However, I began thinking about some of the tertiary browsers and I realized that providing our own browser has three very large upsides:
- It's a way for users to interact with Namecoin in a way that they are familiar with.
- It masks the complexity of installing Namecoin.
- It gives us a steady revenue stream that does not expose to liability for our end-users actions.
Then consider how hard it is to setup a computer to surf .bit websites. Right now, the installation instructions for FreeSpeechMe is some 2,500 words. That's WAY more than what a simple browser download page entails: click here, run installer.
Finally, consider the kind of business OpenDNS has been able to build using 401 catch-pages. While we don't want to do catch redirects at the DNS level, we could customize the 401 error of the browser to include Google search results. It would provide us with ongoing revenue for code bounties, servers, and other costs. And, unlike operating a service such as a DNS server or a web proxy, we have no control nor any right to know what our users are doing (Basically, if you sue us for making money from search revenue then you have to prove Mozilla, Microsoft, and Google should be held liable for their users actions. This is the "right and ability to control" part of the three-part vicarious liability test.).
The reason Namecoin is so difficult to install right now is because of a lack of thin-clients for Namecoin. Once Namecoin gets some SPV/UXTO/SCIP implementations, we won't need to choose between legacy DNS servers or full-blockchain implementations and simple add-ons will become viable. However, even when those solutions come to fruition, we will still need special software to provide access to I2P and Tor hidden services. It also allows us to experiment with DANE, ID, and ways of evading censorship implemented using deep-packet sniffing.
Obviously, someone has to do this work and we are all over-committed as is. But I think it's a path that merits some discussion and it's something we should encourage new contributors to look into.