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TAG Action-354 Review client-side storage APIís

From: ashok malhotra <ashok.malhotra@oracle.com>
Date: Tue, 23 Feb 2010 08:31:52 -0800
Message-ID: <4B8402F8.7080305@oracle.com>
To: "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>
My earlier note on this action is at 

On the Feb 5 telcon I was asked to do some more work on ACTION-354, 
partly to respond to Mark
Nottingham -- 
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-tag/2010Jan/0077.html --
who asks "I think the key question here is what the relationship of 
these new proposals to existing ones;
the Web already has caching, and it already has stateful cookies (both 
of which, BTW, are currently
being revised in the IETF)."

As I said in my earlier note, there are two drafts that replace/extend 
Web SQL Database <http://dev.w3.org/html5/webdatabase/>
Indexed Database API <http://dev.w3.org/2006/webapi/WebSimpleDB/>
I asked Ian Hickson, the author of the first of these drafts the 
rationale behind them.  Ian replied:
"Cookies are unreliable, sent to the server, have a small quota, and 
have a terrible API. Web Storage is intended to fix that.

Web SQL Database, Web Storage, and the new Indexed Database ... have more or less the same use cases, except the database versions are intended for more structured indexable and queryable data. For example, consider GMail going offline. You want a highly 
structured data store. Obviously cookies aren't going to cut it if you 
have gigabytes of mail."

The other spec we discussed on the Feb 5 call was Programmable HTTP Caching and Serving <http://dev.w3.org/2006/webapi/DataCache/>
The rationale behind this is easier to figure out. Essentially, it allows modification of the cache under program control (adding/deleting values).  It allows the cache to be
shared across multiple browser windows and it allows the cache to be used while the user 
is offline.

Some feel that to enable real applications to be run from the browser you need to
be able to work with a database.  The two specs discussed above facilitate this but,
in my personal opinion, do not go far enough.  It seems to me that what you need is
the ability to run SQL queries from Javascript.  The SQL queries could be identified
by URIs.  The result is then packaged in a suitable form and sent to the client where
it is unpacked and added to the application cache.

All the best, Ashok
Received on Tuesday, 23 February 2010 16:49:53 UTC

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