We need a multi-national, publicly funded research organization akin to CERN/within CERN, whose whole purpose is to develop a state-of-the-art browser that's not Chromium-based. Make #Google follow our lead, rather than us having to follow Google.

If the Web could be developed using public money, why not a modern browser? Public funding would remove the Mozilla problem of them having to depend on Google.

With the amount of money governments waste annually, we could fund this AND Mozilla.

There could be incentive problems here as well, of course, like governments threatening to withdraw funding in case a certain backdoor isn't included, or if it blocks ads too aggressively and some corporate-funded 'representative' starts receiving pushback from the industry etc, but which is why it would need to:

- Be funded by a wider variety of states than the Five/Nine Eyes members.

- Developed entirely in the open, each important change reviewed by a committee of experts from the public.

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@MatejLach But how would you unseat Chrome at this point? Google have the incumbent advantage and the platform advantage. Technical excellence is only part of the story.

@cbowdon That's definitely going to be a challenge, but #Google did some smart marketing by having ads IRL, like in trains and such, even in smaller countries if the % of connected users was high enough.

Since it would be publicly funded, you could also install it on computers in publicly-funded educational institutions. A lot of software spreads by children installing it for their parents. If students are using it at school, they're likely to install it at home.

@MatejLach Ooh that last one is a good one. That’s what MS/Apple/Google are trying after all. You wouldn’t necessarily need CERN-like levels of funding to achieve it.

@cbowdon @MatejLach
but wouldn't you need CERN-like levels of fuding to develop a browser that keeps up with the moving target of shitty WHATWG standards?

@MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

Also why build a state of the art shit whose shape has beed already defined by #Google instead of building something new and better?
Something following a totally different vision?

I think to pull regular users in, we'd have to start with today's web. But once we have sway in the committees, you can begin to redefine what state of the art web should look like.

@Wolf480pl @cbowdon

@MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

I think we need a #CERN of #Informatics, but it should start from a simple vision and build what it takes to get there from the ground up.

I have a vision to propose: all people should be able to read, understand and modify each software they use or feed with their data.

Modern Web is not going to survive such vision, so building a browser is wasting money imho.

@Shamar@mastodon social It won't work. Just take some time to, say, explain recursion or graph algorithms, image compression or even cryptography math to a totally untrained user. We will never get to a point of end users to read or understand their software. IMHO, trying to do so is a waste of time that could better be spent on building more ethical solutions that just work for this crowd.
@MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

@z428 @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon My position is that they should be *able* to (perhaps with a little training), but not obligated to.

@alcinnz @z428 @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

Guys, that's just because we are at the hieroglyphs of #Informatics.

If it's difficult to explain it's because it's primitive. Let's invent the right alphabet and every kid will be able to learn programming at the primary school.

@Shamar We're at a point where some adults have issues understanding higher math, some even have real issues learning to master natural language to understand complex texts or express themselves. And we actually did invent an alphabet to help these folks: Icons. Symbols. Easy interactions. So far this works well. Will we be able to do meaningful programming on that level?
@alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

@z428 @Shamar @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon in simpler systems, the meaning of "meaningful programming" might be a lot different than it is in bloated corporate software. just want to get that noted.

@grainloom @z428 @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

We need to be like Moses.

We can all see how badly broken is current IT.
We can all see how much power we have (which ultimately is much much more we are fooled to think).
We call all see how hard corporations try to lock us in, layer over layer.

Can we think the promised land?
Just like ancient scribes couldn't think of a phonetic alphabet.

@grainloom @z428 @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

But we can try new roads.

We can experiment.

We can teach kids that they can reinvent the future in a different way.

Not just with our lessons but with our code and our example.

It IS possible.
Yes there's a lot of complexity to subdue, we still lack fundamental tools like Egyptians lacked the number zero.
But we need #hope to look for them! ;-)

@Shamar I think we very often fall victim to oversimplification because we have totally lost sight of how incredibly much specialized we already are - and how extremely basic and "trivial" some of the issues users are struggling with actually are. Google, Apple, ... are successful because they do better here, no matter why they do that.
@grainloom @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

@z428 @grainloom @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

Im 6 hour I teached to 22 yo kids what is defined at tesio.it/documents/vademecum.t plus basic networking (IP packets, IP addresses, DHCP, DNS and routing).

We did a simulation of packet routing with paper packets and they understood MitM and DNS poisoning by themselves.

The teacher proposed to add an our to explain one time pad encryption.


@Shamar And now, provide those kids with, say, a batch of hardware and the most simple fully featured implementation of something like e-mail. Do you think they will have a chance to understand what happens, let alone fix it? If that was possible, most programmers apparently are pretty dumb, looking at how much time is spent on fixing ...
@grainloom @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

@z428 @Shamar @grainloom @alcinnz @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

My take on that is that most of the required info is already out there, but I am all for simplifying it.

I don't think that would lead to some massive influx of programmers, because some people just have different passions like painting, music and such and some just want to watch TV.

There's a pretty large artist community on the Fediverse, don't think they're much interested in the tech side and that's honestly fine.

@MatejLach @z428 @Shamar @alcinnz @Wolf480pl @cbowdon idk, you need to know a lot of "engineeringy" stuff to get things done with digital art tools
you need to use logical thinking for setting up complex things in Blender or Krita
we are already forced to learn a large subset of MS Office, why couldn't we learn UNIX(or hopefully Plan 9) instead?

@grainloom @z428 @Shamar @alcinnz @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

Well, am not saying we shouldn't But many people learn a specific tool to achieve a specific tasks. Things like operating systems, programming and such are such open-ended things that unless you're creatively interested in them, there doesn't seem to be as much of a point in doing so.

@MatejLach @grainloom @z428 @Shamar @alcinnz @cbowdon

I think the primary reason why we'd want to teach everyone programming isn't so that they come up with new ways of implementing some part of an operating system, but so that they can make minor adjustments to the software they use on a daily basis, without being dependent on other programmers' willingness to implement such a feature or fix a particular bug.

@Wolf480pl That software they use on a daily basis also includes things such as power management, device drivers or firmware. Where do you draw the line? What about that "bug" of your BIOS always throttling your CPU "too much" when you're off AC?
@MatejLach @grainloom @Shamar @alcinnz @cbowdon

@z428 @MatejLach @grainloom @Shamar @alcinnz @cbowdon
The only line I draw is between "it does X in this particular case, let's see if we can make it do Y instead" and "this code is pretty complicated, let's see if we can come up with a better design that simplifies this part and everything that touches it".

I don't draw the line between a messaging app and power management code in the kernel.

@Wolf480pl Yes. That happens regularly, even in the programming world done by experts, and it fails almost all the time because people tried to "simplify" an inherently complex thing they just considered too complex because they never managed to fully understand even the problem it tried to solve. See CORBA vs. SOAP. ;)
@MatejLach @grainloom @Shamar @alcinnz @cbowdon

@z428 @MatejLach @grainloom @Shamar @alcinnz @cbowdon

I think this is why, when contributing to a FOSS project, or doing ad-hoc modifications to locally-installed versions of programs you use, you usually start with bugfixes, small tweaks, maybe some small features.

I think it'd be cool if more people got to that level.
And I think it's ok if most people stay at that level.
Not everyone needs to be able to refactor things or rewrite them from scratch.

@Wolf480pl @z428 @MatejLach @grainloom @alcinnz @cbowdon

Yeah... I think most people should be content they have been teached to write their name and to modify a shopping list.

What do they want?
Writing open letters like Émile Zola?
By themselves?

It's unwise... they would end in trouble because, let's be honest, they are not smart enough!
It's better they trust us, the Writing class, to think for them.

@Shamar @z428 @MatejLach @grainloom @alcinnz @cbowdon

That's a first step, ok?
Also, IMO writing a kernel from scratch is already a level comparable to writing a novel, and we don't expect everyone to be able to write a novel.

@grainloom @Shamar @z428 @MatejLach @alcinnz @cbowdon
Yeah, and if more people could read and understand computer programs, I think it'd help them a lot, too.

@Wolf480pl @Shamar @z428 @MatejLach @alcinnz @cbowdon Yup. But all that "move the turtle around in Scratch" or whatever stuff is not gonna be enough for that. My sis knows some very VERY basic Lua and she's been complaining to me that they treat them like toddlers on IT class. (imagine if we taught math or biology the same way. it'd be a disaster.)

@grainloom Well... most of us specialize in a very narrow field while remaining on a toddlers level in virtually everything else for the rest of our life. 😉
@Wolf480pl @Shamar @MatejLach @alcinnz @cbowdon

@z428 @Wolf480pl @Shamar @MatejLach @alcinnz @cbowdon And that's ok as long as the field is not deeply related to the tech your whole life depends on.

@z428 @Wolf480pl @Shamar @MatejLach @alcinnz @cbowdon There is so much crappy low effort software you can shove on people because they don't realize they could write their equivalents in a few dozen lines of shell script.

@grainloom @z428 @Shamar @MatejLach @alcinnz @cbowdon
For example, it's good to be able to know enough about electricity to safely replace a light switch in your house. Or that every refrigerator has two ends, a cold one and a hot one. Or how to pour oil into a car engine. Or how the piping in your house works and how to tune the pressure switch for your water pump.

@grainloom (That said however, I wonder whether people in IT education, more than in any other business, are likely to treat people with lesser skills with a certain disrespect, but maybe that's pretty individual I guess.)
@Wolf480pl @Shamar @MatejLach @alcinnz @cbowdon

@grainloom @Wolf480pl @z428 @MatejLach @alcinnz @cbowdon

And actually masterpieces like Beowulf, Illiad and Odyssey were collectively composed (if not written). Metric and Rhymes were instrumental to their memorization.

While we don't expect everyone to be a novelist, many adolescents write poetry, political articles and sometimes even novels (think of Cristopher Paolini).

Why shouldn't happen with code?

@Shamar @grainloom @z428 @MatejLach @alcinnz @cbowdon
>think of Cristopher Paolini

Many adolescents write scripts, game mods, and sometimes even whole games.

They're still a minority.

@Wolf480pl @grainloom @z428 @MatejLach @alcinnz @cbowdon

And we could make that normal.

Would be funny to see kids exchanging scripts, video games or programs they wrote by themselves instead of collecting cards that someone else ideate to lock them into an addiction?

@Wolf480pl @grainloom @z428 @MatejLach @alcinnz @cbowdon

I used to gift poems to the girls I was crushed with... it didn't work back then (to be nice) so I stopped.

But to my wife I wrote a song recently and... let just say it was very appreciated. ;-)

Anyway... who knows?

@Shamar @grainloom @z428 @MatejLach @alcinnz @cbowdon
The closes thing to poems I saw kids exchange when I was at school was stuff like

"Alice and Bob are one family
they live under a bridge
and have an old car
none of them can drive
cause all have faulty eyes"

Where Alice and Bob are two kids from your class who are not related to each other in any way.

Basically, it's a taunt.

So, if kids were exchanging scripts, it'd be exploits.

@Wolf480pl @Shamar @z428 @MatejLach @alcinnz @cbowdon Even the way we teach poetry is imperfect, or at least Society of Dead Poets convinced me it is. It's just... dry. Education needs improvements all across the board. Maybe then kids will be glad to put what they learn to practical use.

@grainloom @Shamar @z428 @MatejLach @alcinnz @cbowdon

Yes, it does.
But do you have any concrete idea how to improve education?

@Wolf480pl @Shamar @z428 @MatejLach @alcinnz @cbowdon Nothing super concrete, but I have some general ideas. Project oriented learning is a lot more fun, that much I know from experience. You can't get kids to pay attention if the material is dry. And if they aren't paying attention out of their own volition, that will show in the results.

@Wolf480pl @Shamar @z428 @MatejLach @alcinnz @cbowdon I would have to rewatch it because I don't remember every point. I certainly found it better than the way I've seen IT being taught.

@Wolf480pl @Shamar @z428 @MatejLach @alcinnz @cbowdon wasn't Paolini homeschooled and his parents book publishers?
the many people writing fanfics might be a better example than one super lucky teen

@grainloom @Wolf480pl @z428 @MatejLach @alcinnz @cbowdon

Good point. I stand corrected.

However (at least in Italy) it's quite common for shy kids to write as a way to express their feelings. When my eldest daughter was 8 she draw an incredible comic with her friends and (as a super hero) her first crush!

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