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State of the Web with Ben Galbraith Dion Almaer - HTTP203 with English - CC subtitles   Complain

BEN GALBRAITH: I think you're taking

sort of intense literal logic and applying it

to a colloquial situation that has everything

to do with tradition and nothing to do with literal truth,



SURMA: Who are you and why?


Do you want to go first?

BEN GALBRAITH: I'd rather you did.

DION ALMAER: Oh, thank you.

My name is Dion Almaer.

The "why" is an interesting one.

So I've worked with this guy for a long time, lots

of different companies.

Way back in the day, we did this thing called Ajaxian.

There's this thing called Ajax.

You are too young to know it.

JAKE: I remember Ajax.


I am not young enough.

DION ALMAER: And that was really fun

to kind of see the web kind of come back

and go from docs to apps and the like.

So I've been living in the web for a long time.

Used to be at Google.

I'm now back at Google, running DevRel

for a few different teams across the web--

Android Assistant and other things.

What about you?


So I'm Ben Galbraith.

I am on the Chrome team.

I lead product for the folks who are working on the web

platforms, so the folks who are thinking

about how the web works on your web page and things.

JAKE: We've been doing these interview things all day.

SURMA: We've never done interviews before.

JAKE: Yeah, and we missed your talk.

BEN GALBRAITH: So we open the talk

just by showing that PWAs are everywhere.

And PWAs-- it's fair to ask what the heck that is.

Basically, the web has been evolving dramatically

over the past few years.

And it's been getting a ton of new capabilities.

And it's a whole new platform than it

used to be just four or five years ago.

And so we shared a lot of data around this.

And there's two categories.

One is what's actually changed about the web.

And the other is what happens when

people take advantage of the new capabilities that

are on the web.

And we shared a bunch of case studies.

Getting to the capability side, the big one

is this thing called Service Worker, which--

JAKE: I've heard of it.


JAKE: Go on.



Let me explain it to you in very simple terms--


BEN GALBRAITH: So that you can understand.

But it's like forever, everyone's

understood the web is pages, pages that the browser requests

and renders.

And Service Worker is the first major new primitive

on the web that changes the game.

Because with Service Worker, you now

have this code that's resident in the browser.

It can receive events from the site, even when the user has

left the page.

You can use it to override the network.

I love how you guys are critiquing my explanation

in real time.

JAKE: It's actually really good so far.


BEN GALBRAITH: But yeah, it lets you

as a developer take control of the networking stack,

which seems like a--

why would you want to do that?

But it's super important, because there

are a lot of people using the web who

have intermittent connectivity where it just drops out

or it's really slow.

And so as a developer, you're in the driver's seat.

It doesn't show you the dyno screen

if there a there's a problem.

You can create these really smooth experiences.

DION ALMAER: I feel like this time, too,

we actually talked about the Google properties

they're actually using this for.

BEN GALBRAITH: Oh, that's right.

That's right.

Let me wrap up Service Worker real quick.

Because the big news is that it's finally in Safari.

And it hasn't been for a long time.

And it's finally in Edge.

But yeah, you were talking about some other stuff too.

DION ALMAER: Like Google Search actually using

the Service Worker--

got to talk about that today--

50% less JavaScript.

BEN GALBRAITH: Yeah, that's right.

DION ALMAER: All the intermittent things.

You can do a search, you're offline.

When you come back online, do the search.

Pop back-- hey, you want the results?

BEN GALBRAITH: So we shared a bunch of these examples.

And then we had, I think, some pretty exciting new stuff

to share.

I think stuff that's new for a lot of people.

The problem with the web is that it's out in the open.

So for insiders--

SURMA: What a problem.

BEN GALBRAITH: There's really not a lot of new things to say,

and if there is, that's a problem, right?

Because we don't control the web at Google.

So we're not going to have this brand new thing.

But we are highlighting a lot of the recent developments,

one of which is this thing called desktop PWAs.



BEN GALBRAITH: This is cool.

We showed how Spotify is using desktop PWA.

So you go to their site, and you can install it

to your launcher, in this case in Chrome OS,

and it gets its own top level window.

So alt tab now works with websites.

JAKE: Oh, so good.

BEN GALBRAITH: It's fantastic, right?

JAKE: And I'm glad we did that on mobile first.

But it there was a missing piece that we

couldn't do it on desktop.

BEN GALBRAITH: Productivity on the web is a big deal.

We talk about mobile, mobile, mobile-- and mobile's

super important.

But there's billions of people on the desktop.

But the other thing is using a lot

of these popular productivity apps

as top level windows on Chrome OS.

Because that's where it is now.

We're bringing it to Windows and Mac.

But it's not there yet.

SURMA: I felt like that lots of companies

doing their apps in an Electron shows that there was a desire

to do that.

To write web and just have it as if it

wasn't all on the computer.

BEN GALBRAITH: Let me talk to you about AutoCAD.

Because AutoCAD-- they created a web version

of their application, which is like kind of mind-blowing.

You go to a lot of analyst speeches,

and the intelligent analysts are up there going like,

well, a lot of stuff's come into the web,

but old applications like AutoCAD

will never come to the web, or it

will take them a really long--

It's here.

They actually shipped it in March.

That's right.

And I said, oh, AutoCAD's been innovating

a ton since it's shipped.

So it's actually pretty cutting edge.

But they brought their C++ codebase to the web.

JAKE: So it's just something great, right?

So kind of like job done.

We can relax for the next few years.

DION ALMAER: Can I take the negative side?



BEN GALBRAITH: OK, I think we're done here now.

JAKE: Wrap it up.

DION ALMAER: I think the interesting thing

about the state of the web, like they're

talking about, like everything that's going on,

all the good things.

But that's not the entire web that you actually

experience every day.

And we want to keep adding capabilities,

and we want to keep bringing Electron back to the web,

and Cordova back to the web, and all these things.

How do we get--

SURMA: The long tail.

DION ALMAER: --all of the long tail in there.

And that's why we do a lot of work

with the Wordpresses and all these different CMSs.

How can we effect that long tail?

SURMA: Yeah, what does the new capabilities matter

if nobody uses them, right?

DION ALMAER: And I feel like we're

kind of unlocking both at the moment.

BEN GALBRAITH: That's where AMP comes in, too.

Because a lot of the keynote was talking about AMP

because the web platform has a ton of capabilities.

But it's also become a little complex.

I mean, I don't know if you've noticed.

SURMA: You don't say.

BEN GALBRAITH: It can be hard to figure out how to do it.

And so AMP is all about how can we

make the web really easy for a set of really targeted use

cases with an opinionated approach?

And it's been maybe a little controversial.

And this year, we did a couple of things

that I'm excited about.

One is that we announced that we're fixing

the problem with AMP URLs.

And if you don't know what that issue is--

JAKE: I can guess.

BEN GALBRAITH: It's this double-edged sword,

where AMP does this cool thing, where

it hosts content on this server that optimizes it and shrinks

images and all this stuff.

But it's hosted on that server.

SURMA: I always understood why they were doing it.

But still the artifact of the URL was just--

BEN GALBRAITH: So annoying.

And it's annoying to everybody.

Some people look at the URL, and they

think we're trying to move the whole internet onto our origin,

onto our domain, which is not at all what we want.

So there's this new emerging standard

called web packaging, which on itself could be

the subject of a conversation.

I'm super excited about it.

But from a high level, what it does--

it lets you, as a developer, take your site

and effectively wrap it in a secure envelope and just say--

SURMA: You might say a package.

BEN GALBRAITH: A package--

maybe a better metaphor.

And it doesn't matter where it comes from.

It's advertised as though it came from your origin.

And so you can imagine--

SURMA: Right.

It's the magic of certificates.

BEN GALBRAITH: --a browser of the future

that's more like peer-to-peer.

So if you're in this area where you can't actually get to,

let's say, "The New York Times," if any peer has

a version of "The New York Times," that's fairly recent,

you can get it from them, creating

this really decentralized networking

thing which is at the heart of the original spirit

of the internet.

Anyway, so AMP's able to use web packaging.

And it's an emerging standard, we'll see.

The other thing that I'm excited about

is that we've announced that AMP is embracing web standards

and things like the Chrome User Experience Report

so that we'll be able to use the actual performance of web pages

to decide whether or not they're fast.

JAKE: So that's what gives it the little icon, right?

BEN GALBRAITH: Today you see that icon if something's AMP.

And moving forward, we've shared our intent

to use things like the Chrome User Experience Report

and other things as the canonical indicator

for whether or not something is going to perform really well.

DION ALMAER: We always saw that performance with AMP,

but there's the privacy preservation piece that it has,


BEN GALBRAITH: Yeah, that's right.

DION ALMAER: If I go in, I'm in an aggregator.

If I prefetch or start pinging over to this other server, then

all of a sudden Dion the user can be on the search

and knows something

and has set a cookie on me.

And that's kind of weird.

JAKE: Without you ever clicking on that link.

DION ALMAER: Without me ever knowing.

Yeah, exactly.

So by having it somewhere else on Google servers,

or whatever AMP cache it's on, we can hide that.

And now with Web Packaging, it's baked into the platform.

So that's really exciting, I think.

JAKE: So what do you think the web needs

to do within the next 10 years to survive?

DION ALMAER: I mean, there's the foundations,

and there's the real future future self, right?

Foundationally, we just need to fix the performance problem

on the web, just focus in on getting people using the web.

BEN GALBRAITH: I mean, the web is this fantastic treasure.

I feel like if you look at it, what do we have in the web?

We have this open ecosystem where the standards can

be implemented on any platform.

Think about that for a second.

Because most other platforms use their ecosystem

as a walled garden to block other people

and to chain people in that ecosystem.

The web is totally open.

We've got this inherent index ability

so you can go through and discover it.

You don't have a single gatekeeper or toll collector.

These are just fantastic attributes of the web.

SURMA: One of my first talk as a Googler is I was using a slide,

but I opened a website on a Nintendo DS.

I was like, that's really a unique feature of a platform

that can write a website, and suddenly it is in your car

or on your phone on a Nintendo DS.

BEN GALBRAITH: But I think, Jake,

the web is worth having in society.

JAKE: I agree.

SURMA: That's an understatement.

BEN GALBRAITH: But I think when you're

talking about 10 years, what I'm really focused on

is how can we make sure that the web remains the platform where

developers can bring their best experiences?

Because I think there's a lot of competing platforms.

Some of them can do a better job at animations

and visual effects on the web--


I don't know if that's a fair statement.

DION ALMAER: But not 10 years from now.


JAKE: Two years from now.

SURMA: One year from now?

BEN GALBRAITH: So we've got to make sure developers have

the capabilities they need.

We've got to make sure that users actually prefer the web.

And we've got to make sure that browsers

are where computing is moving.

And when you think about that frame, we have a lot of work

to do.

I feel like developers-- we've got to do a lot.

Houdini is one of my favorite projects.

JAKE: The second Service Workers.


BEN GALBRAITH: There's a lot of additional stuff we need to do.

So when you talk about 10 years, I

want to see the web platform evolve

to have more capabilities.

I don't want to see us chasing that platform.

So I don't want to see us advertising the web

as it's almost as good as this platform.

You should develop websites that are like apps.

That maybe is a controversial statement.

You were going to say the web has

its own unique flavors, right?

SURMA: It has its own unique capabilities and use cases,


BEN GALBRAITH: That's right.

SURMA: Like, there is still use where I say,

no, that's a use case for a native platform.

That's not something you want to solve on the web.

BEN GALBRAITH: I couldn't agree more.

I think if what you as a developer want to build

is something that feels like it's

an extension of some specific operating system,

it's a native app.

And you'd be kind of crazy to use the web for that.

But if you want to engage with the most users

you can, if you want to do it in a way that

gives the user the best experience in terms

of getting something done and being able to have sessions

that span devices and things like that, that's the web.

That's what the web should be good for.

JAKE: Someone came up to me and asked me for a selfie before.

I was over the moon.

But then he said, thank you very much for Facebook.

He thought I was Mark Zuckerberg.

DION ALMAER: I think it is the blue.

BEN GALBRAITH: It's the blue.

JAKE: It says, JS.


SURMA: It's probably also the face.

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