[whatwg] Proposal: "Offline-Capable" Meta Tag and API Indicates Application's Ability to Function Without Network Connection

Brian Blakely anewpage.media at gmail.com
Fri Oct 21 13:08:31 PDT 2011

*Background Downloading*

Data transfer ends when the user closes the browser, making huge 700MB
applications impossible.  How many are willing to keep a loading tab open
for half an hour or more?

The current paradigm of page loading does not work for very large
applications that need all of their assets before they can run functionally
offline.  Games and multimedia applications are almost always this way.

*Author Tool*
A switch (meta element and API?) indicating to the UA that the application
will take a long time to download, and the UA can respond appropriately.

*Possible UA Responses*

   1. Alert the user to switch to WiFi (a la the iOS App Store)

   2. Send the entire application into an entry in the UA's download
   manager, in the same fashion as an EXE or DMG.  However, rather than going
   into a Downloads folder when complete, the entry would become a link back to
   the app URL.

   3. Create an icon on the home screen/taskbar/dock/desktop with an
   integrated progress display bar.  This operates under the presumption that
   700MB apps wish to be treated as apps, and not browser sites.


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