San Francisco, California

AMPstinction

I love what Jeremy has to say here about frameworks and the web:

I’ve come to believe that the goal of any good framework should be to make itself unnecessary

…and how that ultimately relates to the AMP project:

If the AMP project existed in order to create a web where AMP was no longer needed, I think I could get behind it. But the more it’s positioned as the only viable solution to solving performance, the more uncomfortable I am with it.

Which, by the way, brings me to one of the most pernicious ideas around Google AMP—positioning anyone opposed to it as not caring about web performance. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s precisely because performance on the web is so important that it deserves a long-term solution, co-created by all of us: not some commandments delivered to us from on-high by one organisation, enforced by preferential treatment by that organisation’s monopoly in search.

My hot take on this? Sometimes I think Google (the company) knows precisely what they’re doing and they hide their intent beneath obfuscation because they don’t quite want to say “We want to own the whole damn thing. We want search, we want maps, and we want to eat your website, too.” However, I think that Google (the developers working on AMP) all truly believe that their work fixes the serious performance issues on the web.

But then again maybe all of this is sort of like Flash. There’s a great chat between Bruce Lawson and Mustafa Kurtuldu where they discuss how, yes, Adobe Flash was a nightmare for the web and yet at the same time it encouraged the web standards movement like nothing else before it. Flash showed us all that the web can be so much more than just a place to store some hypertext, that ultimately it can be anything we want it to be.

And so whenever I look at AMP I wonder whether the technology and process itself might be bad (which is arguable) but the efforts might lead to something longer lasting, another movement inspired because of it, despite it, a movement that we can all benefit from.