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    AMP is frankly one of the most hostile attempts to control the web that I’ve ever seen. Does faster loading really justify the degree of control that Google exercises over the web as a result?

    1. Google hosts AMP pages on their servers, removing control from the website owner and centralizing the web to a ludicrous degree (why not, indeed, host the whole of the web on google.com?)
    2. If you’re not willing to play ball, they demote your search rankings
    3. Everyone uses Google, so you have to conform to their whims or you lose the predominant driver of traffic on the web.
    4. Everyone has to use AMP, so Google owns an even larger fraction of the web.

    Users treat Google search as a utility of the internet, not a business. But it is a business, and a near-monopolistic one at that.

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      I would like to add that, for some websites (such as mine,) being AMP-compliant requires adding more stuff (CSS, JS, some HTML,) resulting in worse load-times. Google already incentivises performance; ensuring every website I’ve helped out on scores 100/100 on PageSpeed Insights has resulted in a significant ranking boost. Why, then, do heavier AMP pages get preferential treatment? Maybe Google’s CDN is faster than the one I use, I don’t know, but does it matter when the page loads in < 200ms anyway? Out of non-scientific curiosity, I tossed a few AMP pages into PageSpeed and Pingdom speed test, and they were all substantially slower.

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        The whole AMP thing seems pretty weird to me, the intent is fairly interesting but the way I see the actual project and its results makes me think of a POC project, really not fit for production.

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          Because the AMP initiative is fundamentally about control, namely getting more user data. This is being pushed under the guise of “fixing” problems created by the organizations/developers themselves, as this article does a good job of laying out.

          It’s funny how some will say it is “unreasonable” to de-bloat a website, while AMP is a “good idea.” The lack of critical thinking by the developer community at large is quite scary on this issue. :(

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            Having worked at a high-traffic news website, my (anecdotal) experience is that many professional frontend developers understand the problems of bloat and want to fix them. Unfortunately as always it can be a hard sell to management to fix technical debt.

            We were lucky enough to have some excellent product owners who really fought and made thr argument that speed improvements would bring business benefits, but even then there is limited time and budget available.

            By contrast the management sell for AMP is that Google will give you better search results for comparatively little developer time.

            For what it’s worth, much the same value proposition is driving publishers to Apple News and Facebook’s Instant Articles, which are AMP clones to some degree. It’s partly fear of missing out on an audience.

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              which are AMP clones to some degree

              Apple News scrapes existing websites, RSS/ATOM feeds, and an apple-defined JSON spec from news sites, and presents articles to the user. Which part of that is the same as “force news sites to deliver their content using a shitty JS renderer that routes all traffic via google’s CDN” ?

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                That’s fair.

                From the publisher’s perspective it feels similar in that content is taken from your site and presented in a format largely outside your control.

                My point was that this is accepted because publishers don’t want to lose out on a potential audience, but it’s not necessarily a good deal otherwise. For example, advertising is managed by the provider and the publisher is cut in at some set rate. It’s hard to negotiate with a giant like Google, Apple or Facebook and so you take the rate you’re given.

                I’m actually ok with anything that forces people to rely less on advertising as a source of revenue - my personal opinion is that it’s a hostile experience and not sustainable.

                However, I think it’s fair to say that many publications will feel that a reader on AMP/Apple News/Facebook is worth less in terms of advertising revenue than a direct website reader.

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        Yes npm-driven development is insanity, as is the host (as in metric fuckton) of different tracking systems being deployed against users of the web.

        None of these things warrants the power-grab that is AMP.

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          This is one of those things that makes me feel sad about the future of the web. It seems like our only choices are between publishers who want to load up the web with autoplaying videos, ADD-inspiring redirects to more articles, and endless piles of ads and tracking scripts, and tech behemoths that want to put the whole web under their proprietary protocols and in-house services. There doesn’t seem to be any forces pushing for quality content on readable pages with reasonable, trustworthy ads or some other sort of monetization.

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            There doesn’t seem to be any forces pushing for quality content on readable pages with reasonable, trustworthy ads or some other sort of monetization.

            I guess the EU is kinda doing that. But I agree, there needs to be a grassroots effort to push back.