Generic Bundling

David Bruant bruant.d at gmail.com
Fri Oct 11 12:02:11 PDT 2013


Le 11/10/2013 19:01, Andrea Giammarchi a écrit :
> As I've said, you keep confining the problem and the solution over 
> HTTP and servers while I see this approach, maybe slightly revisited, 
> a good **generic bundling** solution even without a server and easily 
> adoptable now plus this will not mean HTTP 2 won't be handy to help 
> with this case too.
We seem to differ in what we think of the solution, because we don't 
seem to address the same problem. For me, "bundling" is a way to prevent 
round-trips (whether it is to the network or to disk). You seem to want 
what is (by me at least) usually referred to as "packaging".

Dave Herman or others will disconfirm if I'm wrong, but I think 
"generic" here was in opposition with previous proposals were 
JS/module-only bundling was proposed. In that context, "generic 
bundling" just means "bundle heterogeneous resources" which is different 
from packaging.

On saving network round-trips, server push seems to be the way forward. 
On saving disk round-trips, various app manifest formats (at least the 
two I know from FirefoxOS and Tizen) can be easily extended to declare 
which resource should be put in-memory as soon as the app starts.

Now, let's talk about packaging.

> The proposal could be revisited to tell browsers to look for 
> package.zip/index.html automagically once opened so we'll have a 
> bundle that can work over HTTP and over Bluetooth exchange too.
Both FirefoxOS and Tizen (if someone have infos on other OSes with "web 
apps"...) took a different approach, that is having a stable manifest 
file location in the package and this manifest file points to the main 
HTML file ("launch_path" property on FirefoxOS, content at src for Tizen)

Interestingly, this has all been working well without having to change 
HTML even a little; without having to add a new HTML attribute or new 
@src value semantics, specifically!

> So, my counter question would be: do we have a standard generic bundle 
> option that works same way every other programming language has ? (war 
> files, python distributable with self extracting archive and 
> execution, .NET apps, etc etc etc)
We do not (not as far as I know at least). There is the widget spec [1] 
which is as mature as being a W3C Recommandation. That's what Tizen is 
based on, but FirefoxOS chose a different path (hopefully, it's not only 
because it's XML based :-p)

> If such thing exists plus HTTP2 will solve all other problems then I 
> agree it's not a good idea to implement this now.
>
> If such thing does not exist I would like to keep thinking the 
> combination JS + HTML + CSS can offer a lot even without a webserver 
> behind or any protocol ... there is a database that does not need a 
> connection and all tools needed to offer great applications.
Yes. I think we should continue this discussion in a more appropriate 
place though; public-webapps at w3.org certainly.

David

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/widgets/


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