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Discussion Video: Miguel Paraz talks about Wholesale Application Community (WAC) at Philippine Tech Startups 3 at Ubertor/OTD Offices, BGC, Taguig

Migz Paraz shares exciting news about Wholesale Applications Community, an online market and tool to help web developers develop and distribute web apps.

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What else does WAC enforce?

Good point, one more thing WAC enforces is something they call compliance. Given the spec that I showed, devices  which are WAC 1. 0  compliant, they have a test suite. They have to pass a certain test. The playing video, is one of the test they have to pass. The reason will cause a lot of problems. From user point of view, from the developer. If you have a mismatch between what's advertised and what your device is capable of.

What changes will be seen in WAC 2.0?

From the actual spec currently from WAC 1.0, the actual spec for video is not very tightly defined. In the next version WAC 2.0, we decided to use the HTML 5 audio and video and the codecs, but you might ask that, sure we have that debate about what codec to use. Since it started it's been H264 and then now Google  is making some noise about no, we wanna push WEBM VP8 as the codec. Those were some of the topics that have been affecting WAC, because basically WAC and the operators do not build the device. We have to rely on the vendors to build them for us.

How does it handle offline data storage?

We have two things. One is for simple data, the widgets API  W3C has this simple preferences system. It is just key value. If your talking about advanced stuff, we need to use HTML 5, local storage.

Is it similar to how you would develop a Palm app?

If it is Palm web OS, I think web OS is using web kit. Like for example WEB OS, they made their own heavy weight system on top of the web browser. WAC is  very simple. The website is unpacked. You just put on it locally and zip it up, that's already a widget. Get your contents, zip it up, add 1 config file and that's it. Now when you want to do the devices APIs that when you add more stuff.

Can the widgets communicate with other widgets?

Right now the peg is the sandbox.   But right now they can launch other widgets. We're planning some work there. on the inter process communication of widgets so that there would be some like message bus, on the phone where the widgets can exchange messages. But, thats still far off.

So now they can run simultaneously?

It depends on the implementation. WAC did not specify. For example here on Opera, you can suspend them. But on other platforms like the feature phone. It's most likely that you have to shut down. LIke any feature phone OS you have to shut down the app the same way you shut down J2ME apps if you want to switch. That is a good analogy. This is like the next, sort of the one driver of this is the lessons learned from J2ME and the J2ME app stores of developers, Let's see if web technology would push it.

Other than the Opera browser, are other browsers supported?

The company supporting WAC primarily. Opera is the well known one. Most of the implementors decided to use webkit. But there is no webkit company. It's an open source project run by Apple. But apple is not a user of WAC. Following their model, they will never be. Because WAC requires you to be able to download the apps directly here without passing the approval process. It is in the same boat as the Java interpreter. Some of them are using Webkit and some a few, 1 or 2 are using very low end browsers for a feature phone. There are companies like Access. Have you ever heard of Net Front? Those companies who make low end browsers, they are also supporting WAC.