There has been some discussion about shipping it with Firefox 3, but I think that has been put behind in favor of an extension to Firefox so we can follow our own timeline. Luckily, FF3 has a new neat feature that allow you to pass the -app parameter to run a xul application. Nifty.
So I am releasing a very beta release WebRunner Extension. It comes bundled with the latest stable release of WebRunner. It is also a simple demonstration of what I think might be the right direction, but I may be totally off. I look forward to comments and constructive criticism, not for a tongue lashing and threats of bodily harm (unless you attended the webrunner meeting).
There are two ways to start WebRunner: On the fly and tagging a bookmark.
If you tag a bookmark as “webapp”, the next time you visit that page you will be prompted if you want to open that page in webrunner. This suffers from slow response and a few bugs, which consequently will cause two prompts to come up (simply cancel the second prompt). This also doesn’t allow you to specify whether you want to show the navigation/statusbar/location bar.
The other way is to do it on the fly. Under the tools menu, there is a “WebRunner” menuitem which will prompt you for things to show. It will open Webrunner after you click ok.
Neither method is as flexible as .webapp files, at this point in time. I’m trying to stay away from .webapp files, since the implementation is still volatile. This might be used as a desktop application, or not. I don’t know.
You can give it webrunner_ext.xpi (linux, windows) a try. You need a recent trunk build of FireFox however, or grab a nightly. Please also note that WebRunner uses a different profile than your Firefox when running, so none of your preferences/saved passwords are transferred.
This is pretty important, since the last two had a nasty bug in them that could cause the world to implode, and the MAR file to hold the wrong data. Sorry.
Here are some of the highlights :
- Fish-like mascot
- You can now localize it
- More modular. You can probably work on it now 😉
- You can extract MAR files to a directory.
- Bugs fixed, and bugs created
I did a test with another MAR files taken from Mozilla’s ftp site. When I extracted/recreated the MAR file, there only seemed to be one small difference between them. For some reason, update.manifest’s permissions shows up as 0666 rather than 0644.
But the file sizes/names/count all seem to be equivalent. Go figure.
There is still the issue of doing partial MAR files. This may end up coming later, or sooner if someone wants to send in a patch.
In the meantime, here is the source and linux(!) build :
I got grilled by David Humphrey today for my lousy first release, but I know he was just trying to encourage me to do better in the special way that I require. Here is an excerpt from our conversation :
20:55 <@dave> "I haven.t done extensive testing yet. Though, its simple enough that it probably won.t break on you." (Cesar)
20:55 <@dave> come on!
20:55 <@dave> https://cesarmoco.wordpress.com/2007/07/30/a-mar-generator-release/
20:55 <@dave> I also can't go on vacation with students writing things like that!
20:55 < cesar> ;)
20:56 <@dave> "Needs some documentation. But at this point, you can probably figure it out."
20:56 <@dave> it gets worse
20:56 < cesar> its a first release. Hey, release early release often right?
20:56 <@dave> I'll be waiting on the "often"
20:56 < cesar> when did I write that?
20:56 <@dave> yesterday
20:56 <@dave> !?!
In hopes of generating more steam, I worked some more on this little XUL app and come with you with pictures and a release.
First, the screenshot. Although not appealing, please do notice that I have tabs and a proper menubar. Classy
Also, the help menu has a contents submenu that may actually help. There is also a progress bar, which didn’t work/exist in the previous version. There is also some bug fixes, but it isn’t documented anywhere.
Anyways, I did a MAR archive of a mozilla object directory of a debug xulrunner build. I got a 255MB MAR (mind you, this is including libraries as well as object files, Makefiles, and pretty much everything), and it –seemed– to work (ie. it finished). However, I still don’t have extract functionality. Hopefully I will have another release this week.
Here is a breakdown oh what’s going on :
- Explanation of application appearing to ‘hang’ in the help menu. As well as documentation, both code and user
- Better (still needs improvement) structure of code
- Stuck an observer pattern in there for those brave enough to venture into the code.
- Visually kicks more ass.
Wish me luck!
Linux : MAR_generator-v2.tar.bz2 – version 0.2
I am getting closer to getting a mini-mac and windows. Apologies to those developers who want to try it out.