[whatwg] Installable web apps

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Mon Jan 31 15:44:03 PST 2011

On Sat, 21 Aug 2010, Aaron Boodman wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 14, 2010 at 7:27 AM, Anne van Kesteren <annevk at opera.com> wrote:
> > On Thu, 27 May 2010 18:22:03 +0200, Aaron Boodman <aa at google.com> wrote:
> >> On Thu, May 27, 2010 at 5:09 AM, Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt at lachy.id.au> wrote:
> >>>
> >>> <meta name="application-name" content="...">
> >>
> >> You're right -- that one does exist already within the page. And it 
> >> is a shame to waste these existing features.
> >>
> >> The more I think about it, the more I start to agree that just using 
> >> the <meta> and <link> tags we already have (with perhaps one addition 
> >> for permissions), could work.
> >
> > I think if we do more things it would make more sense to build them on 
> > top of <html manifest> rather than creating some new kind of 
> > JSON-based format that needs to be separately fetched.
> We are still interested in adding a lightweight concept of 
> 'installation' to Chromium and Google Chrome that is separate from the 
> crx format. The attributes of an application that we like at the moment 
> are:
> - a name

  <meta name=application-name content="Flickr">

> - a description

  <meta name=description content="Flickr is almost certainly the best 
  online photo management and sharing application in the world.">

> - a launch url

  <link rel=index href="/">

> - icons of various sizes

  <link rel=icon href=favicon.png sizes="16x16" type="image/png">
  <link rel=icon href=windows.ico sizes="32x32 48x48" type="image/vnd.microsoft.icon">
  <link rel=icon href=mac.icns sizes="128x128 512x512 8192x8192 32768x32768">
  <link rel=icon href=iphone.png sizes="57x57" type="image/png">
  <link rel=icon href=gnome.svg sizes="any" type="image/svg+xml">

> - a set of permissions, such as geolocation and notifications

These should be directly related to use of those features. Splitting the 
granting of rights from the use of those rights is bad security UI.

> - a set of associated URLs (we would use this in Chromium to make better 
> decisions about how to group processes, and potentially how to handle 
> navigation)

Can't you just use the origin? I'm not following what this would do 
exactly. Surely this should be transarent to the app author.

> In both cases, there would also be an associated navigator API:
> void navigator.installApplication();
> bool navigator.isInstalled;

I don't think that makes any sense. It's the Web. There's no 
"installation" step. You just run the app. There's nothing to install. You 
can bookmark the page, but exposing whether that's happened or not makes 
no sense either (many bookmarking systems aren't related to the browser 
at all, e.g. dragging an icon to the desktop).

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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