[whatwg] Installed Apps

Drew Wilson atwilson at google.com
Wed Jul 29 09:56:54 PDT 2009

On Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 6:32 AM, Michael Kozakewich <
mkozakewich at icosidodecahedron.com> wrote:

>> It sounds like the "hidden page" idea is just the solution you thought up
> to the problem of keeping a page running. How many other reasons are there
> for it?

Not sure what other motivations there may be, but one shouldn't
underestimate the value of keeping a page running. It's one of the major
differences between desktop and web apps.

>  - Data up-to-date: Even Outlook checks online every X minutes, and  has an
> options panel where you can set that value. Google Reader checks for new
> feeds, for me, *if I just leave it open on my desktop.* It works great.

Exactly - but you have to leave it open on your desktop. I can't tell you
how many meetings I've missed because I've inadvertently closed (or crashed
:) my browser, and forgotten to start up my web calendar when I restart.
What I'd like, as a user, is some way to pin selected apps to run in the
background - whether that's something I initiate through the UI myself, or
via a prompt from the application is really a matter of UX.

> -- Notifications: I don't think I've ever had Outlook notify me of new mail
> when it's not running. It usually starts up with Windows, and it runs in the
> background. If you turn it off from the tray, it stops.

The way I've envisioned any of these "persistent running workers/pages"
operating is the browser would have a status bar icon which would allow
background apps to display status, and also give the user the opportunity to
exit the browser or (possibly) close down individual apps. So it's a very
similar situation.

> If browsers could tear off tabs, minimize them to tray and allow them to
> send pop-up notifications, I think it would solve your main problem. Chrome
> seems to be halfway there, with the "Create Application Shortcuts..."
> option, but I believe only Chrome and Firefox support tear-away tabs. This
> sounds largely like a browser issue. If Chrome does it first, I'm sure the
> others will see and follow along.

Agreed. I like this way of looking at the issue - framed in this manner, it
highlights this as primarily a UX challenge ("how to present the idea of
'pinned' tabs to the user").
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