[whatwg] Proposal for a tab visibility API

Alex Komoroske komoroske at chromium.org
Mon Dec 20 14:16:34 PST 2010

Ah, yes, thank you Boris, I think I understand now.

Note that the actual proposal doesn't depend on the existence of a UI
construct called "tabs" that operate like they do on desktop browsers today.

I think the better way to think about it is, if the content of the page is
partially visible on *any *screen then it should be considered visible.  If
it's not visible at all, then it can be considered "hidden". This will
differ on different browsers and different platforms.   I used the word
"tab" only for help in explaining the proposal because today the majority of
shipping browsers have a consistent notion of tabs.  I agree with you that
new UI constructs (and platforms, especially mobile) will change what a
"tab" means.

But I think overall the discussion about precisely what a tab means is not
central to the core proposal.  Is that reasonable?


On Mon, Dec 20, 2010 at 7:40 PM, Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky at mit.edu> wrote:

> On 12/20/10 10:21 AM, Alex Komoroske wrote:
>> I'm not sure that I understand the point of confusion.  When I say
>> 'tab', I mean the current UI construct implemented in Firefox, Safari,
>> Chrome, Opera, Internet Explorer, and others.
> I think the point of confusion is that you think this UI construct is an
> important fundamental, whereas others thing it's not.
>  Each window can have one
>> or more tabs, and in curent implementations (with very few exceptions),
>> each window can only have a single visible tab.
> As you note, there are exceptions.  What makes you think that two years
> from now the now-common case won't be the exception?
> It would be preferable to define whatever visibility API is defined without
> reference to tabs; they're a possibly-transient implementation detail.  For
> example, Firefox on mobile has different rendering areas, etc, but they're
> not surfaced as "tabs" to the user; the UI looks and acts totally different,
> last I checked (and is implemented quite differently, iirc).
> -Boris
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