Google intent on web apps working together
Google engineers have been researching a scheme which will allow web applications to work together without having hard-wired knowledge of other web applications. The project, Web Intents, takes its name and design philosophy from the Android feature, Intents, which allows Android applications to work together.
With Intents, an application can register that it is able to handle particular actions, such as process an image, examine a URL or edit some text. Another application can then create an Activity, defining what it would like to have done, and ask the Intents system how that should be performed. This process is described as run-time late binding.
The project is being developed by Paul Kinlan, a Google engineer who started work in November 2010 on the first version of Web Intents (webintents.com) which used IFRAMEs. That work in turn inspired Mozilla Labs' Web Activities while Kinlan moved on to work on a similar project called Web Introducer, but this "didn't work out". Kinlan has returned to working on Web Intents but as a new project with the original goal, and the added goal of making it "so painless that most developers can start integrating with applications in 5 minutes of reading the spec."