[whatwg] Installed Apps

Jonas Sicking jonas at sicking.cc
Tue Jul 28 02:12:25 PDT 2009

On Tue, Jul 28, 2009 at 1:38 AM, Maciej Stachowiak<mjs at apple.com> wrote:
> On Jul 27, 2009, at 10:51 PM, David Levin wrote:
> It sounds like most of the concerns are about the 2nd part of this proposal:
> allowing a background page to continue running after the visible page has
> been closed.
> However, the first part sounds like it alone would be useful to web
> applications like GMail:
> The first, which should begenerally useful, is the ability to have a hidden
> HTML/JS page running
> in the background that can access the DOM of visible windows. This
> page should be accessible from windows that the user navigates to. We
> call this background Javascript window a "shared context" or a
> "background page". This will enable multiple instances of a web app
> (e.g. tearoff windows in Gmail) to cleanly access the same user state
> no matter which windows are open.
> + restrict things to the same security origin.
> It sounds similar in concept to a share worker except that it runs in the
> main thread and is more concerned with dom manipulation/state while workers
> have typically been thought of as allowing background processing.
> It seems that the lifetime of this could be scoped, so that it dies when it
> isn't referenced (in a similar way to how shared worker lifetime is scoped).
> This idea actually sounds reasonably ok, and I think I once proposed
> something like this as an alternative to shared workers as the way for
> multiple app instances to share state and computation.
> It's really the bit about invisibly continuing to run once all related web
> pages are closed that I would worry about the security issues.

The only concern I see with this is that it permanently forces all
windows from the same domain to run in the same process. As things
stand today, if the user opens two tabs (or windows) and navigates to
the two different pages on www.example.com, then a browser could if it
so wished use separate processes to run those two pages. If we enabled
this API the two pages would have to run in the same process, even if
neither page actually used this new API.

/ Jonas

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