The problem with the web is that is so great, so grand – we need a huge monster of a browser to use it as some people would like us to use it. Since other people are simultaneously attacking, distracting, abusing and confusing us, we need an array of defences at the same time.
• Privacy Badger
• uBlock Origin
• uMatrix
• HTTPS Everywhere
• HTTPS by default
• Decentraleyes
More attack surface, more moving parts, more parties to trust. That's why we need a simpler web: we want smaller tools, too!

@kensanata But we also need a different model of dealing with content and payment. We shouldn't forget: A lot of the tracking madness has grown out of publishers depending upon ad revenue to make profit or even cover costs. What would happen if we all, by today, started to avoid all web pages that need ad/tracking blockers and started to pay to use "ethical" services that respect our privacy and security requirements? 😉

@mathew Im not sure that qualifies as „simpler“ and I’m also not too interested in transclusion, transcopyright, and related ideas. I’d already be happy if Gopher had writeable day ages, haha.

@kensanata @z428 Well, Xanadu might solve the money problem which is at the root of all the social web's issues.

@mathew I am very skeptical. What aspect makes you particularly hopeful? I’d be interested in reading a page somewhere about this.

@kensanata @z428 I'm not particularly hopeful, but I've written about why the current funding model of advertising dooms us to the current hellscape.

@aeveltstra @kensanata I use lynx or w3m frequently, and there are basically two things. One is sites that are non functional without JavaScript. The other is the way that sites are designed with the expectation that they will be rearranged and have elements hidden with css. Most modern sites have two or three pages of navigation before you get to the article, and anything that is not a pure article is likely to have a lot of extraneous controls.

@gcupc @aeveltstra @kensanata

It really irks me that no one resizes images anymore. People's little thumbnail headshot on their blog is a huge multi megabyte image everyone has to download and resize locally.

If you hardcoded in the css to display the image as 32x32 pixels, then there is no reason to send me an image that's bigger than 32x32.

@trondd @gcupc @kensanata I see how that is frustrating. It's surprising that this still happens in a time in which mobile phones with limited data plans and low bandwidth are ubiquitous.

That's one of the reasons why I like lynx...

@trondd @kensanata @aeveltstra @gcupc Is 32x32 really 32 pixels by 32 pixels on a hidpi display? Is there a way to have different versions of the image depending on the real pixel size the browser wants to display?

@freakazoid @gcupc @kensanata @trondd There is a difference between physical and logical pixels. CSS states that conforming agents must convert to logical pixels, which are the same absolute size, but may span multiple physical device pixels.

Css3 and HTML5 give us queries, that allow us to send appropriate dpi images to matching dpi screens.

@aeveltstra @freakazoid @gcupc @kensanata @trondd Also there's the <picture> element which helps you make <img> more responsive without CSS hacks. Plus it nicely degrades to a non-responsive image in nonsupporting browsers.

@gcupc @kensanata Yes, I quite dislike web sites that require Javascript for displaying HTML, especially when they refuse to inform their visitors up-front. Do make it clear that your site is broken, folks. You chose to break it: that makes it your responsibility to inform us.

@aeveltstra @gcupc @kensanata I'll take your "web pages that require JavaScript for displaying HTML" and raise you "JavaScript that won't render HTML (for public webpages that don't require log in our user interaction!) unless you allow cookies". I feel like I've seen this /much/ more frequently over the last six months, and I can't think of a single good reason for it except as an attempt to force users to allow tracking...

@aeveltstra What stops me from using lynx is lack of whitespace-separated paragraphs, and lousy keybindings.

I use w3m a lot, though. What stops me from using it more is very typically Javascript. requirements. Also reCAPTCHA, far too often:


@dredmorbius @aeveltstra Yeah, both lynx and w3m have keybindings have trouble getting used to.

@kensanata w3m ~= vim. The help is readily findable.

Lynx I've never been able to make sense of.


@dredmorbius @kensanata @aeveltstra Lynx was such a huge part of my early Internet usage the keys are burned in my muscle memory. In-program help is just a cheatsheet, but does contain longer docs further in the menu.

Thing to remember is it's not a web browser. Lynx has its own hypertext system, also supports Gopher, WAIS, HTTP/HTML, and more. Helper programs in lynx.cfg can do useful things with filetypes. It's a general info browser.

Have you noticed one thing about advanced websites though?

One cool thing has happened as a side effect of all this AJAX JSON bullshit. Websites are essentially databases now, that can be queried using REST/JSON and it's easy to make your own UI to do so. I'm not just talking about those with a public API, but also those who has it simply because they use AJAX to display the page.

Fx. I have a tool to query Wayback Machine, just parsing some nice JSON. I don't need their UI.

@patchman Sure. I wrote my wiki client using Emacs Lisp and doing all interactions via curl to show that it could be done. But that is orthogonal to the monstrosity most popular browsers (and many popular websites) are.

@kensanata Just throwing some terms/links out there for people interested in this simpler Web:

* Lynx, etc
* NetSurf
* Dillo
* I'm creating the "Rhapsode" (rhymes with "load") browser to push the Web towards universal accessibility, using voice for input & output.
* I wrote encouraging webdevs not to rely on the current complexity.

@Secstodon What about Gopher? I think a serious discussion needs to consider the why. I don’t like the fact that the browser is huge and can no longer be implemented by a single person (but people are still trying). On top of that, there is a ads and malware, and pihole can protect us against some of them. But it also doesn’t change the mindset of publishers. So, it’s a tool, like an adblocker. It’s necessary because of all the other unresolved issues.

@kensanata a lot of people still use gopher.
I'm actually working on a gopher site now

@Secstodon Sure. I contributed to two gopher clients, wrote a third, wrote a simple text server, wrote a gopher server for my wiki, and more. It’s not perfect but it’s an important alternative we can point at and say: “Look at it! It doesn’t need much and we could have an experience that wasn’t as distracting, as ad-filled, as tracking-encumbered, as malware infested as the current web.”

@kensanata agreed.
Did you make a reader for Android by the way?
I'm not in love with the one I have

@Secstodon Sure. All my other Gopher clients rely on terminals, or Emacs, though. And usability of these on mobile devices is terrible as far as I can tell.

@Secstodon Yeah, adding word wrapping was the most important feature, for me 😅

If you use/configure ublock origin and umatrix correctly you don't need privacy badger and decentraleyes.

@mangeurdenuage Yes. The difficulty is determining the correct value of “correctly”.

>The difficulty is determining the correct value of “correctly”.
It's not that hard. It's just check and reload until it satisfies your demand. It's more a question of patience.

Is it just me - or has Decentraleyes a problem in combination with Privacy Badger?

@robelix I’m not sure. What is the problem you are experiencing?

@kensanata Many sites without styles unless I switched off one of the two Addons.
So I uninstalled Decentraleyes after a short time trying - about a month ago.

@robelix Weird. I don’t remember noticing anything like that.

@kensanata Just installed Decentraleyes again - and it seems to work fine now.

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