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Microsoft Is Going Ahead And Rebuilding Edge Browser Atop Chromium

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  • #71
    Originally posted by UseLinuxNotWindows View Post
    Am I alone in thinking this might just be another example of Embrace, Extend, Extinguish?
    In case it's not a rhetorical question, no, you certainly are not alone in thinking that. They'll try it. They have no obligation to give code back, so they'll modify the browser engines and get it out there, and expect developers to adopt it. Just like they tried to do with Java and Internet Explorer. It took years after the injunction to fix that mess... people still had to install the MS Java VM from "oldversion" type sites for some web applications.

    Here's what is scary though, even on the desktop PC (same as their mobile OS platform), any browser in the Microsoft Store is only allowed to use Microsoft's web engines. Essentially, if you want your app to be available it can only be a front end. Newer builds of Windows 10 have a disingenuous setting that warns you that software you are trying to install is not coming through the Microsoft Store and it makes you disable the setting before it will let you run a software installer. As you probably know, the majority of users will use what's given to them.

    I don't think it will work so well this time though, as the computing environment isn't as homogenous as it was back in the IE6 days. They do not have a monopoly with Windows 10, like the defacto one they had in the 90's and early 2000's.

    As for browsers, I'm a Vivaldi user myself. It's like those folks knew everything I hated about modern web browser user interfaces and gave me the means to change it back. I could go on in exhaustive detail, but essentially what makes me happy is a Chrome(ium) back end with proper address and status bar functionality, and Opera's "Speed Dial" for a new tab page. Also, it's easy to change elements of its included dark theme, getting rid of the gaudy highlight colours and stuff.


    • #72
      Here's why I think this is bad:
      Chromium is an awful code-base to work with. The code-base is just too large and literally encompasses an entire operating system. One change that breaks something ends up breaking various other things. I'm actually having a hard time finding a stable version of Chromium as a result and I've been using Firefox happily for the past few months now. Need to customize it? Wait several hours or days to compile the code-base, learn a ridiculous toolchain specific to Google tools called depot_tools, learn all of the convoluted GN syntax which looks and feels like nothing other than Gyp which almost nobody except Google and Node.js people use, and then learn their very specific tools that wrap over the already hard-to-learn git that's specific to Google. Also, right in the middle of a several-hour build, be prompted for credentials not knowing what the hell it means and then spend the next day debugging the build script trying to figure out why it's doing that and how to get around it, because it's seemingly documented nowhere. After all that, get a convoluted vpython error that asks for `C:/usr/bin` even though you're on Windows and that path is obviously not going to exist. Then post in the mailing list for basic support, wait for 3 weeks, and get no help. Then spend $200 moving to a windows server that has been stripped down to do nothing but build chromium because you're literally tired of breaking your work computer's dev environment for Chromium and wasting literally days of your time. Then watch as Google's git server 403's the shit out of your server for several hour. Then watch as it somehow corrupts your git checkout in a way that git can't recognize (how is this even possible?) so you have to delete all of the cache and the repository and start over. Then once you've built it, you try and use a library/binary but realize that the lib tool they used to generate libraries put out corrupted binaries and they aren't valid at all so you have to revert to the previous branch because apparently, nobody fucking tried to build that specific commit/branch, and start all the way from the fucking beginning.

      Look... I'm not a fan of Edge in particular but variation here is actually really good. Edge is actually worth investing into (even if I don't use it) and there's even things like chakra-node which is a version of Node that's based on the Edge Javascript Engine (named Chakra) instead of Chromium's V8. And Chakra Core is actually open-source:

      I used Firefox for a browser but for programming with or for embedded use, there's only Chromium. At this rate, it will always be only Chromium. And while I absolutely hate the fact that everything is turning into a slow-ass fucking browser (don't even get me started on that crap), I do have to accept that it's inevitable at this point. I do not want to be stuck with only Chromium which just feels like a heaping pile of steamy over-bloated garbage half the time. Why not servo? Why not gecko? Why not literally anything else that doesn't take half a day to compile, fails to work half the time, pushes random crap on their users (which broke entire websites, almost every embedded use-case, and confused the hell out of almost every user for a month or two). There are efforts like servo/spidermonkey to market to embedded uses that just haven't been adopted for that purpose much. That doesn't mean they don't exist but there also isn't the support from a larger company like Microsoft or Google to support it.


      • #73
        Don't get me started on Chrome/Google build systems and tooling.


        • #74
          Originally posted by brrrrttttt View Post
          Don't get me started on Chrome/Google build systems and tooling.
          Well at least it bootstraps now that they moved gn out of Chromium... It was always "hillarious" that for years the officials sources couldn't even bootstrap the tools they needed to build themselves.