Journal Aug 15th, 2022

Don’t get me wrong. I love having my own website. Like, I really love it. But I’m also well aware that it doesn’t scale. It’s unreasonable to expect someone to learn new skills just to make a web page about, say, an event they want to publicise.

  • I don't always think it's the complexity of building the site that is the biggest blocker to a lot of people, it's the deploying and running. When I speak to a lot of small businesses about getting online, they say "we're on Facebook", so I ask why? "It's free, it looks good and it works" is often the answer. I'm glad that Jeremy mentioned it at the end of the post.

Convenience isn’t the only thing you get from using a silo like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Medium. You also get “free” hosting …until you don’t (see GeoCities, MySpace, and many, many more).

Something here needs to be solved for the masses. The value of these sites is that production of content on to them is incredibly simple and there is a network that drives engagement and visibility.

It's entirely feasible that someone could create an online tool for an event site, it spits out all the HTML and CSS, social-tags, all the stuff you need, but then you need to get it onto a URL which means paying for a domain and hosting, and then socialising it etc.

  • Wouldn’t it be great if everyone had a place on the web that they could truly call their own? Today you need to have an uneccesary[sic] degree of technical understanding to publish something at a URL you control.

I'd love everyone to have their own URL, but I don't always think the technical understanding is biggest the barrier, it's completely unclear to many the value of being online on a URL that you own, when there is immediate value on the other platforms. That is something I think we need to solve first, the technology is then easier and maybe more incentivised.

So my proposal is this: Apple and Google should honor the existing  X-Frame-Options  HTTP header in webviews. If a website is loaded into a webview, and the website includes the appropriate  X-Frame-Options  header, the mobile OS should immediately stop loading the webview and open the URL in the user’s preferred web browser.

I do like this solution and I don't disagree with it, it puts the emphasis on the developer to own their experience, however it means that the user doesn't have a choice in this, which goes against many principles of a User Agent. As a Developer Advocate for 'a browser', you'd think I'd be all over 'send the user to the browser' narrative - but... I don't know if I am, part of me really struggles to define what constitutes a browser and where one starts and another ends. I'd be interested to see how many people know what a browser is... * Although .... iOS Privacy: Announcing InAppBrowser.com - see what JavaScript commands get injected through an in-app browser · Felix Krause - Another very good read.

About Me: Paul Kinlan

I lead the Chrome Developer Relations team at Google.

We want people to have the best experience possible on the web without having to install a native app or produce content in a walled garden.

Our team tries to make it easier for developers to build on the web by supporting every Chrome release, creating great content to support developers on web.dev, contributing to MDN, helping to improve browser compatibility, and some of the best developer tools like Lighthouse, Workbox, Squoosh to name just a few.