Both Google and Mozilla have been pushing the concept of the web as the operating system of the future for some time now. It’s a move that not only makes sense for two of the most prominent web-centric entities around, but also for end users, since we spend an ever-increasing amount of time performing daily computing tasks on the web.
The Web Even More Like An OS With Web Intents
Before the web can truly become our OS, however, it’s got some more growing up to do. One major shortcoming right now is the disconnectedness of web apps. Where our current operating systems provide a unified set of APIs that allow all the other applications we install to interact and hook into native OS functionality in a seamless way, the web currently has no such system. Big-name web apps like Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Last.fm offer their own private APIs, but without a single, ubiquitous, all-encompassing standard, it’s very hard to achieve a smooth cross-web experience.
Mozilla and Google are both working away at a solution to this problem, which they’ve labeled Web Intents. Google developer Paul Kinlan announced the undertaking toward the end of 2010, though the project has only recently gained widespread attention. The aim is fairly straightforward: to provide users with cleaner, more simplified interactions between web apps, and allow developers to preserve their remaining sanity by making that interaction far more simple to code.