back to article Google unplugs AMP, hooks it into OpenJS Foundation after critics turn up the volume

Google's AMP project will join the incubation program of the OpenJS Foundation, which is part of the Linux Foundation. AMP – which originally stood for Accelerated Mobile Pages though not any more – was launched in 2015, ostensibly to speed up page loading on smartphones. The technology includes AMP HTML, which is a set of …

  1. Shadow Systems

    Still using JS?

    No thanks. Webpages already slow my desktop ~2GHz CPU with 16Gb of DDR4 into a nearly unuseable state, and that's with JS turned off. Given how bloated & slow the web has become, my next computer with a ~4GHz CPU & 32Gb of DDR4 may not turn out to be the upgrade I'd hoped for when I bought it.

    1. rcxb Silver badge

      Re: Still using JS?

      If you're disabling javascript anyhow, use Dillo. Your web experience will be vastly vaster.

      1. Shadow Systems


        I had to Google for it & found a browser by that name. It was last updated 30-Jun-2015. I'm a bit wary of software that hasn't been touched in over four years. Security should be as active as possible to keep code as secure as can be.

        1. rcxb Silver badge

          Re: Dillo?

          That's just dogma. There's nothing about "new" and updated that makes it more secure. Look at old djbdns or similar for software that hasn't been found vulnerable after many years.

          Without javascript, plugins, and all those features, there's much less to have vulnerabilities in a browser. With such a tiny code base, it's easier to be secure and fewer places for vulnerabilities to hide.

          2015 is just the last "stable release". Development is ongoing (slowly). Some projects just don't care about "releases" that much, and their userbase is sophisticated enough to grab svn/git snapshots directly. Some projects have good development practices so that the dev snapshots are only rarely broken.

          Don't like it? Do it yourself.

          1. Shadow Systems

            Re: Dillo?

            All the major browsers have had security updates lately & the fact that Dillo has not makes me nervous.

            Telling someone to fix it themselves assumes that they can program at all, are fluent in the various languages required by the project in question, and have the time to attempt such an endeavor.

    2. J27

      Re: Still using JS?

      How do you... do anything online? It seems like every website requires JS these days.

      1. Shadow Systems

        Re: Still using JS?

        Not every place. ElReg doesn't require it (obviously), my bank doesn't require it (the reason why I switched from my old bank), various fora don't require it, numerous shopping sites can still place my order without it, and the National Library Service for the Blind doesn't need it.

        Any news site that refuses to deliver content because they claim I'm running an ad blocker is automaticly given TheFinger for being unable to tell the difference between a refusal to run JS and an ad blocker. Requesting a Google cache of their URL then gives me a plain text version of the page in question, lets me read the content, & often proves it wasn't worth the hassle of the Google hoop at all.

        I use a desktop browser on a desktop, scripts of all kinds turned off by default, prompting for first party cookies, auto refusing all third party cookies, don't allow cross domain content to be loaded (so sorry your advertisers can't force their stuff on me, oh boo hoo), and a bunch of other security measures to try & protect myself.

        I'm amazed but not in the least bit surprised that a SmartPhone associated with the biggest ad flinger in the world (Google) doesn't allow ad blockers that can actually do the job to exist on their platform. Oh sure programmers try to get around it, but then Google yanks the program & the infinite game of whack-a-mole continues.

        Apple is a smidge better as far as ad blocking goes, but then they patrol their walled garden like a Nazi concentration camp & kill anything they don't like, including programs that do things they don't want their inmates being able to do. (How's that ban of the program that let folks avoid police trouble hot spots in China coming along?)

        I might feel differently if I could still see to use a swipey tappy touchy feely SmartPhone, but then if I could still see I'd be running a LibrePhone instead, or a Linux based device that let me Get Shit Done rather than a mere media consumption device that also happened to make calls...

      2. JohnFen

        Re: Still using JS?

        It depends on what sites you care about, probably. I mostly run with JS disabled, and there are few websites that I care about that break without JS.

      3. rcxb Silver badge

        Re: Still using JS?

        How do you... do anything online? It seems like every website requires JS these days.

        Practically every site USES javascript, but that doesn't mean they NEED it. Many work without it. Those who try to force you to use javascript can often be fixed just by disabling meta-refresh or similar.

        Search engine bots from Google and the like do NOT interpret javascript, so if you want to show up anywhere in search results, you need your site content to be in plain HTML on the page for them to index.

  2. ThomH

    The user experience is still the worst thing about AMP

    My phone screen is about 10.5cm tall.

    If I load an AMP page directly from its content publisher then initially I lost approximately the top 1cm to my browser's address bar, and the bottom 2/3rds of a centimetre to the navigation controls. As soon as I start scrolling downward, the bottom controls vanish and the top bar shrinks to about half a centimetre. So I've about 10cm of vertical space.

    If I load an AMP page via Google then it loads up with the browser's address bar and navigation controls, plus an extra 0.5 cm of JavaScripty in-page address bar. If I scroll then Google's little pretend address bar goes away but the browser's address bar and navigation controls remain because Google has seen fit to force a reader shim between me and my article interactions, which fakes the scrolling in a way sort of like the OS would but not exactly*. I lose1 and 2/3rds cm of vertical space for a total of around 8.84 cm.

    But, you know, I'm sure it gave someone something great to write in their performance review as a deployed product. So that's what Google internally considers a win.

    * quite apart from the speed and deceleration not quite working correctly, the biggest tell is trying to scroll past the top of the article. The fake scroll bar alternates semi-randomly between vanishing entirely behind Google's fake address bar and being trapped inside the page content. Also if you grab the content before it snaps fully back into place after resisting your overscroll and try to scroll down, you'll find that you can't. The real OS has no such flaws: the scroll bar stays in its proper place, and you're not penalised into having to wait after daring to try to scroll too far.

    So: AMP costs me almost 12% of my vertical space.

    1. borkbork

      Re: The user experience is still the worst thing about AMP

      In my opinion AMP looks worse anyway. On a regular page I can zoom in and out, all the required page elements are present, tables aren't mangled (a mojor gripe with AMP for me) and the majority of the time the page is more responsive.

      But it's become increasingly difficult to get the full-fat version of the page to display. Right now I use a combination of firefox mobile, AMP to HTML extension and 'request desktop site' button in the browser (it's a pity that can't be set to always-on).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The user experience is still the worst thing about AMP

        Look for a plugin called "User-Agent Switcher". Doesn't work all the time, but almost.

  3. RyokuMas

    Standard? What "standard"???

    "... it does not change the way Google can prioritize AMP pages in search results, and therefore ensure that publishers have to support the standard"

    Funny. I don't recall any involvement of the W3C in the design or creation of AMP. In fact, my recollection is that Google basically said "here's a thing we want you to use to speed up your pages on mobile".

    In my eyes, the single greatest concern in all those listed by the link in the article can be summed up by this quote: "Thing is, Google is pushing AMP adoption by their regular means of propaganda — 'AMP sites will rank higher on Google!'. So we have a proprietary "standard", created by the company whose name is now used as a verb in the context of "search the web", and whose search engine is a complete black box - to the point where an entire industry has grown up for the purpose of trying predict its behaviour (SEO).

    In fact, AMP sounds a lot like ASIJMU. And quite frankly, I'd trust Steven over Google - at least he's openly evil.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Standard? What "standard"???

      Not really an open standard I agree but more open than the similar alternatives from Facebook and Apple I'd say.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about

    Just getting rid of it completely. It serves no purpose other than

    1) letting google snoop on what people are reading even more by opening it on an embedded viewer from search results, I.e they now know how much time you spent with it open, what parts you scrolled over etc.

    2) doing a job that could be done it a better way by stripping out all the bloody spyware webpages are infested with these days.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @AC - Re: How about

      Well, that's the whole purpose.

  5. Suricou Raven


    You want a fast-loading webpage? Do it old-school then. No javascript dependencies - if you need javascript for something, make sure the page can at least render without it needing to load and run. No loading from six different tracking and analytics sites. No fancy layout of things that scroll in and out from the side and probably don't work on tablets anyway. Just nice, simple HTML and CSS, with maybe a few img or video tags.

  6. J27

    I predict AMP will die soon, it's totally pointless and isn't even faster than traditional web pages.

  7. JohnFen

    My main problem with AMP

    My main problem with AMP isn't that it's clearly a power grab by Google (although that's a serious problem as well).

    It's that I seriously hate AMP pages, and they're getting harder to avoid. The proposal to make your browser lie to you about the URL you're resolving will only make the situation much worse.

    Having AMP be in a foundation will not make AMP more acceptable.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: My main problem with AMP

      Giving it to a foundation is basically a euphemism for taking it out back… and waiting for the sound of gunshot.

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