W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-web-mobile@w3.org > February 2014

Feedback on installable webapps

From: David Bruant <bruant.d@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 02 Feb 2014 02:23:07 +0100
Message-ID: <52ED9DFB.4010003@gmail.com>
To: public-web-mobile@w3.org
Hi,

Sending feedback regarding http://w3c-webmob.github.io/installable-webapps/
First off, thanks a lot for this document, I learned a lot!

I'd like to comment on the last part about requirements for a 
standardized solution:
"MUST provide a mechanism that allows a developer to indicate that the 
application is able to function as standalone. If no such indication is 
given by the developer, then the application MUST launch in the Web 
browser as normal. That is, the solution MUST NOT conflate bookmarking 
with allowing a web application to be launched as standalone. "
=> I wonder why that is. It's been the admitted practice, but it's not 
clear why it MUST be that way. A browser could provide an "install" 
button akin to the "bookmark button" and decide on safe default 
semantics (different than "launch web browser") when the developer 
didn't opt-in.
A while ago, Mozilla did some research on how people use apps and mobile 
browser [1][2] (took me ~30 minutes to find that again #SEOFail). One 
conclusion is that people use apps when they know what they want to do 
and focus on it and the mobile browser when they're searching for things 
(this is actually a great insight on why people confuse web browser and 
search engine).
It looks like if people click the "install" button, what they want is 
"this web page without the browser UI" (which is associated with 
searching/navigation, not focusing on one task). It's possible to offer 
them that even if the developer didn't provide opt-in.

"MUST provide a mechanism for the application to check (e.g., via 
script) if it's running as a standalone application. "
=> I imagine a media query could make sense too.

"MUST clarify the security model with regards to how permissions and 
data are shared with the web browser from which the web application was 
bookmarked or installed."
=> Yes. Among other things, if I could "install" a website and have 
separation of credentials between my standalone site and the browser, 
I'd probably have Facebook in its own "standalone app" and disconnect 
from Facebook from my browser (so they're less aware of my browser 
history via Like buttons ;-) )

David

[1] https://blog.mozilla.org/ux/2012/03/browsers-and-apps/
[2] https://air.mozilla.org/what-has-the-ur-team-been-up-to/
Received on Sunday, 2 February 2014 01:23:39 UTC

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