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Re: [whatwg] Accessing local files with JavaScript portably and securely

From: David Kendal <me@dpk.io>
Date: Tue, 11 Apr 2017 17:42:05 +0100
Message-Id: <E062D7A2-AEF9-43CE-AD32-8197802F6832@dpk.io>
To: Patrick Dark <whatwg.at.whatwg.org@patrick.dark.name>
Cc: "whatwg@whatwg.org" <whatwg@whatwg.org>
On 11 Apr 2017, at 12:55, Patrick Dark <whatwg.at.whatwg.org@patrick.dark.name> wrote:

> I can't see this being addressed. The only good reason to distribute
> an application this way is because you want it to be confidential and
> there's no incentive to accommodate what one might call "walled
> gardens" in HTML because they naturally have a limited audience. For
> example, if your application is being distributed via CD, that implies
> that that number of application instances will be limited to the
> number of physical media items, that the application will never be
> updated, and that the application therefore isn't particularly
> important.

I object strongly to this inference.

Let's approach this problem from the other end. This is the problem I'm
actually trying to solve, and I've concluded that the web platform,
distributed on CD-ROM, may be the best approach. Please suggest another
way to distribute something which is:

(a) stable, as in won't disappear when the publisher dies or goes out of
    business and stops paying hosting bills;
(b) archivable, as in won't degrade significantly over the medium term
    when stored;
(c) portable, as in not tied to any particular API;
(d) forward-compatible, as in will very probably run on future computer
    architectures and operating systems in the long term, regardless of
    system call or GUI API changes.

I am genuinely asking for suggestions for a better approach. HTML files
on CD are *vital* for certain kinds of large ebooks to survive the ages.
But if you want to make them interactive, you're hamstrung by the lack
of cross-browser support for XHR/Fetch for files on the same medium.

Bundling an HTTP server on the disc would break (c) and (d), though one
could depend on the capabilities of future software archaeologists to
simply run their own servers for the content.

-- 
dpk (David P. Kendal) · Nassauische Str. 36, 10717 DE · http://dpk.io/
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 we had proceeded by the simple principle that essentially, to see how
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Received on Tuesday, 11 April 2017 16:42:39 UTC

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