Last week, Nick Heer had this to say about AMP:

Google is the world’s most-used search engine and they’ve restricted one of their most prominent features to sites that use AMP, their own fork of HTML.

All other things being equal between two web results, if one of them implements AMP and the other one does not, I want the one that loads faster. Don’t you? AMP loads faster by many multiples. When I’m doing a Google Search on my phone and see that the desired result implements AMP, it makes me smile every time. And that’s the point. Google Search has to do just one thing really well: show the user the result they want, as fast as possible. Anything that gets closer to that goal is a win, something to celebrate.

Granted, AMP is Google’s thing, but that doesn’t automatically make Google evil for perculating its implementers to the top of search results and to its Top News Carousel. This isn’t about keeping curmudgeon site owners happy. It’s about making users happy. AMP is one of the best things to happen to Google Search in recent memory.

I quibble over calling this a “fork of HTML,” too. In his footnote, Nick had this to say:

I got a little bit of pushback on Hacker News and Twitter last time I wrote this. Just to be clear: AMP’s specifications require that pages link to this script: https://cdn.ampproject.org/v0.js. For a page to be valid AMP HTML, it must include that JavaScript file, which is hosted by Google.

It’s true that many elements on an AMP page would fail to render without this JavaScript file, because there are custom (though not invalid) attributes required to replace the regular ones. But that could be said of any JavaScript-rich application that’s powered by Angular, React, or Vue. In other words, it’s not a fork of HTML any more than are the world’s most popular JavaScript frameworks. Now granted, unlike these other JavaScript frameworks, you cannot self-host this JavaScript at present; it must reside on Google’s servers. But you can still pour over every line of it and make pull requests to it at its open source GitHub repo. It’s not a black box. You know exactly what you’re getting yourself into when you include this JavaScript file.

Nick doesn’t mention it here, but to address one final criticism I’ve seen: if we’re going to knock on AMP because it doesn’t take visitors to the actual website and thereby hurts the business model of the website, then we need to be consistent and knock on Apple News too, because it does the exact same thing. In fact, all the complaints I’ve seen about AMP apply to Apple News too.