date: 2020-08-13 title: Web browsers need to stop

layout: post

Enough is enough.

The web and web browsers have become Lovecraftian horrors of an unprecedented scale. They’ve long since left “scope creep” territory and entered “oh my god please just stop” territory, and are trucking on through to hitherto unexplored degrees of obscene scope. And we don’t want what they’re selling. Google pitches garbage like AMP^1 and pushing dubious half-assed specs like Web Components. Mozilla just fired everyone relevant^2 to focus on crap no one asked for like Pocket, and fad nonsense like a paid VPN service and virtual reality tech.^3 [2020-08-14: It has been pointed out that the VR team was also fired.]

Microsoft gave up entirely. Mozilla just hammered the last few nails into their casket.^4 Safari is a joke^6. Google is all that’s left, and they’re not a good steward of the open web. The browsers are drowning under their own scope. The web is dead.

I call for an immediate and indefinite suspension of the addition of new developer-facing APIs to web browsers. Browser vendors need to start thinking about reducing scope and cutting features. WebUSB, WebBluetooth, WebXR, WebDRM WebMPAA WebBootlicking replacing User-Agent with Vendor-Agent cause let’s be honest with ourselves at this point “Encrypted Media Extensions” — this crap all needs to go. At some point you need to stop adding scope and start focusing on performance, efficiency, reliability, and security^5 at the scope you already have.

Enough is enough.