Technology

DuckDuckGo develops its own browser

Privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo has given a first look at its upcoming desktop “browser app,” which promises simple privacy settings by default. DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg detailed his desktop browser in a blog post recapping the 2021 milestones, including 150 million downloads of his all-in-one privacy apps for iOS and Android and Chromium extensions.

The executive tries to distinguish Brave’s Chromium-based desktop browser, DuckDuckGo, from Mozilla Firefox, by saying that it is not a “privacy browser.” Rather, it presents it as a browser that offers “robust privacy protection” by default and works for search, browsing, messaging, and more.

“This is a daily browsing app that respects your privacy because there is never a bad time to prevent businesses from spying on your browsing and search history,” he wrote. And to give some hints about the internals behind the desktop browser or the “DuckDuckGo” application, as it calls it, but it also omits a lot of details.

Gabriel Weinberg first indicates that the browser will not be based on Chromium, the open source project on which Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Brave, Vivaldi and some thirty other browsers are based.

Chrome? It’s not necessary, DuckDuckGo says.

“Instead of parting ways with Chromium or whatever, we’re building our desktop app around the renderers provided by the operating system (like on mobile), allowing us to get rid of it. “Much of the unnecessary clutter that has accumulated over the years in the main browsers,” explains the latter.

It is not clear exactly which renderers provided by desktop operating systems you are referring to, but it is not a trivial task to build a desktop browser without Chromium’s Blink renderer. Ask Microsoft, which released its Chromium-based Edge browser last year. Apple, on the other hand, uses WebKit for Safari on the desktop and requires all non-Safari browsers on iOS, including Chrome, to use WebKit for iOS.

“MacOS and Windows now offer website rendering APIs (WebView / WebView2) that any application can use to render a website. This is what we use to build our application on the desktop, ”explains DuckDuckGo.

Right from the start

Microsoft’s implementation of WebView2 on Windows enables developers to integrate web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript into native Windows applications. WebView2 on Windows uses Microsoft Edge as the rendering engine to display websites in these applications. “We are building the desktop application from scratch, around the rendering APIs provided by the operating system. This means that anything beyond the display of websites (for example, tab and bookmark management, navigation controls, passwords, etc.

So on Windows, the DuckDuckGo browser rendering will be based on Edge / Chromium for Windows and Safari / Webkit on macOS. DuckDuckGo management emphasizes that this is not a fork of Chromium. A clear example of a project fork is the creation of Blink by Google, which used the open source code behind the WebKit rendering engine (which Google and Apple had previously maintained) and then built its own web rendering engine for Chromium.

“Compared to Chrome, the DuckDuckGo desktop app is cleaner, much more private, and initial testing has shown that it is also much faster. », Assures the company.

Source: .com

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