[whatwg] Browser Bundled Javascript Repository

As an alternative,common libraries could get shipped as browser  
plugins, allowing developers to leverage "local" URIs such as  
"chrome://" in XUL/mozilla/firefox apps. This would only effectively  
work if:

- all vendors define a same local URI prefix. I do like "chrome://".  
Mozilla dudes were always lightyears ahead in all forms of cross- 
platform app development with XUL.
- all vendors extend their existing plugin architecture to accomodate  
this URI and referencing from network-delivered pages.
- some form of discovery exists, with ability to provide network  
transport alternative: "use chrome URI if exists, use http URI if not"

Library vendors would then ship their releases as browser plugins,  
using existing discovery mechanisms, as well as software update  


On Jun 15, 2009, at 11:55, Oliver Hunt <oliver at apple.com> wrote:

>> Pros:
>> - Pre-Compiled: By bundling known JS Libraries with the browser,  
>> the browser could store a more efficient representation of the  
>> file.  For instance pre-compiled into Bytecode or something else  
>> browser specific.
> I think something needs to be clarified wrt to compile times and the  
> like.  In the WebKit project we do a large amount of performance  
> analysis and except in the most trivial of cases compile time just  
> doesn't show up as being remotely significant in any profiles.   
> Additionally the way JS works, certain forms of static analysis  
> result in behaviour that cannot reasonably be cached.  Finally the  
> optimised object lookup and function call behaviour employed by  
> JavaScriptCore, V8 and (i *think*) TraceMonkey is not amenable to  
> caching, even within a single browser session, so for modern engines  
> i do not believe caching bytecode or native is really reasonable --  
> i suspect the logic required to make this safe would not be  
> significantly cheaper than just compiling anyway.
>> - Less HTTP Requests / Cache Checks: If a library is in the  
>> repository no request is needed. Cache checks don't need to be  
>> performed.  Also, for the 100 sites you visit that all send you the  
>> equivalent jquery.js you now would send 0 requests.  I think this  
>> would be enticing to mobile browsers which would benefit from this  
>> Space vs. Time tradeoff.
> I believe http can specify how long you should wait before  
> validating the cached copy of a resource so i'm not know if this is  
> a real win, but i'm not a networking person so am not entirely sure  
> of this :D
>> - Standardizing Identifier For Libraries: Providing a common  
>> identifier for libraries would be open for discussion.  The best  
>> idea I've had would be to provide the SHA1 Hash of the Desired  
>> Release of a Javascript Library.  This would ensure a common  
>> identifier for the same source file across browsers that support  
>> the feature. This would be useful for developers as well.  A debug  
>> tool can indicate to a developer that the script they are using is  
>> available in the Browser Repository with a certain identifier.
> This isn't a pro -- it's additional work for the standards body
>> Cons:
>> - May Not Grow Fast Enough: If JS Libraries change too quickly the  
>> repository won't get used enough.
>> - May Not Scale: Are there too many JS Libraries, versions, etc  
>> making this unrealistic?  Would storage become too large?
> - Adds significant spec complexity
> - Adds developer complexity, imagine a developer modifies their  
> servers copy of a given script but forgets to update the references  
> to the script, now they get inconsistent behaviour between browsers  
> that support this feature and browsers that don't.
> --Oliver

Received on Monday, 15 June 2009 12:34:34 UTC