On one hand, I think walled-garden-like experiences are not so great; we wouldn’t want to repeat the mid-90’s with things like Internet in a Box, AOL, Juno etc. At least not for the same reasons.
I think IPFS should eventually be a system service: you can count on it running as a system daemon 24/7. That’s the only way for the distributed web to become more reliable and actually supplant the old web: you have to help with your share of the hosting. (You should be able to set system-wide limits for bandwidth and storage, naturally.) It also means that every browser should eventually have direct IPFS support by interfacing with the daemon rather than by running its own daemon. Browsers that try to run their own daemons will tend to clash with pre-existing system daemons (just like we see with dedicated Ethereum clients - they tend to preclude running ethereum as a long-running process, but that’s exactly what you should do if you are serious about using Ethereum).
On the other hand, I don’t actually like the current web all that much either. We should try to collectively work against the use of advertising and tracking to monetize everything.
So I have my own project: https://github.com/ec1oud/nettebook is a light browser for Markdown. I think for the free web (people sharing non-monetized content with each other as a community service, for wikipedia and projects like it, for social media, and so on), it makes sense to use markdown instead of HTML, because it’s easier to write, and because the limitations of Markdown make it easier to defend against the assault of those who want to make money from content at any cost. Nettebook is an HTTP client for the ipfs daemon that it assumes is already running on your machine; and it uses Qt for the UI. I recently added direct support for Markdown to Qt, in order to make such things possible. AFAIK it’s one of the first attempts to use Markdown directly as a page formatting language rather than as shorthand for generating HTML. However there are a lot of features missing compared to regular browsers: you can have rich text with tables and bullet lists and checklists, and you can have images - that’s it. No client-side code running (because client-side code can be abused, and often is). Not having client-side code makes it hard to handle new content types or anything interactive. I can try to add specific features later, like mini-languages for vector graphics, mathematical renderings, and such; but I’m very much repeating the early 90’s in the sense that it has about as many features as Netscape 1.x, minus the CGI capability (and minus some basic things that I haven’t gotten around to yet, like bookmarks and history). But when I simply want to read text that somebody has written, in order to learn something (one of the main use cases for the web, after all, at least for me), it’s comforting to know that tracking and advertising are practically impossible on a platform like that. It can’t be done by code on the client side; and it’s hard to do by using tracking images, as long as the content comes from IPFS instead of by directly connecting to a web server. (But nettebook does currently have http support too. If most of the interesting content was available on IPFS, it wouldn’t need to.)
Of course there is hardly any pure-markdown content on IPFS yet. But I’m proposing that there should be. I plan to publish a blog that way sometime soon, for starters. Of course there can be a JS rendering solution (strapdown probably) for regular browsers. Most people will end up reading the content that way, and I don’t care.
Nettebook is an editor. You can use it to edit local markdown files on your regular filesystem or on your local UnixFS/MFS; you can read and write a limited dialect of HTML; you can paste text from web pages into the editor and save it to markdown; and you can publish markdown directly to IPFS (sortof - you just get a hash for that one file, and it gets pinned, but that’s it so far). I need to figure out how to make it manage collections of pages better, to organize a blog or any other sort of repository of writings.