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​Breach is a completely modular, hackable and open source web browser

Sean Buckley, @seaniccus
July 12, 2014
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When it comes to surfing the web, our options are limited: the market is dominated by three or four mainstream web browsers, all of which share major similarities in design and function. Unless you want to build your own browsing program, you're stuck with their modern browsing paradigms. For San Francisco programmer Stanislas Polu, that wasn't good enough, so, he created Breach -- an open source modular web browser designed to allow anybody to tweak and modify it on a whim.

Breach wants to be a different kind of web browser, one that's not only a tool for browsing the internet, but one that is built of the technologies that power it. Using the Chromium Content API as a base layer, Polu built a browser with a UI coded entirely in JavaScript and HTML5 -- each element of the experience existing as its own individual webapp with access to Breach's deeper API. In fact, when the browser first boots up, it doesn't even have the ability to navigate the internet. "You don't have any modules running yet," it warns. "Let's add 'mod_strip', a module that provides a basic tab strip and URL box support." Install a module, and your browser suddenly has features. Neglect to, and it won't be able to do much at all.

The new browser only launched its public Alpha release this week, and doesn't have many modules to call its own. The basic strip and data components are active, but an official bookmarks module and other functions aren't yet done. Still, that's not the point: Breach is designed so any user with an idea for any feature can create it themselves in JavaScript or CSS. It's a barebones experience now, but one that's created so you can add any meat you fancy. We can't say it's likely to replace Chrome or Firefox in our hearts yet, but it's a neat take on an old technology we all use every single day. Check it out at the source link below.

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