Questions to the Amazon Silk team

Dear Amazon Silk team,

You released a marketing campaign disguised as a technical talk about your new Silk browser for the Kindle.

Web developers are very interested in what you have to offer, and would love to study the solutions you’ve created for browsing in connection-challenged environments, but currently that’s impossible due to lack of information.

That lack is understandable: right now you’re hurrying to get all last-minute fixes applied in time for the release and don’t have time for answering detailed technical questions.

Still, the emphasis you put on Silk’s use of completely new concepts makes web developers very nervous and has them scramble for any information. Browser vendor had completely idiotic ideas before and tried to sell them as the Next Big Thing. We’d like to know for sure that Amazon is not one of those vendors.

Therefore I have a few questions for you, which are detailed below.

I would also very much like to get in touch with a Silk developer relations manager.

Oh, and next time, please don’t pretend all these concepts are totally new and utterly astounding. They’re not. Opera has been doing this for years. Your solution may be technically better, but the onus of proving that is on you.

Thanks, ppk


First some definitions in order to prevent any miscommunication.

Full browser
A browser that runs on the client, receives all HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and images, and interprets and renders them. The browser is capable of running JavaScript and changing the DOM on the fly.
Proxy browser
A browser that consists of a thin client that leaves the parsing and rendering of the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to a server-side component which sends the rendered page to the client. The browser is incapable of running JavaScript: every script call requires a new server request.

Now Silk seems to be both, and also seems to be able to function as a hybrid of the two, where some, but not all, parsing and rendering is done on the server.


So here are my questions:

This is the blog of Peter-Paul Koch, web developer, consultant, and trainer. You can also follow him on Twitter or Mastodon.
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