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[css-regions] Named flows and application development

From: Alan Stearns <stearns@adobe.com>
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 2013 21:44:20 +0000
To: "CSS WWW Style (www-style@w3.org)" <www-style@w3.org>
CC: "L. David Baron" <dbaron@dbaron.org>
Message-ID: <CECF6E32.34EC0%stearns@adobe.com>
Named flows enable web applications like Fidus Writer (a Mozilla Festival
strategic pick) [1] and several Win8 apps for news [2][3], magazines [4]
and readers [5]. These apps all share a need for accessing the inputs and
outputs of fragmentation. Any paginated view in a web app (such as these,
or what you see in Google Docs/QuickOffice) may have unique fragmentation
requirements.

Without named flows, apps with these requirements are forced to do their
own fragmentation. Flow content is broken into fragments and rehoused in
presentational elements using DOM manipulation. In some cases this is
problematic, as the script that fragments content isn't performant enough
for the app experience. A single fragmentation run can usually work (on
the server or the client) but content or viewport changes is usually too
much to handle.

So CSS Regions solves just one facet of this problem - allowing the
browser to perform the fragmentation. This gets developers to the point
where apps like the ones listed above are *possible* on the web. And while
named flows allow the presentation to be fragmented, the flow content can
remain in a single element in the markup.

There are plenty of other facets to address, but they can be separated and
should be solved separately. The focus of CSS Regions is to define an
extensible layer that allows fragmentation to be offloaded to the browser.
The extensibility points we've defined in CSS Regions are sufficient to
allow these apps to come to the web platform. Use of this layer will
inform how we should solve problems in other layers.

[1] http://fiduswriter.org/

[2] Bing News 
http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/en-us/app/eaaf2ce3-d5a3-4a59-ae31-276fbc4

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[3] NYT 
http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/en-us/app/8e15939d-8469-483c-9fb8-94c2e72

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[4] my History Digest
http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/en-us/app/cc28e3fe-0256-471e-a0dd-ffc92b7

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[5] Book Bazaar Reader
http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/en-us/app/book-bazaar-reader/bf4896b8-421

1-4817-9bd8-a5e2bf92fdca

Received on Thursday, 12 December 2013 21:44:51 UTC

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