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[whatwg] Proposal: "Offline-Capable" Meta Tag and API Indicates Application's Ability to Function Without Network Connection

From: Justin Novosad <junov@chromium.org>
Date: Thu, 13 Oct 2011 11:31:21 -0400
Message-ID: <CABpaAqTH5Lxs2pJ1-=u5xCsj1zATk94A7G_ixPxbZDAHF-B91A@mail.gmail.com>
Hi Brian,

I think this is a very interesting proposition.  I would like to add
that there should also be UA-native indication to the user that an app
can become offline-capable upon request, along with a mechanism for
requesting offline capability, and for triggering app data
synchronization.  The motivation being that there should be a
universal way to manage the
state of all offline capable apps at the browser/OS level.

On Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 6:06 PM, Brian Blakely <anewpage.media at gmail.com> wrote:
> *The element:*
> <meta name="offline-capable" content="true" />
>
> *Its purpose:*
> Trigger a UA-native indication to the user that the current application's
> primary and entire collection of features can be used without a network
> connection.
>
> *API:*
> A simple API in the form of a document.offlineCapable boolean setter/getter
> would allow an application to dynamically inform the user when the
> application is in an offline-capable state. ?For example, a nature
> photography app may not be truly offline-capable until all of its graphic
> assets have finished downloading. ?As such, when the application has
> detected its final image has loaded, it will execute document.offlineCapable
> = true; and the user will be notified that they will no longer need WiFi to
> continue usage.
>
> *Exposition:*
> This seems simple, almost superfluous, but it is of staggering importance.
> ?An "online only" stigma is of greatly growing impedance to the web
> platform's reputation as a software platform, and it persists among the vast
> majority of users. ?The latest versions of all major browsers will support
> features like DOM Storage and Application Cache very soon, but these
> features are largely ambiguous, even amongst the technically savvy.
>
> In addition to implementation of offline technologies, app authors are
> currently individually responsible for informing their users that an app can
> be used offline. This is not an adequate solution, and a universal
> notification that is UA-native would be far more effective at enhancing
> awareness.
>
> Because mere utilization of appcache and localStorage do not always make an
> application "offline capable", offering a manual flag to authors allows a UA
> to complement, or override, its heuristic detections of this state.
>
> The Web must become known as a full software platform, instead of just a
> lite version of the "native" App Store experiences out there. ?In order to
> do so, its features must be more discoverable by users, and in a
> standardized fashion.
>
> Thanks,
> -Bri
>
Received on Thursday, 13 October 2011 08:31:21 UTC

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