[whatwg] Why won't you let us make our own HTML5 browsers?

Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis bhawkeslewis at googlemail.com
Wed Aug 29 00:34:47 PDT 2012

On Wed, Aug 29, 2012 at 3:39 AM, Fred Andrews <fredandw at live.com> wrote:
> We should also consider new computation approaches for use within web content that gives the users better control.

I think getting new features along these lines into user agents is
more effective than adding informative notes to specs. ;)

> Javascript is just too general a programming language for easy management and is heading in the direction of Java.

I'm not sure how far the problem is Javascript, rather than the
browser and document object models exposed to JS. HTML does now offer
improved sandboxing (see the sandbox attribute on iframe). But see
also http://www.adsafe.org/ for some more ideas about sandboxing JS.

> For example a lot could be done with data-flow computations.

Are you talking about something like the "calculate" property from XForms?


> This could implement equations for layout,

Layout deficiencies are best addressed by adding CSS features, no?

>, and simple event processing, that would meet the needs of many websites without the need to even enable 'Javascript'.

Note HTML has introduced a lot of new features that would previously
have required JS events: video, audio, new field types,
autocompletion, basic clientside validation.

(There was an idea knocking around a few months ago to allow users to
open <dialog> elements without JS as well as close them, but that's
not yet made an appearance in the spec.)

> More advanced data-flow blocks could well be managed by the user, much like apps, and may run managed Javascript.

Are you talking about (say) a variation on the <output> element where
the interfaces exposed to the JS to do the calculation would be

> General Javascript code execution needs to be separated from the web content - the two have become confused.

I think we can certainly add new features to the JS-independent HTML
core, but I wouldn't expect the gradual absorption of common
imperatively programmed patterns into declarative features to stop
lots of sites requiring JS.

Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis

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