RE: Food for thought (resurfacing)

On July 11, 2014 at 6:54:36 PM, Domenic Denicola ( wrote:
> >
> Hi Marc,
> Happy to have your thoughts, and glad you felt welcome to contribute  
> :). That's what we're here for.
> The immediate issue I see is, what is the incentive for browser  
> vendors to do this? There is none I can see. And the fact that they  
> haven't done so implies either their business strategists have  
> never come up with this idea, or have already decided it is not  
> worth the cost. 

So you are correct... but Servo does, for instance, implement WebKit's embedding API (on purpose, so it can be a drop in replacement... or at least, that's the dream). I assume Blink's embedding API is very similar to WebKit's (given they have the same provenance)... though I've never looked closely. 

Remember also that Opera basically ripped out their engine and in a matter of months was again up and running with Blink inside. But yeah, there was a good year of pain for Opera to get their browser's features back to where they were with the Presto engine.  

And PhoneGap is essentially doing what Marc is kinda alluding to: it's basically like a jQuery for device APIs, in that it tries to provide a consistent base across a huge number of browser engines to access device APIs... with jQuery then doing much of the heavy lifting in getting a consistent DOM across all the engines.  

> And that cost is substantial---if you have ever  
> looked at the plumbing code between the UI layer, the rendering  
> engine, the JavaScript engine, the add-on system, the developer  
> tools, and all the other components of a browser, you'd find that  
> swapping in rendering engines or JS engines is not at all an easy  
> task.

Yeah, it's pretty massive.  

> Which then transforms the question into, who is going to force  
> browser vendors to do this, despite it being against their best  
> interests? The W3C? They could try, but would be laughed into  
> obsolescence. The government? Unlikely.
> There is lots of other interesting points to address in your thread,  
> and I hope someone else can chime in with how browser game theory  
> governs the market, and the tenuous hold the W3C has on influence  
> even today. But let's start with the practicalities.

Yeah, I wouldn't even know where to start. 

Marc, remember that the point of the Web (unlike other platforms) is that it's royalty free and open. If we are talking economics here: The "tax" you (Mark), as a developer, pay from having to deal with cross-browser introp problems is comparable to the "tax" that you would have to pay Apple (30%) to list your app in the apps store. However, we hope that it's less - and that the Web is giving you better value for money for a number of reasons.  

What you get in return from your tax contribution is that ability to publish whatever you want (freedom of speech), as often as you want (no need to go through an App Store review process), to a market way larger than iOS, Android, etc. put together. That's pretty awesome. 

The cost is, like I said, that you have to deal with cross browser introp issues. But the wins for society and the ability for you, as an individual to reach this audience, is massive. It cannot be understated. And you get it essentially for free. That's a pretty sweet deal - this Web thing :)

Received on Friday, 11 July 2014 23:14:41 UTC