W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-sysapps@w3.org > June 2012

RE: System Level API spec editors

From: Josh Soref <jsoref@rim.com>
Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2012 21:57:33 +0000
To: sysapps <public-sysapps@w3.org>
Message-ID: <957F1ECDA90E004B8DBDE23CFC94E3A33A4811D7@XMB103ECNC.rim.net>
Mounir wrote:
> Because Web Intents is about "rich integration between web applications"
> [1]. It is "a user-initiated action delegated to be performed by a
> service" [1]. This is not a discovery API, AFAICT.

One goal of Web Intents is to enable the user to select a service and allow the UA to feed that service's data to the App while abstracting the source of the data from the app that receives the data.

It's a form of "blind discovery", you get what you want, but you don't know who provided the data.

When you do a DNS lookup in your average application, do you care which  DNS server provided the actual answer? No.
When you make a phone call to someone, do you care which phone network(s) handled the call? No.
When you take a train ride in the US, or the UK, do you care which rail network(s) carried your train? No.

When I send you a package, do you care which provider I used to ship the package? On average, No, as long as I pay for it.

I happened to choose UPS the last time I did that, but my recipient was only interested in the contents. If UPS happened to provide the package with "From Josh" and no UPS wrappings, the recipient would have been perfectly happy.

Web Intents is designed to work that way.

When I ship a package from RIM, I don't actually select UPS, I fill out a label saying "please send package from <ME> to <Someone>", there's a group at RIM which deals with shipping, they select which Package Delivery Service to use, and they ship the package to Someone. Now, maybe today they like UPS, and maybe tomorrow they'll choose to use DHL. Essentially, I'm a "client", and the Shipping team at RIM is the UA running my "App", I give them the "deliver this package" "intent", and they select the service with which to fulfill the request. We're all quite happy. They may even send me a "your package was shipped" notice in response to my request.

Looking back to sensors. If you have an application which can create a table of sensor readings and a pretty chart, and I have a UA and browse to your site, I may want to run your Application with my Garage's thermometer. But that doesn't mean I want you to know it's my Garage's thermometer. Your Application doesn't need to know that. What it needs is access to a Thermometer, and if it's a nice app, it'll let me label the Thermometer. Here the UA helps me abstract away details (specific bits about the garage's thermometer, or about my sports car which happens to have a thermometer near the engine) while it delivers the requested bits for your Application.

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Received on Tuesday, 5 June 2012 21:58:08 UTC

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