Flutterby™! : Google Docs going Canvas

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Google Docs going Canvas

2021-05-12 21:13:20.48707+00 by Dan Lyke 7 comments

Interesting: Google Docs will now use canvas based rendering: this may impact some Chrome extensions

What’s changing  We’re updating the way Google Docs renders documents. Over the course of the next several months, we’ll be migrating the underlying technical implementation of Docs from the current HTML-based rendering approach to a canvas-based approach to improve performance and improve consistency in how content appears across different platforms.

[ related topics: Theater & Plays Graphics ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: Google Docs going Canvas made: 2021-05-13 02:11:40.828396+00 by: markd

Wonderful. Bet it'll break platform editing conventions.

#Comment Re: Google Docs going Canvas made: 2021-05-13 14:28:43.015222+00 by: Dan Lyke

Amazingly, their sample doc that's supposed to be the new tech seems really good about integration. I'm now wanting to learn more about how they're doing it, because I'd be flabbergasted if they've just re-implemented all of the text handling and drag selection and search and all that in canvas, but maybe they have...

#Comment Re: Google Docs going Canvas made: 2021-05-13 14:35:53.765959+00 by: brainopener

If they have Chrome compiled to WASM and Canvas, then they'd get text handling, select, search, etc... "free."

#Comment Re: Google Docs going Canvas made: 2021-05-14 04:49:55.110602+00 by: spc476

I'm getting that feeling that we're at the "extinguish" phase of "embrace, extend and extinguish." Also, does that mean we'll all have to download a ton of Javascript to render HTML in our HTML browsers?

#Comment Re: Google Docs going Canvas made: 2021-05-14 12:56:50.287934+00 by: brainopener

Don't worry, I'm sure it will be WebAssembly and not Javascript. Much smaller (although doesn't compress as well). :)

I think that's the current trajectory. Seems like from Google Docs it spreads to GMail. Then when it is "mainstream" a lot of web apps will start doing the same (I think GMail really got SPAs as a concept going). From there, moving Google Search, YouTube, etc... is in grasp.

Definitely not a sure thing... lots could happen. AMP felt like a power grab and it looks like Google may be moving on from that now.

I'm torn... the idea that on a new platform all I need is a WASM VM with Canvas to have first class web is kind of nice --- it's just all that other ickyness around I can imagine that sucks.

#Comment Re: Google Docs going Canvas made: 2021-05-14 13:32:08.208881+00 by: markd

Is there an editable doc? I'm mainly curious about the standard system-wide mac text-editor emacs bindings. Websites that do their own heavy lifting tend to forget those exist, and break them. Or worse, break half of them. Like Constant Contact that'll let you ^K delete stuff, but yanking it back doesn't work. And undo is broken around that, so enjoy your data loss, grognards.

#Comment Re: Google Docs going Canvas made: 2021-05-14 15:21:01.679707+00 by: brainopener

I've only seen the read-only doc:


Cmd+F fires up an internal search. I can Cmd+C and paste into a different app. Right-click brings up their own menu that has a few different options depending on what you right-click on.

Trying to print results in a single blank page (there's a joke in there about that being an improvement over normal contemporary browser printing).

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