Google is preparing new web platform APIs
Google is developing several APIs designed to improve the web platform, including APIs for automatically launching web applications and opening files. These APIs should eventually find support in all major browsers.
A declarative link capturing the API, expected shortly, will allow an installed web application to launch automatically when a user clicks an appropriate link. The API could prevent multiple instances of the same app from opening, so users don’t have to manage maybe 10 instances of the same web app, said Ben Galbraith of Google’s Chrome team. , during a presentation on May 18 on the Web platform.
Other new web platform APIs in the works at Google include:
- A file management API that allows web applications to be registered as file type managers, allowing users to open files directly in a web application from operating system file browsers. An experimental version of this API is planned for later this year.
- A prerendering API, also slated for later in 2021, allowing developers to experiment with prerendering on preloading on the same site. Pre-rendering is a technique for loading all of a web page’s resources, including DOM rendering, before the user clicks on the page link, for instant viewing. The claim is hard to get right, with possible side effects including some user information being leaked if made across multiple sites, Galbraith said. But if done correctly, pre-rendering provides a powerful and instant click experience for the user. New pre-rendering approaches are being developed that are private and secure.
- Document Transition APIs, soon to be available as Original Chrome Trial Experiences, will support graphical transitions between elements, to allow a user to perceive a seamless experience when moving between states of. a web application.
- A WebGPU API to improve graphics performance on the web. Google is working with the graphics and web communities on WebGPU, which is still experimental.
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