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Can the Most Contentious Piece of the Web Form the Basis of a New Standard? Inside Google's Plan To Make the Whole Web as Fast as AMP ( 59

Dieter Bohn, writing for The Verge: In a blog post today, Google is announcing that it's formally embarking on a project to convince the group in charge of web standards to adopt technology inspired by its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) framework. In theory, it would mean that virtually any webpage could gain the same benefits as AMP: near-instantaneous loading, distribution on multiple platforms, and (critically) more prominent placement on Google properties. This is important, a little tricky to understand, and critical to how the web and Google interact in the future. In many ways, Google's success or failure in this endeavor will play a major role in shaping how the web works on your phone.

[...] By creating AMP, Google blithely walked right into the center of a thicket comprised of developers concerned about the future of the web. Publishers are worried about ceding too much control of their distribution to gigantic tech companies, and all of the above are worried that Google is not so much a steward of the web but rather its nefarious puppet master. The whole situation is slightly frustrating to David Besbris, VP of search engineering at Google. Earlier this week, I went to Mountain View to talk with Besbris and Malte Ubl, engineering lead for AMP. "This is honestly a fairly altruistic project from our perspective," says Besbris. "It wasn't like we invented AMP because we wanted to control everything, like people assume," he says. Instead, he argues, go back and look at how dire the state of the mobile web was a few years ago, before AMP's inception.

Can the Most Contentious Piece of the Web Form the Basis of a New Standard? Inside Google's Plan To Make the Whole Web as Fast a

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  • Isn't it their fault mostly that most pages nowadays are bloated, slow loading messes.
    • by 0ld_d0g ( 923931 )

      If Google heavily de-prioritized search rankings based on loading times, then fast loading, likely ad-free content will show up on the first couple of pages. I doubt that is in Google's best interest.

      • Isn't fast-loading minimalist advertising kind of the center of Google's revenue stream?

        Of course, favoring such pages might well drive more companies into competition with them in that market niche.

        • Isn't fast-loading minimalist advertising kind of the center of Google's revenue stream?

          No, it isn't.

          • Really? What is it then?

            Non-minimalist adds seem pretty rare on their pages, and while the page itself and all the data they track is growing ever larger, I think the ads are still the primary way they monetize all that surveillance data.

        • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

          Actually, technically speaking, minimalist advertising, advertising that nickels and dimes advertisers, does not do much else but dilute advertising to nothing but ads targeted at advertisers, convincing them the ads work by them looking for and seeing their ads, even when everyone else ignores them. Google adwords [] (heh heh) are a scam target in reality just at advertisers, who have to keep paying and paying and paying just to hold ground, rather than gain market share. Sur

  • Good idea (Score:4, Funny)

    by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Thursday March 08, 2018 @03:25PM (#56228877) Homepage Journal
    This is a very good idea. I can't see any potential issues with adopting this. I did notice ads show up too slowly on my phone sometimes. Hopefully this will solve that problem.
  • by iotaborg ( 167569 ) <`ten.emohtfos' `ta' `axe'> on Thursday March 08, 2018 @03:25PM (#56228881) Homepage

    Ad block + script block, instant 2-3X web page loading increase. It's all the useless content and invasive ads they put that slows everything down.

  • AMP is horrible (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Malc ( 1751 ) on Thursday March 08, 2018 @03:36PM (#56228939)

    I disliked AMP so much that I stopped using Google search on my phone, and switched to DuckDuckGo. The last thing we need is more of this crap interfering with the browser paradigm.

  • by forkfail ( 228161 ) on Thursday March 08, 2018 @03:37PM (#56228947)

    Some things are really boring in and of themselves, but don't change because they fill a necessary niche.

    Article is worth a read: []

    • Hmm... While my decision a while back to to begin transitioning away from Google for most searches was a good one, it may only be a temporary personal solution (or act of resistance) against a company that, frankly, already has way too much say about what is available on the 'net and how it's viewed. Isn't the explosion of ads and the gratuitous use of silly Javascript effects that litter every web page (hell... some sites' pages require Javascript just to implement anchors/links) one of the major reasons t

  • ...they're getting rid of all of the ads?
  • by dristoph ( 1207920 ) on Thursday March 08, 2018 @03:47PM (#56229013)

    What do you mean I can't turn it off? Sure I can.

    DuckDuckGo became my default browser on mobile. Before long, I switched to it on desktop as well, ditching Chrome for Firefox in the same step. And my primary email is now at ProtonMail. The Gmail account I've had since the year Gmail was announced is slowly withering away, getting fewer and fewer emails that actually matter. Before long I'll completely switch over and "delete" the Gmail account's contents (which I know they'll keep archived, as well as the data about me they've harvested from it over the years; I'll just consider it their last middle finger to me as I leave their services forever, and a lasting reminder of why I left).

    I know it's a drop in the bucket, but honestly it feels pretty good personally, and well worth the very minor pain of switching over.

    • by nnull ( 1148259 )
      You're not the only person dropping Google's services. I've already dropped them all and want nothing to do with Google. They've turned into a pervasive and invasive company and they don't even try to hide it anymore.
    • Leaving this here for anyone looking for help ditching google from android phones. []

  • For Google Benefit (Score:4, Informative)

    by sit1963nz ( 934837 ) on Thursday March 08, 2018 @04:03PM (#56229091)
    This is all to drive the web in directions that Benefit Google , anything else is incidental.
  • by brian.stinar ( 1104135 ) on Thursday March 08, 2018 @04:37PM (#56229295) Homepage

    I don't think this is a good idea. As someone that owns a software company [], I tell my clients when they have terrible ideas that we shouldn't do them. If they insist, without a good explanation, there are other people that are happy to work on stupid crap with disastrous long term consequences.

    I have zero desire to work on accelerated mobile pages, and I think the performance benefits associated with them are far outweighed by the crappy solution of bizarre existing standards, caching problems, and all the other issues that have nothing to significantly offer my clients.

    I am not writing content for the New York Times, or helping them with their infrastructure, so my perspective may be somewhat limited.

    • by imidan ( 559239 )

      Yeah, I don't think the solution is to "accelerate" web pages -- it's to make them less shitty. Reduce framework bloat, find efficient ways to serve ads, cut out tracking links, minimize costly analytics.

      Slashdot is not the worst offender, but I just turned off my ad blocker and loaded the front page. The page load was 3.5 MB in ~415 separate requests over 10.5 seconds. That's a crazy load time! With adblock turned on, 1.6MB in ~100 requests over 3.14 seconds. I can triple page load performance without any

  • When you have Google committing censorship over on YouTube and deciding that some viewpoints they disagree with get axed...they're not fit to be steward of anything. This is the same Google that caved to Chinese authorities versus political activists and critics of the communist regime there, right? Yeah, they don't need this kind of power.
    • Yep, Google are becoming quite bad on YouTube, if you're not far left (yet political) be worried.

  • This looks like good news to me. Google is proposing a standard, which any site can meet, that will get them into Google's AMP listings without using AMP. Isn't that what people have been asking for?

  • Is the standard better? Is there a x-platform reference implementation? Is it crypto by default? Does it have other niceties like obfuscation/privacy features or some mesh networking at app layer built in? Does it get rid of the mess that HTML5/CSS3/JS is by now? Does it have offline mode with accompaning abstraction by default? Does it have UI that doesn't suck? Does it offer nothing but absolute measurements. In metric! ... If so, where is the effing problem?

    If the new thing is better and cross-platform F

  • by jd ( 1658 ) <[imipak] [at] []> on Thursday March 08, 2018 @09:02PM (#56231037) Homepage Journal

    I'd rather see a move away from Google controlling the web. They already control HTTP/2.

    The first question that needs to be asked is whether you want presentation to be controlled or for presentation to be guided.

    If the former, if you want the page creator to be able to dictate how the page looks, then you want to be able to define windows on the display where a window contains fixed information (in which case use DVI) or it contains input, in which case you're running a client-side script - which should probably be byte-encoded. How about a language that uses bytecoding and is system independent? I know one, it begins with the letter J and sounds like coffee. All you need is to have the output be recognized as HTML and you can get rid of insecure crap.

    If you want guided output, then you absolutely do not care if it's a mobile device or not. The author of the page has no business knowing or caring what browser you use or what display you use. They deliver information and your device handles the presentation. This means you get rid of CSS because you as the author should have no say in such things. The user gets to control it all.

    Those are your options.

If I set here and stare at nothing long enough, people might think I'm an engineer working on something. -- S.R. McElroy