Reply to post: Mozilla good, Apple bad

Chrome 89 beta: Google presses on with 'advanced hardware interactions' that Mozilla, Apple see as harmful


Mozilla good, Apple bad

Mozilla are doing this for noble reasons, Apple less so. Mozilla is positioning itself as the browser which actually protects user privacy, rather than just blocking a few cookies and adding a few tracking blocklists. With Firefox, you can isolate every site from one another with namespace-based isolation and enable proper fingerprinting resistance with a couple of simple about:config tweaks. Safari doesn’t do isolation unless you explicitly PWA things, which sucks by comparison but I guess is still better than nothing.

The truth on the Cupertino end is that Apple doesn’t want to allow hardware interaction because it makes PWAs useful enough to act as a viable alternative to native apps from their App Store. Anyone who grew up with addictinggames and newgrounds knows what WASM+WebGL+WebUSB can do for those who want to build 2021’s equivalent of “free flash games” without the walled garden getting in the way.

In reality, operating system security features can be used to mediate accesses to USB devices and a whitelist can be created of known safe devices (e.g. game controllers) while disallowing access to anything not yet known to be safe. After all, JavaScript and WASM are both huge risks which we have successfully made (mostly) safe through implementing sufficient security measures.

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