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Re: What does it all hang off of?

From: Robin Berjon <robin@berjon.com>
Date: Mon, 5 Oct 2009 12:53:57 +0200
Cc: "'Jere.Kapyaho@nokia.com'" <Jere.Kapyaho@nokia.com>, "brian@westcoastlogic.com" <brian@westcoastlogic.com>, "public-device-apis@w3.org" <public-device-apis@w3.org>
Message-Id: <81D3E4C7-446E-4D33-BFCF-DDCA18D3D7AF@berjon.com>
To: "Nilsson, Claes1" <Claes1.Nilsson@sonyericsson.com>
On Oct 5, 2009, at 12:08 , Nilsson, Claes1 wrote:
> I agree with Robin and Jere. Don't see the logic of hanging device  
> APIs off the Navigator object.

Actually, to reframe the debate (which is naturally still open), the  
question isn't so much about logic :) The question is really about how  
many cows have walked down this particular path [0].

To give a little bit of context for those who weren't on the Web APIs  
WG in its early days, this is similar to the XMLHttpRequest  
discussion. XMLHttpRequest is an API that can transmit things that  
aren't XML, can do so over transports that aren't HTTP, and can do  
things that aren't actually requests. A case could be made that it's a  
really poor name, but since it was already in widespread use there was  
no value in changing it.

The case we are concerning ourselves with here is not anywhere nearly  
as clear cut. Here are the arguments so far in favour of hanging off  
navigator:

   - it doesn't pollute the global namespace
   - geolocation is there
   - PhoneGap does it
   - platform (very limited metadata on the underlying OS)
   - registerProtocolHandler() and registerContentHandler() (which are  
like AppLauncher but in reverse)

(Anne: I'm not counting onLine as that can be controlled at the UA  
level rather than the complete system, nor language since that's a UA  
setting even though it may default to what the platform uses for some  
browsers).

That's not a lot of cows but it's some  which is why the decision  
isn't that obvious. I guess that in general the case can be made that  
for a web application "navigator" is the layer right below, in the  
same way that "system" is in a number of language libraries.

Keep arguing :)

[0] http://www.w3.org/TR/html-design-principles/#pave-the-cowpaths

-- 
Robin Berjon - http://berjon.com/
Received on Monday, 5 October 2009 10:54:30 UTC

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