smaragdus wrote: ↑
Mon Feb 06, 2017 6:26 pm
When I travel by bus I happen to peep at what others are doing on their mobile devices and I can't remember anyone browsing anything- just messengers and the social apps. The majority of users were not like that 10-15 years ago, they even used to be creative developing their own web-pages, experimenting with themes, plug-ins, scripts and the majority of these creators didn't consider themselves power users, it was just normal to be ingenious. But the masses underwent a massive social engineering so now it is normal to be dumb...
Realistically this Min browser is just some open source side project by some dev to be honest, I wouldn't take it as any kind of fundamental statement about the dumbing down of the masses but rather like many simple programs even here on the PF it probably began to satisfy some personal goal. And after all being creative and making things is a cool thing, right?
But on your point: what mostly occurred in that time from my perspective is the widespread rise of internet-connected devices, making it easier to see what the average person is doing casually on their devices since they're ubiquitous. This coincided with the advent of 'Web 2.0' and easier to use hardware interfaces where it became easier for regular users to contribute and exchange content online, which resulted in the wider public having a say in everything by way of videos/social media/blogs/comments/etc, but on the flip side also allowed more creative types to also engage online. Bit of a double-edged sword I suppose.
That's not to say that something like browsing social media is some enlightening activity but I feel it's more a reflection on how opening up online interactions reached the mainstream. There are still tons of people creating things though, perhaps now more visibly than ever.
I certainly share the desire for browser customizability however. If Opera could have maintained their original browser I would have stuck with it, but it couldn't grow a large enough userbase in later years to sustain continual development of their own engine—in part probably due to the ever-growing mainstream adoption and use of internet connected devices which in turn created a wider market for online websites/services which increasingly ended up testing mostly for only the most popular browsers. Back 10+ years ago there was less user interaction with online content comparatively and I suppose their engine could be kept manageable.
If we think about it though something like IE was always pretty simple, and for the longest time was the most popular browser. Firefox enjoyed some great success, and then Google created Chrome and pushed it hard across its widely used services and within a number of years took a significant chunk of IE's market share.
So as much as I always evangelized customizable browsers the reality is a lot of people just prefer something that loads sites well and is easy enough to use, and since most programs' functionality is underutilized a more straightforward browser becomes good enough for the average user. Which does affect the development focus as a result, unfortunately, since things still require testing and debugging and so a narrower focus makes it easier to maintain over time.
It's a shame Firefox gave up its rich customizability for a more limited API approach but Mozilla felt the security and performance benefits outweighted the downsides. Like you I'm sticking with an older version, in my case v54 Dev, but there are enough vulnerabilities that get found in software that eventually I'll have to migrate, despite Quantum lacking a range of equivalent addons currently.