Thursday, May 6th, 2010
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of moderating a panel at Web 2.0 Expo on the future of browsers with Ben.
On the panel were distinguished gents. In the photo (courtesy of TechCrunch) you see (sitting from left to right): Alex Russell (Google), Brendan Eich (Mozilla), Charles McCathieNevile (Opera Software), Giorgio Sardo (Microsoft Corporation), and Douglas Crockford (Yahoo! Inc.).
I think that Alex Russell responded fantastically. He has been a developer, dealing with the ugly underbelly of the browsers (and old ones). He is fighting to make a difference with Chrome Frame among other things. The Web has a long way to go. The last thing we want is for it to become the ghetto which Steve Jobs wants. In an ideal world, “apps” would be premium real estate, and the long tail of crud lives in the Web ghetto.
Chris Anderson scared me a little on this topic in a keynote he gave at the MarkLogic conference yesterday. He talked about having the Web be a way to engage with community and tease them into the premium options. Maybe a few free Wired articles here and there, but get the “App” for the real deal. People are used to purchasing apps, and he thinks that he can technically do more on app platforms.
However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Scribd is going HTML5 and the screenshots of their new code looks great:
As a community we need to come together again and show the world that we can deliver amazing experiences, that the Web can be THE platform (and has a role in the world of apps….) and engage with browser vendors and standards to push the Web faster. We can do it.
One other topic of conversation from the panel was IE9 and Canvas. I asked the crowd who would like to see canvas supported in IE9 (didn’t show up in yesterdays preview). 80% of the crowd put their hands up, and I am sure the other 20% just didn’t get them up in time ;) Giorgio of Microsoft himself put his hand up, which was nice. The strange comment from him was that the canvas spec is “big” which was refuted by Brendan. Microsoft has implemented SVG support which is massive in comparison, and I am sure they could wire together canvas API calls to the underlying 2d engine ;)
I would love to hear a reason from Microsoft on why they are not supporting canvas. They may have a valid reason, but I haven’t heard it yet. Dean has been open to communicating on HTML5 video on his blog, so maybe you could answer this one mate? It could be that they just haven’t gotten around to it yet and it will show up in a new preview. Let me know and I will shut the hell up.
It is fantastic that Microsoft is being more open. Giorgio showed up at the panel yesterday. Dean is blogging. Compare that to the Safari team. I would *love* to have those guys speaking…. Dave Hyatt, Maciej, etc are all amazing…. but that isn’t the Apple Way. Thanks for sitting at the table Microsoft….. and I hope it continues.
Posted by Dion Almaer at 10:39 am