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Re: Widgets PAG seeks feedback on Widget Updates spec

From: Robin Berjon <robin@berjon.com>
Date: Wed, 15 Jul 2009 15:04:23 +0200
Cc: marcosc@opera.com, Arthur Barstow <art.barstow@nokia.com>, public-webapps <public-webapps@w3.org>, Rigo Wenning <rigo@w3.org>
Message-Id: <191F3F8D-F612-4BD5-9BF0-21C630FDF4DF@berjon.com>
To: Jean-Claude Dufourd <jean-claude.dufourd@telecom-paristech.fr>
Dear Jean-Claude,

On Jul 15, 2009, at 13:54 , Jean-Claude Dufourd wrote:
> Marcos Caceres a écrit :
>>
>> From the spec "...an author can request that a widget asynchronously
>> check if a widget has been updated [(i.e., that a new version of the
>> widget package is available online)] via the widget.update() method,
>> defined in the Widgets-API specification. This strategy also relies  
>> on
>> the author having declared a update element in the widget
>> configuration document, as it makes use of the URI to potentially
>> retrieve an UDD and relay whether an update is available back to the
>> instantiated Widget. **Actually performing the update is left to the
>> discretion of the widget user agent.**"
>>
> JCD: this standards trick works if your aim is to have a patent on  
> the highlighted point be judged as non-essential.

It's not a trick, but more importantly you're answering the beginning  
of a thread that has now moved on to entirely different conclusions.

> There are a few points to check to ensure non-essentiality:
> - the language of the standard makes the feature a MAY (seems to be  
> the case);

But as you know variability in specification through optional features  
leads directly to a marked lack of interoperability. Therefore using a  
MAY here would be bad. Since anyway it was never the intent that an  
update occur when this method is called, and since an optional feature  
is by and large useless, this entire method has been dropped. This  
makes the point moot.

> - no test case uses the feature (should be easy too).

Test cases are orthogonal since they are not normative.

> However, if the implementations consistently implement the feature,  
> they will infringe the patent and will get a call from the patent  
> holder.

People are, of course, always free to infringe on any patent they  
wish. All we care about is that it is possible to implement in a  
sensible manner and without infringing. Given that we're dropping a  
feature that could look like self-updating but wasn't, this is a minor  
concern.

> It seems to me that this feature may end up as "consistently  
> implemented".

If it is it won't be because of us since we've concluded that it's of  
little use and dropped it from the specification!

> There would then be a good case for the WG to spend some time on  
> devising a proper workaround.
> Anyone sharing my opinion that the widget update feature will be  
> consistenly implemented (even if optional) ?

You seem to be mixing up Widget Updates and the update() method, is  
that the case?

Also, the PAG has convened several times already and should produce  
its output in a timely manner. So yes the PAG has looked at the  
problem from a variety of angles (on which I won't comment since its  
operation is member-only) and when its conclusions are published they  
will be announced here.

-- 
Robin Berjon - http://berjon.com/
     Feel like hiring me? Go to http://robineko.com/
Received on Wednesday, 15 July 2009 13:05:00 GMT

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