Building a new web browser is 'impossible'

The "modern web" is in a very sad state (for many reasons beyond the stupidity of DRM) and so is every modern web browser; they are all shit. This very short article touches upon some of the problems in the web browser scene.

The reckless, infinite scope of web browsers

I conclude that it is impossible to build a new web browser. The complexity of the web is obscene. The creation of a new web browser would be comparable in effort to the Apollo program or the Manhattan project.

It is impossible to:

Implement the web correctly
Implement the web securely
Implement the web at all


2 thoughts on “Building a new web browser is 'impossible'”

  1. > Building a new web browser is ‘impossible’

    Depends on how you define “web”. There is Gemini project. I remember Douglas Crocford suggesting to make an alternative browser based on qt framework(with no HTML/CSS/JS) at least 5 years ago.

    Current web is not perfect, but is neither that bad as Ryo or others with similar rhetoric describe. It seems to me those people have never built anything more complex than a wordpress plugin so everything seems very simple to them – just let’s get back to 90s web. We can also criticize the 90s web, what do we need a browser for in the first place – let’s all use command line interfaces!

    On the positive note, we have Chromium which is open source so we’re better off than we were during IE monopoly era. We also have powerful APIs that allow to build desktop-like apps in the browser.

    1. hi again Simon :)

      re: browser desktop-like apps – i see that as a huge net negative because i think it leads to dependency on centralized and proprietary resources – if we keep heading in that direction i think eventually the only software available will be what powerful corporations provide over the wire, much of it proprietary, and if Big Tech has it’s way i wouldn’t be surprised if the web browser eventually becomes an operating system … and in the age of surveillance capitalism this is a huge problem

      when i think of the problems with the web, in addition to the above i also include a ludicrous dependency on bloated 3rd party resources – libraries, JS, CDNs, frameworks, fonts, etc., etc., etc., and nearly all of the time this is totally unnecessary, and it just keeps getting worse

      i think the modern web “developer” is lazy and lacks skill and this manifests itself in nearly every large, and many small websites (even WordPress), pulling in bloated dependencies that, contrary to what some might think, are not well audited

      so yeah, i’m positioned in a very similar camp as Ryo and for good reason – like the author of the article stated, it is virtually impossible to build a *good*, free (open source) web browser today and it is certainly impossible for a small team to do it – browsers now exceed the size of some OSs which is insane in and of itself, but more importantly is how this feature bloat affects security and privacy

      every modern browser has critical security related bugs which are widely known and who knows how many more which aren’t, and given that the web browser is our primary gateway to the www, it presents a massive attack surface and every stupid new “web app” just piles on more and more problems and more and more bullshit

      this does not mean i’m advocating for a 90’s web, rather i’m advocating for a sane web and what we have today is insanity with no boundaries

      queue the AI and all hell breaks loose

      /steps off soapbox

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