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System Info API feedback (was: Re: [whatwg] Pressure API?)

From: Rich Tibbett <richt@opera.com>
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2011 11:01:52 +0100
Message-ID: <4D58FD90.6080603@opera.com>
To: W3C Device APIs and Policy WG <public-device-apis@w3.org>
Some feedback on the System Info API (from me, +1). Would like to see 
this reworked in to a simple events model as we've been discussing recently.

- Rich

Ian Hickson wrote:
> On Wed, 20 Oct 2010, Jens M´┐Żller wrote:
>> now that device orientation, geolocation, camera etc. have been spec'ed:
>> Is there any intent to provide an API for pressure sensors?
>>
>> This might well be the next hip feature in smartphones ...
>>
>> Oh, and while we are at it: Humidity probably belongs to the same group.
>
> I haven't added these features to the spec for now, since the use cases
> for it aren't that compelling and so it's probably best to wait a while
> longer, allowing browser vendors to implement more of the stuff we have
> already added.
>
>
> On Wed, 20 Oct 2010, Rich Tibbett wrote:
>> Could this be modeled as an extension [1] to the System Info API [2]?
>>
>> This spec is still at the working draft phase. Perhaps renaming it to
>> 'Generic Sensors API' and removing a whole bunch of the sensors included
>> in there at the moment would be appropriate.
>>
>> Getting and monitoring pressure and humidity within that framework would
>> work.
>>
>> [1] http://www.w3.org/TR/system-info-api/#extensibility
>> [2] http://www.w3.org/TR/system-info-api
>
> That doesn't really look like a Web spec... it doesn't really address
> privacy and security concerns (it just says browsers "must not retrieve
> or update system information to Web sites without the express permission
> of the user", which doesn't really give much of a chance for there to be
> a good user interface for this), and it's massively over-engineered for
> what it is (the API surface is bigger than<canvas>!).
>
> It looks more like something one would use in walled-garden environments.
>
>
> On Wed, 20 Oct 2010, Henri Sivonen wrote:
>> Are there other use cases apart from guessing the altitude? It figuring
>> out the device altitude is the use case, shouldn't the API expose the
>> altitude and allow the altitude to be computed by the browser or by the
>> operating system from a pressure sensor, from GPS or both?
>
> Indeed.
>
>
> On Wed, 20 Oct 2010, Marshall Eubanks wrote:
>> Having worked in meteorology, I can tell you that, if every cell phone
>> had a barometer attached, that data could and would be used to improve
>> "micro-forecasts" over densely populated regions. It should be possible
>> to track storm fronts and the like to the 100 meter level - imagine an
>> app that gave you a 1 minute warning on the need for an umbrella.
>>
>> I am not going to pass any judgement on how hip this would be, but those
>> are the uses I can see.
>
> I think we're some way away from having many users run background Web apps
> on their mobile devices for this kind of thing! However, in the future
> this may become more realistic and that would be a good time to spec this.
>
Received on Monday, 14 February 2011 10:02:26 GMT

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