Murena Browser! - A Potential Collaberation. Can it be done?

@SkewedZeppelin @smu44
Murena has come a long way with so many improvements and refinements to not only /e/OS but to Murena Cloud as well. And I would like to make suggestion to help keep that going. In an effort to stay deGoogled, many in the past have suggseted moving to a Firefox based browser. But not all agree on which one to adopt, if agreement can be reached at all. Add to that the fact that Bromite browser seems to be abandoned, which only highlights the importance of this as /e/OS browser is currently based on Bromite. So, maybe it’s overdue in making that change.

With that said, the collaberation between K9 mail and Thunderbird mail maybe a point of inspiration for which the Murena could look into as in option…

So, what I propose is that a collaberation be initiated between Murena and the Mull browser team and/or Fennec browser team (maybe even the IceRaven or IceCat teams). By pooling the resources and talents of each group together to make an improved browser would be at least worth the discussion. This does not mean other teams would have to abandon their current browser projects, just that having an exchange and and adding resources could save a lot of time as well as pull in different ideas and perspectives in developing a new browser for Murena.

I suggest that this browser actually be called ‘Murena browser’ and use the Murena logo as the icon for this new app, but with a different color pallete (Maybe different shades of purple, or green?). That it would have the ability to add extensions such as decentraleyes, uBlock origin, and fingerprint defender to name a few.

The future potential of such a collaberation should not be lost either. If a Murena browser ends up working well, this could also expand to the desktop as well. Thoughts?

Murena Icon

Mull-Fenix
https://gitlab.com/divested-mobile/mull-fenix

Fennec
https://github.com/mozilla-mobile/firefox-android

Regain your privacy! Adopt /e/ the unGoogled mobile OS and online servicesphone

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And then we would have yet another browser app that someone has to build and maintain. There are plenty of great browsers out there already: just pick one (Fennec, Mull, Iodé Browser) and include it unchanged in /e/OS.

Making and maintaining yet another browser app would be a distraction for /e/, and would divert /e/ developers - a scarce resource - from working on the stuff that makes /e/OS unique and special.

“Just say No!” :slight_smile:

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@Seven
As the creator of Mull (5+ years) and maintainer of Fennec F-Droid (2+ years), I have no intent on collaborating with Murena after they’ve repeatedly ignored my concerns and are directly negligent to their users/customers.

It must also be noted that Android requires a WebView provider and only Chromium supports that.
(GeckoView is NOT a WebView provider, nor could it easily be done.)
So using Firefox as the default browser still requires maintaining both a Chromium and a Firefox fork (which I personally do).

decentraleyes
fingerprint defender

These are useless, please read this: https://github.com/arkenfox/user.js/wiki/4.1-Extensions

https://github.com/mozilla-mobile/firefox-android

This is Fenix, not Fennec.
Fennec is any Firefox for Android version up to 68.12.0.
Fenix is any Firefox for Android version after 79.0.0.
Fennec F-Droid, despite the name, is Fenix based.

@petefoth
fwiw Iodé Browser does include Play Services library because they do not compile GeckoView from source. I’d link my source for that, but I’d be accused of advertising and threatened with being banned.
You can see this confirmed in the Kuketz’ writeup of iodéOS where the browser uses the official Mozilla-only Google Safe Browsing API key.

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@SkewedZeppelin
Would you mind giving examples of your concerns? It sounds like they were serious.
I only saw a handful of comments but it seems I have missed a good chunk of your concerns.
Do you have any suggestions as to what end users can do? Options?

@petefoth
Well /e/OS made it a point to develop a browser from the beginning. So part of what makes /e/ ‘unique and special’ clearly seems to include a browser. So why not dismissed the current chromium based /e/ browser for a Firefox based one? In this way there would not be 'yet another; browser. Just one browser replacing another. No additional resources needed, just the same being used on a different browser.

Now if you think other browsers (Fennec, Mull, Iodé Browser) fit that need, great. But the question would go back to what makes /e/OS special. Murnea thinks part of that is the browser they developed. So if that is what is essential according to /e/ then that should be addressed. My main concern is that Bromite doesn’t seemed to be maintained. I think most would agree that having a browser so many versions behind on your device is not a great idea. But suggestions are always welcome.

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They didn’t develop it, they just took Bromite and rebranded it and adjusted/added a small handful of patches (<5) of the 150+ that Bromite has.

Would you mind giving examples of your concerns? It sounds like they were serious.

I’m sure you can find my concerns documented somewhere, I can’t link them because Gael threatened to ban me last time.

Bromite doesn’t seemed to be maintained

CalyxOS (NOT MY PROJECT, NO AFFILIATION), successfully forked Bromite and is maintaining it without any major delays.

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OK, then use Fennec (which I have used for a long time on my non-IodeOS devices) or Mull in /e/OS, but for $DEITY’s sake don’t make another one!

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To be honest, I don’t care about default browser, as long as I could install another :wink:
I currently use at least 4 different, trying to separate them by type of usage.

My 2 cents: before changing OOTB browser, Murena may come up with a bookmarks backup & restore solution, like Floccus (“like” is important here, because the only Android browser I currently know to work is Kiwi Browser, as the browser has to support extensions to get Floccus to work).
Or, provide users with a one-time bookmarks export (in compatible format like JSON) for current browser, and ensure that the new browser will support extensions :wink:
This way, migration to a new browser may happen smoothly for end-users.

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Hi Tad,
First of all I am glad that you are , after earlier discord, still on the forum.
This gives me the opportunity to congratulate you with the 2022 award you got from the Free Software Foundation.
Huib

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The Fennec is very good, am testing it right now. :smiley_cat:

A layman user here. Testing Mull installed from f-droid.

TC is detecting some trackers from Google, amazon and mozilla.

I’m really confused

@nottolino

TC is detecting some trackers from Google, amazon and mozilla.

Tracker Control cannot reliably detect trackers in browsers because it’ll detect trackers in pages you visit.

Fennec F-Droid and Mull do not have any functional trackers or proprietary code.

@smu44

To be honest, I don’t care about default browser, as long as I could install another :wink:

You must understand that it also provides the WebView which cannot be swapped out without root and is severely outdated and is used by many apps on the system.

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Around me we use more the apps, I feel the web is a bit down the wave lately.

Fennec F-Droid and Mull do not have any functional trackers or proprietary code.

I trust you, since you are the maintainer. So there’s a mistake somewhere because F-Droid says that some piece of code is not open in Mull

What browsers to use or include in a ROM is one of those things folks probably will never agree on. Highly subjective (functionality, privacy, philosophy).

I was thinking about one of my older ROMs, XenonHD. A LineageOS-based ROM that got rid of the default Jelly browser and included an app called BrowserInstaller. Allowing one to choose between a selection of browsers.

Something like that could be included with a ROM, FFUpdater for instance, automatically run after initial wizard setup.
Will never happen ofc but it was a novel idea. :grin:

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@marcdw That sounds like a great option as well. A very novel idea indeed :sunglasses:

Is it possible to install a webview based on firefox (with root)?

@Skidrow
re-read my original comment, it is not possible.

@nottolino
f-droid.org does not ship proprietary code.

That anti-feature is upstream non-free, as the upstream Firefox for Android is not free, but Mull and Fennec F-Droid remove those parts.

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