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Re: Blobs: An alternate (complementary?) binary data proposal (Was: File IO...)

From: Aaron Boodman <aa@google.com>
Date: Sun, 11 May 2008 16:40:08 -0700
Message-ID: <278fd46c0805111640k1b81f16kc45f7a20f8b97345@mail.gmail.com>
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Cc: Chris Prince <cprince@google.com>, "Web API WG (public)" <public-webapi@w3.org>, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>

On Sun, May 11, 2008 at 4:22 PM, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com> wrote:
>> Here's one additional question on how this would work with ByteArray.
>> The read API for ByteArray is currently synchronous. Doesn't this mean
>> that with large files accessing bytearray[n] could block?
> If the ByteArray were in fact backed by a file, then accessing bytearray[n]
> could lead to part of the file being paged in. However, the same is true if
> it is backed by RAM that is swapped out. Even accessing uninitialized
> zero-fill memory could trap to the kernel, though that's in general not as
> bad as hitting disk (whether for swap or file bytes).

But expressing the API as an array makes it seem like access is always
cheap, encouraging people to just burn through the file in a tight
loop. Such loops would actually hit the disk many times, right?

> I can see how you may want to have an object to represent a file that can be
> handed to APIs directly, but that has only an async read interface for JS.
> However, I am pretty sure you would not want to use such an object to
> represent binary data returned from an XHR, or the pixel contents of a
> <canvas>. After all, the data is already in memory. So perhaps files need a
> distinct object from other forms of binary data, if we wanted to enforce
> such a restriction.

I see what you mean for canvas, but not so much for XHR. It seems like
a valid use case to want to be able to use XHR to download very large
files. In that case, the thing you get back seems like it should have
an async API for reading.

- a
Received on Sunday, 11 May 2008 23:40:51 UTC

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