For those too young to remember, the Browser Wars entailed a tech rush by, among others, Netscape and Microsoft, resulting in useless features being implemented because they were fast to bolt-on, and useful features being rushed because they were hard. After the Browser Wars, the internet entered an era of stability as the last vestiges of the old web were mercilessly hunted down and destroyed by Google.
Chrome and Chromium-based browsers have the vast majority of the market share, and with the new version of Edge being based on Chromium, only Firefox is truly left to compete. We’re already seeing the effects of this, and they’re not ideal.
Get ready, this one is going to have a lot of links, and they’re important…
The Saga of <std-toast>
On June 12th, 2019, Google developers asked for a review of a proposed new element for HTML. Specifically, they asked the Web Platform Incubator Community Group (WICG), a community dedicated to fostering open discussion about the future of the Internet as a platform. It’s run by the W3C, and generally, it’s exactly where you should be asking about potential changes to the actual foundation of the Internet.
On the same day, however, they announced their intent to include the element in the Blink rendering engine. Now, that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen any time soon, but it caused some significant consternation.
The Basic Idea
Well first, let’s talk about the element itself. It’s a pop-up notification. Literally, it’s a notification that pops up from the bottom of your screen, like toast… from a toaster, or from the top, like toast from an upside-down toaster [feel free to insert a joke about Australia here].
The basic HTML could be written like one of the following examples: