[whatwg] Installed Apps

Jonas Sicking jonas at sicking.cc
Tue Jul 28 11:06:49 PDT 2009

On Mon, Jul 27, 2009 at 11:50 AM, Michael Davidson<mpd at google.com> wrote:
> Hello folks -
> I'm an engineer on the Gmail team. We've been working on a prototype
> with the Chrome team to make the Gmail experience better. We thought
> we'd throw out our ideas to the list to get some feedback.
> We would like to enable rich internet applications to achieve feature
> parity with desktop applications. I will use Gmail and Outlook as
> examples for stating the problems we hope to solve.
> -- Slow startup: When a user navigates to mail.google.com, multiple
> server requests are required to render the page. The Javascript is
> cacheable, but personal data (e.g. the list of emails to show) is not.
> New releases of Gmail that require JS downloads are even slower to
> load.
> -- Native apps like Outlook can (and do) run background processes on
> the user's machine to make sure that data is always up-to-date.
> -- Notifications: Likewise, Outlook can notify users (via a background
> process) when new mail comes in even if it's not running.

It sounds like what you need for your use case is for some set of
resources to be immediately available when gmail starts. This set of
resources is a mixture of "static" resources like JS files (and
presumably HTML files), and "dynamic" resources like the list of

An alternative solution would be to tell the browser what resources
you need, and how to download them (to allow for incremental downloads
of just new emails for example). Then the browser can download these
resources as it sees fit. On a mobile device this could happen even if
the browser is not running, similar to the iPhone push mechanism.

This should be significantly easier to secure since you don't allow
the full power of the web platform to run in the background.

I would think that this can be done using extensions to the AppCache feature.

/ Jonas

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