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Re: [Bug 11606] New: wanted: awareness of non-persistent web storage

From: Joćo Eiras <joao.eiras@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 2010 00:46:38 -0000
To: public-webapps@w3.org
Message-ID: <op.voee30gpjz3wb9@coruscant>

> Both Firefox and Chrome offer users privacy features which will cause Web
> Storage to be non-persistent across browser restart. For example Firefox has a
> "Never remember history" option, and Chrome has a "clear cookies and other data
> when I close my browser" option.
> For an application developer, it would be helpful to know when such features
> have been enabled, so that the application can inform the user, assist in
> troubleshooting, or disable features that depend on persistent storage.


Although I understand the reasoning, I strongly disagree with the request.

When the user open a tab in private mode, he/she knows that data will not be stored, therefore there is no need for the webpage to reiterate that. It would be awkward to expect each and every webpage that requires storage to warn the user, while it should be the user agent that would properly help the user manage his/her data.

There should be no way for a webpage to sniff if private mode is enabled: an advertiser could block users because it wouldn't be able to set tracking cookies for instance, like many of those sites that say "Enable cookies to continue", but in this case applied to Storage.

Specifying that an API can change its behavior radically solely based on a user preference goes completely against the principle of interoperability: same code running everywhere unchanged. The last thing the user needs is the webpage breaking because there are unexpected exceptions being thrown.

By mentioning private tabs, the same applies to other features that remove data.

So, +1 to transparency.
Received on Tuesday, 28 December 2010 00:47:14 UTC

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