back to article What if Chrome broke features of the web and Google forgot to tell anyone? Oh wait, that's exactly what happened

"Browser monoculture" is often bemoaned as a threat to the web. According to Statscounter, which tracks browser use, over 70 per cent of the market is made up of people using Google Chrome or another browser based on the underlying Chromium project. What web advocates worry about when they say this is bad is that Google can …

  1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Absolutely agree

    I still hand code HTML pages. The thing that's most noticeable is the speed with which they display. As almost everything has a web browser, I recently produced a user guide in HTML. It looks good, has copious cross-links and is trivially easy to maintain or upgrade.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Absolutely agree

      This. The internet was never meant to be a walled garden and many forget this at their peril.

      And websites were never meant to be bloated shit piles. Remember Front Page? How did that work out? Many forget this at their peril as well.

      1. Pirate Dave Silver badge
        Pirate

        Re: Absolutely agree

        Front Page wasn't absolutely horrible, imho, at least for simple pages. It could have been better if MS had figured out how to put linefeeds in the code, maybe even indent a little. I mean, for the time, as the web was transitioning from simple Geocities-level pages to the more graphical pre-Web2.0 stuff, it served a purpose for a few years as a somewhat decent wysiwyg editor when lots of us didn't yet know how all the "new" stuff worked in the newer HTML standards. But yeah, server add-ons and database stuff was crappy. FPSE for *nux was a pain to install, if memory serves. The page-hit counter worked pretty well, though.

        I must have mental illness, as I recall preferring it to CoffeCup's editor.

        Even at its worst, I think it was still better than the gunk pages we have now. So many pages today are loading useless java crap, pulling junk from Google, sending junk to Google, hey, let's load a megabyte of obfuscated javascript, then see if the user has a facebook account.

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Absolutely agree

      My brother-in-law's website needed urgent changes, but the "friend" who had written it for him no longer spoke to him.

      It needed doing quickly and didn't need much in the way of maintenance. I knocked up a CMS system in about an hours, using a couple of dozen lines of PHP and it simply loaded text files, with little or no markup in them.

      Simple and effective. The menu structure was just another text file loaded into another DIV, a bit of CSS in the background, job done.

      We could quickly add a new page or change the menu. It did what was needed. Putting WordPress or Drupal on the server would have taken longer and then there was the creation of the pages themselves...

      For a nearly static site, that changed once or twice a year, it was more than enough. If you have a simple site, sometimes a bit of simple code is all you need.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Absolutely agree

      I also hand code web pages with a 'STYLE' section for all of the (minimal) CSS and individual 'style' tags when something is different than the class definition for some reason. If a CSS for a group of pages is actually NEEDED it is hosted on the SAME server and is VERY SMALL And minimal script (if any at all).

      And as a result, the pages load REALLY fast, and have a consistent appearance.

      And, tables can be used to format things consistently - no need for crazy 'div' sections and style madness, or worse, some 3rd party CSS insanity.

      (for phone screens, just write a different page, or tell people to rotate their phones 90 degrees and limit the content height as needed so that it fits)

      1. Cav Bronze badge

        Re: Absolutely agree

        Except that tables can break screen readers and render you liable under accessibility legislation. They are also slower to load.

        Tables for tabular data only.

        1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

          Re: Absolutely agree

          And javascript-driven sites are OK for screen readers, are they ?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Absolutely agree

            Where did he say that?

            1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

              Re: Absolutely agree

              He didn't, but far too many people seem incapable of operating on anything other than binary paradigms these days. If Alice doesn't hold position A, then according to Bob she must hold position -A, which makes her literally hitler.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Absolutely agree

                "Educate yourself! I'm literally shaking"

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Absolutely agree

            As a matter of fact, yes they often are. Why do you assume they're not? Now admittedly, I can use a screenreader on a page with tables used for visual layout, it just confuses me constantly and takes twice as long to find anything, extra points* if you also use heading tags to make your font bigger with no navigational semantics, extra extra points if the entire text is in at least one.

            * Points are not good for you in this game.

            1. tracker1

              Re: Absolutely agree

              While I don't use a screen reader, I do get it. I spent years developing contents for e Learning with strict accessibility guidelines. It's not even that hard to just stick to sensible semantic markup with css and add a couple aria attributes here and there.

              You're off course not surprised how ignorant the output from some devs can be.

              And for those wondering, yes, you can make all this work in JS driven apps. Of course having to meet WCAG 2.0 for an app meant to visually process scanned documents, that's nuts (have had to do that).

          3. tracker1

            Yes, they are

            There are ARIA attributes and other assignments that work perfectly fine with JavaScript applications. So yes, they do work. Some frameworks (mui for react, for example) take a lot of care to have the appropriate markup for controls, of needed you can still do partial or full rendering server side via next.js.

            That doesn't even get into semantic elements or the proper use of css, which work perfectly fine with browsers and don't require J's at all.

    4. Snake Silver badge

      Re: Absolutely agree

      You want to see an absolute mess of a web site? Go to Bloomberg.com and access a story link. Then read the page source of their new, "paywalled" website.

      It will be around line 1520 or so (!!) until you get to the actually editorial content.

      Note the "quotes", because the content is all there but only placed behind the wall by the incredible level of JS garbage. Read in plaintext instead, kill your JS.

      1. Rich 2

        Re: Absolutely agree

        Another excellent example is thesaurus.com - i once worked it out that the actual useful context comprised about 0.1% (or some such figure - it’s probably far less) of the page. The rest is just ….well …f**k-knows what it is!!

    5. John Savard

      Re: Absolutely agree

      My own web page is hand-coded HTML, as it's just a simple presentation of informative content.

      However, I can definitely see why enclosing some other page in an iframe and calling routines within that page could be very dangerous. So if this wasn't supported when the two pages in question are not on the same site - this would eliminate the danger while keeping the functionality.

    6. AdamWill

      Re: Absolutely agree

      You don't even have to hand code them. The best idea we've (re)-had in the last ten years or so is static site generators.

  2. devin3782 Bronze badge
    Holmes

    Ah yes using the 90 day social memory loss tactic, then try it again. Well done chrome devs. Oh how quickly we regress to the bad old days

  3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    I find myself increasingly turned off by sites that are so obviously overengineered. I've started to notice the beautiful simplicity of an HTML page.

    How very true. I use NoScript to block some of the crap, and for most pages I find 4-6 sites listed including the almost-ubiquitous Google pair. Just occasionally it's a true joy to find a website with at most a couple of internal scripts, and no Google.

    There's also the occasional horror site, where NoScript lists 20-30 sites pulling in all sorts of crap, most of it for no reason whatsoever. Those tabs just get closed, never to be revisited.

    1. PerlyKing
      Mushroom

      Re: NoScript lists 20-30 sites

      I've seen things you people wouldn't believe... uMatrix has warned me of having blocked "999+" scripts on some relatively simple looking pages! Which appear to work quite well without the blocked scripts, at least from my point of view.

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Only the occasional horror site? Most of them today, especially news sites, seem to have dozens of included domains.

      I've switched away from NoScript to PiHole, I have around 2.5m blocked tracking sites (most of Google and all of Facebook included).

    3. vtcodger Silver badge

      Internet-2021

      Last Saturday my esteemed spouse said unto me. "I have couple of promotional coupons from a new deli. I'm going to pick up dinner there after work. Let me know if you'd like me to pick up something for you." "Fine", said I. "Their menu will be on their website. I will visit the website and see if anything appeals." As it turns out, no I won't, three different browsers show me a blank page. So I applied wget or curl (I forget which) to the home page. 1,8Mb of utterly incomprehensible Javascript. That's 1,800,000 characters. None of which have any readable content. ... and it doesn't work.

      Seems to sum up Internet-2021 pretty well.

      BTW, I think I can code a blank page in about 13 bytes of html. (Haven't tried it. Might need a bit more) What do the other 1,799,987 bytes do?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Internet-2021

        The web developer had to charge for something

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Internet-2021

          except it was all copy/pasta and 3rd party BLOATWARE, apparently (or so I'd speculate)

        2. Short Fat Bald Hairy Man
          Coat

          Re: Internet-2021

          Something for nothing.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The choice of available browsers is lame

    Keeping mind this is for me, and my family - everyone's gotta make a sensible switch if it's going to make a difference:

    Brave - a jumbled mess of privacy strategy, anti ad networks, whilst trying to build it's own, ahem, 'sustainable' ad network. AKA gatekeeper with a different mask. It. Will. Never. Work.

    Chrome - First rule of Internet Club, F**k google

    Edge - Microsoft? We might not hate you like we used to, but trust you? Please.

    Firefox - almost entirely funded by Google, presumably to bypass anti-competitive laws and, presumably, easy to switch off when it gets bored it;s plaything.

    Opera Lol. The perennial tryer, and failer, now on its squillionth attempt at reinventing itself.

    Safari Yes, join us, you're safe here, whilst we morph into a slightly less sinister but equally controlling version of Google

    Sea Monkey Yeh right.

    Anyone fancy building a new browser - DM me!

    1. Gerhard den Hollander

      Re: The choice of available browsers is lame

      Oddly enough I'm reading (and posting) this using OperaGX.

      I've switched back to opera dureing the pandemic, and was surprised it how good it (once again) is.

      It may not have everything you need (though I would be interested to hear what) but it certainly has everything I need, and things that I cannot really do without anymore (workspaces for the win).

      1. Def Silver badge

        Re: The choice of available browsers is lame

        Isn't Opera based on Chromium these days?

        1. Trollslayer

          Re: The choice of available browsers is lame

          Like Edge.

          1. captain veg Silver badge

            Re: The choice of available browsers is lame

            And Brave.

            -A.

    2. Piro Silver badge

      Re: The choice of available browsers is lame

      There are only 3 renderers in that post.

      WebKit, Blink, Gecko.

      Blink of course being a fork of WebKit.

      Opera is a fantastic browser, by the way, and some the features make it well worth using. Its built in print to PDF function is just better than others I've used, for one.

      I've been using Firefox as my main browser for many years, but I sometimes lose patience with it. The way they ruined extension support a while back still stings, and I find that now and then it just messes up in ways Blink based browsers don't seem to. It just has a slightly jankier feel about it, which is sad. So then I open Opera and get on with things... Vivaldi is also a reasonable choice..

      1. vtcodger Silver badge

        Re: The choice of available browsers is lame

        but I sometimes lose patience with it (firefox)

        Indeed, it appears that many useful websites have security certificates that expired on Sept 30. That includes Wikipedia and Stack Overflow amongst many others. Did they remember to renew the certificates? Of course not. Apparently failure to update your security certificates is a sign that you are human. (Maybe we could somehow use that characteristic of humanity to replace captchas?) Firefox won't let me see those sites. Chrome -- which I normally avoid -- warns me, but lets me see the site if I really want to -- which I do. So I am using Chrome this week even though I'd rather not.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The choice of available browsers is lame

          How strange - my Firefox has had no problem with Stackoverflow/Wikipedia - maybe I just missed a very short time window. I would also expect it to be big news. And yes I leave "on" the default setting to reject out of date certs.

        2. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: The choice of available browsers is lame

          my web provider (shared hosting) auto-generates certs using LetsEncrypt (and so do many others). They basically have to do it every 2 months but it's automated. Problem solved.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The choice of available browsers is lame

            Except that I understand that Let’s Encrypt was one of the major victims of this certificate expiry problem. The root certificate expired (expectedly) and if you used an older version of their client it would automatically produce certs that would become invalid per 1 October.

            So even if you had an automatically generated LE cert from 27 September it could still be invalidated days later. Make sure to double check that all your sites are still OK.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: The choice of available browsers is lame/SSL expiration

              Let's Encrypt and other SSL certs expiring: No. Just no. Please just go look it up and actually read what happened.

              On the choice of available browsers being lame, I have to agree with each and every one of the commenter's assertions. Maybe double them. The awful truth is that Chromium is compromised, Firefox is hopelessly falling behind technologically (they've taken to deprecating features rather than fixing problems), and the rest are a joke (including, maybe especially, Safari).

              I'll only add re Mozilla that I'm afraid it has become (or was it always?) just another NGO gravy train for a few highly compensated individuals. You have to wonder, do they spend at least as much on actual developer employees as they do on executive comp? Just look at the latest available (2019) Form 990 for the Foundation, https://apps.irs.gov/app/eos/detailsPage?ein=200097189&name=Mozilla%20Foundation&city=Mountain%20View&state=CA&countryAbbr=US&type=returnsSearch .

              1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

                Re: The choice of available browsers is lame/SSL expiration

                > {or was it always?}

                Jwz dropped out of Mozilla because the parasites came a-flocking. As he put it, "some people want to build a big company, some people want to _join_ a big company".

    3. Len

      Re: The choice of available browsers is lame

      To say that Firefox is funded by Google as if it's a charitable deal is a bit of a stretch. I don't say that Tesco is funded by me because I sometimes shop there, it just happens to be the nearest big supermarket and I need to eat. For me shopping at Tesco is a function of ease and expenditure, not because of some attachment to the brand or company.

      Mozilla just sells the position of the default search engine to the highest bidder, a purely commercial decision. Sometimes and in some regions that is Google but not always and not everywhere. I believe Yandex is the default search engine in Russia for instance and I recall Google having been outbid by another company (a combination of Yahoo! and Bing or something along those lines) for the duration of one of the contracts. For the duration of that contract Google was not the default search engine.

      For Google it makes perfect commercial sense. They need data to feed the beast and Google Search is a good way to achieve that. That means that there is a commercial reason to spend acquisition cost on getting people through the Google Search front door. For Google spending between one and two dollar a year per Firefox user is a no-brainer. A purely commercial decision.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The choice of available browsers is lame

        " I don't say that Tesco is funded by me because I sometimes shop there, it just happens to be the nearest big supermarket and I need to eat."

        It is when >50% of Tesco's revenue comes from you personally.

        And that's the case with Mozilla: *Most* of their money comes from Google (as "ad revenue" but the label on cash is irrelevant) so they'll do anything Google tells them to do: Google literally pays their salaries.

        "A purely commercial decision."

        Yes, *For Google*. They avoid monopoly status by nurturing Mozilla and collect all the data from Firefox users while doing so. None of the FF "privacy settings" are on by default.

        For Mozilla it as "commercial" as employees wanting to have salary. No more, no less.

    4. big_D Silver badge

      Re: The choice of available browsers is lame

      You missed Lynx browser. Always good for a laugh, a lot of sites see its use as an attack! :-D

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: The choice of available browsers is lame

        If I'm hacking on the command line, and want to check something quickly, it's w3m all the way!

    5. vekkq

      Re: The choice of available browsers is lame

      Am sitting here with Vivaldi.

      But tbh, the kind of browser you want would probably be Otter. Its also ol' Opera-inspired, but FOSS.

    6. Uncle Slacky

      Re: The choice of available browsers is lame

      Vivaldi is good, it's Chromium-based but they tend to ignore Google's "improvements". And it has vertical tabs...

      1. Dog11

        Re: The choice of available browsers is lame

        Vivaldi hurts my eyes, and I'm not willing to spend the time to customize it so it doesn't. Pale Moon is a good fork from what Firefox used to be, And the UI doesn't keep changing lika a kalidoscope. Works for me.

        1. Piro Silver badge

          Re: The choice of available browsers is lame

          If you want old extensions but something that's not quite as archaic as Pale Moon, I can recommend Waterfox classic.

        2. Pirate Dave Silver badge

          Re: The choice of available browsers is lame

          Pale Moon has been borking lots of sites for me over the past 4 or 5 months. I've been using it for years and this is the first time I've had major site issues to this degree. Something's wrong somewhere.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Vivaldi

        If you look in the Vivaldi settings, there's still an awful lot of Google-shit that is on by default busily phoning home that you need to turn off in the settings before you go anywhere near any actual live website, sadly.

        And without NoScript and the like, you'll still be getting slurped by all those sites which contain Google Analprobe, Google Tagmangler, Google APIs, Google Fonts, Google Captcha, etc, etc...

    7. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: The choice of available browsers is lame

      I've been wanting to write a PROPER browser for a while, using WebKit. Downside I'd have to use WebKit. and GTK. but it would not be 2D FLATSO either.. There's nothing "cool" about using an HTML+JavaScript engine for the ENTIRE UI for the browser, nor to have a zillion shared libs and/or dependencies...

      but without a well tested engine like WebKit, the effort of re-writing my own would be STAGGERING

      (and I do not believe I would trust anything ELSE to provide a reasonably secure back-end for it)

    8. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      Re: The choice of available browsers is lame

      Edge was just starting to look interesting when they tossed it aside for Yet Another Webkit Browser. It would have been good to have another renderer in the market, even if it never occupied more than a small minority position.

    9. This post has been deleted by its author

    10. rcxb1 Bronze badge

      Re: The choice of available browsers is lame

      <blockquote>Firefox - almost entirely funded by Google, presumably to bypass anti-competitive laws and, presumably, easy to switch off when it gets bored it;s plaything.</blockquote>

      Google doesn't donate money to Mozilla, they pay them to include Google as the default search option in their browser. If Google bid a little less, Bing would step in and Firefox/Thunderbird/SeaMonkey would default to Bing search, and still be well-funded without Google.

      That's really the only reason Google developed Chrome... to keep its search engine and ad networks, on top. If Microsoft IE/Edge were the top web browsers, what are the chances they would default to Google search? What are the chances Microsoft would decided to include block ads and tracking in their browser by default?

      Mozilla just keeps shooting themselves in the feet. They seem to have an irrational hatred of their own add-on developers, changing interfaces, adding limitations, failing to renew their signing certificate. Even now, there are over 25,000 extensions for Firefox available, but on Android (suddenly one day with no notice or warning) you are/were no longer allowed to install any but these blessed 16: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/android/search/

      I recall it started at about 8 a year ago, and increasing at a glacial pace.

    11. Pirate Dave Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: The choice of available browsers is lame

      "Edge - Microsoft? We might not hate you like we used to, "

      My hatred for MS hasn't dimmed. I still hate them with the fury of 10,000 suns. They're fucking with the Exchange Admin Center for no good reason other than they just feel like fucking with stuff.

  5. Wellyboot Silver badge

    >>>That is, as Keith puts it, "absolute bollocks."<<<

    A more succinct description of big techs prevailing attitude to standards on the web is hard to find.

    A pure 'web standard'* browser would be a nice thing for any dev to prove basic compatibility before they add the go-faster stripes for use with different userland browsers.

    *maintained by the standard bodies, it doesn't have to be fast (just work) - can't be that hard a task.

    1. Julz

      That

      Sounds very like you are suggesting that the first two steps of, embrace, extend and extinguish, are a good thing but are forgetting about the last stage.

    2. Dave559 Silver badge

      "Web standard browser"

      Once upon a time, the W3C actually did have Amaya (and previously Arena) as a "web standard browser". Amaya was interesting, it had web editing actually built-in as an intrinsic function of the browser (the web was always intended to be a two-way medium, not just read-only).

      1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: "Web standard browser"

        The entire modern web is built on / an extended version of, a read-only proof-of-concept demo.

  6. Wolfclaw

    Either Google are being stupid or arrogant in not going through a proper change discussion and process sequence, I believe the latter and gives another round of ammunition to those wanting the company broken up.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      At our place the cult of devops refuses to engage with the traditional change process as they say its outdated and doesn't fit with their devops/move fast methodology. They say breakages should be expected.

      Try telling that to the head of finance when the finance system goes offline before end of month reporting deadlines.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Oh, it won't go offline... It'll just round fractions of pence/cents differently.

      2. big_D Silver badge

        We are in an industry, where it just has to work, full stop, end of story.

        No devops, just working solutions that need to be stable. You don't mess around when mixing chemicals, so if the system suddenly goes tits-up mid mix, you better have your protective gear on and be able to leave Kris Akabusi in your dust!

        Likewise, at a previous company, we wrote slaughter house software. If the system didn't work reliably, it was a no-go. If the system halts, you have a maximum of between 15 and 30 minutes to solve the problem and getting it running again, otherwise, everything that is in the cauldron has to be thrown away, so major costs.

        In most industries, you can can't "devops it", you need stable, reliable software. Reporting, you might be able to get away with trial and error, but the important stuff needs to be rock solid.

        1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
          Go

          Dogfooding

          "Likewise, at a previous company, we wrote slaughter house software."

          If the developers are so certain of the quality of their code, they can test the output themselves!

          1. BobTheIntern
            Joke

            Re: Dogfooding

            Mr. Wiggin: Good morning, gentlemen.

            Clients: Good morning.

            Mr. Wiggin: This is a 12-story block combining classical neo-Georgian features with the efficiency of modern techniques. The tenants arrive here and are carried along the corridor on a conveyor belt in extreme comfort, past murals depicting Mediterranean scenes, towards the rotating knives. The last twenty feet of the corridor are heavily soundproofed. The blood pours down these chutes and the mangled flesh slurps into these...

            Client 1: Excuse me.

            Mr. Wiggin: Yes?

            Client 1: Did you say 'knives'?

            Mr. Wiggin: Rotating knives, yes.

            Client 2: Do I take it that you are proposing to slaughter our tenants?

            Mr. Wiggin: ...Does that not fit in with your plans?

            Client 1: Not really. We asked for a simple block of flats.

            Mr. Wiggin: Oh. I hadn't fully divined your attitude towards the tenants. You see I mainly design slaughter houses.

            Clients: Ah.

            Mr. Wiggin: Pity.

            Clients: Yes.

            Mr. Wiggin: (indicating points of the model) Mind you, this is a real beaut. None of your blood caked on the walls and flesh flying out of the windows incommoding the passers-by with this one. (confidentially) My life has been leading up to this.

            Client 2: Yes, and well done, but we wanted an apartment block.

            Mr. Wiggin: May I ask you to reconsider.

            Clients: Well...

            Mr. Wiggin: You wouldn't regret this. Think of the tourist trade.

            Client 1: I'm sorry. We want a block of flats, not an abattoir.

    2. ThatOne Silver badge
      Devil

      > those wanting the company broken up

      Who can join those wanting world peace.

      Both equally likely.

    3. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

      As put in an email a couple up the thread from the ElReg link to the Google mailing list:

      > In this case, the desire to accelerate goal 2 is conflicting with doing goal 1 in the least painful way possible, which prioritizes Chrome codebase maintainability over end users.

  7. Julz

    If

    W3C actually became grew some balls and became a real standards body and issued certificates of conformance, then these sorts of behaviors from browser manufactures would be more apparent.

    1. ThatOne Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: If

      > W3C actually became grew some balls

      And what would it do with those?

      Whatever they do, Google will simply ignore them. If Google can ignore governments, why would they heed a random bunch of geeks?

      The problem is that Chrome can do and be whatever it chooses, because it has succeeded in infecting conquering a solid majority of users. There is absolutely no leverage left to force it to do anything, since all web sites are now forced to stay compatible with it: The legions of Chrome's users are behind it and will defend it (Chrome being touted the "cool" and "modern" browser the 21st century (wo)man deserves).

      1. Helcat

        Re: If

        So you're saying we're back to the same point as when Microsoft Explorer dominated the browser (non) market?

        Sure, Chrome can do whatever it wants, but it's a risk: While some are happy living in Chromeworld, others will take their money elsewhere, and that's lost profits to companies that went pure Chrome. More over: It's an opportunity for those who want to avoid Chromeworld: They'll market to the 'free' customer and build up their own world, free of Chrome, and people will hear how good it is outside of Chromeworld, and they will leave and think it good, and then Chromeworld crumbles.

        Or, to put it simpler: People are fickle. They change their minds more often than they change their clothes.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: If

          People may change their mind often, but that usually leads back to what they originally thought, so do not change, as change is bad, people don't usually like change.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: If

          One word - "leverage".

        3. ThatOne Silver badge

          Re: If

          > So you're saying we're back to the same point as when Microsoft Explorer dominated the browser (non) market?

          Worse! For back then there were several solid, independent, competing browser engines. Today the only competing browser engine still standing is Firefox, which is actually funded by Google itself, like a pet you keep to avoid monopoly accusations... It's browser engines which matter, they determine what a web site has to look like to work.

          So, concerning people being fickle and prone to change, they only can do it if there is something else to change to! No, the zillion Chrome clones under a different skin are still Chrome.

      2. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        Re: If

        Downvoted for your pathetic roll-over-and-die mentailty

        All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

        1. ThatOne Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: If

          > Downvoted for your pathetic roll-over-and-die mentailty

          Thanks and upvoted for being so kind to explain. (Really.)

          That been said, I'm sorry if it came across as a roll-over-and-die mentality, it wasn't my point.

          I'm just sad that most people just go for Chrome because "that's what the cool kids use" under a slew of fallacious pretexts, oblivious to the fact that history is repeating itself. And it's not like last time was in the Middle Ages, most of us except the youngest ones have lived through it, have heard/read the analysis, and should have learned something, for crying out loud!...

          My point (lost to most people) is that no matter what browser you like to use, right now you should use Firefox, because else everybody (including you) loses in the long term. A healthy browser market is one where there are at least three (3) different, independent engines competing through their capacities and specificities. We're as far from that as possible right now.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: If

      the best they could do is what others have done, that is allowing the display of a standards-compliance logo of some kind. Example, USB. If you comply with the spec you can put the logo on your thngy. This lets people know that your product is standards compliant. Similarly, browsers and web sites could contain a logo, with some kind of 'lint' application and web site test suite to qualify them, and (of course) a method by which non-compliance (re: bugs and incorrect features) can be reported to the W3C in the case of gross 'violation'.

      THAT might work. OK l[aw]yers would be involved but that's unfortunately the way things work in a society ruled by law. Not like you could send some thugs to their place of residence to send a message (and break a few arms).

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: If

        They've existed for hundreds of years No-one cares

        https://www.w3.org/QA/Tools/Icons

        1. alisonken1

          Re: W3C compliance icons ...

          Actually, those icons are used on the web pages coming from servers - not the browsers.

          [ note to self: need to post more often to get badge level for blockquotes]

          <blockquote>

          The W3C "valid" icons may be used on documents that successfully passed validation for a specific technology, using the W3C validation services.

          </blockquote>

      2. W.S.Gosset Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: If

        > l[aw]yers

        Nice

  8. MiguelC Silver badge

    Hubris

    Stating that the whole world must comply every time Google decides to change something.... the hubris is just staggering

    1. ThatOne Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Hubris

      Don't forget Google = the Internet...

      1. Kevin Johnston

        Re: Hubris

        I thought the Microsoft 'e' was the Internet

        1. ThatOne Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Hubris

          You know, "The king is dead, long live the king!"

      2. Martin an gof Silver badge

        Re: Hubris

        Don't forget Google = the Internet...

        Here's hoping that it goes the way of "that little blue e is the internet", and before that "AOL is the internet"...

        M.

      3. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Re: Hubris (FTFY)

        Google = the Internet + $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  9. Chris 15
    FAIL

    To put this article in another light

    This restricts what 'third party' Iframes can do.

    So in other words , advert slingers can't use popups.

    Eliminating these harms purveyors of advert slinging popups.

    Something I can live with, personally

    1. ThatOne Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: To put this article in another light

      > Eliminating these harms purveyors of advert slinging popups.

      Google is the biggest, baddest ad slinger, so rest reassured they won't harm anytime soon the mechanisms needed to constantly bury you under shrill adverts for stuff you don't need.

      At least not concerning their own adverts, and since they are the biggest and baddest ad slinger, you won't see any difference.

    2. Martin an gof Silver badge

      Re: To put this article in another light

      in other words , advert slingers can't use popups

      I wonder if it also affects those frames popped up by Verified by Visa or Sagepay for ecommerce sites that aren't big enough to run their own payment systems? That would break a lot of the internet, particularly small traders, and I'm doing my darndest to use small, local traders where possible rather than Amazon or another behemoth.

      M.

      1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

        Re: To put this article in another light

        > I wonder if it also affects those frames popped up by Verified by Visa or Sagepay for ecommerce sites that aren't big enough to run their own payment systems? That would break a lot of the internet, particularly small traders

        Answer: YES.

        Also, a lot of smaller players who sell their service for embedding into clients' sites.

        If you look at ElReg's link to Google's mailing list, you'll see a number of people describing exactly this problem and how it stuffs their company. Scroll both up and down.

        Example:

        > Comment 77 by san...@ugoku.nl on Fri, Aug 6, 2021, 12:37 AM GMT+10

        By chance, I learned about this issue by a retweet of Emily Stark by Jake Archibald. Had I not followed him, our company wouldn't have known about this until it hit stable and our customers started complaining.

        We create an online booking system, with online booking and contact forms that can be embedded into our customers' own website by using an iframe (we encourage other ways of embedding, but some still use an iframe). In some cases, those iframes show an alert. For example, when a contact form could not be sent to the server for some reason. With this change, this just fails silently.

        https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=1065085#c77

    3. Zolko Silver badge

      Re: To put this article in another light

      So in other words , advert slingers can't use popups.

      "other advert slingers" you mean. Google is forbidding others doing alert() while it has managed another_way() for itself to do the same.

  10. ThatOne Silver badge
    Devil

    Under new managment

    > web standards – so developers don't have to do ridiculous things like continually test their websites to make sure they're still working

    That's the quaint old world only bearded oldies still remember. Now Google's whims rule the world, and everybody has to scuttle and try to adapt or die trying - till that whim is abandoned or another replaces it.

    It's management by rich kid's whims, just look at all those projects Google started and eventually abandoned, always without any real reason beyond a passing fancy. They have more than enough money to waste after all.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This article

    This article is a sad attempt to boost Firefox. Firefox is the next browser that websites will stop supporting. Get over it.

    1. Roger Kynaston Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: This article

      No. The author spends 99.9% explaining how the Chromium developers are not adhering to an established practise before making changes to the way their browser works. In the final line they point out that Firefox is a good alternative.

      Whether FF is going to cease to work/survive is a separate issue.

      Enquiring minds would like to know if you work for google.

      1. naive

        Re: This article

        If he worked for google and read the article, he would know the web is based on standards which websites are using. Firefox is just one of the browsers following those standards so it can display websites.

        The older ones may remember the early 2000's when many websites displayed a message along the lines of "Use Internet explorer" when visited with Firefox. Those websites developed by the brightest of them all in that time only supported .NET. We all know how that ended for MS trying to enforce its proprietary standards on the internet.

        It is to be expected Google is smart enough to speak softly when it comes to internet standards, since it knows quite well it carries a big stick.

  12. heyrick Silver badge

    I still hand write HTML...it isn't that difficult

    And I specificity don't test with Chrome because the Android version of Chrome insists on buggering around with text sizes with no opportunity to turn this behaviour off, so I just ignore it. It does what it does and I don't give a crap. Stuff is still visible, if the relative sizes of different parts of the document are all messed up, that's on Google, not me.

    As for breaking changes, maybe this is true if you use all the cutting edge still implemented because "this feature is awesome!" and later withdrawn when the size of its risk is actually understood (battery status API, anybody?). But if you stick with proper standards and not what some browser dev is currently wanking over... Guess what, it'll work from MSIE (remember that) to the latest Firefox, and everything in between.

    1. Martin an gof Silver badge

      Re: I still hand write HTML...it isn't that difficult

      Plenty of browsers got there before MSIE, which actually in its early incarnations did an awful lot to "break" the web in the interests of trying to gain a monopoly position.

      Speaking personally, the first "proper" web browser I used was ArcWeb which did marvellous things in 1MB of RAM, loaded from a floppy disc. I still occasionally use Netsurf which has no Javascript and for many websites is all the better for it. Netsurf's current executable is somewhere around 6MB on Windows and Linux, less on other platforms, oddly enough rather more on Amiga (7MB) and Atari (10MB).

      M.

      1. heyrick Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: I still hand write HTML...it isn't that difficult

        Upvote for ArcWeb and Netsurf.

        ArcWeb was my first browser too, and when I'm not using Firefox on my phone, I'm probably using Netsurf on RISC OS.

        I mentioned MSIE because websites these days use CSS a lot and look kind of shit on a browser that doesn't understand that, which is why I didn't mention a really old browser like ArcWeb or Arachne. I'm aware of what IE did, I lived through the Browser Wars...

    2. buttercookie42

      Mobile browser font sizes

      Most mobile browsers (including e.g. Firefox and I think also Safari) "bugger around" with font sizes unless you stick a <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0"> tag into the header, because otherwise there's no good way to distinguish between pages that work well with the screen dimensions commonly encountered on a mobile phone, and those that don't.

      Pages from the former category can be simply displayed as-is, but for pages from the latter category you can basically choose between

      1. Squeezing the page into the narrow width (300 - 400 px) available on a phone in portrait mode (can lead to horrible layout breakage)

      2. Rendering the page at a desktop size width (~ 980 px) and then zooming out to make it fit the available screen width (leads to unreadably small font sizes), or

      3. As you put it "buggering around with text sizes" as a compromise between the two – it might still occasionally cause some layout breakage, but not as much as 1.) usually does, and in turn font sizes for the main content are usually much more readable than in case 2.)

      So in order to reasonably display pages whose layout predates the mobile web, a number of browsers (not just Chrome) choose option 3.), unless a page explicitly declares that "Yes, I work well on narrow screens, too".

  13. Chris Evans

    Firefox are almost as arrogant

    Several months ago they decided (with no reasoning given) to double space menu's, tab list, etc. resulting in only about half the number of pages being visible when you have more than about 20 tabs in a list:

    https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1346810

    Apparently this is being reverted later this month.

    I found it a real pain and suspect some disabled users will have found it extremely awkward. I'm not sure if it didn't break disability access legislation!

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: Firefox are almost as arrogant

      What really pisses me off is when crap things are added, with no option to switch back.

      Chrome mobile... Ugh . Grouped tabs? Horrible.

      URL bar, having to type the little pencil icon before manually altering a URL.. Bloody annoying, and pointless

  14. John Riddoch
    FAIL

    Page loading speeds

    Back in the days of 56k modems, I'm sure I heard something along the lines of "if a webpage doesn't load in under 2 seconds, people will cancel the page load and move on"; the impetus being to make your pages compact with minimal large images. These days, many of us can get 56Mbps to our houses and pages take longer to load than they did in the modem days.

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Page loading speeds

      The company I work for has some new fancy HR crap that they expect us to use for preparation for our annual interview.

      I swear to god, we're looking at at least forty five seconds to load the intro page (which is actually a pretty simple looking "dashboard", it's not like a big image or anything).

      I rather imagine I'm liable to tell my boss I lost the will to live waiting for it to do anything useful for me. If she doesn't buy that, I can always point out how utterly and completely it is broken on mobile devices. It seems to understand mobile because it's slightly better behaved when in desktop mode. As for mobile? Well, let's see, an insane screen width and disallow manual zooming and resizing.

      I dunno who made this crap, but if IT procurement was my responsibility, all of this would be flushed to the null device. If the user facing aspect is this bad, I dread to think what it's like under the hood.

      1. Chris Evans

        Re: Page loading speeds

        I hate to think what the size of the https://one.network/ home page is!

        I can't I'm surprised they used to be called: roadworks.org/ which was exactly what it said on the tin.

        Do they now teach that the KISS principle is bad or something?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Page loading speeds

        I fucking hate it when a page disallows manual zooming. My device, my rules. Bastards.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Page loading speeds

          Problem is, THEIR page, THEIR rules as THEY'RE the supplier. TIOLI, especially if they're the ONLY source in town...

  15. 45RPM Silver badge

    I used to really like Chrome. It was light, it was fast, it was stable, it complied with the standards. Now it’s almost none of those things, and it’s lost its place in the suite of browsers that I keep on my computer. If I want to test with something Chromealike then I test with Edge.

    It’s sad to see Chrome breaking the standards now as well. Chrome - the new Internet Explorer. Same as the old Internet Explorer.

    1. quxinot

      Honestly, you could say this about Firefox as well.

      Remember back when it was a fast, lightweight, customizable framework? Yeah, it's been awhile. Finally had to move away from it on mobile and I still can't find anything that is remotely user-friendly.

      1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

        I've just discovered MyPal, which is old Firefox but with the guts kept up to date. Don't know if it has a Mobile version though.

        1. John 110

          I think MyPal (a Pale Moon fork) is frowned on by the people who forked Firefox into Pale Moon due to not adhering to the Open Source licensing that Pale Moon uses.

          TL;DR I can't be bothered looking it up, but they're arguing about it somewhere.

          NB: Pale Moon does everything I need it to, but beware! Redditors don't like it...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Ha!

            Since when should anyone care what redditors think?

      2. tracker1

        For mobile, I mostly use Brave. It's far from perfect, but it's about the best option I've used in Android.

  16. aregross
    Thumb Up

    Chrome?

    Isn't that what was used when cars had bumpers?

    Firefox, No-Script and Duck-Duck-Go for me!

    1. Dave559 Silver badge

      Re: Chrome?

      Google stole the name from Netscape/Mozilla, who half-jokingly-half-seriously used the term "chrome" [1] to refer to everything that made up the shiny parts of the browser interface: things we know and love, and nowadays mostly sadly miss (thanks to the arrival of equally accursed short-screen low-resolution laptops), like proper (accessible/usable) menu bars, navigation controls, tool bars, etc.

      The irony being that Google Chrome has virtually nothing resembling an attractive or usable interface at all (its settings scrapheap being perhaps a particular case in point.)

      [1] At this point, I'm obliged to add "There is only XUL!" [2], otherwise something large, white and squishy (and smelling slightly of marshmallows) will come along and trample us all underfoot. Whew, thank goodness that didn't happen…

      [2] And XUL did allow all sorts of clever (and multi-platform) interface stuff, but was perhaps a bit too clever and potentially insecure (having great powers) for its own good in the end.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    firefox

    "Just a friendly reminder, Firefox is an excellent web browser."

    Yeaaaah ... That is, if you fancy looking everywhere, for each upgrade, where the f*** they moved bookmarks.

    1. RobThBay

      Re: firefox

      That's why I'm using the ESR release of Firefox. You get the security updates and none of the new & improved "features".

    2. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: firefox

      Bookmarks continue to be in Bookmarks menu on all my versions of Firefox.

      (The Flame icon is because of the many, many personal criticisms which ran through my head but which I have chosen not to deploy, both out of a sense of human decency and because I'm 90% certain that the mods have me on a watchlist.)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: firefox

        "Bookmarks menu on all my versions of Firefox."

        Yes. And where *is* that menu, in the first place?

        Oh, you need a "special shortcut" to show the options, so you can force the menu to be displayed. Otherwise it's 'no menu for you', by default.

        1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: firefox

          That's it, I can't take it any more. Has it occurred to you that perhaps you are too stupid to use the Web?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: firefox

          On Alt+B, where it's always been.

  18. Notas Badoff

    Don't hyperventilate

    Well this was a disappointing article. Which 'standard' requires alert() ?

    Before you answer, do you know the difference between 'prescriptive' and 'descriptive'? I can believe something 'standard' describes alert(). Nothing I know of prescribes alert() as required of browsers.

    Even worse a defect is your confusion between HTML and features made available using Javascript. What HTML standard requires alert() ?

    WHATWG 8.8.1 describes alert() , but then also documents that alert() might be disabled in "sand-boxed" mode or if a user wants the browser to not permit alert() abuse. There's already a precedent that disabling alert() just might be a good and useful thing. Gosh.

    You're hyperventilating over this issue to expound your views about the web. At least add "and then Scott fainted" to the article title.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Don't hyperventilate

      "WHATWG 8.8.1 describes alert() "

      Yes. It's also a mandatory feature, not optional except in some corner cases.

      Either you haven't read the standard or you don't understand what it means when a feature is described in the standard.

      Standard does not describe features just for fun, you know?

    2. Ilgaz

      Rule of Linux kernel

      Don't break userspace. Not all of the web can be updated, webmasters are dead etc.

    3. Speeddymon

      Re: Don't hyperventilate

      I couldn't have it it better myself.

      And like I said in another comment, people writing their first tentative lines of HTML aren't using iframes to load pages that have alert popups, ergo professional developers should test their code against Canary releases as well as stable releases.

  19. Teejay

    Bravo!

    Great article. Thanks!

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    According the documentation in your link

    """""""""""

    We cannot show simple dialogs for a Window window when the following algorithm returns true:

    1. If the active sandboxing flag set of window's associated Document has the sandboxed modals flag set, then return true.

    2. If window's relevant settings object's origin and window's relevant settings object's top-level origin are not same origin-domain, then return true.

    3. If window's relevant agent's event loop's termination nesting level is nonzero, then optionally return true.

    4. Optionally, return true. (For example, the user agent might give the user the option to ignore all modal dialogs, and would thus abort at this step whenever the method was invoked.)

    5. Return false.

    """""""""""

    Additionally, the MDN documentation describes the chrome change as

    """""""""""

    Starting with Chrome 46, this method [alert] is blocked inside an <iframe> unless its sandbox attribute has the value allow-modals.

    """""""""""

    First of all, I am wondering, is the MDN described Chrome change actually an implementation of the "WhatWG" described algorithm line #2?

    Secondly, the MDN description states "... unless its sandbox attribute has the value allow-modals" which, I believe, means that the page hosting the iframe can optionally permit the iframe content to throw up an alert box. So a web page designed can choose to allow it iframe contents to throw up alert boxes. The article fails to mention this.

    Given that an alert box loop can be used to disable user operation (maybe as a delay tactic while other nasty stuff is going on) I would say there is good reason to tightly control its use.

    1. tiggity Silver badge

      @AC

      I'm all in favour of ways to better control alert popups...

      If its user configurable!

      If anything is contentious, then make it configurable, job done without breaking accepted norms of behaviour,

      .. Not that alert boxes really affect me as normally have most js blocked by default, happy to see alerts nuked, but to paraphrase, "first they came for the third party iframe alert ..."

      i.e. I'm concerned they might break things (with no option to counteract) that are NOT detrimental to browsing at some point in the future

    2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      ...not arguing with the actual change, just the way they went about it.

      That's the whole point the author of this article is making too

      He even quotes the recommended way for things to be deprecated.

    3. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

      > Starting with Chrome 46, this method [alert] is blocked inside an <iframe> unless its sandbox attribute has the value allow-modals.

      That Allow attribute was only added back in after the dev community jacked up. Have a read through some of the surrounding comments on that bug mailing list ElReg linked to early in the article. Also, Google intend to remove that option in a few months.

  21. Mike 137 Silver badge

    "... professional developers working for the ad agency's prospective clients"

    When I taught web development, the very first thing I said to students was:

    "You're not designing a web site for your client. You're designing it for your client's customers. If you make it hard to access you're doing your client a disservice as you're losing them customers".

    That message has been utterly lost of late. The other day I followed a link to a business innovation portal, and as soon as the page started loading it crashed the browser. Looking at it via another, somewhat more recent, browser, it was just a static page. I call that poor engineering.

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: "... professional developers working for the ad agency's prospective clients"

      I agree, but it"s always been like this.

      I remember dishonest developers would demonstrate their websites to the client on a fast system serving files locally, whilst the client didn't realise it was impractical on typical desktop hardware at the time with 56Kbs modems

  22. RPrior

    3 days ago, I uninstalled Chrome (94.0.4606.71) on Windows Laptop after security & resource issues plagued my Core i5 Laptop.

    I can always use Chromium on my Chromebook, Android phones or Samsung Tab 7.

    I do not intend to re-install Chrome on my Windows system

    where I also have Brave & Opera browsers.

    Yes - I very much miss Voice to text that Google has disabled on all other browsers. (I can use my phones instead)

  23. Number6

    Google is the new Microsoft in terms of ignoring anything outside its own monoculture. I gave up on Chrome some time back. I tend to use Firefox at the moment, with Chromium as a reluctant last resort if something really doesn't like Firefox. I still remember stuff that only works on IE and MS systems (and sends email notifications that use ancient encryption methods that modern SMTP doesn't support by default). Sadly I still have some of that in the house because I haven't gotten around to upgrading it.

    As for checking against latest browser releases, that's a fool's game. I tend to hand-write boring HTML with an occasional bit of CSS and rarely some Javascript, and if that doesn't work on your browser then I guess you're not going to look at my page. I check it out when I write it to make sure I haven't done anything too stupid, but then it just sits there taking up space on the web.

    1. quxinot

      New Microsoft? I agree in principle but the word 'new' is a bit of a stretch.

  24. noisy_typist

    I miss the blink tag

    <h1><blink><marquee>Welcome to my homepage</marquee></blink></h1>

    Said homepage should also have a tiled background, a hit count, and consist almost entirely of a set of links to other sites.

    1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: I miss the blink tag

      Don't for get the "Under Construction" and "Best Viewed with Netscape Navigator" icons!

    2. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

      Re: I miss the blink tag

      And "marching ants" borders/outlines.

  25. DS999 Silver badge

    Antitrust

    Is the only path left to avoid a web monoculture with Google calling the shots. Even Apple can't stand against them, since their only real action against Google's attempts at driving web standards their way has been to refuse to implement some of the more harebrained schemes like USB, bluetooth, and NFC over the web - that refusal only affects what developers can expect for mobile clients, Apple's penetration in the PC market is too small to matter.

  26. ecofeco Silver badge

    Bloat!

    Bloat for job security.

    If you can't make it work with HTML, gifs and jpgs and cgi-bin, yer doin it wrong.

    Wots that? You say you MUST have the complexity? No you don't. Bugger off.

    1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

      Re: Bloat!

      Our standard public city wifi requires you to accept its T&Cs to access it. This means a page of text with an I Accept button.

      That button requires JavaScript. Disable JavaScript and you're locked out. POST apparently is for losers.

      1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

        Re: Bloat!

        Oh, and you can only GET to that login screen if you're using current-version Chrome, or else older Chrome and an HTTP site. You trigger it by attempting to load your first page, it detects you're unauthorised and sends you the login page. Except if you're unauthorised and the site is the now-default HTTPS, it first rejects you entirely.

        ...

        New Chrome has some special additional anon login request to get round it. Older Chrome doesn't so you need to know the UNsecured site trick. Which only works on Chrome because Firefox returns the unsecure favour and rejects the network's login page.

        The STUPIDITY and ARROGANCE of the IT Dept responsible for this, and the laziness and incompetence of just slamming in some bloaty 3rd-party framework, beggars the imagination.

        1. ecofeco Silver badge

          Re: Bloat!

          That's not IT, that's marketing.

  27. Scott 26

    > The idea that there might be someone sitting right now writing their first tentative lines of HTML so that they can launch a webpage dedicated to ostriches is not even considered.

    It'd have to be a sick ostrich. Allegedly.

  28. David Halko

    Make things stop working

    Well, once Microsoft released an update to an early version of Windows, they broke market leading applications, and became the dominate office application vendor quite literally overnight.

    Google is counting on exactly this strategy, ignoring the standards committees. Google is now worse, by breaking their browser, making documents unusable around the globe, clearly violating their “don’t do evil” fake moniker.

  29. Franco Silver badge

    No wonder Chrome is such a shit browser, if the people who work on it think like Emily Stark.

    Once Google proudly claimed to be holding companies like Microsoft to account for their shady business practices. Now they seek to emulate them. We definitely need Firefox and Safari to ensure that Chromium does not take over completely, and there needs to be enforcement on companies that ignore standards.

    1. DS999 Silver badge
      Megaphone

      Enforcement on companies that ignore standards?

      What happens if the standards bodies have been co-opted? Why do you think Google rammed through standards to allow the browser to access the microphone, camera, attached USB devices, connected bluetooth devices, etc.? They would love a world where the browser is the only "application" and the only "operating system" that matters.

      Apple and Firefox have rightly refused to implement those shady "standards". Should there be enforcement action against them for that?

  30. Ian Johnston Silver badge

    Just a friendly reminder, Firefox is an excellent web browser.

    That's what I thought until they did that big update over the summer, after which it won't show statements from either of my banks or payslips from work and crashes at least every other day.

    And what made them think it would be a good idea to have an unturnoffable automatic upgrade process which loses data from every single tab open when it insists on "restarting" (actually just closing down) the browser.

    1. aregross

      "that big update over the summer"

      I'm still hitting the "Dismiss" button on that update.

  31. Kev99 Silver badge

    Firefox is all cookies and cream. It also breaks various sites, such as ALWAYS triyng to block legit web sites because some blacklist site says it's bad. Or it throws up a blank picture instead of letting a site, such as Yahoo, display it. Oh, for Netscape.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      just open about:config search for http:// and change all of the urls http://fuck.off, then search for https:// and change all of the urls to https://fuck.off

      Now open your hosts file and add 127.0.0.1 fuck.off

      Now you can go wherever you want.

    2. ThatOne Silver badge
      Facepalm

      > block legit web sites because some blacklist site says it's bad

      It happens Firefox has something called a "Settings" menu, accessible from the hamburger menu icon. In there, go to the "Privacy & Security" section, scroll down till you see "Deceptive Content and Dangerous Software Protection" and just uncheck the checkbox: Voila, Firefox won't ever tell you again this or that site is dangerous.

  32. Grunchy Bronze badge

    theregister.com No Workee with Lynx

    Tried surfing here via Lynx and guess what, links to the individual stories are not rendered.

    Sure I can log in to my account, but what's the use if I can't gloat that I'm surfing here via Lynx because your site is borken?

    You guys need to shape up pls, you've forced me to activate my copy of Mozilla. Friendly suggestion.

  33. John Navas

    AMP

    The unspoken irony is that this webpage is being served with AMP.

  34. Speeddymon

    "The idea that there might be someone sitting right now writing their first tentative lines of HTML so that they can launch a webpage dedicated to ostriches is not even considered."

    That's probably true. But, then again those people also don't use features that are likely to be broken by Google so this point is completely moot! Developers who are likely to be writing code that could be broken by changes Google proposes absolutely should test their code against Canary releases of browsers. That is the ENTIRE point of Canary releases!

  35. Potemkine! Silver badge

    HTML is not the problem. CSS and Javascript are.

  36. tracker1

    I'm not a fan of nested I frame

    While I recognize that there are useful places for these features, they are most often used by "your computer is infected" ad scams. For that matter, I'd like to see JS disabled altogether for content more than two iframes deep. Look at ad network content and browser overhead sometime.

    Even in a monster JS app, loading way too much JS, a single ad frame can dwarf it easily. I reviewed a web app for a friend that was behaving badly... It wasn't the app itself, it was the third party "chat with us" module in the corner.

    It iris me to no end far more when integration plugins like that,. Or ads aren't coded with extreme care for the impact.

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