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Re: [File API] Recent Updates To Specification + Co-Editor

From: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>
Date: Mon, 28 Jun 2010 15:01:14 -0700
Message-ID: <AANLkTimZp-7tOL7UWcdqwvJ4j2r47bJ9bwBQXm1dvOpF@mail.gmail.com>
To: Eric Uhrhane <ericu@google.com>
Cc: arun@mozilla.com, Web Applications Working Group WG <public-webapps@w3.org>, public-device-apis <public-device-apis@w3.org>
On Mon, Jun 28, 2010 at 2:44 PM, Eric Uhrhane <ericu@google.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 28, 2010 at 2:20 PM, Arun Ranganathan <arun@mozilla.com> wrote:
>> Greetings WebApps WG,
>>
>> I have made edits to the File API specification [1].  There are a few things
>> of note that I'd like to call the WG's attention to.
>>
>> 1. There is a name change in effect.  FileReader has been re-named
>> BlobReader, upon request from Chrome team folks[2][3].  The name
>> "BlobReader" won't win awards in a beauty pageant, but it tersely describes
>> an object to read Blobs (which could originate from the underlying file
>> system *or* be generated *within* a Web App).  My present understanding is
>> that FileWriter will also undergo a name change.  Naming is really hard.
>>  Firefox already ships with FileReader, but I see the point of having an
>> object named for what it does, which in this case is certainly more than
>> file reading from the underlying file system.  I also abhor bike shedding,
>> especially over naming, but this is something that's exposed to the authors.
>>  I have not renamed FileError or FileException.  In the case of errors and
>> exceptions, I think *most* scenarios will occur as a result of issues with
>> the underlying file system.  These names should remain.
>
> I've just made the corresponding changes to FileWriter [->BlobWriter]
> in both the FileWriter and FileSystem specs.  I've not changed the URL
> of the FileWriter spec, though, for simplicity.

I have to say, I'm not a big fan of these name changes for two reasons:

1. While technically speaking, the functions on FileReader/BlobReader
does accept Blobs rather than Files, I suspect that in most cases
people will be dealing with files. I.e. I think it will be far more
common that the Blob being passed in to the reader is in fact also a
File, and is thought of by the developer as a file, than not. So while
it seems strange to use a FileReader to read a Blob, it feels equally
foreign to use a BlobReader to read a file.

2. Firefox 3.6 is already shipping with a FileReader implementation.
Large parts of the spec remained stable and without request for
changes for quite a while and we deemed it unlikely to change. Indeed,
no other changes have been requested, other than the name change, in
the parts that we implemented.

I certainly agree that anyone shipping an implementation before a spec
is an official Recommendation is always running the risk of running in
to incompatible changes. However in the past we have avoided to break
existing implementations, and I certainly can't think of a time we've
decided to do it over what is essentially a bikeshed issue.

/ Jonas
Received on Monday, 28 June 2010 22:02:07 GMT

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