Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 1st Aug 2011 21:27 UTC
Mozilla & Gecko clones Mozilla has already done a lot to clean up the user interface of its successful web browser, but it would seem they're not yet done. As someone who finds the current interface a little... Chaotic and distracting, I'm quite happy with the changes they're currently proposing. They basically pointed at Chrome and said "pretty much that".
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Going extreme
by biffuz on Tue 2nd Aug 2011 10:01 UTC
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Except a few details, I don't see anything new here. I wonder if it's time to start rethinking the whole browser paradigm.

1) Back and forward buttons: are they still needed? A lot of sites have all dynamic content rendered inside some DIVs, so those buttons are far from doing what you expect. Sites are turning into applications.

2) Address bar: things like doesn't help anyone. That's a mere technical detail nowadays.

3) Status bar (or the simple popup that replaced it): as more and more anchors now just run some Javascript, it's becoming useless. I installed status4ever only because I feel lost and lonely without a status bar.

4) Progress bar: the times of staring at a progress bar while our modem made some funny noises while our page was being loaded are long gone. As the pages themselves (see point 1). And spinning wheels aren't that much useful anyway, perhaps only for the first time a "page" is requested. Everything else should be handled inside the "page" itself: let's take a news with comments below, the link for the next page of comments actually loads the comments in the comments area (a DIV), not the whole "page"; so the spinning wheel only makes sense inside that area, or over the link.

5) Ability to select text, contextual menus on pictures, etc.: They're so damn useful, but I wonder how long they will survive. Read: I see new projects using Javascript to render content inside canvases, and the content is described with less insane languages than HTML and CSS (even binary, to laugh at those Firebug nerds). Where we used to have all-Flash sites, we're going to have all-canvas-and-JS sites. Block that, now... we have to hope that site designer will be so generous to leave some selectable stuff.

6) Last but not least, as every site is becoming an application, let's turn those into real applications at OS level! Chrome already does this only in part - I can't alt-tab/Exposé/whatever between sites, for example. I would really love that. Also put in drag&drop, bookmarks in Start menu/Launchpad/Dock/whatever, etc.

7) This is not really a browser's fault, but as that sites-are-applications thing implies, the language they're written in should evolve. Multithreading, anyone?
Even better, there shold be more languages for the folks - and I sign in for that - who doesn't like Javascript. A solution could be to have a universal bytecode, AOT compilers for each language (and a JIT compiler to speed things up), with the compiler supplied by the site itself if it isn't already available in the browser.

I believe the internet is moving this wsay, currently we are in a sort of half-backed situation.

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