Soni's Blog

Thoughts on Web-based Protocol Handlers

Web-based Protocol Handlers are a nifty feature of desktop browsers, which allows a website like gmail to present itself as an email client for when you click an email link on a website, or other similar use-cases. On some systems, they can even integrate with system Protocol Handlers. However, they have some issues which make it hard to successfully deploy them:

The following changes and usage guidelines would make them more palatable to the user:

These come from our own experiences trying to deploy web-based protocol handlers for GAnarchy, as well as from talking to other developers who have worked with web-based protocol handlers, such as Mastodon developers. Furthermore, there are alternatives to web-based protocol handlers that are significantly more privacy-invasive, and yet work on mobile. Making web-based protocol handlers deployable wouldn't make those go away overnight, but it would be a step in the right direction.