Move the web forward

I figure I don’t post enough around here so I’m just going to start writing about the things that interest me, hope you like them and follow along.

I have been trying to catch up with the Web Platform just lately and I gotta say, I’m excited!!! There are so many new things on the horizon, so many new things to learn, so many new things to try and wrap my head around. Lets take a look at some of them and how you can help.

Firstly let me just say I am in part writing this because of Move the web forward.

Publish what you learn and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Publish to your personal blog and keep your posts updated. Be sure to speak with your own voice! Remember that it is okay to not be an absolute authority on a subject to author a post! Always ask questions and prompt conversations. There is seldom a wrong question or a wrong answer.

If you havn’t seen this site before then go take a look as it has a lot of like minded people and a lot of articles / projects to learn from.

New features

Web Components

These excite me the most (and Intents) as I can for see a lot of open source components being written and made into shared libraries. The new component model for the Web (aka Web Components) consists of four separate pieces designed to be used together to let application authors define widgets that are easy to reuse and share. The pieces are:

  • Templates, which define chunks of markup that are inert but can be activated for later use
  • Decorators, which apply templates to let CSS affect rich visual and behavioral changes to documents
  • Custom Elements, which let authors define their own elements, including new presentation and API, that can be used in HTML documents
  • Shadow DOM which defines how presentation and behavior of decorators and custom elements fit together in the DOM tree.

Note: Decorators and custom Elements are called components.

I can’t say I’m looking forward to custom elements though as I think this will cause chaos when trying to read through the HTML of a site. If everyone suddenly starts to create their own elements, and their own API for using them then this has the possibility of getting out of hand real fast.

Check the current status of Web Components

Web Intents

Wow, I’m so glad this is coming to the Web! Most modern web sites are inter-connected, for example logging into Facebook, sharing on Twitter, editing a photo with Picasa. Users expect popular sites to just work with their favorite service but the truth is these things take time to implement.

It is impossible for developers to anticipate every new service and to integrate with every existing service that the end user prefers. Instead most sites just stick to the most popular services and this integration still takes time to complete.

Web Intents to the rescue! Web Intents is a framework for client-side service discovery and inter-application communication. Services register their intention to be able to handle an action on the user’s behalf. Applications request to start an Action of a certain verb (share, edit, view, pick etc) and the system will find the appropriate Services for the user to use based on the user’s preference.

Web Intents puts the user in control of the service integration and makes the developer’s life simple. To read up on Web Intents head on over to http://webintents.org/ also make sure to check out their Demos.

Push Notifications

Another great feature that I think the Web could really do with. These notifications work the same as on iOS devices where you don’t need a website open to receive a notification.

Google Chrome already supports desktop notifications which is a great start and I’m sure they will keep the same design. You can only receive these notifications while you are on the website in question though. Imagine just browsing the web and then a push notification coming through saying that an order has been dispatched?!!

There is still a lot of work that needs to go into Push Notifications as there isn’t any standardization and the only browser support is through a Chrome extension API. This doesn’t mean we can’t be brushing up on it now though 😉

There are loads of other great features coming soon (some are already here). Here is a list of the general Web Platform features:

  • Styling Block elements with CSS filters and 3D transforms
  • Debugging on Mobile devices
  • Awesome developer tools
  • CSS Regions,new tools for text layout (think magazine layouts). Demos
  • Payments API
  • WebCam access through Javascript
  • Web Audio
  • WebGL
  • NaCI and GamePads

I would suggest heading over to http://movethewebforward.org/ and having a read through some of the articles and do like what I did and just write about them. The Web is what we make of it and it’s will get better with out help.

You can make the web as awesome as you want it to be. Browser vendors, standards editors and library creators actively seek your voice and your contribution.
Together we can move the web forward.

Is there anything I have left out? Got anything to add? Leave a comment 😉