[whatwg] Security risks of persistent background content (Re:Installed Apps)

Aryeh Gregor Simetrical+w3c at gmail.com
Wed Jul 29 16:13:47 PDT 2009

On Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 6:54 PM, Robert O'Callahan<robert at ocallahan.org> wrote:
> The Windows notification area isn't obtrusive enough for my security comfort
> (even if you exclude the auto-icon-hiding stuff it does, which I don't
> really understand).

I think the logic there is "third-party apps put millions of useless
icons there, so hide them because we're a closed-source ecosystem and
can't fix the apps".  It seems to be too aggressive in my experience,

> Taskbar/Dock is OK. A dedicated window is probably
> better.

I'd like the option to keep just one browser window.  I think some
screen real estate could be set aside in the main window that only
displays favicons until the user shows interest (by
hovering/clicking/etc.).  An informative notification could pop up the
first time this happens, like maybe a balloon, and thereafter a
one-sentence explanation could be given if the user hovers over the

Then what happens when the browser closes?  The usual approach taken
by apps that want to remain persistent in the background (like IM
applications) is, in my experience, to display a dialog when they're
closed saying "I'm going to stay running, right-click my icon in the
notification area to really close me", then just stay as an icon in
the notification area.  The user is therefore aware that the program
is running, at least in theory.

I think Maciej is right that this doesn't fully address the botnet
concerns, however.

More information about the whatwg mailing list