- Launch a product to great fanfare
- Spend a few years hyping it as ✨the future✨
- Stop answering emails and pull requests
- If you're lucky, announce that the product is abandoned but, more likely, just forget about it.
Open Graph Protocol (OGP) is one of those products. The value-proposition is simple.
- It's hard for computers to pick out the main headline, image, and other data from a complex web page.
- Therefore, let's encourage websites to include metadata which tells our services what they should look at!
OGP works pretty well! When you share a link on Facebook, or Twitter, or Telegram - those services load the website in the background, look for OGP metadata, and display a friendly snippet.
- The website - https://ogp.me/ - still works.
- But the Facebook OGP Discussion Group is now full of spam.
- The Developer Mailing List is broken.
- The Google Documentation links to a dead Google+ page.
- And the GitHub Page has been archived.
And, that might be fine.
Well, that's not the case. We know, for example, that Twitter have created their own proprietary OGP-like meta tags. Similarly, Pinterest have their own as well. And even Google are going their own way with Rich Snippets.
This is annoying for developers. Now we have to write multiple different bits of metadata if we want our links to be supported on all platforms.
Standards work is never "finished". Developers want to add new features. Users want to interact with new forms of content.
Tomorrow someone is going to invent a way to share smells over the Internet. How does that get represented in an Open Graph Protocol compliant manner?
<meta property="twitter:olfactory" content="C₃H₆S"> or
<meta property="facebook:nose" content="InChIKey/MWOOGOJBHIARFG-UHFFFAOYSA-N"> or
<meta property="og:smell" content="pumpkin spice"> or...
We know from bitter experience that having several mutually incompatible ways to implement something is a nightmare for developers and provides a poor user-experience.
So we create standards bodies. They're not perfect, but a group of interested folks can do the hard work to try and satisfy oppositional stakeholders.
This is my plea to
Remember, if you love something, let it go.