Browser Choice

Vivaldi’s CEO, Jon von Tetzchner, wrote a blog post about the upcoming browser choice screens coming to the EU. He creates a hypothetical comparison between a browser choice screen created by an entrenched incumbent and a fair alternative.

I’ve sat out Windows 11. But, one of the annoying things I keep reading about is how Microsoft Edge keeps getting set as the default. I think if I’m ever forced to use Windows 11 or later, I’ll just start launching applications from the shell by name: firefox

If someone didn’t choose IronGripBrowser, IronGrip likes to remind them on every occasion that they have made the wrong choice.


if it’s doable for you, consider Linux - personally i might recommend Linux Mint if you’re totally new to it

be glad to help if needed

If I’m not mistaken the past time’s I’ve read JVT’s stuff he’s done this, can be good for illustrating points without naming names.

The Help make a meaningful choice header is definitely the part where I’d say the most impact can be made. You’re fighting an uphill battle without name recognition or context to a time-poor user.

What likely will establish is just a legal pesudo-solution to a problem that hasn’t really been solved. At bare minimum those users curious enough to not go with the default should be offered more than just NAME LOGO to make that choice.

@itsMe Thank you. I switched to Manjaro when Microsoft announced Windows 11. I wanted to make sure that I had enough skill before I was forced to switch. Since then, I’ve tried Vanilla OS and then openSUSE. At the time, I was looking for a distribution that supported hardware acceleration for the AMD Radeon 680M.

I used SuSE 9 for many years after becoming frustrated with Windows XP. I should also mention Zenwalk, which was my original Slackware distribution. And, I had a Gentoo box before I killed it with an update.

I should also mention that most people would start with Ubuntu / Debian. But, I try to use a more challenging OS.

Finally, I’d dump systemd if there was a viable alternative.

@Josh I was recently thinking that macOS doesn’t have antivirus software … because mac antivirus runs in the background and no one is going to enforce antitrust laws.

And what I mean is, if the average person cannot see something then it doesn’t exist. And they are not likely to imagine an alternative.

So, it might be useful for technology companies to create an interactive demonstration of a choice screen just so regulators and ordinary people can see how things might work. I think that would be more effective than relying on a blog post or users’ imagination. Such a demo could be online instead of on a phone.

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kinda thought you had said something about Linux in another thread somewhere - wasn’t sure

mmm yeah - i’m very much considering the same - Artix seems to be a popular choice but from what i’m reading it seems there may still be issues with particular packages (i think they have some shims in place, but not sure if that covers every case)

also: No systemd

and then there’s BSD…

7 was my last M$ OS - i made sure to disable the “upgrade” to 10, but when i saw what they were doing with 10, i was so angy that i deleted all my install images and license info to make it as difficult and expensive as possible to go back should i ever suffer a relapse in ethics :slight_smile:


ps: @mike - if you have any feedback regarding Artix, i’m all ears

I mentioned systemd because I don’t like Red Hat. And it bothers me that systemd has extended its tentacles into everything including logging and now the bootloader. But, like everyone else, I am not seriously interested in going back to init or some other science project. I just think that there should be an alternative in order to force user software to follow an open standard and be interoperable. One of the criticisms I’ve read is that there are parts of systemd which are not clearly documented and which exist only as code. That makes it difficult to troubleshoot bugs. And having one init system controlled by Red Hat is a crap place to be in for Linux. That said, I’m less concerned about NetworkManager or PulseAudio.

I briefly looked into Artix. But, I specifically avoided Arch in favor of Manjaro. And a more niche Arch is not an appealing sales pitch.

I did see Void Linux mentioned in comparison with Artix. Void is a name I recognize from Vanilla OS: I was introduced to Void there. The Void package I needed was a bit stale. But, if you were serious about avoiding systemd then Void or Gentoo might be good options. I would just use BTRFS snapshots and set up that boot option that allows you to rollback to a working state. openSUSE provides this by default when you use BTRFS.

yeah, systemd has essentially become a virus far as i’m concerned - FYI, Poettering now works for M$ if you didn’t know

i’m not against more uniformity among distros and it seems like systemd might have been a net positive … had it remained an actual init system

i just had another look at Void - i like the ethic, but i’m at the point where i’m far less interested in building a system than installing one that’s ready to go, more or less (and i don’t really care for XFCE which is apparently the only DE they package), thus Artix is more attractive to me

does Gentoo use its its own repo? i couldn’t find info in the docks

(Somehow this thread started talking about Linux, so you’ve smoked me out)

I don’t have any problems with Systemd (I quite like it actually), but I’m a newer Linux user, so I have no idea what it was like before. I know Gentoo makes sure everything works with OpenRC, when I was toying with the idea of using that system (in the end, far too much work for me).

It’s surprising how much of Freedesktop is maintained solely by Red Hat employees, maybe in their spare time, and how much this has penetrated Linux. Good luck finding a single Linux distribution without a Freedesktop component.

I only started noticing this because Red Hat has been taking their employees off these projects to focus on other things. Or outright firing them, like in the case with the Fedora maintainer.

My opinion is that free software projects developed and maintained by Red Hat are a good thing, because Red Hat has historically been the only company to invest significantly in the desktop. Canonical hasn’t put much effort into it for years now. Red Hat dropping Xorg in a few years is going to push NVIDIA to improve their drivers for Wayland. Or, hopefully, NVK and Noveau will be the standard stack for NVIDIA users in a year or two.

The control Red Hat has over all these subsystems of the Linux desktop is concerning, but they’re free software projects. Anyone can contribute to them and take them over. It just seems like no one is interested in doing that.

i’m betting your opinion might change if you do some reading about both it and the ego-centric ding-dong that managed the project … before going to work for microsoft (what does that suggest about his ethics?)

another one of his pet projects was pulseaudio which, again, was always a half-baked pile of non-trivial issues

that said, my knowledge is more the result of reading about the subject since i don’t really posses enough technical knowledge to form an organic opinion - nevertheless, i’m quite certain systemd (and Pottering) are both garbage - there’s a reason why so many distros went systemd-free (though they don’t all eliminate the virus completely)

do one thing and do it well ← unix philosophy
do it my way ← Pottering philosophy

When I was learning Linux and tried Red Hat, I would find instructions to use rpm when it would have been more appropriate to use yum to install software. I also had trouble because SELinux would be turned on be default. And I knew nothing about it. The firewall gave me similar issues. Compare that experience to SuSE which came with sane defaults and printed manuals (no dependency on working internet). And it just seemed like Red Hat chose crazy defaults and was hard to use. Over the years, I must have tried ten different versions of RHEL, Fedora Core, and CentOS. And they all mirrored those first experiences: impossible to use out of the box, and bad instructions. I know Red Hat has certifications for professional software like video editing software. But, apart from that, I don’t understand why people choose Red Hat. And I stay away from them as much as possible.

I think my challenge for systemd is: Don’t become the next IE6. With Internet Explorer 6, we had one dominant application that was full of problems and strangled interoperability. And I’m afraid this important part of the Linux ecosystem is going down the same road.

About Gentoo, they should have their own software mirrors. Of course the main thing to know is Portage is primarily based on source code which is downloaded and built on your machine. That said, I saw that Gentoo started supporting binary packages.