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Discussion on: Stay alert

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Rich Harris Author

Market forces cease to be meaningful as you approach monopoly conditions. Regardless, users have no meaningful choice when browsers act in concert. If browsers' and users' interests truly were aligned, the W3C wouldn't regard them as separate constituencies in its famous conflict resolution clause.

Even if you accept the premise that page loads is a suitable metric (read the article; I don't), even Chrome have acknowledged that the data is inadequate.

And to respond to your dismissive point about 'programming tutorials', the article already provided an example of someone being unable to cancel a recurring payment because of this change. I heard plenty of examples of equivalent severity. If top-level dialogs were removed, the breakage would be orders of magnitude worse.

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nonissue profile image
Andy Williams

@samwightt You speak on behalf of the 'average user' quite often in your replies here, but you maybe shouldn't, since you make assertions like 'and again, if a large number of websites break, users switch browsers.' I'd love to see evidence to back this up, because, anecdotally, this is absolutely not true. Do you actually think the 'average user' is aware different browsers use different rendering engines?

That said, catering to the 'average user', or the majority of browser users is also just an insane idea.

Also: I'm honestly a little surprised at how much credit you give the Chrome team in general. As Rich mentioned elsewhere, Chrome is a product developed by an advertising company, and acting like they are the benevolent steward and saviours of the web is a little far-fetched.

Ultimately, this situation reflects very poorly on the Chrome team for several reasons:
1) The complete lack of meaningful communication
2) Largely ignoring the feedback provided by the few developers who were aware of this in advance (or more likely, saw websites break), and merely delaying the change.
3) Failure to consider other solutions to a completely valid problem.* Phishing/scamming efforts online are absolutely a problem, but why is this the fix?

*: you may argue that, internally, they have weighed alternative solutions, but without public communication and discourse, we don't know that.