Re: [webintents] Should DAP revisit WebIntents?

On Tue, Jun 24, 2014 at 5:58 PM, Robin Berjon <> wrote:
> On 24/06/2014 16:24 , wrote:
>> Is there any new work or progress in this area, with Chrome, or other
>> implementations?  Robin, are ‘web wishes’ related and relevant [3]?
>> Should DAP be looking at them more closely?
>> [3]
> Web Wishes are indeed meant to be a revival of Web Intents (the name being
> picked to be deliberately different from Intents and Activities). I've been
> caught up in the contentEditable stuff, but I've been planning to add the
> normative content now that the uses have been outlined.
> The really, really important step however is for issues to be properly
> listed. There have been many mentions of problems with implementability and
> UI, but none have been documented. If they are documented, then we can't
> make progress (and I believe they can be solved).

Good idea. Where should we collect these issues?

>From my own notes, Web Intents had a number of unresolved issues
related to their UI - particularly in attempting to tie this feature
to browser tabs.

1. When a user invokes an Intent/Wish action then a new tab is created
to handle it. It was unclear what should happen if the original page
then disappeared while this action tab was being displayed. The
original tab could transition itself to another URL, it could be
programmatically closed, it could be put to sleep when in the
background (esp. on mobile after a short period of time) and therefore
it may be unresponsive to callbacks or the user could manually
navigate away from the original page within the original tab leaving
the action tab 'orphaned'. There was no good story for how we handle
'orphaned' tabs whose sole existence is to serve a parent page with a
specific parent tab.

2. A user could invoke an Intent/Wish but then navigate away from the
newly created Intent action page in that tab without fulfilling the
action requested. Should the parent let that tab stick around
indefinitely or could it kill it after a specified period of time.
What should the parent tab do that is waiting on a response from that
action tab it spawned (which has now morphed in to e.g. the tab I'm
now using to check my email)?

3. Do users understand being navigated away from their current tab as
part of the workflow of using Web Intents or does this contribute to
the issues above when users 'lose' their original web page? (i.e.
where'd my page go? [click, click, click] found it [user has now lost
the action tab and may have actually ended up back on a different tab
to where their actual Intents flow started]).

4. When the user fulfils an Intent/Wish invoked action we rely on good
actors to clean up after themselves (e.g. close the action page and/or
return the user to the original page in the original tab when the
action has been fulfilled). There is no enforcement for the action
page in the action tab to close itself and send the user back to the
original page in the original tab. If I instead use an action tab to
e.g. check my email, does the parent tab still 'own' this tab and can
it close it at will (e.g. after what it deems to be an appropriate

5. The way for user agents to collect Web Intent Handlers was left
under-specified. The biggest question was how can we let users opt-in
to adding Intent Handlers to their list of available Intent services
without prompting them to do so on every web page they visit. Should a
web browser hoover up Intents automatically as the user navigates
around the web (although the Intents spec explicitly forbidded this)?
What are the privacy implications of collecting lists of Web Intents
on e.g. shared machines? Do we treat Web Intents in the same way we
treat cookies? How should web pages advertise that they offer Intents
(we previously discussed adding meta tags for this purpose but that
was rejected)?

I agree it would be good to collect these issues somewhere and I would
be happy to help with that.

> Last this came up (a few weeks ago) I think that Paul Kinlan sort of more or
> less accepted to help there. Paul, is that an option or am I cramming words
> into your mouth? (Actually, I don't care *that* much that I am if the result
> is that you list the issues you know about ;) I promise beer in exchange.

I replied because I was hoping to cash in on that promise for free beverages ;)

I look forward to other input on this especially from Paul as
requested by Robin above.

- Rich

> --
> Robin Berjon - - @robinberjon

Received on Wednesday, 25 June 2014 15:41:02 UTC