[whatwg] Web Documents off the Web (was Web Archives)

Stefan Haustein sh at kobjects.org
Mon Apr 16 14:38:42 PDT 2007

Hi Tyler,

I like the idea very much, for instance for having a copy of the CSS
spec on my laptop without the need of an Internet connection while

- When I save a page with Safari, Firefox cannot read it.

- When saving stuff with Firefox, I have to deal with both, the HTML
file and the resource folder

- It would be easy to write a nice wget-like utility that creates a
single file.

- A zip based format is still usable for browsers that do not support
it, one would just needs to unpack the file.

Best regards,
Stefan Haustein

Tyler Keating wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm bringing this up again with a different tact, because the more that
> I think about it, the more I believe it has the ability to significantly
> change the perception and application of HTML and I would really like to
> keep the discussion alive.  In the previous thread, I proposed a
> standard for archiving web sites into a single ZIP archive with a unique
> file extension and although it didn't get any outright negative
> feedback, it didn't drum up too much excitement either.  If you can bear
> with me, I'd like to describe the idea again in a slightly different light.
> Take for example, web-based presentations vs. PowerPoint from an average
> user's point-of-view.  I can create an incredibly dynamic presentation
> based on HTML, JavaScript, CSS, SVG, etc., but I can't easily share it
> with anyone unless it is served (I can't easily send it to them).  On
> the other hand, I can create an incredibly dynamic presentation using
> PowerPoint, but I can't easily share it with anyone unless I send them
> the file and they also have PowerPoint (I can't easily serve it).*
> For another example, which relates to my modest experience, I've created
> a simple Quotes/Sales/Invoices web app for a friend and have come across
> similar issues trying to resolve the served file model with the local
> file model.  Without going into too much detail, assume that there is
> sufficient reason why a file copy of the web page is needed (in this
> case because my friend's customers can't use the app directly).  How
> should the user get copies of web documents to be sent or saved to
> disk?  Instead of describing all of the various options of saving it to
> some kind of browser proprietary archive, sending HTML email, creating
> an HTML-to-PDF converter or some other time-consuming non-user friendly
> method, let's look at an ideal solution.
> Imagine this:  An HTML based document ZIP compressed into a single file
> could be uploaded as is to the server.  Clicking on a link to the file
> would probably download, decompress and open the file in the browser
> seamlessly and, even better, right-clicking on the link instead and
> choosing "Download Linked File" would download the same nice small
> single file.**  Double clicking that file would open it in any browser
> identically as to the served version.  The identical format and
> behaviour of the web document and the file document presents the best
> user experience.  Instead of saving a representation of the web
> document, you are saving THE web document.
> The question is, why do we only think of HTML with respect to the web
> and why are HTML-based documents constrained to being served?  This is
> the meat of my argument.  Browsers have no issue opening a file URI, but
> humans have an issue dealing with a directory of .html files versus,
> say, a single .ppt file.  Humans will soon also have issues viewing and
> serving ODF and OOXML files, I might add, but still won't have issues
> viewing and serving HTML files.  After the little bit of discussion from
> the first thread, I believe that the solution is indeed a near clone and
> more complete version of the Widgets 1.0 specification (
> http://www.w3.org/TR/WAPF-REQ/ ) as something different and as part of
> HTML, specifying how to package entire web documents as zip compressed
> archives using a unique file extension.  In reality, compared to all of
> the other work being done on HTML, I believe this would be very simple
> to specify and should be very simple to implement.
> Please give this some thought.  I appreciate your comments.
> Tyler Keating
> CEO Concept Digital Inc.  -- don't be impressed, it's just me
> * I could export an HTML version to be served, but I can't share both
> ways with the same file and this means I have two versions of the same
> presentation to work with.  Again, the average user (my mom) isn't going
> to be serving files created on their desktop any time too soon, since
> she has just barely grasped email attachments.
> ** Containing any number of HTML, XHTML, CSS, image or other files
> inside of it invisible to the average user.

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