It is important that we evolve the browser towards the future we want. As mentioned in the video, I am heavily invested in the decentralization space and I want a user agent that unlocks agency in me, that allows me to browse the platforms I want while remaining in control of my digital life.
We can augment our favorite independent browser by using Web Extensions (in Firefox they are called Add-ons) to add new features to the browser including supporting whole new protocols.
In this video I use the following Add-ons:
- DAT P2P Protocol
- IPFS Companion
- Patchfox, which isn't ready yet, so this link is for the sources on Github.
Each of them take over different protocol schemas such as
ssb:. I am the author of the patch that whitelisted those protocols for usage in Web Extensions, so I've been wanting to be able to use such add-ons since the day I made that patch. I think we should invest more in building these types of add-ons and molding our browser experience to support the peer-to-peer web instead of shipping many different electron-based Dapps each siloed in itself.
I briefly mention on the video the experimentation going on on Libdweb. This is a WebExtension that adds new APIs for other Web Extensions (aka WebExtension Experiment) and even though it is not on track for implementation or shipping, it is a wonderful toolkit that allows us to investigate what sort of experiences we can build inside the browser if the add-on authors have access to low level APIs.
Libdweb adds support for the following things:
- TCP Sockets
- UDP Datagrams
- Filesystem access
- Streams of data
- Custom Protocols
So, using those APIs a developer can build a full IPFS or DAT node inside Firefox (this has already happened and it is awesome). Recently, as a toy, I've built a little Web Server demo using those APIs. It is quite empowering to see your browser transforming into a server.
So, I hope you people enjoyed this little video. I am still working on Patchfox and hope to have it in some beta state soon. Lets build the decentralized web together, all of us, inside the same user agent.
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