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

[whatwg] Device Element

From: Seth Brown <learc83@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 2010 19:44:09 -0500
Message-ID: <AANLkTimEHR1Css3=-02QoS5x0bLBdB2QGYLvUy1WFW-C@mail.gmail.com>
First I'd like to point out that accessing hardware is already
possible through ActiveX, and I think I've heard of some people doing
it with XUL. I would like to standardize these hardware interactions.

I don't think it should be done without strict security measures, but
the ones mentioned in Roger H?gensen's reply would be sufficient to
make this doable. Further security could be implemented by requiring
the user to change a setting in the preferences pane, and then
specifying a whitelist of devices and sites. Also it should be
possible to allow an administrator to set policies to block the
browser from accessing usb/RS232.

Any software that you install has the ability to jump in and take
control of RS232 devices. I see no more vulnerability if a user is
required to explicitly grant permission to access a device than if a
site prompts a user to install software that does the same thing.
Either way the action wouldn't be taken until the user consents.

At some point it is going to be necessary for the web apps to interact
with hardware. The whole point of the chrome OS is portability. If it
relies on installed apps for functionality then it isn't really
portable. One of the main advantages of a system like that is that,
for example, I can log into any supported device and now I'm logged
into MY computer -- everything is the same as it was with the computer
at my house, and I can start working without downloading who knows how
many apps. I hate the concept of platform specific apps and I think
that once HTML5 if fully implemented apps will start to disappear. The
only real hurdle left is hardware interaction, but it will happen at
some point. Why don't we make sure it gets done right?

I'm going to start working on a concrete proposal. I've never written
one before, so any advice would be appreciated -- should I just look
through other completed specs and format it accordingly?

Received on Tuesday, 28 December 2010 16:44:09 UTC

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