Q 6. Will Google continue to develop with the internet, or vice versa?


When the internet, as we know it, was born, it only happened because of the open development of a common language for networks to communicate. When Tim-Berners-Lee developed the first version of hypertext markup language (HTML) and presented it to the world without patents or royalties, he set a standard which the architects of the internet have adhered to until now. HTML has gone through several upgrades since 2004, and with each upgrade came improvements, but more importantly, adaptations to the new ways the web is being used. (sound familiar, Google-users?) The first version dealt mainly with how to interpret and display text and images. Today as we game, video, collaborate, chat, and generally use the internet for much more interactive activities, so HTML has evolved. The latest version is HTML5, and it is all-singing, all-dancing compared to markup languages of the past. HTML5 came about  when the World Wide Web Consortium  and the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group compromised on their two areas of focus (web forms and applications (WHATWG), and XHTML 2.0 (W3C.) The result is a new standard for HTML which is tailor-made for how Google likes to do things. This is down to the remit the two organisations set up for HTML5: they agreed that the new standard should include:
  • New features based on HTML, CSS, DOM, and JavaScript
This suits Chrome because Google redeveloped javascript to make it much faster.
  • Reduce the need for external plugins (like Flash)
Google had already eradicated the need for most external plugins in 2008 when they launched Chrome - Flash operates inside the browser. Check this out yourself by typing about:plugins into your Chrome Omnibox.
  • Better error handling
We know Chrome can separate out your activities into the different tabs in your browser - this is one innovation Chrome brought, but developers also have a friendlier interface with chrome when using “inspect elements.”
  • More markup to replace scripting
You should notice far fewer “a script has stopped working” warnings in Chrome, and fewer crashes resulting from this. It reduces the amount  of doctypes, encoding and meta tags on web pages, and has introduced many new markup tags such as <article>, <canvas>, <footer>, <Video>, etc. making web pages’ source much more understandable for the search engines.
  • HTML5 should be device independent
Google users should by now be nodding their heads wisely. Google’s ability to be cross-platform, indeed  “platform-agnostic” is second nature to us here at Steegle.
  • The development process should be visible to the public.
In the best tradition established by Tim Berners-Lee, involving the user in the process of HTMLs development is an obvious aspiration. As HTML5 is still in development (some argue it will not be the universal standard until 2020) it makes a lot of sense for the user to be aware of, and actively participating in its development.   Giving a history of the development of HTML5, www.diveintohtml5, reports verbatim: “The Web has benefited from being developed in an open environment. Web Applications will be core to the web, and its development should also take place in the open. Mailing lists, archives and draft specifications should continuously be visible to the public.”

So,  the answer to this question is that it is nearly impossible to say whether Google will influence the development of the internet or vice versa - because the internet’s development is Google's development and vice versa. Everything which the development of HTML5 represents is a direct result of the changes to internet user behaviour which Google has both inspired and enabled. Equally, every development in user behaviour is both influenced and listened to by Google, and will be represented in each subsequent revision of Chrome.