W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-web-intents@w3.org > January 2012

Re: Using webintents to enable HTML+JS plugins

From: Robin Berjon <robin@berjon.com>
Date: Wed, 18 Jan 2012 15:48:43 +0100
Cc: public-web-intents@w3.org
Message-Id: <C4D2075C-B690-46D5-9A05-8F73CD10C430@berjon.com>
To: Darin Fisher <darin@chromium.org>
On Dec 17, 2011, at 01:57 , Darin Fisher wrote:
> Assuming we invent an intent to handle a mime type (the View intent), then I could imagine
> it opening up the possibility to not only support explicitly started activities to handle a
> particular mime type, but also the incidental encountering of mime types (<iframe>) or the
> explicit embedding of a plugin to handle a mime type (<embed>/<object>).
> Traditionally, browser invoke plugins to handle non-built-in mime types.  It seems
> WebIntents could enable HTML+JS to be used to do the same.

I come back to this today because just a few hours ago I was discussing a very similar problem with some friends. I very much like the idea, especially since it's something that could unlock a lot of innovation (the path to having a new format widely supported becoming much shorter).

One aspect that hasn't been discussed here but that I feel is particularly important is system-level integration of such a feature. That is to say, if my browser becomes able to handle application/shiny-unicorns and render those when they're loaded (directly, in an iframe/object/embed, etc.) then it should be possible that when I double-click on a file of type application/shiny-unicorns on my desktop, it opens a new tab in my browser with the intent loaded up and ready to go.

Yes, there are security issues all over. But without system integration this feature is a whole lot less desirable.

Robin Berjon - http://berjon.com/ - @robinberjon
Received on Wednesday, 18 January 2012 14:49:07 UTC

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