[whatwg] Run to completion in the face of modal dialog boxes (WAS: Storage mutex)

Darin Fisher darin at chromium.org
Wed Aug 26 12:54:56 PDT 2009

On Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 12:49 PM, Jeremy Orlow <jorlow at chromium.org> wrote:

> On Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 11:17 AM, Darin Fisher <darin at chromium.org> wrote:
>> On Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 1:27 AM, Jeremy Orlow <jorlow at chromium.org>wrote:
>>> On Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 12:51 AM, Darin Fisher <darin at chromium.org>wrote:
>>>>  On Sun, Aug 23, 2009 at 11:33 PM, Robert O'Callahan <
>>>> robert at ocallahan.org> wrote:
>>>>> That behaviour sounds worse than what Firefox currently does, where an
>>>>> alert disables input to all tabs in the window (which is already pretty
>>>>> bad), because it willl make applications in visually unrelated tabs and
>>>>> windows hang.
>>>> You can have script connections that span multiple tabs in multiple
>>>> windows, so in order to preserve the run-to-completion semantics of
>>>> JavaScript, it is important that
>>>> window.{alert,confirm,prompt,showModalDialog} be modal across all windows in
>>>> the browser.  This is why those APIs suck rocks, and we should never create
>>>> APIs like them again.
>>> I don't understand your point here.  Are you saying that the current
>>> firefox behavior is not correct, that releasing the storage lock on these
>>> events is not correct, or something else?
>> I meant that the current Firefox behavior is technically incorrect.  No
>> one likes app modal dialogs, but how else can you guarantee
>> run-to-completion semantics? How else do you prevent other scripts from
>> modifying your state while you are stuck calling into window.alert().
> I don't know much about this issue, but it seems like something that should
> either be fixed in Firefox (and other browsers?) or changed in the spec.
>  I'm interested to hear if others have thoughts on it.

Chrome and Safari both implement app-modal alerts.  Firefox and IE implement
window modal, which is clearly buggy, but of course the world hasn't
imploded.  I haven't tested Opera.

Personally, I would like to change Chrome to not put up app modal alerts.  I
think it is bad UI, but I'm not sure how to do so without also breaking the
contract that JavaScript execution appear single threaded.

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