Fair warning. You’re going to hate this one. I want to stop pushing the web forward for a while. I want a moratorium on new browser features for about a year or so.
Recently I’ve been having serious doubts about the whole push the web forward thing. Why should we push the web forward? And forward to what, exactly? Do we want the web to be at whatever we push it forward to? You never hear those questions.
Pushing the web forward currently means cramming in more copies of native functionality at breakneck speed — interesting stuff, mind you, but there’s just too much of it.
Quick, name all the new features browsers shipped in 2015! You see? You can’t. That’s the problem.
We get ever more features that become ever more complex and need ever more polyfills and other tools to function — tools that are part of the problem, and not of the solution.
I don’t think this is a particularly good place to push the web forward to. Native apps will always be much better at native than a browser. Instead, we should focus on the web’s strengths: simplicity, URLs and reach.
The innovation machine is running at full speed in the wrong direction. We need a break. We need an opportunity to learn to the features we already have responsibly — without tools! Also, we need the time for a fundamental conversation about where we want to push the web forward to. A year-long moratorium on new features would buy us that time.