren't really applications (at most the application is a "document editor.")

@jauntywunderkind420 @cadadr

Is what you're describing actually happening? If so, where, & in what way? I'm seeing lots of people creating "apps" for the iPhone & Android walled gardens, & other people creating interesting software for one or another desktop operating system, often with help from the packaging systems built into several of the major *NIX distributions ; but most of the interactions I have with a Web browser, that I actually want to have, involve viewing documents.

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