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RE: Transferring File* to WebApps - redux

From: SULLIVAN, BRYAN L (ATTCINW) <BS3131@att.com>
Date: Tue, 15 Jun 2010 15:24:36 -0700
Message-ID: <8080D5B5C113E940BA8A461A91BFFFCD127BF6D1@BD01MSXMB015.US.Cingular.Net>
To: <arun@mozilla.com>
Cc: "Robin Berjon" <robin@berjon.com>, <public-device-apis@w3.org>, "Ian Fette" <ifette@google.com>, "Web Applications Working Group WG" <public-webapps@w3.org>

I am not meaning to be unfair, perhaps the message is not coming through
clearly enough. 

There are specific technical requirements that we need these APIs to
fulfill, that I indicated to Thomas in another email:
1) access filesystems on the host device
2) traverse directories
3) read files as they exist on the filesystem (not just a local
representation in memory, as currently defined in the File API to my
understanding), in bytes and lines
4) write files (similar requirement to write directly to the
filesystem), in bytes and lines, with overwrite and append options
5) do the above programmatically in Javascript (not dependent just upon
user selection of an input element and interaction with a file selector)
6) provide security for this using the policy-framework approach as
being defined for DAP APIs

Apart from the details of (1-4) above, which will help ensure are
addressed in the current File* APIs (no matter where they are
finished),I think it's (5-6) where the real differences are. If we need
another API in DAP to address them, then AT&T will help ensure it gets
done separately from the current File* APIs.

The question of where you are represented and your ability to
participate cuts both ways - the same is true for us. I think if the
browser vendors want their products really to be seen as compatible with
the Web application space (as compared to just dynamic Web pages), they
will support the work in DAP as its there that non-obtrusive and
inherently secure models for Web application access to device resources
will be defined as APIs.

Bryan Sullivan | AT&T

-----Original Message-----
From: Arun Ranganathan [mailto:arun@mozilla.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 2:53 PM
Cc: Robin Berjon; public-device-apis@w3.org; Ian Fette; Web Applications
Working Group WG
Subject: Re: Transferring File* to WebApps - redux

On 6/15/10 2:24 PM, SULLIVAN, BRYAN L (ATTCINW) wrote:
> Arun,
> The basic concern I have is with the notion of "browsers" as the only
> Web context and use-case that matters. The browser-based model for API
> integration view (as I understand your position) is that the user must
> be actively involved in every significant action, and choose
> the actions that enable integration with browser-external resources
> (including local and remote). Step back and you will see the
> inconsistency in that (what would Ajax be if the user had to approved
> every HTTP API request via an<input>  element?).

In the case of the File API, I'm merely stating that the capability 
should be an evolution on top of what web pages already do with respect 
to the input element, and not introduce a new unbounded API space which 
doesn't consider user involvement, or reconsiders it with other consent 
models.  Equating ajax with this in general isn't relevant to the

If you have no substantial technical differences with FileReader, 
FileWriter, and the FileSystem API, why are you blocking them from 
moving?  What additional oversight does the DAP WG provide, that the 
WebApps WG does NOT provide?  The WebApps WG has MORE browser vendors 
than the DAP WG, allowing review that's pertinent to the technology we 
are building.  Below, you say:
> Webapps are much more than just dynamic Web pages. They are
> applications, and with HTML5 will have the ability to rival desktop
> applications, as is clearly the vision of many in the industry. It
> even enable a return to a thin client world (e.g. browser as OS) in
> which most significant resources are cloud-based. I see the logic and
> value in that, but it's not the only valid (and valuable) model.
> W3C focuses on the Web, and the Web is bigger than the browser
> HTML5 and the APIs that attach HTML-based applications to the world
> actually be the application platform for the next era of the Web, but
> only if we do not limit the options to the user-centric/control
> paradigms of the past.

But, by charter, the DAP WG allows you to address those very use cases!

If the FileWriter, FileSystem, and FileReader specifications do NOT 
address the vision you articulate above, why not create a specification 
relevant to your use case?  Naturally, browser vendors see value in 
technology that serves the cause of dynamic web pages.  Why are you 
disallowing maximum browser vendor review by prohibiting a sensible 
move?  Even within the DAP WG, feedback isn't as forthcoming on these 
specifications as it is in the WebApps WG.

Please reconsider your stance here.  You are not providing technical 
feedback on the specifications in question, nor illustrating why they 
don't address your use cases.  But, you are blocking them from moving to

a place where there *is* healthy technical feedback, worrying that those

who *are* providing technical feedback will be poor custodians of a 
technology they are enthusiastic about building into their products.  
This is unfair.

-- A*
Received on Tuesday, 15 June 2010 22:25:21 UTC

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