Fragmentation of the Web...

Very sensationalist title, don’t ya think? Well, I think it needs to be.

I am not going to say that there are many things that are leading to fragmentation, and the inevitable downturn of the free and open web, because thats not true. What is a worry, however, is some apps in the Chrome Web App store.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to say that the Chrome Web App store is bad, I don’t think it is. I think it is a great thing, that allows normal non-technical people a really easy way to find great web apps, and long may it continue.

The problem I think we have, is when some of these apps are integrated too tightly into Chrome. Lets take Tweetdeck web for an example. This is a fantastic HTML5 app that I have been using for the past week, it is fantastic, feels just like the desktop app, but uses a fraction of the system resources. However, it is ONLY a Chrome Web App. There is no way to get to this in any other browser. I don’t use chrome. I don’t like chrome, it doesn’t work how I would want it to work. Thats not going to change. So I can’t use it in what I want to use it in. What I would like, is to use Tweetdeck in a prism instance (which is a very low-powered and basically chromeless browser interface for this exact purpose)…but I can’t. I have to use it in Chrome.

This is the bad thing. This is getting back to the IE debacle. Where you made a website for IE, or for everything else. The web is, by definition, meant to be open, holding to standards set out by the W3C, and open to whoever wants to view it, on whatever they want to view it, when and where they want to. This is a feature that is killing this idea, because you can only view this in Chrome.

This needs to be fixed, but I don’t know how. Is Tweetdeck tightly integrated into Chrome? If so, what is it doing that other browsers can’t do? And if so, why aren’t they doing it?

I love the tweetdeck web app, and I am using it as we speak, but I want to use it in what I want, and there are a few other apps that are the same. I hope this trend doesn’t continue, but rather it reverses.