Re: [manifest] Utility of bookmarking to home screen, was V1 ready for wider review

On Sat, Feb 15, 2014 at 5:56 AM, Marcos Caceres <> wrote:

> tl;dr: I strongly agree (and data below shows) that installable web apps
> without offline capabilities are essentially useless.
> Things currently specified in the manifest are supposed to help make these
> apps less useless (as I said in the original email, they by no means give
> us "the dream" of installable web apps, just one little step closer) - even
> if we had SW tomorrow, we would still need orientation, display mode, start
> URL, etc.
> So yes, SW and manifest will converge... questions for us to decide on is
> when? And if appcache can see us through this transitional period to having
> SW support in browsers? I believe we can initially standardize a limited
> set of functionality, while we continue to wait for SW to come into
> fruition which could take another year or two.

SW will becoming to chrome ASAP. We're actively implementing. Jonas or
Nikhil can probably provide more Mozilla context.

My personal view is that isn't not a good user experience to offer the
affordance if the resulting system can't be trusted. That is to say, if we
plow on with V1 without a (required) offline story, I'm not sure what we've
really won. Happy for this to go to LC, but wouldn't recommend that Chrome
For Android implement.

> On Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 1:37 AM, Alex Russell wrote:
> > I further think that the marginal utility in bookmarking something to
> the homescreen (sorry, yes, I'm focusing on mobile first) is low if it
> doesn't have a Service Worker / Appcache associated.
> Although I've not published this research yet, this is strongly backed by
> evidence. Nearly all applications in the top 78,000 websites that opt. into
> being standalone applications via "apple-mobile-web-app-capable" do not, in
> fact, work as standalone applications. If anyone is interested to try this
> for themselves, here is the raw dataset listing all the sites [1] - you
> will need an iPhone to test them. The data set is from Oct. 2013, but
> should still be relevant. Just pick some at random and "add to homescreen";
> it makes for depressing viewing.
> There are a few exceptions (listed below) - but those are the exceptions,
> not the rule.
> > It's strictly second-class-citizen territory to have "web bookmarks"
> that routinely don't do anything meaningful when offline.
> Yes, but there are a number of factors that contribute to this: not just
> offline (e.g., flexbox support is still fairly limited, dev tools still
> suck, cross-browser is a nightmare, even how navigation works differs
> across UAs!, limited orientation-locking support, etc.).
> However, to your point the data we have shows that about 50 sites in the
> top 78K declare an appcache [2], while there are 1163 sites that declare
> "apple-mobile-web-app-capable". So yeah, appcache, as we all know, is a bit
> of a failure. Some of the sites that declare it actually have it commented
> out... like they tried it and just gave up.
> Interestingly, only 10 sites in the dataset are both capable of running
> standalone AND declare offline:
> 1.
> 2.
> 3.
> 4.
> 5.
> 6.
> 7.
> 8.
> 9
> 10.
> So, yeah... 10 / 1163 = 0.0085... or, :_(.
> Anyway... do you think it's ok for us to just standardize the limited
> things in the manifest? We could have those at LC like in 2 weeks and then
> spin up V2 to have convergence with SW. Better still, the SW spec can just
> specify how it wants to work with manifests.
> [1]
> [2]
> --
> Marcos Caceres

Received on Sunday, 16 February 2014 07:35:13 UTC