The other day, it occurred to me that I enjoyed my web browser a lot more 15 years ago than I do today.
Don’t get me wrong, modern web browsers are amazing pieces of technology, far more capable than anything that existed over a decade ago.
But they’ve also all succumb to capitalism-driven rot.
When Firefox launched, it was the antithesis to IE, which had become stagnant. Firefox was fresh and modern, had features, offered an overall better UX.
When Chrome launched, it was the antithesis to Firefox, which had become bloated with features over time. Chrome was fast, minimal, and sleek. Now, Chrome is bloated and effectively serves as spyware so Google can sell you more ads.
There are lots of Chromium-based alternatives that try to give you that Chrome flavor, with a twist.
MS Edge was great for a while, but now it’s been overrun by Bing marketing folks, AI nonsense, and terrible features you can’t turn off. Brave is a sketchy browser run by a terrible person, and was never good.
Arc, which a lot of folks love, is too opinionated for my tastes. I don’t want my browser making choices for me. Vivaldi is alright, I guess, but made some weird UI updates just for the hell of it? Opera is now a predatory loan company.
I just want a good browser that works well, doesn’t shove lots of features down my throat, and gets the hell out of the way.