AMPs, PWAs, and Web Manafacturing.

Web Apps v.s. Websites… Does It Matter?

This is not another discussion on what constitutes apps and what constitutes sites. Rather, this is me grumbling about the increasing obsession towards building apps as opposed to sites.

As an example, take the concept of Progressive Web Apps (PWA) and Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). The suggestion that a “solid” web construct should follow the rules of either of them is, in my opinion, plain nonsense. Yes, these are just guidelines, but what’s with Google adding the PWA checks on Chrome’s developer tools? And its favoring AMPs during searches? When a giant like Google do things like that, it’s like telling everyone in the industry that these are not guidelines, these are rules. Disregard them at your own perail.

Not All Food is Fast Food.

Because I’ve never considered myself a programmer, this obsession towards speedier (and perhaps more stable) web constructs seems less important to me than, say, concept. Take offline stores as an example. Sure, people like fast food, where they serve food fast and you get a minimum standard in terms of taste and quality. But does that mean every shop should follow the same standard? I don’t think so.

There’re times when I prefer to have fast food, sure, but there are other times when I’d rather go in a tiny diner that’s owned by a single owner, one that perhaps take an awful  amount of time just to serve a single dish. In this case, it’s not the efficiency that matters. What matters is the atmosphere, the interior that’s unique to this diner alone, and perhaps the owner himself, quiet, unobtrusive, but who always makes you feel at home.

Manufacturing v.s. Design

Sure, we all stand on the shoulders of giants in our personal missions to accomplish our best. But I refuse the notion of treating web content as manufactured goods, adhering to all kinds of rules and regulations as to how fast it should be or how it should behave. In fact, I’ve never liked the idea of User Interface, even if I appreciate the need for it. Web content can and must be more diverse, otherwise it will soon become a digital ocean of fast food content, fast, familiar, but intellectually unstimulating and creatively stifling. At which point I would rather go back to my physical bookstores and banks and information counters, thank you. (At least people are more interesting.)

I don’t know how many times I’ve whined about this but, once again: I want my diverse Web back.