RE: Widget API Set/GetPreferences vs. HTML5 Key/Value Pairs Storage


This sounds to me a bit too much "personal" as motivation.
The fact that you implement the APIs as server side, because your widget
live in a "Local Webserver" doesn't justify the reject of HTML5 Storage
as alternative to set/getPref APIs.

By the way, HTML5 Local Storage Key/Value Pairs is all "client side":
there is nothing that involve any server side.
And this should be the same for Get/SetPreferences in Widgets, otherwise
the spec will be too "close" and too "focused" on the final


Ivan De Marino
Orange Labs
Mobile and Web Software Engineer, R&D UK
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-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Scott Wilson
Sent: 11 February 2009 09:54
To: Jonas Sicking
Subject: Re: Widget API Set/GetPreferences vs. HTML5 Key/Value Pairs

Hi Jonas,

We run the widgets from a server, which a web application renders into
the browser window using iFrames (a typical "web widget"  
architecture). Each widget in its iFrame calls the Widget API getPref/
setPref methods, which are implemented in a locally injected JS library.
This library implements the get/setPref methods as AJAX requests back to
the server.

If the widget used the LocalStorage interface, the server would not be
engaged in the storage process, as localStorage is implemented by the
browser itself. We might then run into issues where the same widget was
instantiated for different users in different contexts - currently we
issue an opaque identifier to each running widget instance that enables
the server to keep the user preferences separate - though perhaps this
could be picked up by the localStorage implementation if  
it used the querystring as part of calculating the storage scope.   
We'd still get an issue, however, of users losing all their widget
preferences if they accessed them from a different device, or a
different browser on the same device, which would be annoying.

(Admittedly this is not an issue for single-user environments...)

However we could get around this by having the Widget object return a
handle for an object that implemented the HTML 5 Storage interface - in
our implementation this would then be an object we define in our
injected JS library (using AJAX once again), while in other
implementations this could either be the localStorage instance, or a
facade that maps the calls onto another storage method (e.g. Apple

It may also be worth exploring having a separate mechanism for handling
access to arbitrary container-managed attributes (for example, the
current user's display name, role, or other profile
information) in a similar fashion; currently we use preferences to
handle these as well.

(NB: "web widgets" are not explicitly within the scope of the W3C
Widgets spec, but  I think it would be good to provide solutions which
don't rule them out either.)


On 11 Feb 2009, at 02:54, Jonas Sicking wrote:

> On Wed, Feb 4, 2009 at 1:26 AM, Scott Wilson 
> <> wrote:
>> This is a pretty radical change; I can certainly see the logic of it 
>> in terms of reducing spec overlap. However, it does presume that 
>> semantically a widget preference is the same as client-side storage. 
>> In our implementation, storage is definitely server-side, so this 
>> mechanism would not really work for us.
> I'm not sure I understand the difference. Can you describe why your 
> implementation wouldn't be able to store the HTML5 API server-side?
> Are there any changes we could do to the HTML5 API that would allow a 
> server-side back-end?
> / Jonas

Received on Wednesday, 11 February 2009 10:54:27 UTC