I have been wandering through the web today and loads of things caught my attention. So I thought today I would share some of them with you.
I have been looking through the HTML5 specification and it looks like its shaping up well. Loads of buzz is going around the video tag and support for WebM and H.264 using the tag etc that nobody bothered to point out some of the cool features of HTML5. I am not going to list them all out here. You can look them up in html5rocks.com.
Some of these features such as (web sockets for full duplex communication) are long overdue. Others seem likely to be adopted widely in future. A negative aspect of this feature rich but complicated design is that aspiring web developers will find it harder to master HTML whose simplicity is the foundation of its success. Even kids could learn it and develop web sites which really helped the web grow and become the platform of choice for the expression of ones views. More complicated we make it, the higher we set the entry barrier for new guys which could have a detrimental effect on the quality of the web. Another worrying aspect is the rendering time it would take to view web pages on a browser. I hope that too many features will not kill user’s seamless web experience.
But after a while I am sure we would be wondering how we could have lived without HTML5!
Lately, I have been hearing a lot of talk about Google’s world domination plan. I wonder how they are going to do that. Are they going to do that with their Free Software browser Chromium ( or the Google branded version : Google Chrome ) ? Or with their messaging platforms such as Gmail? Or their Free Software mobile OS Android? Or could they be doing it by, OH NO, GOOGLE SEARCH? All these platforms do not lock you into doing something. You can very easily search on Bing if you dont like Google. You can install a custom android ROM on your device if you dont like Google Android. Even after doing all the work Google is still left to charm you into using their products. If it was Microsoft or Apple, they would have had you by the balls now.
I think that for most people the fact that their computing experience sucks or the fact that they are being cheated and controlled by the High-Tech companies don’t matter. To them issues like privacy are more grievious. I am not saying that privacy is a trivial issue, but I think that if you work hard, it is a problem you can fix yourself. But if a company sells you crappy software and forces you to use it, there is nothing more you can do; which I think makes it a greater crime. So whence, I do think Google should be more concerned about the privacy issues, at this point in time I am happy that they are around.
Besides, if you want all the cool features like navigation assistance, threaded conversation view in mail etc it is natural that a company which can produce all that gets a huge market share. However, the danger is when they turn evil. So far Google has no record of handing over your data to some third party or assosciating your search against your name. Sergey Brin once said that if government wants to get your data, it would be better off for them to get it from the ISPs than from Google data centers. Indeed countries like UK has laws that state all ISPs must log all their network traffic for 6 months. It would be better to get the raw data from there than to get data which is optimized for search analytics.
Also did you use Yahoo!’s Search Direct? Yahoo! is saying that people are no longer looking for links when they search, they are looking for answers. And they are right. Sometimes I wish I could sue Google.
I would also like to leave you with the Think Quarterly magazine from Google. The magazine’s online version deserves props for the simplistic and yet elegant design. That is one e-zine I am looking forward to. Those chaps at Google can design some cool web sites.