[whatwg] Web Storage: apparent contradiction in spec
atwilson at google.com
Wed Aug 26 20:54:12 PDT 2009
This is one of those times when I *really* wish that the application
developer community was more active on this list. I absolutely understand
Linus' point of view, but I also feel like we are really hamstringing
applications when we make choices like this and I wish that those developers
were more vocally represented in these types of discussions.
Going down this path would basically kill the ability to have offline web
applications, because there would be no guarantees that the data would
persist until the user comes back online. But since that point's already
been made several times, I guess it's not a compelling argument.
On Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 8:23 PM, Linus Upson <linus at google.com> wrote:
> I simply want clicking on links to be safe. In a previous thread I wrote
> "safe and stateless" but I'm coming to the opinion that stateless is
> a corollary of safe. Clicking on links shouldn't, either by filling my disk
> or hitting my global quota, someday lead to a dialog which reads, "Please
> choose what to delete so that web sites will continue to work." The
> candidate delete list will be thousands long and hidden in that haystack
> will be a few precious needles.
> I also want to avoid any [Yes] [No] dialogs. Can I do something scary [Yes]
> [No]? Can I do something innocuous [Yes] [No]? Users shouldn't be forced to
> make those kinds of safety judgements. I'm guilty of instigating at least
> one of those dialogs. As shamed politicians do I'll retreat to the passive
> voice: Mistakes were made.
> I'm not opposed to web apps manipulating files on the user's computer, but
> the user should be in explicit control. I'd support <input type="open"> and
> <input type="save"> that worked similarly to <input type="file">. User
> agents are already registering for file types so that double clicking a file
> with a certain extension can be automatically sent to an URL, perhaps
> residing in an AppCache.
> In addition, I'd like to see the pop-up dialogs for the location API
> removed. I find the "Can I know where you are?" dialogs on the iPhone very
> annoying. Mistakes were made. Perhaps we can find a way to make <input
> type="location"> work well instead.
> On Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 5:14 PM, Brady Eidson <beidson at apple.com> wrote:
>> I started writing a detailed rebuttal to Linus's reply, but by the time I
>> was finished, many others had already delivered more targetted replies.
>> So I'll cut the rebuttal format and make a few specific points.
>> - Many apps act as a "shoebox" for managing specific types of data, and
>> users are used to using these apps to manage that data directly. See
>> iTunes, Windows Media Player, iPhoto, and desktop mail clients as examples.
>> This trend is growing, not waning. Browsers are already a "shoebox" for
>> history, bookmarks, and other types of data.
>> Claiming that this data is "hidden" from users who are used to handling
>> obscure file management scenarios and therefore we shouldn't fully respect
>> it is trying to fit in with the past, not trying to make the future better.
>> - No one is suggesting that UAs not have whatever freedom they want in
>> deciding *what* or *how much* to store. We're only suggesting that once the
>> UA has committed to storing it, it *not* be allowed to arbitrarily purge it.
>> - One use of LocalStorage is as a cache for data that is transient and
>> non-critical in nature, or that will live on a server. But another,
>> just-as-valid use of LocalStorage is for persistent, predictable storage in
>> the client UA that will never rely on anything in the cloud.
>> - And on that note, if developers don't have faith that data in
>> LocalStorage is actually persistent and safe, they won't use it.
>> I've given talks on this point 4 times in the last year, and I am stating
>> this as a fact, based on real-world feedback from actual, real-world web
>> developers: If LocalStorage is defined in the standard to be a purgable
>> cache, developers will continue to use what they're already comfortable
>> with, which is Flash's LocalStorage.
>> When a developer is willing to instantiate a plug-in just to reliably
>> store simple nuggets of data - like user preferences and settings - because
>> they don't trust the browser, then I think we've failed in moving the web
>> I truly hope we can sway the "LocalStorage is a cache crowd." But if we
>> can't, then I would have to suggest something crazy - that we add a third
>> Storage object.
>> (Note that Jens - from Google - has already loosely suggested this)
>> So we'd have something like:
>> -SessionStorage - That fills the "per browsing context" role and whose
>> optionally transient nature is already well spec'ed
>> -CachedStorage - That fills Google's interpretation of the "LocalStorage"
>> role in that it's global, and "will probably be around on the disk in the
>> future, maybe"
>> -FileStorage - That fills Apple's interpretation of the "LocalStorage"
>> role in that it's global, and is as sacred as a file on the disk (or a song
>> in your media library, or a photo in your photo library, or a bookmark,
>> The names are just suggestions at this point.
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