I was willing to give the Blink folks the benefit of the doubt,
because I do remember they had specific and legitimate concerns
about the spec awhile back. But after reading through notes from a
Pointer Events Meeting in August, I’m forced to reconsider. The
Chrome representative had this to say:
No argument that PE is more elegant. If we had a path to universal
input that all supported, we would be great with that, but not all
browsers will support PE. If we had Apple on board with PE, we’d
still be on board too.
Doesn’t sound very good, does it?
Let’s set any opinions about Pointer Events aside. Frankly, I need
to do a lot more digging here before I have any sort of strong
opinion in one direction or another. There is a bigger issue here.
We have a recurring situation where all vendors (save for Apple)
show interest in standard, but because Apple does not express that
same interest, the standard gets waylaid.
Peter-Paul Koch is even more scathing:
Apple has a huge following and essentially could do as it pleased
for the past seven years or so. In order to forcibly educate Apple
to become a responsible web citizen, it is necessary to create a
counter-weight; to find a company that will support the open Web
and has enough market share to force even web developers who’d
prefer to work in iOS only to pay attention to pointer events.
That company is Google. There is no other candidate. Firefox
essentially doesn’t exist on mobile, mobile IE is too small, as
are the minor browsers such as BlackBerry and UC.
In that light, Google’s refusal to implement the pointer events is
a victory for Apple. Now I don’t know about the high-level
politicking going on, and I certainly don’t want to argue that the
Chrome team intends to increase Apple’s hold on mobile web dev,
but that will be the net result of their actions anyway.
Is there a good summary somewhere explaining Apple’s argument against the Pointer Events spec?
Update: There are some technical arguments against Pointer Events here and here (via Google engineer Ray Cromwell). I think, in layman’s terms, Apple objects to the way that the way Pointer Events unifies mouse, stylus, and touch events — losing the user experience differences between them for the sake of developer convenience.
★ Thursday, 26 February 2015