[whatwg] Installed Apps

Dmitry Titov dimich at google.com
Tue Aug 4 11:00:11 PDT 2009

It seems "persistent" and "preloading" aspects of the
proposal are very hard to do considering security bounds of web
browsing, there are scalability issues and people sometimes don't like
the cost/benefit
or obscurity (Netscape 6 etc).
What about the "shared context with DOM access" idea which, even w/o
persistency, seems to resolve some issues for apps like GMail? Like a shared
worker, but with access to DOM.

1. It does not have security or "resources" issues since it's only up until
the pages of the given app are up (same as shared worker)
2. It does rely on 'cooperative' pages to be opened in the same process but
this is easy to implement. I mean, you can't 'guarantee' it (a page from
another domain may have iframe pointing to the app and it will be in a diff.
process) but any reasonable app can be easily structured in a way to get its
views (pages) into a single process.
3. It would help to provide fast (meaning sub-100ms, interactively fast) UI
responses necessary for the seamless operations. Persistent data storage and
parsing/generating HTML (including loading all the code necessary to do that
from the 'pure data') will always present challenge for sub-100ms UI actions
- even in native apps it is a challenge today.

Here is a typical use case: You compose a message in GMial window. Halfway
through you decide to peek into another mail thread for more information.
You click 'tear-off' button to "disconnect" the compose window so you can
see other mail threads. Today, this opens a new window and starts loading
XXX Kb of script into it. You see the progress indicator for a few seconds.
This script is needed to be able to go to server and generate a proper UI
from the response, as well as have all the 'controller' logic when user
starts to interact with such UI.
With shared context, you could just take the whole DOM subtree that forms a
compose window UI and pass it, as is, into the new and empty window - with
even handlers hooked into the shared context. It will just relayout and
continue function. You have an 'instant' tear-off.

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