View Source question

Eben Eliason eben.eliason at
Mon May 19 14:47:09 EDT 2008

I believe the only two reasons that view source isn't yet what we all
hope it to be is a) because, when we got down to it, it became a
little difficult to specify exactly what that hope is, and b) because
there are so many other items on the plates of developers that the
last thing worth dedicating time to then was an unsatisfactorily
specified new feature.

I don't think anyone disagrees with the desire to "pull back the
covers" though, and I also think that doing so can certainly have some
practical applications.  As Walter mentioned, in Browse their may be
options for viewing the HTML source, the CSS and JS is applicable, and
ultimately the bundle code of the activity.  This latter piece can be
made standard, and simply hasn't been yet because the means of
accomplishing this is the Develop activity, which is still in
development and testing.

To throw my thoughts on the table, I'd vote for the view source key to
reveal a modal alert which contains the various options for "what to
dig into" in some form, one of which would always be the bundle
itself.  Through some API the activity could indicate what it can
offer, and perhaps also indicate whether or not it intends to handle
the request itself (that is, the Browse activity may wish to reveal
the HTML source itself).  This all clearly needs some more thought,
though.  Do others have refinements to the notion of this dialog,
regarding how an activity can offer up some goodies for peeking at
and/or how we can handle revealing those goodies through itself or
other activities? At least this approach will give a consistent
jumping off (or in, so to speak) point for the view source key,
regardless of what other interfaces or activities are then revealed
once an option is selected, and it provides a default behavior which
will work for every activity without explicit activity participation.

- Eben

2008/5/19 Todd Cranston-Cuebas <geekhunter at>:
> OK, I'll jump in here. Sometimes you do things for no reason other than it
> sells. OK, there may be limited practical application of the view source
> button but honestly, I fully expected to see it running and live in the XO
> that I received after doing the G1G1 program. It was actually a let down to
> see that it's really more hype than reality. As a part-time coder with a
> young child, I was hoping to show how there is the inner workings to the
> computer. Kind of like the fascination shown when I pull open the back of my
> vintage pocket watch. There's something under the "pretty face" of the XO
> and it should be shown if only to entice kids to dig deeper.
> Todd
> On Fri, May 16, 2008 at 4:27 PM, Robert Myers <rmyers7 at>
> wrote:
>> Ok, back to development issues.
>> 'View Source' is touted as one of the user win features of the XO. There
>> doesn't seem to be much useful discussion of it on the wiki.
>> What's the best path for making an activity 'view source' friendly?
>> Reverse engineering from Chat, which is? Some other way?
>> Chat is monolithic. Is there a way to make a multi-file activity 'view
>> source' aware? Or does one have to roll the activity into a single file?
>> Thanks,
>> Bob
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