Web developers publish open letter taking Google to task for locking up with web with AMP


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/01/10/enclosure-vs-expedience.html


#2

Read on the amped version of Boing Boing, which appears to be the default link provided by RSS.


#3

Reasons not to use Google at all from Richard Stallman of the GNU project / Free Software Foundation:
https://www.stallman.org/google.html


#4

Another (perhaps related) thing I’ve noticed recently is that when I right-click on a Google search result to copy its link location I don’t get “http://example.com/slug/page” like I used to but rather something that looks like this:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&uact=8&Red9+0ahUKEwj_xxxxxYIlC4YQFgg4MAI&url=http%3A%2F%2Fexample.com%2Fslug%2Fpage&usg=ZOvVaw10UQgRXXXDpplaDbQFCj3

Not a big deal, but still annoying.


#5

Google uses high-handed tactics – like downranking non-participating sites in search results – to force publishers to participate…


#6

Another (perhaps related) thing I’ve noticed recently is that when I right-click on a Google search result to copy its link location I don’t get “http://example.com/slug/page” like I used to but rather something that looks like this:

That cropped up a number of years ago. There’s an addon:
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/google-search-link-fix/

The Web is not Google, and should not be just Google.

I think that ship has sailed.


#7

Thank you. I discovered the problem more recently and appreciate the fix.


#8

The GNU to Apple axis can also be seen as a spectrum from free software/open source/open ecosystem to proprietary software/closed source/closed ecosystem.

The Apple to Facebook axis can also be seen as a spectrum from a traditional users-pay-for-a-product model to an ad-driven data economy model, where it’s the personal information and attention of users that’s being sold.

I think “less to more control-freaky” and “less to more surveillant” are secondary to the above spectra; they are symptoms arising from the economic models upon which the organizations are founded.

Though in the case of Apple, the control freakiness of its economic model comes from the control freakiness of Steve Jobs.


#9

as much as i chuckle at rms’s crankiness (i think there was a mailing list at mit where the whole stata center was included except rms), he’s almost always right.


#10

Agreed! He’s unappealing to many because he is such an ideologue.


#11

That default for RSS is why I hate AMP.


#12

Fuck AMP.

I’ll say it every chance I get.


#13

You own a shop that sells apples. You have a half decent customer base but like any apple shop, you do need new customers every so often to make up for the customers you lose every so often. 90% of your new customers come in because they saw you on the local UHF station, despite the fact that you have the same sort of presence on your CBS affiliate, on ABC, and on the radio. If the UHF station says you need to start offering them a certain variety of apples or they’re going to stop running your ads as often, are they, in a normal sense forcing you? Your business does close down if you don’t comply, after all.

@ugh sadly it doesn’t quite work that way. You can actually make a usable UNIX system out of Apple’s OSX sources, you’re just missing the UI and the things that go with that.


#14

To Google’s credit, when after at least 5 years of true mobile browsers, a lot of web designers and developer had still failed to optimize for mobile, Google published a lot of helpful, free information and tools to help make the transition. On the other hand, they went and did something like AMP, which is at best annoying and paternalistic, at worst self-serving and power-hungry.

Plus a not-insignificant chunk of page load bloat is Google analytics (de facto standard) among other Google cruft…

I hope their page rank algorithm is smarter than just a page load speed test, some pages have a good reason to be big…


#15

Yeah, I noticed this a while ago, too. This is just one of the reasons why I have Duckduckgo set up as my default search engine in my main browser, Firefox, with Wikipedia as number two, then the Goog as third. I wish FF would stop offering up Amzn as one of the search engines.


#16

Automated Speed Index (and probably many other such ‘objective’ metrics) is easily gameable. It’s a diagnostic tool for developers to use in good faith, it cannot be used in an adversarial situation where developers want to have a benefit over other devs.

(For example, a full page interstitial ad would be a great way to get a perfect speed index score)

I don’t really understand what “Do not display third-party content within a Google page unless it is clear to the user that they are looking at a Google product” is trying to accomplish. Isn’t kinda the goal to stop Google from taking credit for other people’s work, because increasing the prominence of Google branding would reinforce their monopoly as users start building associations between content and Google? By that argument BB should increase the prominence of Discourse on their site, I suppose…


#17

Yeah, for example the FSF/GNU approach is controlling (as anyone who found they can’t use a hardware device because RMS disagrees with the driver license), albeit for a good cause.


#18

For anyone interested, it’s possible to have Android phone completely without Google. I recommend LineageOS with FDroid app store instead of Google Play. These are non-profit community projects and are also available for phones that stopped receiving manufacturer’s updates, so you can extend device’s life way past planned obsolescence cycle. And no tracking and privacy problems at all :slight_smile:

I’ve installed it on old Galaxy Note II, and it’s wonderful.


#19

Untrue! We do not default to AMP:

 <item>
                <title>Web developers publish open letter taking Google to task for locking up with web with AMP</title>
                <link>https://boingboing.net/2018/01/10/enclosure-vs-expedience.html</link>
...

However, depending on which URL you are using to pull down our RSS feed, you may be getting amp’d links. Our feedburner feed (which is owned by Google now) seems to AMPify links for you. Try using https://boingboing.net/feed and see if the issue is resolved.

Note: Our AMP pages are pretty darned fast, though - be careful what you wish for if you go to the non-amp articles on mobile. :wink:


#20

I’m using Feedly. If I click on the title link I get AMP, if I click on the [Website] button, I get the regular site. I’ll check what feed in using.

Fast and no ads…but also no link to the BBS :.(

Update
Feedly sucks at feed organization. Once a feed is added, there is no way to go in and even look at the url being used.