[whatwg] Web Storage: apparent contradiction in spec

Jens Alfke snej at google.com
Tue Aug 25 13:18:57 PDT 2009

I've just noticed an apparent self-contradiction in the Web Storage  
spec (24 August draft).

Section 4.3 states:
> Data stored in local storage areas should be considered potentially  
> user-critical. It is expected that Web applications will use the  
> local storage areas for storing user-written documents.

Section 6.1 states:
> User agents should present the persistent storage feature to the  
> user in a way that does not distinguish them from HTTP session  
> cookies.

These statements are contradictory, because cookies don't store user- 
critical data such as documents. The user model of cookies is that  
they're conveniences (at best) for keeping you logged into a site or  
remembering preferences like font-size, so deleting them is no more  
than an inconvenience. If local storage is presented to the user as  
being cookies, then a user may delete it without understanding the  

Potential result: "I was having trouble logging into FooDocs.com, so  
my friend suggested I delete the cookies for that site. After that I  
could log in, but now the document I was working on this morning has  
lost all the changes I made! How do I get them back?"

I suggest that the sub-section "Treating persistent storage as  
cookies" of section 6.1 be removed.

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