[whatwg] Installed Apps

From: "Michael Davidson" <mpd@google.com>
Tuesday, July 28, 2009 11:24 PM
> Having some sort of desktop presence is important for parity
> with desktop apps. Perhaps the install UI could look and feel more
> like the UI for installing a native app?
> Michael

If you're going to have an installation, why not make it an actual program? 
I thought what you wanted was a regular webpage -- and I'd say one of the 
most important things about a webpage is that you don't have to install it.
It sounds like the "hidden page" idea is just the solution you thought up to 
the problem of keeping a page running. How many other reasons are there for 

I'll go back to your original problems:
-- Slow startup: Besides caching, I can't see anything except a skilled 
planning and development of the application making things faster -- They 
HAVE to download it all at some point. Merge requests (sprites, for 
example). I can't think of how to load new JavaScript quicker, unless you 
can let them use the cached old version while the new one downloads in the 
background, then cache it.
-- Data up-to-date: Even Outlook checks online every X minutes, and  has an 
options panel where you can set that value. Google Reader checks for new 
feeds, for me, if I just leave it open on my desktop. It works great.
-- Notifications: I don't think I've ever had Outlook notify me of new mail 
when it's not running. It usually starts up with Windows, and it runs in the 
background. If you turn it off from the tray, it stops.

Another couple things:
-- Notifications: Web pages can't pop up a notification, but they CAN play 
sounds. If you add a sound to Gmail or Reader when it finds new items, that 
would certainly help me, as a user. (Even without having it as a desktop 
app, because it'll be open in a tab and I'll be able to hear any sound it 
makes). Actually, I'd love that feature.
-- Clutter: I think this is your main concern: Outlook will minimize to the 
tray; where you can reach it, but it's not in the way. It's not invisible, 
and won't persist after shutting down.
If browsers could tear off tabs, minimize them to tray and allow them to 
send pop-up notifications, I think it would solve your main problem. Chrome 
seems to be halfway there, with the "Create Application Shortcuts..." 
option, but I believe only Chrome and Firefox support tear-away tabs. This 
sounds largely like a browser issue. If Chrome does it first, I'm sure the 
others will see and follow along.

That being said:

Pop-up notifications would be a great thing to do, where someone can use 
JavaScript similar to an alert() box that pops up in a corner for a few 
seconds and displays a message. I think I'll call this one out a few times, 
so someone sees it, because it really would be a worthwhile thing to add to 
a spec. 

Received on Wednesday, 29 July 2009 06:32:11 UTC