W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-bpwg@w3.org > February 2008

Re: Widgets Re: ISSUE-237 (Define Mobile Web Applications)

From: Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>
Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2008 19:11:23 +0100
To: "Sean Owen" <srowen@google.com>
Cc: "public-bpwg@w3.org" <public-bpwg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.t61jg9mkwxe0ny@widsith.local>

On Sun, 24 Feb 2008 18:15:05 +0100, Sean Owen <srowen@google.com> wrote:

> On Sun, Feb 24, 2008 at 11:53 AM, Charles McCathieNevile
> <chaals@opera.com> wrote:
>>  The point of standardising it was that it is implemented in practice.
>>  Opera, Apple, Nokia and others ship this to phones, it's available for  
>> Wii
>>  and various flavours of desktop such as opera (all desktop OS), MacOS,
>>  iPhone, and there are various systems that embed widgets into a web
>>  application you can use, from providers like Google and AOL.
> ... etc., but we're not a widget working group per se, irrespective of
> the merits of it, and I'm sure it's a good thing.

Indeed. Our remit is confined to lookng at what happens - and saying what  
would be nice, although we cannot mandate that as a current best practice.

>>  I think the technology is clearly a best practice for delivering
>>  applications - you are basically reducing the transfer from the entire
>>  application to just the changing bits. Since widgets have persistent
>>  client-side storage, you can use them for real stuff like mail
>>  applications or the fairly common feed readers as well as the  
>> apparently
>>  ubiquitous stock tickers, clocks, weather information (if you are  
>> mobile,
>>  why not just look up to find out the weather?).
> Sure, but I think you are saying it is not yet practice even.

A few hundred thousand widgets says you're wrong...

> Maybe it
> will be -- it's even likely. BP3? sure, maybe so.
> Maybe this does deserve discussion. Our charter says that BPs are
> about codifying current best practices for applying existing web
> standards most effectively.


> This widget technology would not fall into
> the category of existing web standards. Even mentioning XHTML 1.1 in
> BP1 ended up being too optimistic.

Indeed. Because IE's brokennes causes fundamental problems for people  
using XHTML 1.1, and because the fact that the specification for inputMode  
is a nice idea combined with a bunch of terrible wording promising a spec  
som time in the future means that people haven't been rushing to implement  
it. There ar in fact workarounds for both of these problems, they are just  
unpleasant and likely to be overkill.

> BP1 put together the knowledge gathered over WAP's first, what, 7
> years of slow evolution? We're now talking about writing BPs for
> devices that have been out for a year, maybe two. I admit I think it's
> a little early, but not entirely premature. The more-capable mobile
> platform we're thinking of is getting close to a desktop browser,
> leaving less mobile-specific to talk about. There may not be 60 new
> BPs. But we can't be tempted to write about things that might be a
> good idea later, it's not in our remit.

Ajax on phones has been real since 2005. A lot of it works in mini4 - not  
just for $500 smartphones, but for $50 phones shipping in millions. So  
have widgets on the Web. Putting the two together has been clearly on the  
roadmap and shipping (depending on which browser you're wondering about)  
for almost as long.

I therefore think this is therefore a legitimate topic for analysis and  
possible inclusion in the BP. It may be premature right now, but the  
document is not ready either. We should be tracking these two things in  
parallel because they are clearly important. Otherwise we risk writing  
more outdated stuff than we need to.



Charles McCathieNevile  Opera Software, Standards Group
     je parle français -- hablo español -- jeg lærer norsk
http://my.opera.com/chaals   Try Opera 9.5: http://snapshot.opera.com
Received on Sunday, 24 February 2008 18:12:22 UTC

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