Is this just so Google can save space to cause less bandwidth issues? Or do they try to hide some of their functionality from view, too (even when knowing obfuscation isn't secure either)? Because it seems Google actually benefits from people doing friendly hacks with their code – they even released a Greasemonkey API for Gmail to make such hacks easier. Or think of how the Google Maps API came about, in the words of then-Google employee Pamela Fox (and let's not forget any API also causes increased bandwidth challenges):
I guess maps.google.com started and I think what happened is that somebody reverse-engineered Google Maps. And I think Google just liked it so much that they decided, let’s make it an API. And that’s the way a lot of things happen these days; people out there realizing, “hey, this could be useful for me too,” and then showing how it could be done. And you know, then us making that official.
Imagine if Google would output friendlier client-side code; while generating bigger file sizes, it seems that this way they'd almost deliver a quick & dirty "API" for many of their tools. People would additionally be able to learn from Google's code. And getting developers on board after all isn't an altruistic act; it can make sense even for a commercial company, as these developers then are more inclined to spread the word on Google's services to other users. I'm not saying that this would necessary be worth the price though – what do you think?
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