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

From: Alex Russell <slightlyoff@google.com>
Date: Sat, 15 Feb 2014 23:34:14 -0800
Message-ID: <CANr5HFXVYy5eQyxDV6NOrzhNEc4EDm_=FR_A0pGXQ6U-+oX8yw@mail.gmail.com>
To: Marcos Caceres <w3c@marcosc.com>
Cc: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>, Marcos Caceres <marcos@marcosc.com>, WG Webapps <public-webapps@w3.org>, Kenneth Rohde Christiansen <kenneth.r.christiansen@intel.com>, "Kostiainen, Anssi" <anssi.kostiainen@intel.com>, Nikhil Marathe <nmarathe@mozilla.com>
On Sat, Feb 15, 2014 at 5:56 AM, Marcos Caceres <w3c@marcosc.com> 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. forecast.io
> 2. timer-tab.com
> 3. capitalone.com
> 4. rachaelrayshow.com
> 5. delicious.com
> 6. forbesmiddleeast.com
> 7. shopfato.com.br
> 8. ptable.com
> 9 authenticjobs.com
>
> 10. swedenabroad.com
>
> 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] https://gist.github.com/marcoscaceres/7419589
> [2] https://gist.github.com/marcoscaceres/9018819
> --
> Marcos Caceres
>
>
>
>
Received on Sunday, 16 February 2014 07:35:13 UTC

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