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    1. What browser do you use? How have you customized it?

      I was just wondering how people use their browsers, and get ideas from others in regards to sharing ideas to improve my browsing experience. What do I use? I use Firefox Nightly with the common...

      I was just wondering how people use their browsers, and get ideas from others in regards to sharing ideas to improve my browsing experience.

      What do I use?

      I use Firefox Nightly with the common browser extensions like ublock origin, privacy badger, https everywhere, and some interesting ones like Dark Reader, Vimium (Which provides vim keybinds in your browser) and ViolentMonkey (which I use for userscripts like 4chanX, OneeChan, and the KissAnime ad blocker).

      21 votes
    2. What simple features would you want in a new browser?

      So, I'm planning on building yet another browser (based on Firefox, since we already have too much Chromium forks around) I'm intending to target the people worried about their privacy, but aren't...

      So, I'm planning on building yet another browser (based on Firefox, since we already have too much Chromium forks around)

      I'm intending to target the people worried about their privacy, but aren't technical enough to dabble with about:config tweaks and deal with any site breakages.

      So, for this project, I'm planning on doing the following modifications to Firefox:

      • Tweaked by default to get a balance between increased privacy, and less site breakage
        • Tweaks include cutting any "background" communication with Mozilla (while I trust them, some people might not) and Google (safe browsing, geolocation)
        • Maybe, possibly, an "advanced privacy settings" menu for more privacy settings in exchange for site breakage?
      • Integrated ad blocker (Decided on uBlock Origin, maybe adding Nano Defender to bypass any nag screens)
      • Maybe a way to "pretend" to be a Chromium browser, since some sites require that nowadays (More user agent complexity, yay!)

      So, this is where this thread comes in. What would you guys want in a (Gecko-based) browser, that I can provide?

      I am definitely not planning any substantial under-the-hood changes, since that would
      a) make maintaining it a pain
      b) be way out of my skill level.

      I am only looking for stuff that can be applied with some simple source code patches, or an integrated extension, as I will not "fork" the entire FF source. This project is essentially a rebranded patchset. (Also allows for faster updates!)

      ps: Please be realistic, and remember that this is a one man thing. I can not make any substantial changes, like bringing XUL add-ons back, if you know what those are.

      pps: If you can, and are willing to help with anything, let me know and I'll put up a repo online :)

      ppps: Please let me know if I've made a mistake while creating this topic.

      15 votes
    3. Let's Talk: What browser are you using?

      Most of my internet browsing is done on mobile and I've used predominantly Firefox and Firefox Focus in the past. I just switched over to Brave now that they've finally implemented their own...

      Most of my internet browsing is done on mobile and I've used predominantly Firefox and Firefox Focus in the past. I just switched over to Brave now that they've finally implemented their own crypto currency.
      What browser are you using?
      Is there a reason for this browser specifically? If so why?
      What do you use your browser for?

      29 votes
    4. Unearthed Arcana: `edbrowse`

      I recently happened to mention edbrowse in a throwaway comment, and @ainar-g expressed some interest in it. I took my sweet time, but I finally managed to assemble a short(ish) write-up on it, and...

      I recently happened to mention edbrowse in a throwaway comment, and @ainar-g expressed some interest in it. I took my sweet time, but I finally managed to assemble a short(ish) write-up on it, and my sleep-addled mind is thinking that this topic - niche, weird tools - could just become recurrent.


      Terminal brosers, such as lynx, w3m and elinks, while still used and under more-or-less active development, are very niche tools. edbrowse fills a niche within that niche, as it's meant for use by non-sighted people, and thus provides an interface even more bare-bones and arcane than the usual TUI/curses apps that share its space.

      As per the name, edbrowse's interface is heavily inspired by ed's, the standard text editor: edbrowse, in fact, is not just a web browser, but it combines together a browser, a text editor, a mail client, and - for some reason - a database client. All of these functions are mostly controlled via one-letter commands and, as is tradition, only displaying a single ? on error*.

      edbrowse is also unique amongst the terminal browsers because of its support for JavaScript and the DOM. The text it spits out is meant for Braille displays and screen readers, so it lacks niceties like color or aligned tables, but if you were to browse to reddit.com with it, you would see a perhaps ASCII-art Snoo fill the screen.

      "Browsing reddit? How‽," you might ask. "How am I supposed to get this thing to stop questioning me? All those ? are filling me with existential dread, I have no idea what to do!"

      While it's all there in the manual (but not in the manpages, for some reason), reading through 30k words of text can be a bit of a slog. They do provide a cheatsheet, though, even if it's a bit messy.

      So, how do you use edbrowse? If you already know how ed works, most commands (especially "movement", search and listing commands) will work as expected - it is also an editor, after all - but edbrowse adds another handful of them.

      The most important of them is, perhaps, browse. It will make edbrowse put in an HTTP request, grab the response (if any), and then render it. It will print out the length, in bytes, of the response and of the rendered text, and stop there.

      $ edbrowse
      edbrowse ready
      b https://tildes.net
      119201
      20083
      

      To actually peruse the page you can use any of the ed listing commands (print, list, and number), or the z command. z works much like p, but it prints a number of lines (normally 24) while "remembering" your position within the page.

      0z10
      {Tildes}
      {Log in}
      <>Sidebar
      
      * {Activity}
      * {Votes}
      * {Comments}
      * {New}
      * {All activity}
      

      Links are indicated by curly brackets, while form elements (both input elements and buttons) are wrapped in angle brackets. You can follow a link by jumping to the line containing it and issuing a go command (using g2 to follow the second link on that line, g3 for the third, g$ for the last), but, in normal use, you should probably just search for the link text.

      /{Log in}/g
      5886
      923
      0z10
      {Tildes}
      <>Sidebar
      
      Log in
      
      Username <>
      Password <>
      <-> Keep me logged in
      <Go>Log in
      

      The same thing goes for form elements, but the command to use, here, is i (for interact). i has actually four different subcommands: i[N]=, to set the value of a text field, ipass[N] to prompt for the value of a password field, i[N]* to press a button, and i[N]? to ask edbrowse what that damned element is supposed to be.

      /Username/ i=mftrhu
      /Password/ ipass
      hunter12
      /<Go>/i*
      submitting form
      124579
      20049
      

      You can jump back to the previous page with ^, and refresh the current page with rf.

      Of course, edbrowse can do much more - can be configured to do much more, via .ebrc, as it possessed (very) rudimentary programming facilities. It can edit its own configuration file, and reload it with config, so - rejoice. You won't ever need to leave it.

      And, after seeing just how aesthetically pleasing its configuration language can be, I'm confident that you won't ever want to leave it.

      # Switch to a new editing session
      e2
      no file
      e ~/.ebrc
      # Show the last lines of the configuration file
      $100,113n
      100 function+google {
      101 b http://www.google.com
      102 /<>/ i=~0
      103 /</ i1*
      104 /^About/+2
      105 }
      106 function+ddg {
      107 b https://duckduckgo.com
      108 /<>/ i=~0
      109 i2*
      110 /<Go secure>/+1
      111 /<Go secure>/+2
      112 z24
      113 }
      

      As I said earlier, while edbrowse does possess some programming facilities, they are very rudimentary. Functions are nothing more than sequences of edbrowse commands with some flow control constructs: they can do everything an user could do, which means that they are often convoluted and overly terse.

      The ddg function, for example (which is invoked via <ddg [PARAMS]), first browses to duckduckgo.com. The DuckDuckGo home page, as rendered by edbrowse, only contains a link followed by the search form:

      {About DuckDuckGo Duck it!}
      
      <> <S secure> <X>
      

      So the function looks for the (first) empty text field (/<>/), fills it in with the parameters passed to it (i~=0), activates the second form element on that line (i2*) and, once the results page has loaded, skips the initial boilerplate (/<Go secure>/+1,+2) and prints the first 24 lines of results (z24).

      Sure. It could be replaced by a single line, replacing all the form interaction with a simple b https://duckduckgo.com/?q=~0, but where would be the !!FUN!! in that?

       


      * This is not completely true, as edbrowse will show more long-form error messages, but it's pretty inconsistent with them.
      † Iff you have JS enabled in your current session. It can be toggled on and off with the js command.
      ‡ I had no luck with the Tildes buttons (e.g., sidebar toggle, upvote button), though, at least not with the version of edbrowse that Debian bundles up.

      10 votes