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News: When Google Web Designer fails in a forest of IDEs, will anybody hear?

  1. Not sure if you've heard the news, but Google is about to release a new HTML5/CSS3 web development tool. That's apparently the inside scoop, revealed with very little pomp and circumstance in Neal Mohan's official DoubleClick Advertiser blog. Don't ask what it will do, or what it will look like, or what features it will contain, because nobody who is allowed to speak on the matter definitively knows. But that doesn't mean we can't make up a bunch of stuff and prognosticate about things we don't know about.

    "Don't expect too much from the early versions of Google Web Designer, but do expect Google to keep improving it." 

    Bobby Kelly, Web Marketing Strategist

    I don't have big expectations for this new tool. It's just going to be some simple, lightweight development tool that does a few neat things to help with HTML5 development on mobile devices. It will also undoubtedly make it easy to stick a bunch of Google ads into your mobile apps. Some help doing responsive design, like integration with scripting libraries like bootstrap.js would be nice. Or even an ability to use HTML5 flexible boxes to do responsive design, with an ability to degrade gracefully to a more globally supported JavaScript technology if the need arises would be slick too. Maybe even package a WYSIWYG editor into the mix to simplify the whole thing? Yeah, that's probably asking for far too much from a free IDE.

    The incremental approach to feature delivery

    I think Bobby Kelly, a web-marketing strategist with WebMarketingPro.ca, has it right when he says "Don't expect too much from the early versions of Google Web Designer." Of course, Kelly suspects that Google Web Designer will grow into something much more impressive with time. I, on the other hand, think it will wither and die like the vast majority of other failed projects Google embarks upon. Given, sometimes they hit one out of the park, like with Android or GWT, but more often than not, Google projects just wither and die. 

    For more on Bobby Kelly's take on Google Web Designer, take a look at his recently published article entitled: How Google Web Designer (GWD) plays a key role in Google's global marketing and advertising strategy.

    Fixing the fragmentation fracas

    What the industry really needs is a tool that gets people away from all of the various mobile device technologies, and gets the world's army of UI developers delivering content using standards based HTML5 and CSS3. This whole mess of having to develop different user interfaces for different handheld devices has gone on too long. Something needs to be done about it. Sadly, Google's focus will be more about pushing their AdClick revenue instead of doing something about Android fragmentation or the need for native application development. Still, a person can dream.

    In one of my unusually optimistic moods, I put together a wish list of features that would make GWD a real leap forward in terms of HTML5 and CSS3 development. You get the full scoop in the following article entitled: Let's make the CSS3/HTML5 developers smile (The Google Web Designer GWD wish-list)

    As I said before, the whole thing hasn't even been released yet, so at this point, everything is just speculation. Here's hoping that this IDE is a product that does more than just pad Google's bottom line, and is instead one that really makes a difference in terms of modern day, mobile and browser-based development.

    Follow me on Twitter, won't you? Cameron McKenzie (@potemcam)

    Threaded Messages (6)

  2. My Take[ Go to top ]

    Cameron, after reading your article, I had to laugh. The problems that you raised about HTML5 and browsers have all been addressed by the Flashplayer runtime.

    Adobe. If you're reading this thread. Deliver the knockout punch on the browser by open sourcing the Flashplayer rumtime.

  3. Best post...[ Go to top ]

    Best user post on TSS in a while.

    +1

    My only question: what is a 'FlashPlayer?'

  4. Google is well known for throwing many things at us - mostly half baked. Gmail interface has changed so much in last 6 months and i guess gmail is still in beta for last 2 years :). Speaking of HTML5/CSS3 - Can google please fix android fragmentation first ? IDC is predicting android to have 75% of the market share by 2016. If we have to support the hacks for every android device, it will be nightmare for HTML5/CSS3 developers. So this is a request to google - please treat your android built-in webview like a first class citizen. You cannot push HTML5/CSS3/JS if your devices behave so differently. If you are pushing chrome as your de-facto browser with Browser based apps (look pretty nice) then it makes even more sense to make that android built-in browser more like chrome. Right now - android is like microsoft windows of late 1990's early 2000's. Cheaper machines sold by many vendors but every one has different win OS & patch level, cheape hardware drivers causing trouble, many diferent cra*py preloaded softwares loaded by vendors. Love android, would like it to be little quality controlled. Hopefully by kitKat. Thanks
  5. Interesting insights[ Go to top ]

    Interesting insights into the topic. I have an article coming out in the near future about the fragmentation issue, but your post pretty much hits the heart of it.

    Sounds like you have some interesting insights on the topic. If you're interested in chatting more, I'd love to get your personal insights.

    cmckenzie ahy techtarget dawt com or www.twitter.com/potemcam

  6. Interesting insights[ Go to top ]

    As a developer/technology community, we need to revolt against google. :)

    Bottom line has become top priority for them - which is ok to some extent as they have shareholders to satisfy.

    But since they claim to be an engineering company, claim to fame was alternative against microsoft, promised us to be nimble and do no harm, promised high quality at low cost, more developer friendly and open - they have to take care of the dev community.

    Dont get me wrong - we love chrome. best browser for a developer. The dev tools are amazing, even firefox fireBug can learn from it. But Android wouldnt have survived on some new language. GWT is good for hobby, not scaalable for real world enterprise apps.  Java helped android gain the traction. We all owe it to java.

    Same here with CSS and Js and HTML5 - we all love and use HTML5/CSS3/JS. But google needs to help us with the browser incompatibilities. Dev community has invested a lot in android and it will make sense to take care of the dev community.  

    Tips - 

    1. Dont allow phone companies to decide my SDK updates. Its not just for latest n greatest, but also security holes etc. Android is known for security holes (just like microsoft OS)

    2. Make chrome the built-in browser with v8 behind it. Come on - you would love us to build browser apps too. we will do it for you. Make the environment stable and predictable.  Right now - every major build changes everything.   

    3. Create a bare minimum API support and h/w criteria for all vendors like HTC, motorola(now google), LG, samsung(can u ask them to do anything now :)) etc. 

    4. Honor the "open stack" feelings and dreams that you showed us. 

    5. As we understand search is your bread n butter, rest all isnt making much money. :).  So make search api even more solid and let us developers you it easily in android apps. We will pay you licensing fee if its not too expensive :).  

    6. Apple has controls, but they are control freaks. We dont want google to be that. 

    At the same time we just go over the "if browser=IE6, then do this cr*p or else do that". Dont push us into "if device.vendor=HTC && build.version=4.1.2, then ".....dont be a "microsoft" of this decade.

    This is a make or break moment - i hope someone from Mr. Pillai's team is looking into TSS site :). Anyone who can tweet this to google ??? :)

    Fingers crossed ...

     

  7. Intel has a new one as well[ Go to top ]

    http://html5dev-software.intel.com/