Friday, July 06, 2007

If you're a web developer, you probably get the whole idea just from the title of this post. It's not my idea; it's probably been had by a lot of other folks to, but I ran across it first on Richard Tallent's blog: In a nutshell:
"I think it’d be spiffy if Google hosted a few FOSS Javascript, CSS, and image resources, and encouraged all web designers to link to them rather than hosting the files themselves."
Things like Prototype, MochiKit, various icons and so on. The main upside for Google is that give a really big push to rich web apps, just at the moment when they're starting to really break through (witness iPhone). The big win for everyone else is that rich web apps load a whole lot faster (effectively centralizing the caching, and serving from the fastest servers anywhere). Potential downsides? Google knows more about your visitors, but do you care? Aren't you using Analytics and AdSense already? Also, your site's availability is tied to Google's. Again, do you care? At this point the Internet is down if Google is down, at least as far as normal users are concerned (and this is all about normal users). The other really cool thing I could see coming out of this is a general increase in the quality of free graphics (icons, backgrounds, etc.). It would be a very serious mark of prestige to have Google hosting your icons; and it would mean enormous exposure (assuming they're good). There are already some very good free icons out there, but this would be the incentive to bring that to the next level. And then everyone wins: talented designers get fame and lucrative contracts, developers and users get fast-loading high-quality graphics, Google helps push the Online App experience. Well, maybe Microsoft doesn't win. But hey, they have Vista, right?

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