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Re: RfC: moving Web Storage to WG Note; deadline June 29

From: Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>
Date: Tue, 21 Jun 2011 10:33:13 -0400
Message-ID: <4E00ABA9.3030900@mit.edu>
To: Marcos Caceres <marcosscaceres@gmail.com>
CC: public-webapps <public-webapps@w3.org>
On 6/21/11 10:25 AM, Marcos Caceres wrote:
> Seems your idea of "the web platform" is very idiosyncratic and
> limited. It almost sounds like you are advocating "a modern web
> browser with no extensions installed is the Web platform" or "it's not
> in the HTML/WAHTWG spec, so it's not the Web platform". Yet, a
> significant number of users of Web browsers use browser extensions:
> Moz boasts "2,521,539,729 add-ons downloaded" - that's a lot of
> download for something that is not part of the "Web platform" yet are
> part of a Web browser.

I think you're confusing "parts of a web browser" and "things that need 
to affect the design of web APIs".

Extensions are very commonly used, yes.  That doesn't mean we should be 
designing web APIs around the needs of extensions.  In particular, 
extensions can, and often do, have access to APIs that are not exposed 
to web pages and that can be used to serve whatever non-Web needs those 
extensions have.

> Perhaps you don't use browser extensions, which might lead you to
> believe that they are not an essential part of a web browsing
> experience. For people like me (and seems like a pretty significant
> part of the Firefox, Chrome, and Opera user base), they are a
> fundamental part of the browsing experience and of the platform.

There is a big difference between "the browsing experience" and "the 
platform".

> Again, what part of the Web Storage running on chrome:// or widget://
> is an issue or violates the spec?

I haven't examined the code in detail, so I have no idea whether there 
are such parts.  But why does that matter?

> A good API and specification is one
> that has wider applications than that for what it was originally
> intended.

And a bad API and specification is one that is designed with wider 
applications in mind that never really materialize, saddling the 
original applications with suboptimal API.  We have tons of Web APIs 
like this.

I'd rather err on the side of addressing known needs well than on the 
side of hoping additional needs arise.

Perhaps that's the fundamental disagreement we have?

> I obviously didn't make myself clear: I'm talking about this
> particular (Web Storage) API and how it interoperates in two browser
> extension systems (Chrome and Opera).

And I'm saying that interoperability of extension systems should not be 
a concern for W3C working groups, even if it happens to occur for a 
particular API.

> If you can't prove that it is different and it does not fully conform to the Web Storage spec, then
> you don't really have a case.

My case is that we should not be spending time standardizing extension 
APIs, period, and instead focus on things that are needed for the web. 
The fact that some of them happen to agree anyway is irrelevant to that 
point.

-Boris
Received on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 14:33:57 GMT

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