Web engines that are still free of Rust as of September 2022. Bonus: Cascade of Attention Deficit Web Developers

In September 2022, I only know of two Web engines that have any hope of dealing with anything modern that are still entirely free of Rust.

Webkit (also WebkitGTK, which powers GNOME Web), and Goanna, which Pale Moon runs on top of.

This is it folks. They’re going away fast.

I thought that Python was a disease because major versions broke compatibility and required major code rewrites/refactoring, but Rust does that within a “stable” series, all the time.

Rust seems to be Cascade of Attention Deficit Teenagers the Programming Language.

Here I was giving all the credit to Python for making people do this “everything is broken, stop the world” song and dance once every decade or so and forcing users to suffer through version breakages and deprecation and removal even though not everything is ever going to be ported. I’m actually impressed.

Rust is so much worse and there’s a cult forming around it.

I wonder which of the two languages will ultimately beat the other one out for shit programmers that make applications leak enormous amounts of RAM and crash.

Note that while Zawinski wrote the “CADT” joke to express his anger with GNOME for just closing all of the bugs and saying version 2 was out (Apple later did the same thing to him.), it seems like in the transition to GNOME 3, the maintainer of the window manager actually went through hundreds of open bugs and attempted to see whether they applied to Mutter or not.

In some ways, GNOME has actually improved a lot since then.

It is nice to see that, at a minimum, developers are going through figuring out whether bugs still exist instead of closing them and hoping they can make the reporter give up and go away.

Apple is allegedly worth trillions of dollars and gave JWZ the CADT middle-finger just a few years ago, so it is odd to say the least, that they would be the people holding out on the opportunity to create a total mess out of Webkit by adding Rust dependencies on it and chasing their own tail due to compiler versioning problems.

The CADT people have gone off to “develop” a buggy browser for Google, Chrome, and its clone, Mozilla Firefox.

Their goal is apparently to see how much shit you can actually shovel into a Web browser engine before it explodes.

Their position is that if you’re using a piece of software with a rendering engine that was state-of-the-art in 2020 or 2021 and it’s supposed to render Web sites, that 40% of them should break now if you don’t update. In fact, rarely can you even get through the lifetime of a Firefox ESR before the ShitHubs and the Fakebooks start breaking down and your bank starts screaming and you can’t pay your electric bill.


Unfortunately, since Pale Moon has site compatibility problems and the developers are a bag of dicks, that pretty much leaves us with GNOME Web if you want a Fully Free browser entirely devoid of Rust.

Plans are on the table to eventually bring WebExtensions to GNOME Web, but the GTK port will still need “blocking” WebRequest for things like NoScript to function correctly.

Probably the only thing Pale Moon/Unified XUL Platform/Goanna has going for it is their stance that “Rust will never be allowed in UXP.”.

I haven’t seen any promises that Webkit will stay clean.

1 thought on “Web engines that are still free of Rust as of September 2022. Bonus: Cascade of Attention Deficit Web Developers

  1. Pingback: Links 23/09/2022: EuroBSDcon 2022 Ahead, PowerDNS Recursor 4.5.11, 4.6.4 and 4.7.3 Out | Techrights

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