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71 replies and sub-replies as of Jul 20 2017

The company you work for is part of the problem, Chris. 😉
This is great! I _just_ had lunch with @noopkat and talked about how PWA is just an website, with new and special API to do things.
if its about open web, its about everyone. not in sites vs apps camp but am aware of how hard google is pushing this term
seems a lot like polymer and how they co opted web components. so i'm leary. what was wrong with adaptive? been around much longer.
I was there for the whole Web Components effort; Polymer didn't co-opt, it led. Revisionist history is a dangerous thing.
and thru leading some devs never knew the difference. certainly not revisionist.
Absolutely revisionist. If you would prefer nobody lead, you'll find yourself exactly where you started -- lots of that about, sadly.
And just so we're on the same page: I co-led the team that developed Web Components inside of Chrome and I helped hire the Polymers.
...and I lead Chrome's standards work. When I say I was there, I mean in the sense of "I helped design it".
im aware of who you are. adaptive was coined years prior to pwa. it led the way. not good enough?
If it were, we wouldn't have needed a new name. That's the real bugger about branding: it's not about correctness, it's about the "hook".
...and _that_ is about audience. "Adaptive" didn't hook with business decision makers in a way that opened doors. That's happening now.
...and yes, the coutnerfactual is fuzzy! Perhaps pushing a different boulder up the hill would have worked, but it hadn't 'till then.
bc google is pushing it.
...and how do you imagine *that* happened?
how do i imagine what happened
If you'll allow, I'd be happy to recount (some of) the history.
Co-incident to our efforts on Web Components, another team inside of Chrome was developing "Chrome Apps"; I argued against them at the time.
...but argument that a more capable platform was needed wasn't wrong. Question was "how". Many platform folks (incl me) busy w/ WC/ES6.
In 2012 I moved to London for personal reasons and had to stop co-leading the Web Components/ES6 efforts because time-zones wouldn't work.
Chrome Apps v1 and v2 happened between 2010 and 2013. Meanwhile, AppCache had been deployed broadly and was not received well.
So developer choices were: - standard thing that wasn't "first class" and didn't work well - proprietary thing w/ limited reach
The major difference between them wasn't the proprietary/open split, tho, it was "on the web" vs. "app store model".
This seems counter-intuitive, but the difference is a chasm; not small. Defines all other choices in the solution space.
So lets say you're me circa 2012: you want a way to address the first-class-apps problem but aren't in a position to do so organisationally
...what to do? Well, in my case was lucky: the effort that didn't involve new UI (the hard part) was to fix the offline story; needed doing.
Jake had been making the case that AppCache was broken and others agreed. Andrew Betts hosted a meeting to discuss:…
We worked to build a solution that would "stick" with folks at Mozilla and elsewhere. Promises ("Futures") became part of the effort.
Fast forward to late 2013: Service Workers moving forward in Chrome and future of Chrome Apps hazy. I write a "micro-manifest manifesto" doc
...basically makes the case for tying together Web Manifests and Service Workers to create an app-like evolution for web content.
The only radical idea in it is that you don't need to create a parallel, non-web packaging & distribution system.
Shopped this around and, critically, the Tech Lead of the Chrome Apps team read it and agreed on the direction.
Other vendors didn't engage as strongly -- @brucel and @andreasbovens (then at Opera) and @jungkees (Samsung) being notable exceptions.
Made enough SW/Notifications progress that by Jan '15 was defining the Add-to-Homescreen prompting criteria. I drafted on trip to London.
Mozilla continued to engage on Service Workers and Manifests but didn't agree on UI treatment for apps; were doing FFOS proprietary apps.
So, what you've got up to this point is the story of an insurgency; a small group of people who see an alternative to The Plan (TM).
Because make no mistake about it: every browser vendor at this point was chasing an app-store strategy, thinking that'd buy them relevance.
...and the ones who weren't doing so overtly were playing second fiddle to their employer's app-store strategies.
By Spring '15, we'd launched everything you think of as "PWA" technology. Long road, but available for some. Lots left to fill in.
E.g., desktop PWAs? What about storage limits? Iteration on Push Notifications? Market success and case studies? All in the future.
As insurgents we were gluing together bits and bobs organisationally, hoping nobody noticed until such time as it "worked" and was credible.
Talking with early partners was challenging. They all had mobile, responsive websites, and trying to explain SWs and A2HS, etc. didn't work
You literally had to drag them through each and every step in the user journey and hope they "got" it.
Fortuitously, @johnallsopp had invited me to speak at Code '15:
Frances & I sat down to come up with a more compact way to talk about A2HS+SW+Push+etc. as prep. Result? Blog post:…
This wasn't an official Google thing (though I'm an employee). Many on the team hate(d) the name. I only ever argued for it as least-worst.
Needing to talk about what we had delivered over and over again was very clarifying. Made plain that we needed a name; "PWA" stuck.
There's a lot more to the story -- how MSFT got behind PWAs, Samsung & Opera's contributions, etc -- but that covers how we got to "PWA"
We tried for months to explain to partners and developers that it was "websites, but more like apps", etc. Didn't stick; needed a hook.
10/10 thread 👍 What are best blogs on open web survival struggle? AMP, browser app stores, PWA vs client app conversion, standards, etc.
those two and anyone else developing indie web
Would love to read the MSFT and others part of the story if you do one! Btw, great thread! 🙌
Maybe in 5+ years when the wounds heal. What I didn't write there is worth a book.
Sounds like a great story (and struggle) even now.. Would keep an eye out around that time.
Also, wouldn't you say PWAs are certain future now with (almost) all vendors' support.. Or is there another struggle on the horizon?
oh gee, this single sentence describes the majority of my work and projects that I do or ever did! *.* <3
I feel really fortunate being at FT Labs during this time, being on the ground floor with a group that really saw the potential was great.
Being amongst that small team to build apps with web powers and witness them be incredibly successful was really inspirational.
I saw suits on the tube using the FT web app like it was a normal app back in 2013 and it made me believe that this was going to be huge.
exactly. it was about your branding. the hook? everyone knows what rwd is. awd hooks right in
It's exactly as Alex says, it's the hook. It doesn't matter about accuracy, or history, or anything. We need *something* to hook ideas on.
again rwd -> awd is a hook
Indeed. And there will continue to be more. There's a LOT of ideas that need hanging up!
In abstract form, this could be said about most things humans do, unfortunately.