Sunday, July 10th, 2011

The power of intent tag discussed

Category: Android

Google developer advocate Paul Kinlan has detailed his recent work on a lightweight sharing facility using a very simple intent share protocol. Web Intents began life in 2010. Now, Kinlan and company are looking for feedback. Basically, his intent tag is intended to allow users to more easily mix and match favorite plug-in capabilities, freeing up developer effort in the meantime.

Resembling in some ways intent attributes in the Android framework, the Intent tag works by signaling to a browser the intent to handle a number of URIs. The tag is meant for spidering.

A user chooses a favored service – say, a ”red-eye remover” for photo editing. The service loads; Intent data gets passed. The system takes care of service resources.

While somewhat reserved in promoting the power of the intent tag, Kinlan still readily suggests that the Google project could ”fundamentally change and improve the way we build applications on the Web today…”

Behind the effort has been a determined push to keep the API very simple. Kinlan describes the effort in a recent blog entitled ”Web Intents: A Fresh Look” and points you to a prototype API on Github. Further details are on

Posted by jvaughan at 7:09 pm

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Sometimes I think the improvement of web will never stop, and maybe even overwhelm us. For example, I recently saw Battery Status Event specification. Isn’t it just awesome to be able to do such thing?

Comment by saeedneamati — July 13, 2011


It isn’t that awesome, because you can’t actually do such things.. Yet. That Battery Status Event is only a specification of an idea and doesn’t actually work.

Comment by elkaz — July 14, 2011

Seems like a relatively obvious way to go, but how long will it be before it is widely supported? IE support for instance?

Comment by SimonBLM — July 15, 2011

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