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iOS 11 Safari will automatically strip AMP links from shared URLs (twitter.com)
534 points by OberstKrueger 8 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 420 comments



TL of AMP here. Just wanted to clarify that we specifically requested Apple (and other browser vendors) to do this. AMP's policy states that platforms should share the canonical URL of an article whenever technically possible. This browser change makes it technically possible in Safari. We cannot wait for other vendors to implement.

It appears Safari implemented a special case. We'd prefer a more generic solution where browsers would share the canonical link by default, but this works for us.


> We'd prefer a more generic solution where browsers would share the canonical link by default, but this works for us.

We had that solution it was called 'the web'.

I'd prefer a more generic solution too: get rid of AMP.

It really isn't about what 'works for you' it is about what is good for Google versus what is good for the web.


Hear, hear.

If you want to incentivise not delivering multi-megabyte "experiences" to people, I could see a case for feeding page weight into the ranking algorithm. Then people would be less inclined to have tag managers loading tag managers loading a zillion random js trackers.

I have personally saved at least one decent laptop from landfill by installing uBlock Origin on it, and making the web usable again.


Connection count multiplied by number of bytes transferred.

That would get rid of the cruft on the web in a heartbeat.

Every SEO consultant would suddenly have an actual job, playing code golf on CSS and HTML to deliver the content in the minimum number of bytes possible.


Google already wrote AMP which parses page content and presents the user with Google's ideal version of the page. Just include the delta in the ranking. The more a page has to be "cleaned" by AMP the lower it ranks.


That’s... not really what AMP does.

I mean, kinda, but not really. You have to cater to it specifically


Yeah good point. In general something like that could still work though. Whatever characteristics of a page Google is trying to "fix" with AMP could just be added to the ranking algorithm.


Absolutely


Exactly, make it an internal delta signal thing rather than pushing it externally on the entire web. Yes they can because of their position and size, but should they? No they shouldn't.


Clever!


This penalizes data-heavy websites, though, no? For example, I can see how a photojournalism piece with lots of photos would be ranked to hell, whereas a content-free text piece would be ranked very highly.


But on the same subject all pages would be data heavy. Only where a data heavy page would compete with a similar page that was lightweight would the one be ranked above the other.

But your average news page would weigh in roughly the same no matter what the source was. Assuming you'd strip out all the cruft.

For reference, I optimized my website a while ago and ended up with the average page being < 15K.

https://jacquesmattheij.com/the-fastest-blog-in-the-world

Try it, on any connection in normal use today it should load faster than you can blink.

Add a few pictures and it would still work quite comfortably.


> But on the same subject all pages would be data heavy.

Not all of them. For a trivial example, an in-depth article about a topic would be penalized more than a more epidermic one, because it would contain more text, graphs, etc.

> For reference, I optimized my website a while ago and ended up with the average page being < 15K.

I feel you, I absolutely hate that my website uses a bunch of stuff for almost no reason. 80 KB of CSS or 90 KB of font isn't awesome, and I started a project to provide information on how to create lighter websites (https://www.lightentheweb.com/, stalled a bit).

All I'm saying here, though, is that the solution is more nuanced than "heavier = lower". AMP is definitely not a step in the right direction, though. I wonder if Google could give sites that used a specific CSS file and no JS a bump, rather than loading things on their own domain.


> For a trivial example, an in-depth article about a topic would be penalized more than a more epidermic one, because it would contain more text, graphs, etc.

But such trivial examples should be trivial to get right no? It's all about the relative weight of the various factors that determine the ranking and a 'lightweight' article could be recognized as such.


Well, that's my point, it's not trivial to automatically recognize which photos are content and which are style. You want to have many content photos, but having many style photos probably means cruft.

How do you recognize which is which?


Same way almost all browsers offer a Reading view. They still show the article image. Doesn't seem to be that hard of a problem.


How does AMP recognize this right now?


It doesn't, it just forces you to display the pages through Google, stripping everything else, which is much easier to implement than recognizing if a web page's heft is because of legitimate content or ads.


So what difference would it make? After all, this is the result after AMP has done all its cleaning, which would give you a pretty accurate measure for page weight. What remains is the actual content of the page. It's the cruft that should be penalized, not the actual content.


Exactly what my sibling comment said, it's the publisher (presumably a human) who does the cleaning. It's not as easy to get a bot to clean things up and then measure weight, and the various "Readability" views aren't always correct (they're using heuristics).

Sounds like a publisher-assisted "readability view" would solve both problems, though. It would allow the user to view a "lighter" version of the page and search engines could just measure how large the "non-light" version is and penalize accordingly. I'm afraid that would incentivize the publisher to put ads and other crap in the "light" view, though.


AMP doesn't do the cleaning.

You as the publisher/author have to implement an AMP page yourself and then alert Google of its existence.


A photojournalism page would have a low connectivity count. It wouldn't be connecting to various other 3rd party websites


Most useful content on the web is text. Photojournalism is a niche exception and those pages could be linked to from articles.

A lot of the useless pages are 3 stories of scrolling through large images with very little text.

Also, "data" as in tables and small/vector charts isn't all that big.


> Most useful content on the web is text

Tell that to a photographer, designer, artist, illustrator, etc


I would, their requirements are niche. Most people need text, possibly with one or two small photos or illustrations.


Think you may be looking at this only through a developer lens. Bet if you showed anyone under 15 an internet without pictures and video they'd consider it broken.


Weight photos differently to js?


What does the connection count bring anything? All that matter would be the total number of bytes transferred.

I don't think that would be a good metric for relevance though and in most case, the total size isn't an issue. Which is why AMP is good, low file size when it's needed, full size when it's not.


Connections^2 to penalize the worst offenders with 20+ cross site scripts most.


Google already tried this, back in 2010.

https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2010/04/using-site-speed-i...


> I have personally saved at least one decent laptop from landfill by installing uBlock Origin on it, and making the web usable again.

For me, I'd given up on trying to browse the web on my smartphone until Firefox Focus came along. I realize Firefox for Android now allows extensions, but I still used it as a typical browser. I signed into my accounts, I had expectations for a personalized experience, etc. With Focus, it's just a quick visit to a site and then it disappears. I can find the information I want, quickly, yet again.


That's what google would do if they wanted to help the web, and not just faking they do. They used to, now they are just playing pretend for PR reasons.


[flagged]


It won't help you to find what you are looking for but it incentivizes the websites to reduce the weight of their pages and that is ostensibly what AMP tries to achieve.


> I'd prefer a more generic solution too: get rid of AMP

User here. I like AMP. At the end of the day, I want to read an article. Most of the time, Reader view works. But not always. AMP reliably and quickly renders legible web pages. This wouldn't be an issue if 90% of newspaper websites didn't look like they were designed by turnips.


Yes, I get why Google positioned it the exact way they did. It's very clever. But clever doesn't make it right.

If Google really wanted to improve the quality of the web they had excellent tools to achieve that: the weighing of the various elements that go into the ranking algo.

But instead they chose to do an end-run around all standards processes and to attempt to capture mobile content (which is an extremely valuable slice of all web traffic) at the expense of competition and the openness of the web.

And so you are now a very willing pawn in the endgame for the domination of the world wide web, which will eventually result in Google being the sole provider of your content by virtue of the web being consumed more and more through mobile devices.

If you're not concerned I totally understand, but maybe you should be.


> If Google really wanted to improve the quality of the web they had excellent tools to achieve that: the weighing of the various elements that go into the ranking algo

Doesn't Google already do this [1]? There are unintended consequences to increasing speed's weight in search rankings. Principally, it disadvantages smaller players. (Also, the New York Times would consistently rank under Buzzfeed.)

> you are now a very willing pawn in the endgame for the domination of the world wide web

Most people get news from the walled gardens of Facebook and Twitter [2]. The minority of us sharing links to newspaper articles probably also have direct relationships with publishers. For example, I read the New York Times, Washington Post, Economist, Bloomberg and other papers directly on their sites because I subscribe to their newsletters.

> maybe you should be [concerned]

Maybe, but I don't think so. The things I read about in the newspapers AMP gives me faster access to yield better (i.e. more serious and more actionable upon) avenues for my attention. In every context where AMP is a worry journalism's decline seems more important.

[1] https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2010/04/using-site-speed-i...

[2] http://www.niemanlab.org/2015/07/new-pew-data-more-americans...


> Principally, it disadvantages smaller players with smaller IT budgets. The New York Times would consistently consistently under Buzzfeed. A Pyrrhic victory.

Well, assuming equal relevance yes. But the NYT is not exactly a small player and could easily up their game in the page speed department. Besides that you could slowly ramp up the weighing to give parties the time to adjust.

> Most people get news from the walled gardens of Facebook and Twitter [2].

And this is what worries Google. Their long term adversary is Facebook (not Twitter, at least, not nearly so much).

> The minority of us sharing links to newspaper articles probably have direct relationships with publishers.

Not necessarily. I use a variety of aggregators.

> For example, I read the New York Times, Washington Post, Economist, Bloomberg and other papers directly on their sites because I subscribe to their daily newsletters.

Ok.

> The things I read about in the newspapers AMP gives me faster access to hand me better (i.e. more serious and more actionable upon) uses for my attention.

Yes, it's a very seductive proposition, and one that given Google's power in the marketplace they just might get away with. See also: Microsoft bundling their browser and tying it in at every level possible in to the OS and other abuses of monopoly power.

> In every case where AMP is a worry, journalism's general decline is more important.

But that's the same kind of argument that people use when India has news about their space program: Why don't they fix hunger first. It's possible to both worry about journalisms decline and monopoly power abuse on the web, especially when it concerns the distribution of news.


> But the NYT is not exactly a small player and could easily up their game in the page speed department. Besides that you could slowly ramp up the weighing to give parties the time to adjust

When I'm looking for news, I want the highest-quality source first. AMP gives everyone the option of going fast now while kinks are worked out back home.

(I should mention that my default search engine is Duck Duck Go. I usually !news (Google News), though, because I like Google's news results better.)

> it's a very seductive proposition, and one that given Google's power in the marketplace they just might get away with

They might. But a lot of things might happen. AMP makes good journalism more accessible. If Google abuses that privilege down the road, it's not like they're legally unassailable.

> It's possible to both worry about journalisms decline and monopoly power abuse on the web, especially when it concerns the distribution of news

Lecturing newspapers about why they should have had speedier websites went nowhere. Seeing that the same content produced more views through AMP got the message across.

I don't think the analogy to India's space program is accurate. Technological development lifts standards of living. There's a solid argument for doing both because each helps the other. Killing AMP and forcing to choose users between crappy websites and efficient walled gardens is counterproductive.


> When I'm looking for news, I want the highest-quality source first.

Well, no, you want the highest quality source first that loads fast. Otherwise you wouldn't care about AMP in the first place!

> AMP gives everyone the option of going fast now while kinks are worked out back home.

So, do you expect that Google will ever give up their stranglehold on the sites that use AMP once they are in?

In my experience such measures tend to become permanent fixtures with their own hooks embedded in the various fabrics making removing them hard to impossible once they have achieve critical mass. We may have already passed that point, in which case you can safely ignore me.

> They might. But a lot of things might happen. If AMP makes good journalism more accessible I'm all for it.

That's your privilege. I have yet to have a day where I could not read more news than I had time for so I'm not familiar with good journalism not being accessible but I concede that this may be your situation.

> If Google abuses that privilege down the road, it's not like they're legally unassailable.

Who will take that up? You? The EU? The publishers?

My guess is that once entrenched it will be impossible to get rid of, a parasitic element in the pipe between content producer and consumer.

> Lecturing newspapers about why they should have speedier websites went nowhere.

True.

> Seeing that the same content produces more views through AMP, however, seems to have gotten the message across.

Well no, I still don't see news websites getting any faster. But they're already ridiculously fast, consider that 30 years ago you had to wait a full day to read the news and now you can read it in 10 seconds. It's great if that can be cut down to 0.01 second and I'm all for doing that and incentivizing those companies to do this but in the end it is their web property and the market should be allowed to sort this out rather than that a search engine monopolist that is already the gateway to almost all pages read on the web becomes the gatekeeper to our news.

> In the meantime, Google's cash flows get to subsidize this IT expenditure for the news industry while consumers get faster news sooner.

No, Google's cash flow will not subsidize this because they now have the eyeballs. Sooner or later there will be a push for monetization.

> Killing AMP and forcing to choose users between crappy websites and efficient walled gardens, however, is counterproductive.

There are other choices besides.


> Well, no, you want the highest quality source first that loads fast

AMP isn't forcing me to read fast newspaper A over slow newspaper B. It's letting me read slow newspaper B fast. I've never clicked on an AMP link for a source I didn't know.

> In my experience such measures tend to become permanent fixtures...Who will take that up? You? The EU?

You made an analogy to Microsoft bundling browsers earlier.

> I still don't see news websites getting any faster

They are [1].

> [websites are] already ridiculously fast

That's your preference. Mine is for them to be faster.

> Google's cash flow will not subsidize this because they now have the eyeballs. Sooner or later there will be a push for monetization

AMP is open source. If we'd gone the penalise-slow-pages route, every newspaper would have had to "roll their own" AMP in house. Even if Google throws a tax on later, readers got fast pages sooner and publishers got free code.

> There are other choices besides [crappy websites and efficient walled gardens]

In theory. In reality, that's the battleground.

[1] http://www.niemanlab.org/2014/09/how-nytimes-com-cut-load-ti...


> AMP is open source. If we'd gone the penalise-slow-pages route, every newspaper would have had to "roll their own" AMP in house.

Note that you have to use the Google CDN provided javascript, the 'open source' bit is as good as meaningless as long as that restriction is in place.


> have had to "roll their own" AMP in house.

That's called HTML. Nothing special.


>visit nytimes.com >10 seconds to load page

Maybe if you're using the Trump definition of fast...


"NYT could easily up their game" smacks of "I could build that app in a weekend." It's not so easy.


> There are unintended consequences to increasing speed's weight in search rankings. Principally, it disadvantages smaller players.

It's that the case with SEO already? The rules are pretty opaque. If e.g. page weight or connections made was used as a metric, it could be the other way around. Small players don't usually have hugely bloated sites, and don't load hundreds of javascript tracking shit - that's what the big players do.


There's a problem with a lot of HN discussion where people who are very tech savvy tend to have a lot of ideas for how things "should" be. But it's an echo chamber and the average user probably won't care about the nuances in development philosophy. This debate reminds of all the shouting people used to do over Spotify ruining ownership of music. There was a lot of talk about ownership philosophy, DRM and the future of digital rights and "openness" but in the end, it didn't matter because the average user didn't care: convenience won out over whatever perceived philosophical downsides where voiced. Devs can moan about the philosophy behind AMP all day long but the reality is the end experience for the user is an article that loads instantly, looks clean and doesn't bombard with pop-overs. They don't care what tech makes the magic happen, just that it happened. And Google is in a unique position to actually make the web more enjoyable to use and this is the method they chose. Is it right? Maybe...Personally I don't think so, but it does work as advertised. I've heard a lot of people complain about the problems AMP is designed to handle, but as of yet I haven't heard any good alternative solutions. Sorry, but your free-range, open-source, made-with-love ad blocking extension won't be the end all you're hoping...Google is actually in a position to fix the problem and why not let them benefit while at it?


> They don't care what tech makes the magic happen, just that it happened.

True. But I do care what tech makes the magic happen and the consolidation of the web into a very small number of silos is a dangerous development for many reasons and AMP is one plank in that consolidation game.

> Google is actually in a position to fix the problem and why not let them benefit while at it?

Because their stated reasons for AMP do not align with the implementation details, AMP grabs way too much control for a simple improvement in speed.


> I do care what tech makes the magic happen

And to give credit where it's due, I'm glad you do. While we disagree on this point, I have a great deal of respect for your comments and found our discussion enjoyable.


Ditto!


> This debate reminds of all the shouting people used to do over Spotify ruining ownership of music. There was a lot of talk about ownership philosophy, DRM and the future of digital rights and "openness" but in the end, it didn't matter because the average user didn't care: convenience won out over whatever perceived philosophical downsides where voiced.

Your analogy may be reasonably apt, but if so, it shouldn't make anyone who makes their living thinking about systems sanguine.

It does turn out many consumers will trade ownership for convenience. Particularly if convenience comes at a fraction of a cost. Meanwhile, there are side effects: the people actually creating the product (recorded music) get paid a vanishing fraction of what they used to. That changes the economics of actually producing recorded music, shifting the ability to do it to people who can get their money elsewhere. Some people like to try and obfuscate that reality with talk of "new business models" and "innovation," but it all boils down to the assertion that people who make recorded music should have to do another job in order to provide cloud record collections like Spotify to a consumer for the cheapest price possible.

The consumer, as you've pointed out, doesn't want to think about this. Whether they think about it or not, it will shape what kind of music gets produced and by who, so perhaps they should think about it, even if the incentives are more long term and non-obvious.

Buuut even assuming they don't care to do that... it doesn't mean that people who do care to think about how that affects the industry don't have every right to "moan about the philosophy."

Same goes for AMP. Solutions like AMP will absolutely have second order effects. Many users don't care to think about them. Doesn't mean they won't be subject to those effects, that those effects are just about philosophy, and it surely doesn't mean that people who are interested in them have any obligation to stay quiet.

And of all the things to actually have this really be something people waste time on. Working out the economics of production and distribution of music in a time when making copies is just short of free is at least actually a tricky problem. The idea that making mobile pages that load fast is a tricky problem that requires a Google engineering solution is utterly ludicrous.


Once again, though, I think your counter to my analogy of Spotify just reiterates the echo chamber effect of the discussions here that like to debate the philosophies without seeing the bigger picture. Yeah, artists may get paid less now, but Spotify and its ilk pretty much removed piracy from the vocabulary of regular consumers. Back in 2004, music piracy was just something you did...Limewire was an essential app almost. Now, piracy is pretty much relegated to the vocal few that just flat out refuse to pay for things on some skewed principle and that's all thanks to streaming services. What's the alternative? $0.99 songs didn't cut it....should they have been priced down to $0.01? Even then, the amount of consumption would have made the cost unwieldy for many. What people "should" think about is irrelevant. Consumers should also think about using a password manager with 2FA support that stores its database locally. They should think about hosting their own email on a domain they control with SSL support and PGP built in. They should think about switching to using apps like Signal with end to end encryption built in by default. They should think about only driving cars built in the 90s before black boxes were mandatory and OBDII ports with digital interfaces were standard. They should think about a lot of things....but once again, not everybody is going to become a "geek" and jump through hoops just so they can get online, listen to must, check their bank, message friends and drive a car to the store. I completely agree that AMP and the like will have consequences if widespread adoption is seen and I don't like the idea of Apple, Google and Facebook basically controlling what articles get the most eyeballs simply because their platforms are being utilized, but in the end, what the consumer adopts is what developers will be forced to develop for. My problem is that a lot of developer-type solutions exist in the Silicon Valley echo chamber and will never see adoption because they don't take into account the big picture....technology is littered with the corpses of great ideas that consumers just didn't "get." It's true that Google doesn't have to be the one to decide how the architecture of the web works, but I think you're fighting a losing battle....it's much easier for Google to simply say "this is how it's going to be" than for a startup to say "we made this great new product and you should adopt it." Fundamentally, I don't think we disagree, but I'm playing my own devil's advocate here because I'd rather see some discussion on moving forward positively than just people yelling at a wall about how much they think Google's approach sucks which will change nothing...Google will do what they want to do and they're big enough to where if they lose a few million hardcore advocates in the process it's no skin off their nose.


> I think your counter to my analogy of Spotify just reiterates the echo chamber effect of the discussions here that like to debate the philosophies without seeing the bigger picture.

This isn't about "philosophy." This is about systems and consequences. The consequences are real to the user whether they're aware of the chain that produced them or not.

> Yeah, artists may get paid less now, but Spotify and its ilk pretty much removed piracy from the vocabulary of regular consumers. Back in 2004, music piracy was just something you did

2004 is a poor point of comparison if what you want is to get the big picture or even just answer the narrow question of whether the choice really is between cut-rate cloud record collection services like Spotify or free-for-all piracy. 2003 is when the iTunes Music Store launches and 2004/2005 is when you really start to see the rise of digital music retail. Between then and the early 2010s you see those services become widely accepted (even embraced by non-technical people) as an alternative to piracy, and you see revenue from those retail services rise just fine without streaming. In fact, I've seen some reports that suggest that by 2012/2013 the profits from digital retail was on its way to the profits from physical formats.

So the choice wasn't necessarily between fiddly inconvenient piracy and butter smooth streaming experience.

And the battle doesn't even necessarily play out on the field of consumer choice, really. I mean, in a perfect world I might well expect enough consumers to recognize how they vote with the wallet will shape the world, that when we value McDonalds the economy produces McJobs, that when your airfare dollars are ultimately decided by the lowest price you'll get a shitty airline experience.... but yeah, people don't. That's actually why it's more important for people who can see the consequences to discuss them, publicly, loudly, maybe even forcefully enough that product owners who can't see past their A/B testing (and may not even have arrived at the points where they understand the limits of that along with the value) might pay attention.

> My problem is that a lot of developer-type solutions exist in the Silicon Valley echo chamber and will never see adoption because they don't take into account the big picture....

We're concerned precisely because we see the big picture. Understanding that Google has the power to shape the landscape regardless of how that effects the value of the landscape as a whole doesn't mitigate the responsibility to talk about it, or imply that there's a missing larger picture.

> Google will do what they want to do and they're big enough to where if they lose a few million hardcore advocates in the process it's no skin off their nose.

If you're right, and we've reached the point where Google essentially no longer has management and engineering talent that cares to be a good steward of the web or no longer has the incentives to understand how AMP isn't, then that's a much heavier indictment of Google than most of AMP's opponents have leveled so far.


If we take two steps forward and one step back, it's not without merit to think about the step taken backwards and see if that loss was necessary or incidental to the steps forward. If it incidental, to see if it could/should be recovered.

And that's even if you can get everyone to agree that weighing the different aspects of a change says it's an overall benefit.


One solution punishes people, the other one rewards people and provides a nice framework where every improvement benefits everyone using it. For example, at I/O, they announced that new changes to AMP was able to speed up rendering of all AMP based by 200%, and that's without any work being done by any of the people using it.


Google is already using the ranking system to promote certain websites over others, this would be just one more factor (and presumably it already is a factor of sorts, but with a different weight).

Even if AMP pages would render 1000 times as fast it wouldn't matter, it would still be an abuse of power. The relationship between a reader and the source of their content should not be mediated by Google. What point is there in HTTPS everywhere campaigns and such if Google MITMs every news article you read? What point is there for a content provider to even have a website if Google will end up serving the content?

This is simply bad, the only upside is the speed gain and that is one that could be sorted out by the market with a gentle nudge from Google rather than by some kind of monopolistic end-game on their part.


It's literally a CDN. So in your mind is Cloudflare also abusing their power by rehosting people's content?


To make matters worse, at least for some people, you can't tell which search result leads to to an AMP page, and which doesn't -- they have removed the little AMP logo.

Urgh.


I like that Google's pushing for simplified pages. This is a good hedge against FB Instant Articles and the like.

What I don't understand is why they cache the page themselves, and make that the requested version.

It would seem like any cached page from a CDN would be just as quick.


Because it changes the relationship in a very important way. It makes Google the point of contact and the supplier of the page a mere 'information provider' rather than that Google is a source of traffic and the website a property with traffic of its own.


The main reason Google caches the pages (when a user comes from Google search) is so that the page can be preloaded by the browser before the user even clicks. This preloading is part of the reason that the experience is so fast.

If Google preloaded the page from a non-google server, there would be a few problems. The most important one is that it would violate the user's privacy. That server would have in it's logs a request from a user that didn't click on the article, and could intuit information about the user's searching behavior from that request.

Less importantly, without the page being served from Google's cache, there is no way to guarantee it's actually a valid AMP page. The only thing Google knows is that it was valid AMP the last time it was crawled, which could be days ago.


> This preloading is part of the reason that the experience is so fast.

And a waste of bandwidth if the user never clicks.


I'd bet users (in the America) who are (a) valuable to advertisers or (b) likely to purchase newspaper subscriptions don't care about bandwidth usage.


That just leaves another 7.8 billion of us...


> If Google preloaded the page from a non-google server, there would be a few problems. The most important one is that it would violate the user's privacy.

That's one problem.

> without the page being served from Google's cache, there is no way to guarantee it's actually a valid AMP page

Yes there is. You can validate pages as AMP on any CDN. You just can't have any benefit unless they're hosted on Google CDN.


The biggest unsaid reason is they now own all the data. The AMP website becomes just another page on google.com - giving them direct access to know who you are and what you're reading with 1st party data rights.


Happy to have a technical discussion, but not sure you are really interested.

TL;dr AMP is 100% build on web tech. Pre-rendering achieves the performance but relies on history.pushState and iframes, which doesn't allow presenting a URL that is not on the same origin as the search page.

We think that the UX trade off in the URL is OK given the performance benefits. Given that it is a trade off we now have a bunch of projects to mitigate those trade offs. More coming soon, including lots of improvements to Safari. My team works directly on WebKit to fix bugs that affect AMP (but also the web as a whole, since AMP is just web tech).


Is someone working on allowing users to opt out of AMP when viewing search results? For users whose internet connections are fast and who cannot tolerate the browser UX being broken (can't copy URL out of address bar, back button doesn't always work properly, web pages often don't have comments, the list goes on and on seemingly forever).

Also, is someone working on a successor to AMP that doesn't break or try to replace the browser's own UI? Maybe something done at a lower level, maybe the HTTPS level? E.g., I could imagine something where the browser is informed that www.google.com is loading/proxying a web page on the user's behalf, and through some kind of verification system, it determines the website has given www.google.com permission to do so, and the browser UI updates itself to show the right address in the URL, etc. Maybe there's a better way to do all that, just one idea off the top of my head that seems infinitely better than AMP from a UX perspective.

Though it'd also be nice if you could get websites to make their actual main sites faster for everyone, maybe using a method like jacquesm suggested. That coupled with the low level proxying might be a nice alternative to what we have now.


> Happy to have a technical discussion, but not sure you are reallty interested.

This is not about technology. And whatever goal the AMP project states it has could have been achieved - and better - in other ways, such as the suggestion elsewhere in this thread to simply penalize page weight. If people wanted a consistent user interface across all websites they would have stuck with Videotext.

> TL;dr AMP is 100% build on web tech.

Yes, so was the search engine that put each result page in an iframe. Only difference was they didn't have a monopoly on search. And it does not make it right.

> Pre-rendering achieves the performance but relies on history.pushState and iframes, which doesn't allow presenting a URL that is not on the same origin as the search page.

Minor technical details, not relevant. If you feel the AMP discussion is going to be swayed by technical bits you're simply out of touch.

> We think that the UX trade off in the URL is OK given the performance benefits.

Who made you the deciders of what the UX of the web should look like? Stick to generating the best search results rather than trying to co-opt the entire web one little bit at the time and leave the UX to the browsers, it would seem you have enough input there already.

> Given that it is a trade off we now have a bunch of projects to mitigate those trade offs.

The only trade-off that will satisfy me is AMP dying off because websites will stop to support it. But as long as Google is strong-arming content providers to use AMP that won't happen. It is no longer fair play as far as Google is concerned. If it ever was.

> My team works directly on WebKit to fix bugs that affects AMP (but also the web as a whole, since AMP is just web tech).

Consider doing something more useful with your talents. For instance, fix the long standing issue with the SERPs that makes it impossible to cut-and-paste URLs pointing to PDFs.


This post feels overly agressive and hyperbolic. There's no need to insult their job or bring out the accusations about the reasoning behind AMP.


I also often find that discussion of motives is murky territory but:

* The post it's replying to admitted motives behind those critical of AMP to the discussion.

* The idea that page weight is a problem best solved by a solution like AMP is hostile enough to the principles the web is based on that it's hard to bar either motive or outright thoughtlessness from the discussion. Defenses on either front are also admissible.


I find it a bit strange to be called out for being 'overly agressive and hyperbolic' when that is in fact exactly how I feel about AMP in the first place, it is an overly agressive move by an extremely large company and my post is just one individual opinion which is - pre-emptively at that - already going to be ignored.

As for the job insult: there are plenty of UI/UX issues that Google could fix tomorrow if they wanted but instead they chose to work on this abomination and on top of that caused a bunch of work for companies well outside the Google ecosystem just to make things work that weren't broken before. That's a very inefficient way to allocate one's resources even at the scale of Google.

Finally, DanG has written a lot about the 'principle of charity', it appears to me that you have done everything that you could in order to take the very least charitable view of my comment and then you attack me on that interpretation.

I care about the web, in a way that I don't care about much else (HN maybe), and any and all attempts to subvert it should - in my opinion, which you are free to ignore - be fought tooth and nail lest we lose what came at a pretty great price. If you're comfortable with walled gardens and with large corporations gobbling up more and more of the open web to put it behind their store fronts then that too is fine with me. But you're not going to shut me up on this subject, nor am I going to moderate my language because you feel I should. Take the tone as a measure of my feelings on the subject.


Well, the post he/she was replying to had a provocative line in it as well, so I think we can excuse the tone a bit.


I think it’s ok. Personally, I like it.


The post is critical and frank but well within the bounds of civil discourse. Pleasant and understanding is not always the appropriate tone (though it's a good default). Sometimes people or companies do harmful things. To respond with patience and respect is to normalize them.


> The post is critical and frank but well within the bounds of civil discourse.

Yeah, this is really within the bounds of "civil discourse":

> Consider doing something more useful with your talents.


If that sentence had been followed by something sarcastic, derogatory, or harmful, then I'd agree. However, since it's followed by "here's an actual problem I'm having that Google could fix", I choose to believe that jacquesm is honestly saying "you've got a lot of bright people there, but AMP is the wrong project to have them spend time on".


> Who made you the deciders of what the UX of the web should look like?

It's not like they're forcing you to click on the AMP results. When Chrome started experimenting with SPDY, one could have asked them "who made you the deciders of what the protocol for HTTP transfer should be?". Yet from the lessons learned from SPDY was born HTTP/2.


When using Google search the only link given is the AMP link.


That's not true. If I search <<trump on afghanistan>> I get an AMP result, a non-AMP result, the AMP carousel, another non-AMP result, another carousel, another non-AMP result...

If I were only interested in results from Reuters (the top result in the previous search, which was AMP), <<trump on afghanistan reuters>> returns 3 "condensed" AMP results and a non-AMP result above the fold, followed by 8 non-AMP results.


Except some people are now unable to tell which results link to AMP pages. They are experimenting with removing the little AMP indicator logo.


I just wanted to say that I appreciate your talking the time to argue with cramforce on these points. (I just realized how ironic that username is for the TL of AMP, which is being crammed/forced onto users. Good thing that "most users love the experience".)

I don't think you're going to get far though as you're obviously just "opinionated" and probably not "really interested" in the "technical discussion".

As long as "We know that most users love the experience" why deign to discuss it with the ones that don't?


I'm not certain about this, but my thinking at the moment is that as soon as you need to ask a browser vendor to change their code to accomodate your design decisions, it looks a lot less like the "open" web, and a lot more like something else.


I appreciate the info!

I'm really curious to see where using AMP as a proxy speeds up the page, versus applying similar optimizations on origin server?

If it's a cached page (served from any normal CDN), and crafted with similar optimizations [1] wouldn't it be just as fast, without needing to do the URL redirection?

Even if it were difficult to convince developers to implement the changes, couldn't many of the optimizations could be rolled into a module like PageSpeed [2]?

[1] - https://medium.com/@cramforce/why-amp-is-fast-7d2ff1f48597

[2] - https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/module/

Edit - Reformatted links; I forgot HN doesn't use Markdown.


Our latest numbers show that the average speed improvement of the AMP cache is roughly 75%. I'm a bit shocked by that myself. But that is where it stands.

Getting similar performance out of on-origin serving is a priority for us, but we aren't there yet. One challenge is to give it the same scale as the AMP cache.


Could you at least make it possible for websites to opt out of the AMP cache? Last time I checked, publishing an AMP page grants Google (and everyone else) an implicit license to incorporate your content on their own web properties. The AMP FAQ say: "Should you desire not to have your document cached, one option is to remove the amp attribute from the HTML tag. This makes the document technically invalid AMP, while not impacting the functionality of the document." But from what I understand, this will also impact the presentation and ranking in search results.


> Happy to have a technical discussion, but not sure you are really interested.

Criticism of AMP certainly includes technical aspects, but most objections I encounter are ethical rather than technical.

Did Google explicitly consider ethical considerations when creating and launching AMP? If so, what did this process look like, and where could we find out more?

If not, isn't it time we expected ethical review to be part of significant changes in web infrastructure, the same way we would with significant changes in physical infrastructure?


Funny how literaly tens of behavioural trackers on sites that follow you everywhere, abuse holes in browser sandboxes to steal private data and try to install malware did not bring quarter of vitrol here on HN. More, bunch of people defended that as "we need to make profit".

Now that someone got rid of that it's suddenly an "ethical issue"?!


It's an ethical issue because I can easily block ads and malware.

I cannot opt out of AMP if I use Google as my primary search engine. It's about market power.


We have somewhat different expectations of Google than malware sites, because we expect it to act as a good net citizen, and a thoughtful custodian of its enormous power to shape the future of our culture.

The risk critics are concerned about here is a future where the internet no longer "belongs" to the people on it anymore, and despite the malicious nature of the abuses you named, they hardly represented that class of threat.


I've heard so much negative feedback about AMP that I'm not sure I have the full story. What link(s) would you recommend someone review if they wanted to build their own informed decision on the merits of this technology?



Today is the first time I've heard of AMP, so I don't have a dog in this hunt. I visited each of your links and followed some links on those pages, and I still have no idea what AMP is. All I see is a promise that pages will load faster. It also seems that if my boss drinks the koolaid and says "We need AMP!" it's going to cost me money in developer time, because the technology is inscrutable to my unskilled content providers. What benefits does it provide that disciplined web design doesn't? Is Google going to penalize my sites if we don't use it? We don't include advertising in our pages, so should we care about AMP?


AMP is mostly a series of guidelines. https://www.ampproject.org/learn/about-how/ If your site follows the guidelines, it will be fast. If you also voluntarily add a bit of JS to your page, Google (and other sites, but mostly Google) will cache your article and deliver it from their own CDN instead of loading it from your site. They won't interfere with your ads if you have them set up right. The trouble is that the URL is now a Google URL and Google puts links to more Google pages at the top of the interface instead of other links to your articles.

So, instead of actually using AMP, you could just follow the AMP guidelines and get most of the speed benefits with almost no downsides. But Google started prioritizing AMP pages in search results, so now there's a downside either way.


https://www.ampproject.org/how-it-works/ is a good primer.

You can beat AMP's performance with hand-tuned optimizations. Its goal is to uplift performance across a significant percentage of web content (instead of just that developed by the few experts).

Is Google going to penalize my sites if we don't use it? No, AMP is not a ranking factor.

We don't include advertising in our pages, so should we care about AMP? Advertising is to AMP like Advertising is to the Web. E-commerce is a big use case where advertising is uncommon.


Hi cramforce,

I understand that AMP is not a ranking factor (except for its inherent speed, perhaps). However, is there not a carousal at the top of SERPs for pages in your AMP Cache?

So while not an organic ranking factor, it would still affect SEO. Is that a fair comment? Or am I missing another perspective?


Not only that but site speed is a ranking factor. This answer definitely skirts around the reality that both we and he know since it has come up many times in the past.

As far as I see it, Google sees this as valuable to their interests, and have made clear what the talking points are and what should and should not be responded to. That's the only reason I can think of for this counter argument to be continually ignored by him.


How is featuring a carousel of AMP sites not penalizing non-AMP sites? You're being purposefully intellectually dishonest, maybe even with yourself.


Users loved AOL keywords. Here we discuss technical merit.


I actually think AOL keywords worked fantastically.


People here are users too. Unique culture, sure - but this audience counts.


I'm a user. I DON'T love it. Why isn't my voice respected?

In fact all the people here are users. Funny how that works.


I really dislike it as well, as I think a sizable portion of the HN does according to these threads that occasionally appear. You're in good company.


I love AMP, throwing my voice in the ring.


I also definitely don’t love AMP.


When will I be able to get into the AMP carousel without having to import the AMP script from Google’s servers?

I’d prefer hosting all JS locally. (Or at least within of EU jurisdiction, as Privacy Shield is likely going to fall in the courts, too, as Safe Harbor did before, and I don't want to end up liable for that (and I don't want to sell out my users to some foreign tracking company))


I'm in the same boat. To me as a user, AMP has worked well. Loads content quickly, with from what I've experienced, very little drawbacks.

So I'm not sure whether AMP is just something controversial as a lot of things from Google tend to be it seems, or if there is some real technical merit as to why it's so bad apparently.


You can do the rendering, even within an iframe, on iOS (where iframes have an amazing quirk of resizing automatically) without messing with scrolling (both vertical velocity and horizontal swipes) and breaking the browser's on-page search (which is extremely annoying); in fact, it is so easy to pull this stuff off on iOS (again: in no small part due to the epic iframe quirk) that it kind of comes off like you just don't care.


> We think that the UX trade off in the URL is OK given the performance benefits.

So basically the argument boils down to "because I have shit internet, everyone else should suffer too".


If you hate AMP you should try and use DuckDuckGo.com these days.

I'm astounded at how much better it is than the last time I tried it.

Switched to it in Chrome a few weeks ago and don't miss Google. Which is shocking to me.


DuckDuckGo feels useless for almost every programming related search queries


I've had a different experience.

It's been successfully bringing me the correct stackoverflow results I would expect when I need to search.


I really like DuckDuckGo, but I'm not super happy to get Taylor Swift results when searching for iOS/Swift related things :(


The fact that DuckDuckGo embed a SO snippet of the search query you entered makes it very useful for me.


In my experience it's getting better every few months. A year ago compared to now feels like it's a different search engine and I find new stuff every day, for example, vim cheat sheet


I also thought that months ago, but it seems much better now.

Plus, I'm really starting to like the bangs, which allow you to search language-specific docs directly without any setup.


Not to be pedantic, but you should switch Chrome too. Firefox 57 is pretty amazing (currently in nightly).


I tried this recently because ideologically I agree. But the small issues build up and make me less productive.

For example, if you use a U2F key, you need an extension for that to work - and that extension doesn't work with FF 57. I honestly don't remember the last time something broke with Chrome.

Or smaller things, like the fact that I can't use the keyboard to manage bookmarks (in FF on macOS, backspace doesn't delete bookmarks).

But the worst is in FF, Ctrl+Shift+N isn't new incognito window, it's restore the previous window. Years of muscle memory don't go away overnight.


Chances are that extension is not yet ported to the WebExtensions API. It should probably be ported eventually, as precisely one of the benefits of WebExtensions is that it makes way more easy to port a Chrome extension to a Firefox one and viceversa. Regarding the shortcuts, I feel you. There's an extension for that as well (Menu Wizard) but it has also not been ported. I guess it's too soon yet.


I'm trailing Brave out at the moment and like it but plugins are important to me.

Firefox is an interesting choice but the Chrome plugin ecosystem seems much more complete for me than Firefox has today.

It'll be interesting to see what happens in the space. I was a Mozilla user, then Firefox and now Chrome user. I have no issue going to better platforms.


That's not pedantic, just unrelated.


Hmm I wonder if it's possible to create a kind of independent benchmark for search engine results (I guess possibly doomed to failure due to its inherent subjective nature).

I've been trying to use DDG more, unfortunately I'm not so impressed. Quite often end up researching for Google.


I find it really strange that people think that. AMP's competitors are Apple News and Facebook Instant Articles. They've done this in the spirit of the open Web - but they get some benefit too. That's why they build most of their services.


It's not "the web" vs AMP, it's AMP vs Facebook. Old school web is dead on mobile.


> TL of AMP here

Hello. Sorry, but I have to express my deep disgust for what you do. "Give us your content and we'll rank you higher' is the opposite of what made the web and Google awesome.

If you care about user experience, downrank pages based on CPU usage, Memory usage, number of tcp/ip connections, number of domains connected, number of ips connected, number of bytes transferred, percentage of time that the UI is non-responsive and so on.

Trying to force the web into your little AMP cage is a terrible idea. It's the Facebook way of doing things. Are you really so afraid that you have to join the crooks? Would you have managed to take such a big part of the pie from Microsoft if you had been afraid of them and played their game?

Don't fight oppression with oppression. Fight it with freedom. Get rid of that AMP crap.


> Don't fight oppression with oppression. Fight it with freedom. Get rid of that AMP crap.

The only problem I have with AMP is that (google search) users can't turn it off. Me - I love AMP. You would love it too if you had to browse the internet on shitty third-world 3G connections(if you're lucky! Otherwise you're stuck on EDGE or GPRS). Not all CDNs are equal when browsing from less developed countries.

AMP is great for the next billion internet users, not so much for the HN crowd who don't mind multi-MB page loads without worrying about timeouts. Google should make AMP opt-out so that those who can afford to turn it off have the choice.


I can't agree with this enough. Even though I have a 100Mbps unlimited plan, doesn't mean everyone can and will have it. I can't say I love AMP, but I definitely support it.

Purely from the reach it can potentially have if everyone does start using is great. Everybody is already optimizing so that they get crawled by Google, better faster and more efficiently. This is the logical next step.

From a ranking perspective, I think it's important that the HN community stops thinking just in terms of geographical metrics. Yes, in the US, UK etc where our offices are it gets blotched. But our next users are not going to be there from these countries. If at all, being a PM for a global product here, tomorrow's users, paying or free will be from probably from a country where AMP users would be the most impressionable today.


    You would love it too if you had to browse
    the internet on shitty third-world 3G connections
I did not say I don't like lightweight pages. I say enforce them via ranking down the heavy ones. Not by blackmailing publishers to hand over their content.


This is why I am developing the AMP Browser (http://ampbrowser.com) - it is a godsend in a slow 2G/EDGE network.


If AMP was so innocent Google would give users an easy way to disable it. It seems trivial to do, the fact that it's not in V1 says to me that there's ulterior motives.

There's more reason Google wants you to use AMP than "it makes the web faster!". That's just the sell. They REALLY want you to use it, enough that they don't want you turn it off. Maybe something to do with protecting ad revenue?

I heard that AMP was developed by people connected to the search team. And search team is probably another name for "AdWords cash cow team"


Ulterior motive? Thought it was pretty obvious, shitty mobile page performance pushes people towards using ad blockers, which is obviously bad news for google. Most people don't mind basic, non-intrusive ads so much, which is what AMP retains.


Why not just punish slow sites? It would have been a lot easier than the zillion hours spent building AMP and the caching system.


There was a previous discussion on HN that helped me understand the value of Google being "the bad cop" and making AMP restrictive. Before AMP, you'd have product people and ads people demanding to add all these bullshit ads and trackers to pages. Engineers would often try to push back with the performance argument, but it was a difficult argument to win (ads people could argue, "well, it doesn't really slow down the pages that much, and look at this revenue we get - maybe you just are coding it wrong when you're including the ads code!") With AMP, the discussion is very simple: "Sorry ads guy, I can't add your bullshit ad network JavaScript because it's not possible with AMP. You know Google favors AMP now, don't you, and you wouldn't want to be the guy responsible for a shitty SEO position because we didn't use AMP, do you?"


This hypothesis of "what's in it for google" bends over backwards ascribe altruistic motive, and also relies on the (deeply alarming!) idea that AMP use leads to better search rankings.

It's worth noting that since your comment was made, the idea "AMP use leads to better search rankings" is now directly contradicted by the TL of AMP (cramforce)[1] in a comment this thread [2].

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15086192

[2] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15087277


I should clarify: regardless of whether or not it is used in search "rankings", Google search results clearly consist of an AMP carousel high on the page for many searches, so it's kind of silly to argue that AMP doesn't affect "rankings", as it's patently obvious that it affects where results can show up on a search results page.

Also, FWIW, I don't have any issue with AMP as a technology, but I have a big issue with how AMP cache is used by Google.


That's the irony of all of this. Cramforce is claiming AMP isn't used for rankings but that is disingenuous. AMP pages are clearly featured in the carousel, and Google has gone on record saying page speed is a factor.

So AMP at the very least indirectly impacts rankings (and thus impacts rankings), and it may directly impact the ability to appear in the carousel (which impacts rankings).

Would love for him to refute this, but I suspect that won't happen.


I'm not part of google, but they had been doing that for years, and still nobody was working on speeding up their sites.


Also, if every site slows down, the fastest ones ares still slower than before.


Because that would not achieve the actual goal: to get people to stay on Google's properties, preferably without an ad blocker installed.

Note how over time more and more of the things that Google used to simply point to are served by Google directly. AMP is just another element in that strategy.


Interesting because actually it was AMP that pushed me out of Google properties, to Firefox for Android with uBlock and DuckDuckGo and I'm planning to stay using this setup even though Google's engine is better (minus AMP).


I'm one of the people who severely dislikes AMP and I've always wanted to know: why not give me an option to disable it?


I'm personally neutral on it. In general, product managers hate complicating the product experience with settings and engineers hate maintaining multiple code paths for the same feature.

We did add the link away from AMP, so that users who cared have a per-link opt out. We know that most users love the experience.


I understand you don't want to keep 100 billion options around, that makes perfect sense.

But haven't you seen the level of vitriol that comes up every time AMP is discussed? This isn't a minor thing, a lot of people REALLY dislike it. I have SERIOUSLY considered switching to a different search engine entirely because of this.

The fact that there is now a link to get to the normal page after I've already gotten to the AMP page is not a solution to the issue. As an end-user that feels like I'm complaining that her website is too hard to read because of the noisy background and you're telling me I could just use print preview where the background doesn't show and read it that way.

This feature has significantly change the way I use Google for the worse, and in the time since it was first launched it really hasn't gotten any better for me. It's so bad my OS vendor is starting to incorporate workarounds directly into their code.

If I Google something how do I open five tabs to go look at? I have to ignore every AMP result because I can't open them in a tab. So would Google deems to be the "best" content is now unavailable to me.

I don't have a choice to simply turn it off.

Not everyone will. If you read the comments here there are people who do like it.

But there are clearly a lot of us who HATE it with a passion because it's made your website so much harder to use.

PLEASE give me an option to turn it off.


> This isn't a minor thing, a lot of people REALLY dislike it.

> But there are clearly a lot of us who HATE it with a passion because it's made your website so much harder to use.

You really seem to overestimate the size of HN readership compared to the rest of the internet.

It is a minor thing. We are a niche audience living in a bubble. We're not - by far - the typical or target users. Our usage behavior is - mostly - irrelevant to Google.

The world has over 3 billion internet users. Let's say that HN has 3M unique monthly users, and that only 10% of those comment, and they are split between liking and hating AMP.

That gives you 150k people who hate AMP compared to 3 billion users on the internet.

Why would you build and maintain a feature for 0.005% of your users?


> Why would you build and maintain a feature for 0.005% of your users?

Even taking at face value the assumptions that yield your numbers (not obvious to me that's safe):

150K is still a pretty large audience.

It's an influential audience, to the extent that tech and therefore thinking about tech is influential.

It's an audience that understands the implications of technology choices like this and can articulate them.

Also, I don't understand the assumption that this audience is completely complementary when it comes to understanding how the rest of the population thinks. I expect it's at least as likely a bet that there are people in the rest of the population who sense something is off or some aspect of the experience is degraded but can't understand and articulate the issue at as high a resolution as it is likely that everyone in the rest of the population simple does not care.

And you really don't have to be some kind of programmer or other ubernerd to see some of the relevant issues in play with regards to URLs and walled gardens.


> It's an influential audience

I know HN loves to think they're influential but I'd suggest than less than two handfuls of HN users actually have measurable influence outside of HN.


> 150K is still a pretty large audience.

No, it's tiny. And considering how HN readers usually user adblock, and rarely click on ads, it is a completely irrelevant audience for Google.

But let's say you make $10 out of each user per year. That's $1.5M in yearly revenue. It barely pays for 3 employees at a large tech firm.

> It's an influential audience, to the extent that tech and therefore thinking about tech is influential.

>It's an audience that understands the implications of technology choices like this and can articulate them.

Considering how even HN readers are divided about AMP, I'd say that the net impact of HN audience on AMP is zero. We're not as influential outside the tech bubble as you think.


Barely influential within it either.


You're assuming that the only people who dislike AMP or the people commenting on hacker news.

What if it was 10% of all users? Or maybe 20%?

Where would you draw the line… what percentage of users would have to dislike amp for you to think it was reasonable to add an option?

I'm not sure what number I would choose (ignoring my bias that I don't like it and therefore my number would be smaller than probably reasonable).


> Where would you draw the line… what percentage of users would have to dislike amp for you to think it was reasonable to add an option?

One easy piece of math is (cost of adding and maintaining that feature) vs. [(users who dislike) x (% of users who would quit you) x (profit per user)]

For example, if 10% of all users disliked it (300M users), but only 1% of those would leave your services (3M users) and you made, on average, $10 per user in profit, you'd be putting $30M/year of profit at risk, which is probably enough to hire a few people to build and maintain that feature.


> But haven't you seen the level of vitriol that comes up every time AMP is discussed?

Mostly on HN. And it's clear from this thread that a lot of vitriol comes from deeply ideological positions rather than real technical reasons. That won't be fixed by adding an opt-out.


You're right that would remain no matter what. I don't care that much on the ideological position. My objection is purely from a user experience standpoint.

My assumption is that the idea logical issue is much stronger here on hacker news than among the public at large. Much like views on free software purity.

My guess, for lack of better reasoning, is that the percentage of people on hacker news who hate the experience is roughly the same as those in the "real world". I wouldn't expect that being more technically inclined would make people more likely to like AMP or dislike it (ignoring idea logical issues).


I hope that the option of an 'opt out' or 'disable AMP' option (whether globally or on a per-result basis) is explored in the future. As an iOS user I have found AMP to be a frustrating experience. I'm sure you are including iOS users when you say "We know that most users love the experience" but for me AMP has been annoying.

I wrote a comment earlier about my experience with AMP from my perspective as purely a user. Please excuse some of the rantiness of it. Like i said, I can get a little frustrated with AMP at times.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15087504


> We did add the link away from AMP, so that users who cared have a per-link opt out. We know that most users love the experience.

You know that most users love the experience, or you know that most users take the path of least resistance and don't click away using a UI whose purpose isn't particularly clear yet?


> We know that most users love the experience.

How exactly do you know that?


I can't go into details, but in general we closely track analytics for our product (like most companies with websites would) and run AB experiments to see how changes impact user behavior.


I really question drawing a conclusion from analytics saying people are using it versus actually liking it. I know some folks at work have used it and they regard it as broken enough to call in a ticket about their device being broke.


Dude just said he can't go into details, and you question the method he didn't explain?


Analytics is a pretty well known idea. I question the base theory that it will answer this specific question.

Also, given that the indicator for an AMP page is a greyscale, hard to see icon and words, people who don't want to use AMP might hit it because they are in a hurry and the text they are looking at is black and noticeable.


And they are experimenting with removing the AMP page indicator in search results.


As in it won't go to an AMP page ever or as in it will go to an AMP page without any indication?


The latter.


I don't think usage implies some sort of favorable opinion. They don't really have a choice. Many people may not even realize what is happening.


If you can't go into details then you're likely doing something illegal.

Which means even less reason to trust you.


You misunderstand the issue.

Google search basically is a function where you input a search string and it returns a list of URL's matching the search criteria. That's all I need and want it to do. AMP breaks the core behaviour of Google Search, it no longer provides a list of URL's that match my criteria. Basically most search results aren't actual search results anymore.


There's a happy medium between a product with too many settings and code paths and a product that has none. We're not asking for AMP to run in a plethora of different ways, we're asking for an on/off switch.


As long as it has AMP Google Search is completely unusable to me. It needs to die TODAY.


Your response feels like a lame excuse, and I think is insulting to the HN crowd.


Better still: why not give you an option to enable it and default to normal.


Because the majority of people enjoy it? And the common user wants fast load and doesn't care about the philosophy of data retention and web ownership?


Reddit links via Google search results were broken for months on my iPhone because of AMP. How many other users had the same issue and no idea what was going on?


That's reddit's fault and isn't anything inherently wrong with AMP itself. Just because someone uses the technology wrong doesn't mean we should hate on the technology. If I use AngularJS to make a Neo Nazi site, should we all boycott that library?


How do you know this?

It's equally possible the majority of people just don't care. That doesn't mean they like AMP or would op-in to it given the choice.


> And the common user wants fast load and doesn't care about the philosophy of data retention and web ownership?

While this is most certainly true, it doesn't mean that data retention and web ownership aren't values worth fighting for.


At some point you have to realize you're an outlier. The vast majority or users appear to tolerate and/or enjoy AMP just fine.


The fact that the vast majority of users wants something does not make it right any more than letting your kids decide what's for dinner every day is right. At some level what people want in the short term is overruled by the longer term consequences.

This whole discussion reminds me of the people ranting against RMS who many years later come to the conclusion that he probably was right all along only by then the horse has bolted.

The long term consequences of AMP are to consolidate Google's power and to make Google even more of an intermediary deciding who gets to see what. It's an end run around the kind of openness that is a cornerstone of the web and I care deeply about that openness and will oppose vocally any attempt to hijack the web for fig-leaf reasons.

Note how Google is slowly boiling the frog by doing all those things that they said they'd 'never do' and how their 'don't be evil' motto gets trotted out time and again to show us how they are good little web citizens when in fact they ram their unilateral solutions down our throats in the interest of their bottom line while pretending it is all about the 'user experience'. Accidentally gaining control over the content delivery of the pages containing advertising tags of competing ad networks sure must look like a nice and juicy bonus.


See… I really don't care about the ideology here. If people want to get in bed with someone who doesn't have their best interest at heart that's their choice.

Borders and Toys'R'Us both decided to partner with Amazon for a while. I'm not sure why they thought that was a good idea, but that was their choice.

What I care about is the user experience. That's where I'd be happy with an option to simply disable it on my devices.

I think it's kind of unfortunate that it's not possible for people to discuss AMP without both issues coming up and confusing things. But that's life.


Thankfully, We don't rank RFCs or make technical choices based on what users appear to tolerate and/or enjoy. Nor do we set ethical laws or guidelines based on what citizens tolerate. Opinions of people trained/educated in a specialized domain will always carry more weight than that of a random person.

But forget all that, on a simpler level, if you do nothing most things stay the same. If you're happy with the status-quo, you're welcome to be silent. Others prefer vocal protest.


I would be VERY interested in some sort of study that shows that the vast majority (or even A majority) of users enjoy AMP.

If the majority of users merely tolerate AMP... I wouldn't exactly call that a win for Google.


Have you heard of a company saying their users hate their products? :)

A Google engineer saying their users love their products is probably expected. They were probably fed this by some marketing/sales droid.


Im in the camp that also hates AMP with a passion. It feels weird not liking much of what Google has been doing lately but AMP for me gets in the way of me sharing articles with my friends and family. It also gets in the way of me sharing a clip of the text so the people I'm sharing with including myself have the proper link and some context to get them to read further.


> sharing a clip of the text so the people I'm sharing with including myself have the proper link and some context to get them to read further.

How do you achieve this with a non-AMP website? It sounds great.


i really like AMP, and i wish google would give people an option to disable it just so we could have a discussion about AMP on HN that wasn't completely taken over by people whining about how AMP is an evil plot to destroy the web because it scrolls funny on iPhones.


AMP is Google's new closed web, like AOL. So the opt-out is to find alternatives. If you don't have any alternatives, then Google can do whatever they want to you.


There is another open source alternative called Mobile Instant Pages (MIP) https://www.mipengine.org/


Please, please let us have an option to only see real links in search results... In my experience, AMP has been so annoying that I just want to disable it entirely for my Google account - why wouldn't this be an option?


This might not be a great workaround, but Firefox doesn't "do" AMP. My brother switched to FF on his phone just to avoid AMP pages. As a bonus you can use uBlock Origin on mobile Firefox.


Please get rid if AMP as soon as possible, I had to switch to DDG on my phone just to avoid it. I didn’t buy a high-end smartphone with fast 4G to browse a crippled version of the web.

Congratulations, you re-invented WAP and turned back the clock on the mobile web 20 years.


Really? Because I can't count the number of times that I have attempted to share an open web URL from a Google product or website only to have the AMP URL turn up when I paste.


Yea. How about Chrome?


UPDATE: We confirmed that this actually implemented as a generic solution. (Sharing <link rel=canonical>), so there is nothing AMP specific here.


Brace for angry comments. (I'm neutral on AMP personally, but it has a really bad rep here.)


I’m neutral on most technology until I get a call that the ‘web is broken’ then I care. AMP made the jump for me this week.


What about a feature in Safari that disable Amp completely? That would be neat, seeing as Google don't seem to offer it as an option...


Just to be clear, are you "the" or "one of many" Tech Lead(s) at Google for AMP?


So…

In terms of the AMP open source project governance rules I am THE tech lead. https://github.com/ampproject/amphtml/blob/master/GOVERNANCE...

I also manage a team at Google that works full time on the AMP open source projects and act as an overarching tech lead, but there are several sub teams that have specialized tech leads (e.g. for UI, ads, analytics, caching, etc.).

Is that what you wanted to know? :)


Yes, thanks for the reply; also commented in part because thought the use of "TL" without spelling it out might need clarification too.


It did. Honestly I had no idea what it stood for. Thanks.


What's the deal with removing the AMP indicator logo in search results?


Could you definitively state whether or not AMP pages are ranked higher within searches or will be in the future? If so, please stop. Thanks.


AMP is not a ranking factor in Google Search. More official statement here https://twitter.com/johnmu/status/824185977098960897



Not op, but: There is an official statement from Google that they are not higher ranked within of the results, but AMP links can get indirect ranking boosts, for example Google lists the top 4 or 5 relevant AMP links before the actual results in a carousel.

This is identical to the ranking boost given to Google Shopping (for which Google was just fined 3 billion EUR), so you can expect the same result.


> This is identical to the ranking boost given to Google Shopping (for which Google was just fined 3 billion EUR), so you can expect the same result.

Isn't it different because (presumably) the AMP links aren't owned by Google?

The fine was specifically for anti-competitive behavior, i.e. consistently surfacing their own links over those of shopping competitors, which at least with AMP links isn't necessarily the behavior, though there is likely some overlap there.


It is actually.

Google only gives the carousel position benefit to sites using the AMP js from Google's CDN.

If you use any other CDN, you don't get the benefit.


Where's Google's upside in all this? This (maybe) improves their search product, but it doesn't directly make them money.

From a legal standpoint, this behavior is clearly different from their last slap on the wrist.


Google's upside is that the amp website on google is fast while everwhere else it's slower.

Google doesn't want the web to be fast or lean, it incentivizes you to create a fast version to be shown from google while the slow version is shown everywhere else.

Google: fast, everyone else: slow.

And amp positioning and ui display is absolutely a ranking boost.


> everwhere else it's slower.

No, everywhere else it's the normal speed your servers can deliver it to clients. Nothing about AMP is slowing down your normal web page.

The positioning and display are a ranking boost for whoever chooses to implement AMP pages - they are not explicitly targeted at Google services, which is the behavior the EU fined them for.

Anyone who thinks the EU is going to fine Google for AMP is actively avoiding reality at this point.


> No, everywhere else it's the normal speed

Faster and slower are relative terms.

> Nothing about AMP is slowing down your normal web page

Nothing about AMP is making the web faster, which it says it's doing on the project homepage. It's making a fork of the web to be shown on Google that is 'faster'.


I realize you hate AMP and rational discourse is unlikely to change your mind, but here's what their homepage actually says:

> The AMP Project is an open-source initiative aiming to make the web better for all. The project enables the creation of websites and ads that are consistently fast, beautiful and high-performing across devices and distribution platforms.


I think amp in spirit, practice and implementation is an attack on the open web.

I understand how it works and Your arguments so far aren't changing my mind.

Thanks for posting the homepage text, for posterity.



AMP supports dozens of ad networks, including AdSense. It gives no particular benefit to Google's ads, and it doesn't require any ads.


Except for all the ad networks that don't get approved...


Given the range of ad networks they support, it still gives no particular benefit to Google.


More minor, but AMP results get the little lightning bolt icon too.

I believe there is research showing that little adornments like that convey trust and increase the CTR vs other listings that don't have them.


Your product is at best a turd burger at worst, an undercooked turd burger.

The easiest way to do the "more generic solution" is to remove that turd burger from search results. Interwebz fixed.


OK, Google asked Apple for input on amp. When will Google ask the EFF?


Octember 27th.


You keep saying users "love the experience". Can you provide data to back that up?


>We'd prefer a more generic solution where browsers would share the canonical link by default

So, like regular webpage visits?


Is google working on opt-in or opt-out functionality, or is that something that might happen in the foreseeable future? I think a move like that would go a long way in the goodwill department.


How would this be implemented without special cases? Why should a platform care about AMP's policy?


Yeah, I don't see this either: amp as implemented is a mitm attack that delivers content in an opaque manner, as it's not a proxy at the http(s)/socks level - how would the user agent know that "amp.google.com/url=actual.url.example.com" should be rewritten, but "random.example.com/article?someParam=old.url.example.com&article=42" should not be rewritten?

Now Google has forever(?) broken links in search results, in order to count click-throughs - so I suppose all browsers should special case that too...

I can't for the life of me figure out why they married an ok html/css/js subset (amp pages) with an absurdly invasive proxy technology.

I hear they say "speed", and "75%" - but if that's going from 130ms to 50ms complete page render does it really matter?


The browser could read the canonical meta tag in the article HTML and just share that.


Right. But then you could provide a different canonical url on any site, altering which url is shared? (hence, I don't see how you could reasonably do this without "special casing").


Good point.


> "we specifically requested Apple"

"we fucked up again web to wap level and now everyone needs to jump along because sharing is royally screwed"


Why can't a site appear on the search carousel if it uses amp.js but is delivered from a fast, non-Google CDN?


> TL of AMP here

I really wish some interdimensional telepathic Fart would Goodbye Moonmen this TL into abandoning AMP.


What does "TL" stand for?


Tech Lead


Please get rid of AMP. You've ruined the internet.


I hope the next step is a way to strip AMP links from all URLs, backfilling the "Disable AMP" setting that Google ought to have provided.

AMP has always worked poorly on iOS: it has different scrolling, it breaks reader mode, and it breaks status bar autohide and jump-to-top. Perhaps Apple would be less hostile to AMP if the implementation were better.


AMP has always worked poorly on iOS...

This never made sense to me.

You can have natural scrolling, an accurate reader view, a working back button and other highly performant features in a mobile-optimized HTML and CSS standard like AMP. In fact, you practically have to go out of your way to break these things in the way that AMP does.

Why does AMP have to suck so much?


A significant portion of the time (more than 1/2) AMP URLs fail to load, forcing me to "Request Desktop Site" in order to load it.

When they do load, they fuckify the URL, so I can't copy/paste it normally. I know I can go in through the page's menus and get the real URL, but it makes it harder for no reason.

I consider the URL part of the page's UI, and commonly manually edit it. This makes it harder.

So far as I can see, there is no advantage to AMP pages, versus a fast and simple HTML page, with no external resource requests.

Sites can serve that themselves, rather than using Google.

In short, it breaks features I use, and doesn't provide advantages.


This is why I hate AMP.

People who like it can't seem to understand that it has a crappy user experience for some people and always assume you don't like it for "philosophical reasons".

I really don't care about AMP from that POV, I just wish it was a secondary link instead of the stealth replacement of where I wanted to go with a page that usually doesn't load and messes up my back button.


I’m with you. I expect in the coming days I will have to switch some of our elder’s search engines to DuckDuckGo to avoid problems. I just hate technology that changes the user experience in a broken way. Browsers are supposed to act in a certain way. Don’t break that. Breaking UI is why we had a hate on for Win 8. It really annoyed people with the changes.


> You can have natural scrolling, an accurate reader view, a working back button and other highly performant features in a mobile-optimized HTML and CSS standard like AMP. In fact, you practically have to go out of your way to break these things in the way that AMP does.

> Why does AMP have to suck so much?

Because it violates every assumption on how browsers should work. I would prefer a slow browser I understand to a fast one I can't control.


Don't forget that many pages won't even load if you have some adblockers loaded. My typical usage also requires a "reload without content blockers" to get anything at all to show up on AMP pages. Crazy idea, I know, but maybe Google could provide even a way to get to a non-AMP version from a SERP. Even better, let me disable AMP completely, but forcing it on everyone like this and refusing to back down just shows how they value their users, AKA their sources of revenue.


I thought the point of AMP was to force ads, by stopping ad blockers from working.


I'm not sure if it has changed recently, but I just tried it and the browser back button is working fine (it goes back to the search results).

My only real complaint about AMP is the scrolling - it doesn't feel natural and breaks shrinking the browser UI (I have an iPhone 5S, so screen real-estate is a premium).


Natural scrolling comes to safari in iOS 11, so every site will behave like amp.


Do you have a source with more information? Because that will drive me so mad I won't update iOS if it's true.



It also breaks "back" IIRC. They expect you to use the "x" on the page to navigate back, not.. you know, the back button built into the browser. That and the scrolling are what got me to switch my iphone to DDG.


Not breaking the back button should be #1 on every webpages priority list. If you break my back button I can almost guarantee I will stop using your site because in my mind the only sites that do that are spam/scams.


This is a general Google trend it seems. Google Images does it too: if you scroll left after viewing an image, you get the previous result instead of the page you were on. Really frustrating.


Ah, yes, that is incredibly annoying behaviour. I was getting annoyed at this just yesterday! That would be fine on iOS if it only happened when you flicked the image, but scrolling from the side edges of the screen in Safari should always navigate forward and back.

They must have actually had to do work to override the expected behaviour and break the user experience, which I just don't get.


Google blogs do this as well, showing you the "previous" blog post when you swipe left. Again, massive usability issue.

I don't understand why Google has to break these well-established UI conventions.


Don't even get me started about this Blogger thing. The triggers are so sensitive that half the time I switch articles when I'm just trying to scroll down.


It also breaks saving URLs in evernote mobile!

Down with AMP!


Is it just my memory or do you have to manually thumb your way to the top of a very long page in order to press said X button?


Maybe they can put it as a big round button in the bottom-right so it doesn't break with Material Design too.


It also frequently crashes the browser when zooming in on something on the page.


> it has different scrolling

Actually, AMP pages had the most consistent scrolling with the rest of the system. It was 'regular' web pages that had the different scrolling

iOS 11 fixes that. All pages now scroll at the same 'speed' as the rest of the system.


Thank heavens. Google's efforts to 'improve' the web have been disastrous. Like turning every list of facts into a pointless ramble because Google needs 1000 words of 'rich content'. And Amp being a push to hobble pages by making them into a proprietary cache format instead of encouraging simpler HTML.


> Thank heavens. Google's efforts to 'improve' the web have been disastrous.

This Apple action is done to honor the AMP teams design of how AMP URLs should be handled, so it's actually, in a sense, part of Google's efforts to improve the web, not a counter to them.


It's also done to DECRAPIFY the links that people try and share with their friends, providing a non-crappy user experience.

In this case that HAPPENS to align with what Google wants.

Of course google could've decided not to screw up the web in the first place… but we're obviously way past that.


Or because Google paid them. Google already pays over a billion dollars a year to Apple.

I find Apple making AMP suck less for pay, to be much more likely than the Apple developers doing it because they think this is good for the web.


Right, but they're not here to improve the web. If anything, these efforts are just to delay getting the next billion-dollar fee.


I probably wouldn't have cared much if AMP pages weren't broken or missing content so often, but anything that means less AMP sounds good to me.


I cannot help but think that the answer lies in requiring licensing of the major browser brands to special interest groups.

There will be no loss of trademark aspect, in law or effect, would Chrome be available in the edition provided by the Royal Institute of Engineers, or Firefox found in a edition created by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. US DoD AND PBS all have the place and reason to augment the capability of the FUNCTIONAL UTILITY of Web browsers. Google, Apple, Microsoft and the greater OSS diaspora, should be able to healthily play both the supporting role, and Arbiter of First Resort.


> would Chrome be available in the edition provided by the Royal Institute of Engineers, or Firefox found in a edition created by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

You do realize that Chrome and Firefox are open-source, right?


There exists a free browser that can be built from the Google Chrome source repository, but "Chrome" isn't it.

Mozilla has similarly and previously made their branding intentions clear.


I picked on the a Royal Charter professional body for my example, because ascent to the ranks of the association is a distinction in any engineering career.

I chose my example to convey the substance of a most respected voice in a profession, but there are thousands more.

These institutions have budgets and charters to assist their membership.

Browsers are perennially in need of support, financing and quality assurance.

I venture a dream in which out professional associations and not Google or Microsoft, are the recipient of our browsing data, and a world in which my browser use is assisted by the data that my associates have been winnowing for the answers that generally have been disappearing in my search results, since the early days of a WWW largely populated by academics and domain experts.

There is a awful lot which I believe other engineering professionals can contribute to the browser ecosystems and which as a byproduct may free us from the free no charge supply of the meta data that is often the actual result of considerable real work.

Consumers too, might be easily induced to pay a modest sum, to have a specific facility in plug in already installed and smoothly running, offered by one of the most respected bodies in the country.

Of course none of this is possible without the projects being open source. I am closer than my job title admits, to similar projects. I have also practice intellectual property law, in defence of my company and the rights which we also trade to creative works for clients who have had their work exploited and used commercial by companies beyond their ability to affect. Not now, but I will soon write up my litigation stories for public consumption. I have a awareness of the value placed on professional work and the way it affects often necessarily issues guarded and unwilling correspondents on possession of libraries which are essential to their profession, but must never be made freely available. The chance to be a member organisation with commit rights to the repositories, and the ability to control their own security audit is a very real consideration that might be very important progress indeed, as the meta data from closed libraries is invaluable for the use of search engines generally. The opportunity to use the latest software from a respected institution, who has their own additional security review process, for a token sum, like 5 pounds or 8 dollars, is something that I would like to buy, when I am selling to that sector.


Yes, but I'm a advertising professional trading advertising positions in the industry association magazines, and I am very aware of the untapped potential interest in providing assistance to the organisation members.

I spoke above about branding.

And professional collaboration with financial support from highly respected engineering professionals in hundreds of comparable organisations, who are individually identified with the essential infrastructure of our built world and industry.

There incentive for organisations like these, to actively engage and support, possibly augmenting their distribution with a contribution to the projects of browser tools that assist the user in potentially specific ways such as archive cross reference private searches of the user's history and tabs, against closed or private libraries, which is a common service that is provided by associations in a physical form.

Firefox is losing XUL and this is upsetting a considerable number of people I speak to, who have developed in house assistant plug in software.

I am personally very disappointed with the depreciation and actually complete removal of XUL, and the initiative to port the superb microcosm of browser tools, really requires a very strong effort, which is the exact example of what the associations I spoke to privately whish they were able to make a genuine connection to the project maintainers, who universally respond to genuine inquiry with the exact reply which you just gave me.

I started my career 25 years ago and stayed in a very stop gap sales job, originally intended to fill a gap year before applying to university, because I was able to speak to serious company directors on a frank and open basis, from which I realised that I might gain no better experience in my education. Starting my own business was a natural step. The advertising trade newspapers claim every opportunity that online advertising is fully displacing print and the shrill claims have been proven empty for two decades now. This is a market that is unloved but vast in terms of the ability to address the most senior professionals in any known industry field. The economy is a incredible experience for untying the knot of misdirection that has turned the business of advertising agencies permanently away from their clients and completely to align their capabilities to sell, in funnelling the unsuspecting into unmeasured deals with above 60 percent of the cost, captured by integration of the so canute non real advertising "exchange" system, crippling opportunities for small business. The result is decimation of the small business economies of the USA and the UK.


I venture a promotional acronym : Google, Apple, Microsoft and Unaligned Technologists. G.A.M.U.T.


I have no idea at all what purpose that would serve. Care to elaborate?


If budget could be made from only the top thousand professional organisations in the western hemisphere, channeled via branding distribution of the existing browsers, with the vertical profession sharing search meta data among themselves instead of feeding for free Google with invaluable information about how to structure searches without any restrictions on how Google use that data... Funnelling the meta data into the professional association plight instead, - this is a spare time program I want to pitch to get funding during next year, to finance the necessary work on plug in tools for assisting with typical heavy and long searches amid the hundreds of tabs my colleagues will have open... This is a need for tools to exploit the state of such long searches and record and protect from leaking trade secret indicators and the similar - - - these are plug inside which I want to pay for, and many like me, and thousands of professionals who just don't speak online because they are not permitted to risk the company assets by loose speech. The price of 5 dollars or so, would bring millions in revenue to the development team, before very long, because branding is a very desired product for professional institutions and my ideas are received and not novel so much as already popular demand that isn't expressed by communities who just don't speak through HN and the similar.

Security of meta data. Reuse of search and general browsing use recycled to make vertical market assisted tools for search and research annotation and collection. Independent funding separated from conflicts of interest. A new revenue stream for the project maintainers. Improved oversight of security.

That's the most of the improvements I am seeking.


I don't know much about the implementation details of AMP. But my perspective as an end user is that it's pretty great. Non-amp pages tend to take multiple seconds to get interactive, and then the content jumps around as images and ads and fonts load. AMP tends to be usable in under half a second.


Mostly because Google serves the page from their own servers and starts loading it before you even click a search result. It's great for Google search and bad for everyone else.


Then I guess "everyone else" should find a way to make a usable mobile content website without AMP, because apparently that's a nearly unsolvable problem. It's hard to be anti-AMP when the user experience is that much better with AMP.


AMP is terrible for the open WWW and not necessarily any faster.

"Pinboard founder Maciej Cegłowski already recreated the Google AMP demo page without the Google AMP JavaScript and, unsurprisingly, it's faster than Google's version."

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/05/19/open_source_insider...


Yeah, honestly, you can do just as good as an AMP site if all you did was cut back on the javascript and use a service worker to cache static assets/pages.

I wish AMP simply wasn't a thing, and they put more effort in promoting progressive web apps (PWA's) instead. There's too much tie-in to Google on the internet already.

AMP is basically "Hey, you suck at your job. Here's a subset of HTML/CSS that not even YOU can eff up."

PWA is "Hey, you suck at your job. Here's the industry's best practices for mobile-first development."


> Yeah, honestly, you can do just as good as an AMP site if all you did was cut back on the javascript and use a service worker to cache static assets/pages.

But people didn't, and here we are. Again, as a normal user, I'm relieved to see the AMP symbol. I click on those links first, to the exclusion of others given the chance, because multiple years of trust have been broken.


It's at the expense of the publishers and the future of the open WWW though.


I know that's the concern, but at the moment it feels like a slippery slope fallacy to me. Hypotheticals don't interest me because there's a million of them, and there's a thousand of them that can make sense if you look at the right way. Maybe the preponderance of AMP will create a shift back to the user experience, and AMP's success renders it unnecessary. Maybe maybe maybe.

Maybe I'll rue the day I wrote this, but we're going to have to see. This is a self-created problem, and now publishers of all stripes will have to work to earn back the trust they poisoned.


"Look, my tests prove that your lived experience is wrong."

Yes, it's possible to create fast mobile pages without AMP. So if that's true, why does AMP make such a big difference to so many consumers?

The bottom line is that the theoretical possibility of fast non-AMP pages is meaningless to consumers if few content providers actually act on that possibility. What matters is what happens in the real world.


Those who would trade small increases in speed for the destruction of the WWW are making a huge mistake.


It's not a small increase. It's an order of magnitude. Maybe two.


Part of the problem is that most mobile browsers don't allow browser extensions to block all the JS bloat. There are other ways to fix the problem that won't destroy the open WWW.


There are theoretical ones. If you can implement a practical one, or tell me how to do it, then I'll avoid AMP. Until then, I'll keep preferring AMP links.


If you can convince marketers to stop loading up pages with nigh endless amounts of tracking, tag managers and dozens of ad units (from all different sources) then I'm sure we'd see an immediate increase in page performance. (I suspect many sites are already quite fast before they get weighed back down by marketing)

Let/encourage developers (front-end and back-end) to optimise for performance and I'm sure we'd all see fantastic gains! All without needing to feed Google even more than we already do.


I like this answer so much better than mine, I should go and delete mine! Ask any shopping site how many tracking pixels, analytics scripts, etc that they have included. They'll tell you they're all necessary.


Nah don't delete yours - I think it's equally valid, because yours talks about Google's (less than neutral) motivations/actions.


> talks about Google's (less than neutral) motivations/actions.

Google is a company, its motivation is profit. Did you really expect otherwise? Do you really think Facebook wants to "make the world more connected"?

Where do (or would) you put your savings? Let me guess, in the assets that provide the best return/risk? Why do you expect that the companies you're investing in expecting the highest returns would act in any different way?


I certainly don't begrudge them a single dime of profit. Just using their position as "the de-factor search engine" to hype the sites using _their_ tech is a sleazy move. They spent years positioning themselves as the best search engine... and why? Because when you looked for something, you found it, usually within the first 3 or 4 results. Now, those results aren't really the most relevant, they're the ones with the home field advantage. So no, I never bought into that "don't be evil" garbage... but, I don't like them having the position and weight that they do.


I don't understand this idea that seeking profit somehow ablates them of consequences.

Just because they can make a profit doing something doesn't mean they should be allowed to continue, especially if the mechanism of profit damages public or communal infrastructure/resources/etc.

Do you really want to sit by and let them ruin the web just because they can make money doing so?


> I don't understand this idea that seeking profit somehow ablates them of consequences.

Who's talking about consequences? I'm debating OP's point about "Google's (less than neutral) motivations/actions".

It is a private, for profit, company, why would anyone expect neutral "motivations". The motivation is profit.


At least on iOS, this is an easily solvable problem on most web sites even without AMP: tap the "Safari Reader" button in the toolbar to get a text-only version of the web site. I assume that something like that is a thing on Android and elsewhere.

I understand the usability case for AMP, but let's face it -- making a mobile-friendly web site really isn't that difficult, as long as you're not insisting on jamming things up with untold megabytes of JS woo. Google's argument to publishers is essentially "jam up your desktop sites with whatever JS woo you want, and let us unjam the mobile site for you." And, you know, fine, but to take advantage of it, you're essentially tailoring your web site to let Google reformat your content in a similar fashion to Safari Reader -- and, unlike Reader, Google is doing it by rehosting your content. They get the clicks, and you get whatever analytics and revenue they deign to share with you. And worse, that opens up the strong potential for Google's search results to penalize those of us who would rather maintain control over our own content.


> At least on iOS, this is an easily solvable problem on most web sites even without AMP: tap the "Safari Reader" button in the toolbar to get a text-only version of the web site. I assume that something like that is a thing on Android and elsewhere.

You need to load the page first to do that.


I'm not sure it's technically true; the text on the page needs to be loaded, but that doesn't mean every other HTTP request associated with the page has to have completed before Safari makes the Reader button available. While this is entirely anecdotal, I can definitely see that button appearing before pages are fully loaded.


Not anymore. In iOS 11 you'll be able to set certain sites to always default into Reeder about.


And how would that happen?

1) iOS loads the full site, displays it in reader mode?

2) Some server (Apple's?) fetches the site, strips it down to reader mode, iOS fetches it from that server?

#1 requires downloading the full site. #2 is just using an old "reformat pages for mobile" proxy.


Option one doesn't require downloading all the images backgrounds and and videos and other stuff until it's been determined that that should actually be displayed by reader mode.


"Better" is a very subject term. "Loads faster" is fair. Google has made things load faster by forcing apps to be stripped down (nearly useless for anything outside landing page or news sites) and heavily caching them. Given the same constraints for any app, we could load and perform with similar characteristics. Furthermore, Google prioritizing AMP search results just because they use the technology, means Google should no longer be trusted as the "best" search results.


All Google had to do to fix this was move slow sites down in search results. Instead we ended up with this huge walled garden


> Then I guess "everyone else" should find a way to make a usable mobile content website without AMP, because apparently that's a nearly unsolvable problem.

It's a hard problem.

Having everyone use Google as a proxy and content server, trusting them to deliver ads and so on, is one way to improve quality of service, but it's a way that's hostile to publishers and infringes on the privacy of users, so the industry absolutely hungry for a solution here.

A major issue is that Google acts as a gatekeeper for competing products, so we're unlikely to see any effect unless high profile publishers take a stand, or we individuals lobby our government to intercede.

> It's hard to be anti-AMP when the user experience is that much better with AMP.

I know. Ben Franklin warned us in a way about convenience, so his words seem quite appropriate here; I value my quality of life and my privacy, and I see it as such a slippery slope, so I don't implement AMP on my properties.

My organic Google traffic has admittedly suffered since the AMP logo program started, but focusing on making my sponsored search buy stickier has proven a lot more valuable to me fiscally, while allowing me to preserve my morality.


I know this is a bit trite, but if I'm just trying to read some news article, the fact that Google served it directly affects me basically nilch.

There are the publisher dynamics at play on a larger level, but the user experience is .... really good! Things are fast.

Perhaps someone should make some PaaS to help out all these publishers make fast AMP-ish pages, so they don't have to rely on Google to do it for them


> It's great for Google search and bad for everyone else.

Well, other places (including Bing) do the same thing with AMP caches, so even if it were only good or then cache operators, that wouldn't just be Google.

But, the speed is good, and whatever problems the client has on iOS, it's been great on Android, so as a user I mostly see it as a positive.

And it's got built in support for advertising and analytics and the cache operators end up handling much of the traffic, so it seems like a win for publishers, too.

So, I'm not sure who the “everyone else” that AMP is supposed to be bad for is.


(Initially I intended to respond to a couple points in your comment, but my comment turned into somewhat of a small rant.)

It seems to me that AMP is so divisive on HN that whenever it comes up both sides continue to draw their battle lines and regurgitate the same arguments. Every AMP discussion I see on here is less of a conversation between sides and more of each side talking at each other. It seems to me there are 3 separate debates that end up getting all mixed together: 1. The user experience of AMP 2. The technical details of AMP 3. The concern about google abusing its market dominance in an anticompetitive way (or not, depending which side you fall on)

I'd like to add a bit of my own personal experience with AMP, focusing entirely on the first point of user experience. I'll admit that I have had a more negative experience with AMP.

A little background about me: I work in embedded systems, so although I am probably more technical than most users, I have very little knowledge of things at the browser level. I know virtually nothing of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. I feel like that puts me squarely in the "user" category rather than the "people having technical discussions about AMP" category. I do quite a bit of browsing on my phone, an iPhone 5s that is always kept current with the iOS updates.

The things I love about AMP: - Like you said "the speed is good." AMP really has sped up the page load and rendering experience. Whatever technical details are used to accomplish this (caching, prefetch, etc?), it truly is noticeable to me how quickly AMP pages load. - I have experienced website bloat issues for years, both on mobile and desktop. Whether it is images or text jumping around as a page loads or pop ups, banner images, and bloated ads that make the web page hard to use. Even though I have always heard discussions about how this should be fixed, AMP is actually achieving it.

The things I dislike: The things I strongly dislike about AMP can be addressed through the other part of your comment

> whatever problems the client has on iOS, it's been great on Android

As an iOS user, the AMP experience has been horrible for me. It's not that AMP is 'bad' or 'unusable' on iOS, it's that AMP imposes its own UI rules that are jarring on iOS. Having regularly used other google apps on iOS (gmail, maps, calendar) it feels like AMP is another part of google's "material design is the one true way" mentality.

On an iPhone the system and third party apps are generally very consistent in the placement of menus, back buttons, share buttons, etc as well as what they look like and how they function. Likewise, the gestures and navigation follow some general patterns: pages scroll up and down; swiping right and left are forward and back motions. Headers and footers tend to auto hide when scrolling up and down. And so on.

In google apps on an iPhone you get the Android/Material Design version of things. Buttons have different shapes. The menu in google apps is the hamburger icon instead of a button that says 'menu' or 'options.' Likewise there is no 'done' or 'back' button, only an 'x' button. Pages don't scroll in google apps, and the vertical flow is nonexistent. Instead pages are flipped through by swiping left and right, just like the android app drawer. For a great example of this compare google calendar app on iOS to the native iPhone calendar app.

On a web page those things don't matter. The browser's header (URL bar) and footer (navigation bar) autohide when scrolling. Give a good swipe left to go back a page in your browsing history. A good swipe right to go forward in your history. Even Firefox on iOS implements these same patterns. AMP manages to break those. It somehow prevents autohiding, so now I perpetually have safari's URL bar and navigation bar wasting space on my screen. AMP provides its own menu header bar as well. But it is wonky and auto hides or unhides at seemingly the slightest tap, jumping around and wasting more screen space. Likewise, once I am on an AMP page safari's swipe left and right gestures are broken. Swiping left doesn't being me back a page (back to the google search results); it brings me to new AMP page. Swiping right doesn't bring me forward a page in my browser history; it brings me to a new AMP page. My forward and backwards navigation gestures have been hijacked, thus trapping me in AMP-land until I explicitly tap safari's back button or the 'x' button on AMP's header bar. On top of that, the swipe gestures are incredibly sensitive on AMP compared to normal safari and iOS usage. Often I find myself scrolling down an AMP page not-quite-perfectly-vertically and accidentally jumping to a new article because I am so unused to the AMP-specific swipe sensitivity.

At least they finally added the ability to get the native article URL, which was infuriating when AMP first came on the scene and was a big complaint of mine in the past. And now Apple is implementing their fix for the share button with the URLs as well.

At the end of the day though, why can't I disable AMP? Why is there no way for me to click through to the native web page from the google search results? My experience as an iOS user with AMP pages has been overwhelmingly negative, but consistently from google and the AMP team I see some form of "well users overwhelmingly love it and it makes pages load faster." That's great. I don't love it though. I hate it. Please let me disable it, and please stop forcing AMP down my throat, breaking my browser's behavior in the process. Please stop imposing Material Design aesthetics within AMP. I am not browsing the web on through a google platform. Please stop trying to 'fix' that for me.

If I had a way to disable AMP I wouldn't feel so strongly negative about it. But instead I am left with the notion from google "AMP is good. See, users love it. You're wrong if you don't as well. Thus there's no need to disable it, ever."


I agree. I guess I'm one of the odd ones who hardly ever reads anything on their phone, so maybe that informs my opinion. And I have never thought about the AMP issue thoroughly or logically. I just know that my instincts have been trained to go "yes!" when I realize the page I'm loading is AMP because I know that it's actually going to be readable and actually going to load in a reasonable time. And for non-AMP it's a gamble, and probably a losing one.


> I guess I'm one of the odd ones who hardly ever reads anything on their phone, so maybe that informs my opinion.

Odd ones on HN might be, but HN readers are the odd ones in a mobile-only world.

I once put an ad on AdWords, and noticed that >90% of the views and clicks were on mobile. That's when it really hit me how different we are from the average user.

Nobody uses desktops or laptops for personal use anymore.


Same here, I always give preference to AMP pages. Load much faster and have far fewer display problems IMHO.


It's like anything else in the world where you are making tradeoffs for an immediate benefit that you might not be amenable to if you knew all the details and the long term effects.


Your experience as an end user will terminate when the only two sites you will still go to are Google and Facebook, with all the content co-opted bit-by-bit until there is nothing left.

Google SERPs that contain a cribbed copy of the answer to your query rather than a link to that answer and so on. As long as you stay on Google's properties with their ads on that page.


Got unscrollable, unclickable AMP pages on my device :/


As a user and as a non-monetizing publisher I love AMP. It's fast, offers free caching, and gives users a positive experience.

I don't get the hostility towards AMP, or the outright obnoxiousness of people who are against it (the replies to someone who works on AMP are so uncharitable and hostile). There are downsides, and I do wish the alternative was simply a "HTMLite" that standardized many of the restrictions of AMP to stop it from being the tragedy of the commons that many publishers make it, but it's hardly the villain its held as.


As a publisher who has some properties with ads and some properties without, I get the stickiness complaints. I don't implement AMP simply because it's time spent that offers me nothing -- my sticky and converting traffic doesn't come from organic google search anyway.

> There are downsides, and I do wish the alternative was simply

A simple alternative would be public content caches; a meta tag that says "prefetch me" is a way for the publisher to tell sites it's okay to prefetch it and store the content in the content caches. I think trusting a google-run content-cache with no cookies would be easy for browser manufacturers to implement. It also wouldn't affect the user interface adversely.

A separate, unrelated program could be used for the "fast" logo that would require all/most content on public caches and pageload fired in under 0.5sec (or some other metric).


I am hostile towards AMP because the benefits it gives are overrated and easy to achieve if you know what you're doing. AMP is designed to strip down the complexity and make pages small so they load fast (yes, there's more to it, I know), which is something that can be done with a little bit of knowledge about how page loading and resources work.

AMP is marketed as a pre-requisite for fast site loading, when in reality it's just one in many ways to achieve that. But with this ideology, Google prioritizes AMP pages because they must be the fastest, and they hijack the URLs on Mobile, again all in the name of Speed, but at what cost.


As a user, when faced with a hyperlink, there's really no way to know if the website on the other end of that link is operated by someone who "knows what they're doing". Part of AMP is the little icon next to the hyperlink, which acts like a certification.


Going to mobile websites directly would load a lot faster if they natively served AMP. But it seems like most sites adopting AMP only end up serving it via Google, and not if you go to their site directly. Directly serving AMP would probably also avoid the sticky Google toolbar and scrolling oddities that you get when you go there from search.


It’s a google solution to a google problem, the problem being that websites tend to come preloaded with a dozen or so non-google trackers. The google solution is to incentivize stripping out the content and hosting it on google’s servers, so only they see what you are up to.


It's a solution to a web problem which is that it's a platform that allows a tragedy of the commons behavior to manifest, each publisher trying to out-do the other in abusive behaviors. When the web becomes a negative experience, apps and closed systems like Facebook win. Your comment about trackers is just nonsense.


It is not Google's responsibility to fix this. It is ours. If a page is abusive, ignore it and it will wither and die like it should. AMP basically gives everyone a trophy for participating.


Here's my AMP experience on Reddit:

1) Click the AMP link in Google 2) See half the reddit thread comments, since AMP is a cached older version, I then need to click "View full comments" which gets me to the mobile reddit link I wanted in the first place

3) For some reason, links in AMP reddit dont let you open in a new window -- which I often want to do when reading comments inline and see someone post a link in a comment. Frustrating.

AMP cost me more time and effort than having just gone to the non-AMP link directly.


In what way is AMP a good idea for fucking Reddit? A social platform.


Reddit can't figure out how to make their mobile site fast, so I guess AMP to the rescue.


Their desktop site works better than the mobile site on Chrome in Android.


They developed an app?


Just to make sure I'm following this myself: this isn't about disabling AMP, it's about making sure that URLs that you send to other applications or the clipboard from Safari will be the true URLs of the original web page, not AMP URLs. Right? That's the only way I can read "strip AMP links from shared URLs," but a lot of comments here are piling on to AMP itself. Which I understand (I don't like it for a lot of the reasons already brought up here, both in terms of philosophy and usability), but I don't think that's what we're actually talking about.


There's a pile-on because now people are having to solve problems that AMP is creating instead of just killing AMP.


Yes, the natural extension would be doing a similar translation when you copy url from Google search results - replacing the Google.com/...?URL=whatyouwant.example.com with just whatyouwant.example.com (but maybe safari does that already).


Yeah, the article completely misunderstands what this is about, and so do most people in this thread. I expected more from HN.

This is something Chrome has implemented, and they've asked other browser vendors to do too. You want AMP to load the page quickly on your first load, but for sharing, the canonical link is the best to give to people.


It's a single twitter thread, not an article. And how do you think it misunderstands what this is about?


On HN you aren't allowed to discuss the details of AMP. It's AMP 101 all the time.


People in this thread seem to be overreacting like my immune system on strawberries....

Apple isn't taking up the good fight against AMP. They're simply removing it from URLs when those are shared via the build-in "share" functionality.

99% of interactions with AMP pages will see no impact. It seems like it should be uncontroversial that it is preferable to use the canonical non-AMP URI when sharing, so as to invoke content-negotiation between that page and the devise of whoever clicks on the shared link.


I don't think anyone here thinks it's controversial to share the original URL instead of the AMP one. I don't think there's anyone here who is mad that Apple is doing this.

We are all mad that this is necessary in the first place. Apple is modifying their OS to fix something that Google shoved on people without any option to disable it or thought to the secondary effects of its existence.


It might be simply because Safari respect https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canonical_link_element

  <link rel="canonical" href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/23/politics/trumps-ire-at-aides-advice/index.html">
EDIT: correct HTML element <link rel="canonical">


Later down he mentions it is specific for AMP.

https://twitter.com/jan4843/status/900416144955363328


The tweet you linked seems to be asking a question, and I don't see any replies on the twitter website. Can you link directly to the reply?



I detest AMP and everything it stands for. I'd like to see this in Firefox.


"AMP's policy states that platforms should share the canonical URL of an article whenever technically possible"


It's not clear why Google relies on demanding browsers change to provide the experience the users expect.


Apparently their matket position gives them this ability.


What do you mean on Firefox? As far as I understood, you could only land on AMP pages if using google's search app or alike -- am I missing something?


Google redirects most outgoing links from Google search in the browser to their AMP cache version instead.


No, thanks. I prefer to know what site I'm actually visiting.


I wish it had an option to simply strip AMP in all circumstances. I quite often copy & paste URLs into e-mails, for example. It's irksome to have to request the desktop version just to get the proper domain and URL.


Yeah, I'm also seeing a lot of AMP links accidentally shared on Twitter too. I just want a global 'don't ever show me AMP pages' setting, as well as to be able to turn it off in Google search results.


I absolutely support this move, I've been trying to rid myself of AMP since it was released and this at least stops me from having to clean up URLs when sharing them.


"TL of AMP here. Just wanted to clarify that we specifically requested Apple (and other browser vendors) to do this. AMP's policy states that platforms should share the canonical URL of an article whenever technically possible."

Apple is just following AMP's request.


This is a strange (repeated) response. Google set up a web detour without users' consent, and has a flagger waving upset people back to canonical links.

Apple _is_ routing people back to the main road, not because of Google's suggesting it, but because it's the only reasonable thing to do.

The implication of your comment is that if Google has asked Apple to pass on the AMP links that they would do so, which I highly doubt.

A far more appropriate summary is: Apple is acting to correct Google's interference with web links; irrespective of Google's desires.


Why are you posting the exact same comment as a response to so many others?


Well, informing people? I actually do this in a lot of threads. Is that bad?


I don't know, it doesn't seem useful to me. Especially since the thing you're quoting is currently the #1 comment.


Valid point. I deleted some of them in less relevant threads.


It seems fairly irrelevant, and not so informative. How does your quotation relate to the original commenters statement?


> How does your quotation relate to the original commenters statement?

That this wasn't "Apple standing up to AMP" as the commenters claimed.


The commenter you were replying to did not say anything about "Apple standing up to AMP."


I guess I am the only person who appreciates AMP. I really love the abbreviated version of things, without all the extra crap that has to load over the wire to render what amounts to a few paragraphs I'd like to read.


Hopefully Apple fighting AMP makes it a non-starter going forward now since it isn't reaching lucrative iOS users.


You get better placement for using it (and not just with Google), so if Apple were to redirects their users to your regular site, why wouldn't you still use it?


AFAIK, you do NOT get better placement for using AMP. You get better placement for having a fast site, which you can do easily without AMP.


This is not Apple fighting AMP.


"AMP's policy states that platforms should share the canonical URL of an article whenever technically possible"

Apple is just following AMP's policy.


This change was requested by the AMP team.


Anyone else think that the EU is going to file an antitrust suit against Google over AMP? Seems possible given their lack of hesitance in the past.


Accelerated Mobile Pages, for those who are curious.

https://www.ampproject.org


I got so sick of AMP links I switched to Bing as default. Compared to google is sucks, but still better than dealing with AMP pages. When I have to, I use https://encrypted.google.com which is currently AMP free.

I would switch back immediately, if I could disable AMP on my google account.


Hopefully it'll fix some of the issues with getting redirected on desktops when people share links here/on reddit


My understanding is that AMP pages load a cached version of the content inside a nested iframe. Doesn't this break browser extensions/bookmarklets that rely on processing the current HTML on the loaded page? Stuff like Instapaper or Pocket, for example?


AMP reminds me of AOL's web browser back in the day and possibly Facebook today, directing everything through their network and controlling the experience.

AOL used to break lots of sites/graphics/scripts which noone would put up with today, AMP just makes you use and run everything through Google or else. This is a move to control more of the web through a walled garden and goes against the distributed nature of the web.

The one thing that AMP may be beneficial for is archival purposes, preserving content past when another source may keep it. However, knowing Google products and how they are killed off like George R.R. Martin characters, no hope for that.


AMP is horrible and should just be buried.


Here is how Safari could fix the mobile web in a matter of weeks:

1. If a site downloads more than 100K, halt the page load or display a "too much data" error.

2. If a site takes more than 1 second to render, halt the page load or display a "too long to load" error.

Do that for a few days and maybe these absurd sites would lose enough views that they might actually bother to figure out where their data is going.

I recently had to browse with "data roaming" at the low low price of $2.05 per MEGAbyte and had to disable pretty much everything on my phone within minutes.


So no pictures whatsoever for mobile web sites?


Frankly yes, at times I would love that option. A "tap to load/view" link is sufficient for many situations.


I only wish there was a way to automatically have those pesky t.co links resolved when sharing.

I don't use Twitter, but other people do, and when they share a link to me I'd like to be able to 1) see what I am clicking on, and 2) avoid sending analytics information to Twitter when I do so.


I love Apple the most when they throw their weight around for the benefit of the end user. It's pretty clear that Google's main concern is ads ads ads.

Apple already has my money, they focus 110% on making my life easier and their products fantastic. Go Apple!


Being forced to instead load some (almost universally awful) publisher site w/ 72 MB of JavaScript & CSS, absurdly intrusive ads popping up as you try to read, etc.... is an improved experience?


You don't see anything wrong with Google MITM everybody who uses their phone? It's terrible for the open web. The tradeoff is users loading the real pages that _may_ be heavy, but it's worth it.


At least it doesn't break all the standard navigation gestures.

In iOS 11 you're able to default certain domains to always open in reader mode so you don't even need to download all that crap.


So you think this very website you’re using right now – HN – could be improved by AMP?

I doubt that.

The only pages that get improved by AMP are those that abuse AMP then again anyway.


HN itself? Nope. Many publisher sites do benefit however. Especially local news sites that likely can't attract the best tech talent and/or contract out pages to be shoveled out by contractors.

Re: Abuse of AMP. AMP places sane restrictions on pages https://www.ampproject.org/docs/reference/spec#html-tags including hard limits on CSS size, etc... Google enforces these restrictions for pages served through their servers.

This is a much much needed effort to take the publishers toys away given they've proven they cannot be trusted with the full feature set of the web without adult supervision.


> Especially local news sites

You mean TV channels? The ones that all look the same? The ones run by Sinclair broadcasting which will soon be able to control 76% of them?

There seem to be very few true local companies left, the ones around pretend to be local when in fact they're identical to every other one owned by their national parent company.

And that company can afford to do it right. They're rich. They don't need Google to do it for them


> And that company can afford to do it right. They're rich.

In that case not sure what their excuse is but my point still holds true: Their sites are almost universally godawful and they're demonstrably not able to be trusted with the full feature set of the web. AMP provides some sanity including things like hard limits on the size of CSS.


They aren't. They may get the AMP site on non-Google.


I mean, it's not like Apple is totally un-money-motivated here. It's pretty clear that they expect users to buy a new phone every 2 years.


I think you have it backwards. Users want to buy a new phone every 2 years. A 5s still works fine, but most people don't want a 5s.


I was referring to the fact that ios updates significantly slow down phones that aren't front-line, and I would argue that the reason users want a new phone is that + extensive marketing by apple.


Would be great if it got rid of twitter shortened urls and other similar walled-garden cruft.



Thank goodness

On a related note, anyone know an extension for desktop Chrome that converts AMP pages to non-AMP pages? Or is that not programmatically possible?


Nice, I do this manually right now.


Yes! Yes! 100 times yes! Thank you Apple!!

I hate that amp crap! It's the main reason for moving to ddg.


Haha. Apple officially thinks Google is a nuisance with news sites, like Adobe with Flash.


Hurray!!


wtf is Amp?


Don't think Apple will accept any amount of billions from Google to let AMP pass through.


The AMP team asked them to do this.


Good on Apple for standing up to Google. This is great for an open web.


This change was requested by the AMP team.


If your content is valuable, why would you convert it into a Google format, upload it to Google servers, and allow them to serve it wrapped in a Google page?

Google should appreciate the ad revenue from linking to your valuable content. Don't give Google more control over your content.


A lot of people are going to "cheer" this move but this is yet another anti-web move that Apple has made without regard to standards or how it will affect other areas of tech. Apple has a clear record of flouting standardized technologies in Safari like breaking iframe sizing in iOS mobile and not supporting many common APIs and is very opaque about whether or not they even view the web as a first class citizen. The code I work on almost has as many Safari hacks as we have IE hacks.

If Apple would stick to just making great hardware and products and follow the standards like other vendors do then I feel like the whole tech world would be better off.

Edit: Apparently I need to spell out in more detail my arguments because if read at surface level people only focus on AMP. This isn't about AMP. This is about sharing a link to something you are viewing. You are currently viewing the AMP page and that might look a certain way or even contain a certain type of graph that looks a certain way because it's static and fast to load. If you click Share and send this to a friend they will receive an entirely different page that might look different than what you were seeing. I don't think it's a good thing that we can no longer trust sharing a page with someone else. Now the ultimate destination is being edited behind the scenes without you knowing. It's a slippery slope that, like other things Apple has done, have possibly bad consequences in the future. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions after all.


I don't understand how you see AMP pages representing a standard web? AMP represents the complete opposite of web standards and anything to remove it from the web leaves us all better off.


Opposite of web standards? It's HTTP+HTML+JS+CSS. What part of AMP isn't standards compliant?


The AMP client source is available but worthless. Google validates that you're running their blessed version of the framework and if you change a single bit in the files Google doesn't serve your AMP content anymore.

It's a classic walled garden, like the Android app store. You can develop Android apps that don't meet their guidelines but you can't distribute them through normal channels.


The Play Store is pretty liberal in what they allow, more so than the Apple App store atleast.


Right, so its closed source? Still standards compliant.


OP is complaining about Safari not supporting the most recent APIs, whereas AMP supports only an extremely limited subset of all those technologies.

But I believe the larger issue is how it makes URL meaningless, and futures a centralisation of the web. It's not against the standard, but certainly the spirit of the web as it was supposed to be.


What part of AMP isn't standards compliant?

The part that mandates including js from a corporation on your pages.


Yes, using a javascript framework requires you to have that javascript on your page.


Not AMP per se but just how Apple make sweeping changes by fiat without soliciting feedback that affect how standard technologies are used throughout the web. This is just another move they've made that will force whole industries to adapt for no reason other than Apple wanted to do it.


Google created it to consolidate control of content on their platform to get people to get used to a specific UI provided by Google. There are other companies that hold caches, but the design and implementation is essentially chosen by Google (note that the fact that the AMP privacy policy just leads to the Google privacy policy). I can completely understand why Apple would want to get rid of it -- it adds a Google UI to the article that otherwise wouldn't have it and it isn't necessary to see the content.

Edit: clarified about AMP usage and Google's involvement.


> The only company that I know of that uses AMP is Google

Google and Micorosft (Bing) have caches. I think Twitter does to (they definitely use AMP). Lots of other social media and other platforms use and highlight AMP content, and I think there are a couple other big players with caches, too.

It's definitely not just Google.


I'll edit it to say that Google is the gatekeeper, not the only ones that hold caches.


thats not true. amp is a collection of best practices to speed up the web!


Amp doesn't bring anything new to the table in terms of best practices, what is new is agglomerating even more online content under Google's control via caching. Lightweight page design never became impossible, it's simply that most websites couldn't care less about investing work into improvements.


It is? So how do I get the advantages in Google search (being ranked in the carousel right above the top result) without running the official JS from Google’s CDN?

I can’t even use the JS from a local CDN.


Do you know what AMP is? How it is used?

In this case Apple is literally helping you and publishers not get screwed. I think you need to read up on AMP, because seeing the words 'standard technologies' and 'AMP' in the same comment in that way is extremely awkward.


> In this case Apple is literally helping you and publishers not get screwed.

I'm not getting screwed by AMP, and neither, AFAICT, are publishers.


My comment is focused on Apple's behavior and not AMP specifically. I do know how AMP works.

I don't like how Apple unilaterally changes the way that things work (even if that means AMP) without regard to any other parties.


What about when google unilaterally change the way lots of websites work by forcing AMP down my throat?

They have the biggest search engine by far. They have the most popular mobile OS by far.

But it's Apple you're mad at?


While that can be a bad thing, in this specific case it is curtailing a similar abusive overreach by google, and IMO a good thing.

You can use exactly the same arguement you made against AMP, I don't see negating AMP as some great evil.


Yea it's really rare for me to interpret a situation as Apple making a pro-consumer move and Google being anti-consumer[1], but here we are.

[1] or more charitably appealing to a subset of users at high cost to a non-trivial fractions of other users


Only thing in my opinion that is anti-web here is Google with AMP. AMP is anty-web - it is everything that web is not.


If Google is the one pushing all those standards they are "standards" only on paper and no longer serve as standards.


Apple are sharing the canonical URL provided in the page source. That's actually recommended behaviour in the AMP spec. So if anyone is breaking anything, the only option would be that Google's AMP is 'breaking the web' in their standard.

So the issue isn't that you haven't spelled out your argument in proper detail, but that you're just incorrect.


Now that Google has confirmed that they asked Apple to make this change I fully admit that I was wrong. I wish I could edit my post.




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