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One day, all the sudden, I started hearing jokes about toast. I had no idea what the context was. I assumed some friends just got started telling toast jokes, which isn’t rare by any means. But it turns out it was a whole thing. It got me thinking, jeez, if I can’t keep up with this stuff when it’s kinda my job, it must be extra tough for people who actually do work for a living.

Anyway. Thankfully Jeremy summed it up nicely:

First off, this all kicked off with the announcement of “intent to implement”. That makes it sounds like Google are intending to, well, …implement this. In fact “intent to implement” really means “intend to mess around with this behind a flag”. The language is definitely confusing and this is something that will hopefully be addressed.

Secondly, Chrome isn’t going to ship a toast element. Instead, this is a proposal for a custom element currently called std-toast. I’m assuming that should the experiment prove successful, it’s not a foregone conclusion that the final element name will be called toast.

The drama around it, hence the cause of all the jokes and such, was the fact that it felt like it came out of nowhere and was Chrome strongarming a feature through the standards process, or perhaps kinda skipping that process. Terence’s humorous post digs into that a bit more.

I’m not sure if Google is actually doing anything nefarious here. It’s behind a flag, so I guess the point of that is to explore and research and stuff. Feels very similar to kv:storage to me, a “native module” much like a “native custom element.”

But we should be extra watchful about stuff like this. If any browser goes rogue and just starts shipping stuff, web standards is over. Life for devs gets a lot harder and the web gets a lot worse. The stakes are high. And it’s not going to happen overnight, it’s going to happen with little tiny things like this. Keep that blue beanie on.

Regarding the element itself, it’s always a bit surprising to me to see what gets legs as far as new HTML elements. Toasts just seem like a positioned <dialog> to me, but I haven’t participated in any research or anything. They are popular enough for Bootstrap to have ’em:

See the Pen
Bootstrap Toasts
by Chris Coyier (@chriscoyier)
on CodePen.

I would have guessed something like dropdown menus or tabs would have been the strongest contenders for “native” web components.