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What is AMP Project (Accelerated Mobile Pages Project) ?

AMP is fundamentally about making the web into a better document format, at the cost of abandoning some of the features that made the mobile web an application platform.

Architecturally, the main thing that AMP does is to get rid of Javascript. Javascript is the main thing that made pages slow to load and hard to cache. If a page contains Javascript then it can fetch arbitrary resources (preventing caching) and do arbitrary things before displaying content (making this slow).

Google-AMP

The vast majority of web pages are essentially documents, and don’t really need the expressive power of Javascript. The reason these documents were using Javascript was to implement relatively simple things like adverts and slideshows. AMP deals with such use cases by providing standard components that allow a document to have such features without having to use Javascript.

While some web developers might be upset about losing the freedom that Javascript gave, this is arguably inevitable. Over-use of Javascript had led to web pages that were impractically slow, and filled with overly intrusive ads that messed up the reading experience. We were already seeing a revolt against the mobile web, in the form of Facebook hosted articles and ad blocking in iOS9.

There are of course some web pages that were web applications rather than documents and were using Javascript for purposes that are unlikely to be supported by AMP. If AMP is successful then it will be interesting to see what effect that has on the viability of the web as an application platform.

 
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