On Stopping The Push Of Web Forward

Recently came across a trending article on HN about stopping the push of web forward and wanted to put my thoughts on the subject in a post.

The author assumes that the web is moving forward and new features are being added because there is one singular entity that is championing the choice to move the web forward.

That also has the assumption that the browser is being created with the exact intent to help people access the web. Though at some level is the intent but Google doesn’t care if you are able to access the web. They didn’t create chrome to do that.

Google created Chrome so they control a powerful browser. Every browser manufacture has a agenda behind creating one - business goals whether to drive more searches and thereby more ad revenue or get more web search usage information.

Of course those interests will not be met if the product they put out claiming that it is a browser does not work at all. But there is no explicit intention to “create a browser” and start moving things forward.

The Motion Forward

The motion forward is the creation of web standards and APIs.

Why do these standards come into place?

  1. Browser manufacturers trying to aid developers to develop by replacing what they are already doing using libraries and polyfills on top of the existing API natively through new APIs.
  2. The interests of the businesses (and their associates) that create web browsers. For example, VBScript in the browser, ActiveX, DRM support in web browsers.

So this notion of 'we are moving the web toward “native”-ness' isn’t really true. That is one of the many things that are happening.

Even if native-like features are being created the intent may never be to out-native native. The intent is to combine the low barrier for entry in developing and deploying very powerful experiences over the web. Something that is not easily done with native applications. We can't out-native native but we don't want a giant lumbering monolith desktop app to deliver web experiences.

We are moving the web forward in many different directions. We are not moving the web towards native-ness as such and it may only be a small emergent facet of how the web is evolving.

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