back to article Google erects master API for linking web apps

Google is developing an über-API meant to facilitate interaction between web applications, and it plans to integrate the project – known as Web Intents – with its Chrome browser and Chrome OS browser-based operating system. As Google seeks to move all of your applications to the web, the project is an obvious – and necessary …


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  1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    So it's like Google's SOAP and UDDI?


    1. Spearchucker Jones

      Was about to say...

      ...UDDI all over again. We're doomed, it seems, to repeat failures :-)

      Wondering how they're going to twist services into displaying ads.

  2. dagger


    or DBUS?

  3. Peladon

    And in the joy of linking postings...

    ... this previous post shows why 'linking all your web apps together (under Google or anyone else) is such an amazingly good idea:

    Yes. I know. APIs are necessary. Yes. I know. They're the way all sorts of good things happen.

    And never any bad things, right?

  4. not_equal_to_null
    Thumb Down

    Don't we already have this?

    Although the idea sounds great, and fits in well with the 'web application' model of thinking, we already have the ability to do this - they're called URLs, and we can already pass data between stuff in a standard manner - this is called XML.

    For example, lets say I want to send an email from a web page - I simple embed a mailto: link. mailto: causes a 'handler' to be started to create an email. Others exist - you may have encountered http: or even https:!

    Then there's this newfangled invention of xml, which can be used to wrap up data in an easy-to-parse, standardised format. Why do we need yet another framework?


    1. Anonymous Coward

      XML is shit

      Classic make-work project for some nobodies on a committee.

      "Standardized format" actually means "format sender and receiver have agreed on" and, gee, I think we could manage that without years of stupid slow over-generalized parsers. In fact, we did.

      If you and the sender know what your data is then you will be able to communicate AT LEAST 10 times faster with a simple bit of code tailored to your requirements than with some brain-dead XML parser. And if you don't know what your data is going to be you have problems that XML won't solve anyway.

      1. Chris Hance

        XML facilitates blame.

        When you're trying to exchange data in the corporate world, where data = money, and your data exchange doesn't work, XML saves the day.

        With JSON or binary data, you better have a solid, unambiguous document describing what elements and data types go where, capitalization and all. I've spent hours hunting down issues, even when I wrote both the sender and the recipient. Multi-language debugathons are a great way to spend an afternoon.

        With XML, if the data validates against the agreed-upon schema, it's the recipient's fault. If it doesn't, it's the sender's fault.

        And knowing [who to blame] is half the battle.

  5. Grozbat

    Jolly good

    It baffles me that Android Intents (a.k.a the Share option in the menus) are rarely, if ever, mentioned in the press, as they are a godsend. One of the top ten features of iOS 5 touted by Apple was that some of the built-in apps now talk to the Twitter app. Compare that with Android, where all apps (built-in or not) have always been able to talk to any other app.

    If Google do a good job of the web API it will be an indispensible addition to the web ecosystem.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Will there be an IDE?

    Presumably Google will be bringing out an IDE for this, avoiding existing ones like Eclipse, Visual Studio or Dreamweaver (nasty, spit) - or will it all be done on Notepad++?

  7. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Re-inventing the wheel

    So, having determined that it is "obviously" better for everybody's apps to run on Google's CPU, they are now laboriously trying to re-implement the Windows API on HTML. Today's contribution appears to be some kind of registry where applications can be marked as "handling" particular content types and other apps can let the user pick from the available handlers.

    Meanwhile, over the road, Microsoft have just finished re-implementing the entire Windows API on .NET, only to discover that no-one is really interested because running everything on an emulated architecture is *so* last decade compared with running everything on a VM in a random data centre.

    Meanwhile, round the corner, the WINE people have nearly finished re-implementing the entire Windows API on Linux, only to discover that actually the documented API isn't the set of goalposts they should have been aiming at and so consequently only half the apps work.

    Meanwhile meanwhile, anyone who actually wants to get stuff done is running the original Windows API on the original native hardware and wondering why the industry hasn't done anything innovative in the last decade or more.

  8. Jay Jaffa

    Yes but can Google do it

    There's been a massive shift away from "Google love" across the world in recent times and the rift between Apple + Google over Android hasn't helped. That, alongside Google's childish publicly spat with Microsoft over patents, and their multi-billion patent issue with Oracle all work against it.

    Additionally, the growth of alternative powerhouses such as facebook, groupon (who are heavily investing in S/W guys and desperately appear to want to be a tech titan), twitter and others means that they'll struggle to get these adopted. There's much more probability of someone facebook providing a standard that gets accepted than google.

    That's just the way the World goes ... a new post-Google age is dawning. (Unless Google+ is a massive success and they open it up to all types of Google profile - not just personal ones (ridiculous decision)

    1. Ru

      "growth of alternative powerhouses"

      Groupon? Twitter? Seriously?

      You've failed to list a single powerhouse there. Much as Facebook might wish it otherwise, they are not a serious service provider now and there's no particular reason they should ever be. Apple is a much more serious threat, because they are so overwhelmingly rich and popular and are also pushing everything into the cloud; only it'll be a private apple cloud and third parties will be welcome in about ten years time when the various national monopoly comissions across the world finally grind into action.

  9. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Has to be said

    One API to rule them all.

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