State of the Web

Things just keep getting better. What can I say. A lot of the fear I had about the open web shriveling up an dying has been all for naught. The Open Web Foundation is pushing to keep ideas and technology open, Google has thrown in their hat with Chrome, and Harmony has spread across the web. yay. Heck, there’s even an Open Web Podcast doing a much better job than me in keeping an accurate post of what’s going on.

But enough of all that! This meaningless blog was never about that stuff. It’s about my practically non-existent pursuit of building the next generation of web technology. I just wrote this post to say that I think we’re moving away from the fears that haunted me in the night. However, I think my gripes about HTML5 are still pretty valid. I’ve been watching the mailing list a lot and I really do think they’re making great progress. What with the video tag and the inter-document communication and all that other crap. I think it’s going to make a lot of people happy. Including me. I just don’t think it’s enough. But I said that already.

Sooo… I’m gonna start talking about what I’VE been doing lately in my tiny tiny tiny amount of free time. At the moment, it’s called Spindle, and it’s a programming language that I’m designing to better handle the problem space of the web and the untapped potential of distributed computing.

Where our hero does some hand waving…

…and pretends like he didn’t disappear into the void for over a month.

I hate to say it, but this blogging thing is tough. Between spring cleaning, a five month old baby, and a startup company, time can sometimes be a problem :) As for actually making any progress on code. I think that might be a pipe dream at the moment. Oh well. I’ll do what I can.

In my absence, there has been SOOO much great stuff going on, and I just wanted to mention them.

  • YAHOO! BrowserPlus was released. Its kind of like Gears but with a different slant. Different goals. It hasn’t completely opened up yet, but they claim it will soon, so that’s exciting. Unlike Gears, I’m pretty sure Y! is not as concerned about implementing/creating new standards. Maybe something like JSONRequest could go that direction, but certainly not FlickrUploader. I would actually say that if there was anything that might be considered a “new browser standard”, it would be the idea of cross-browser plugins. Unlike Gears which is closed to plugins by design, BrowserPlus is specifically built for the purpose of being pluggable. Imagine if you could write a Firefox plugin that could be used cross-browser, wouldn’t you be more likely to write one?
  • Google Gears turned one and became just Gears! – I’m really happy about this. After talking to Brad, I could really tell that the Gears team’s vision was set on helping bring all browsers up to speed and focus on new and old standards. I thought that was great but it always really bugged me that it was closely affiliated with Google. Dropping the “Google” part of the name is the first step, so “Good job guys!”. The next step would be to move the governance of the project outside of Google.
  • SquirrelFish – So awesome. Those webkit guys just make my day every frickin time. Too lazy to click the link? SquirrelFish is a new superfast JS vm runtime. Benchmarks show it faster than Tamarin at the moment even.  Not much need for explanation here. The better performance runtimes we get for the open web, the better it can compete against proprietary competition!
Ok, I guess that’s enough for now. I really don’t want to turn this into a news aggregation blog, regurgitating things that I think are cool. You can just go to Ajaxian to see where I get MY news from. However, news regurgitation is easy, and I needed to write something. Also, I feel like such a negative nancy sometimes and I thought a positive post would be nice for a change.