W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > whatwg@whatwg.org > December 2010

[whatwg] Bluetooth devices

From: Diogo Resende <dresende@thinkdigital.pt>
Date: Mon, 20 Dec 2010 15:43:43 +0000
Message-ID: <1292859823.15571.9.camel@nasgul>
Replied inline..

On Sat, 2010-12-18 at 21:56 +0000, Bjartur Thorlacius wrote:
> On Fri, 17 Dec 2010 10:42:52 -0000, Diogo Resende  
> <dresende at thinkdigital.pt> wrote:
> > Let's think about an example, perhaps a bluetooth weather station. For
> > the OS it's just another bluetooth device. What if a web app could have
> > permission (granted by the user/browser) to scan for bluetooth devices
> > and fetch weather information, save it on the weather history and
> > process it in some way.
> Then someone would create a web app that scans for specific models of  
> bluetooth devices, connects to them, fetches weather information and  
> processes it in some way. All is fine and dandy, as long as everybody is  
> using exactly the same model as the author (or one of the models supported  
> by the company maintaining the app), and needs to apply that process and  
> that process alone.
Bluetooth was an example. We were discussing a serial connection in general.
It could be BT or RSR232/USB or anything else. I was not thinking specifically
about a web app that would do that, I was just thinking that talking to
a serial device could be very handy.

> Say someone creates a web app that applies a process to weather  
> information gathered from an hypothetical Weather-o-Meter connected via  
> Bluetooth. Say I'm doing a research on global warming and the Gulf stream,  
> and want to apply that process to weather information gathered from all  
> over the country. Even if all the weather stations in Iceland are using  
> Weather-o-Meter, I won't receive the information over Bluetooth. For this  
> to work weather information gathered on the weather stations must be  
> encoded in a standardized format, transferred to me over a network for me  
> to decode and apply said process to. I'm thusly required to persuade the  
> author to add an alternative input mechanism to the app, hack my Bluetooth  
> stack and create a virtual Bluetooth device or rewrite the app.
> >
> > - Does the OS need to know how to fetch this information?
> Yes, the purpose of an OS is to abstract and multiplex hardware.
> Does a web app need to know how to fetch this information?
> > - Is a browser plugin really a better idea? Which browser/version? Then
> > how is the page going to fetch that? How secure is that? Can't another
> > page do it? This reminds me the use of <embed> which I personally hate.
> I agree that a browser plugin would the wrong approach, but I argue that a  
> web page would be as well. I can't imagine a scenario where I'm developing  
> software support for a Bluetooth weather station and I figure: "Heck, I  
> should put a web browser between the Bluetooth stack and the weather  
> station abstraction."
Again, the app should not (but maybe could) listen for
bluetooth-specific devices. If you develop web apps you wouldn't say
that, it would be more like: "Heck, I have a wonderfull web app and now
I have to do some kind of abstraction on several diferent OS
(win,unix,..) so I can in some way export the bluetooth information to
the browser."

> > I hope this kind of example enlights some people to forget about
> > storage, cameras, keyboards and all the stuff you can get in any general
> > technology store.
> >
> Where do you draw the line? What's inherently different about hardware you  
> can find in general technology stores?
General technology stores: cameras, lcds, mouses, keyboards,
microphones. We're not talking about this kind of devices.

> Why should there even be so  
> low-level webapps that they interface with hardware? HTML forms don't care  
> if their input comes from a pipe. No web technology should.
I think I already made my point.
Received on Monday, 20 December 2010 07:43:43 UTC

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