HTML-based/Browser apps (was Re: anti-cheating)

Tomeu Vizoso tomeu at
Thu Feb 12 05:43:38 EST 2009

On Thu, Feb 12, 2009 at 11:25, Mike Dawson <mikeofmanchester at> wrote:
> Hey All,
> The offline spec is indeed something very cool - I had some time back
> done some work with XSL to try to create something that would have a
> similar effect with Apache cocoon - but nothing can (or should) beat a
> w3c standard.
> What we are trying to do in Afghanistan to see if we can offset the
> cost of the laptop is deliver info to the parents using the XO to see
> if we can help them to increase their income - things like home
> business ideas (e.g. Afghan carpets), CV writing etc. for when the
> kids are asleep...
> As HTML seems to be the most portable / compact choice we have made a
> collection of info as such - but as per the previous post we would
> rather have it a bit more prominent than making the .xol collection
> file.
> I hence copied the help activity to a new folder Econdev.activity:
> Left as it was except for changing the line:
> HOME = os.path.join(activity.get_bundle_path(), 'econdev/index.html')
> Created activity
> [Activity]
> name = Economic Development
> activity_version = 10
> service_name = af.asmed.EconomicDevelopment
> icon = activity-econdev
> class = helpactivity.HelpActivity
> license = GPLv2
> Then there is an SVG I made in Inkscape activity/activity-econdev.svg
> - yet somehow when this folder Econdev.activity is copied to
> ~/Activities and sugar etc. is restarted - no icon turning up.  I also
> tried packaging it as a .xo file and then running the install script
> that put it under /usr/share - it turns up, but no icon...
> I went through the log viewer and there didn't seem to be any special
> mention of it...   Is there possibly a problem from not changing the
> Class name of the helpactivity to be unique - or some naming
> convention that I have neglected here?

Only the service_name needs to be unique. Which version of Sugar are
you using? If 0.82, the activity icon is not appearing on the activity

See in case you dind't knew about it.

Also feel free to email the sugar-devel mailing list for questions
about sugar development.



> Our stuff (in English, Dari and Pashto) will go up on and as a
> collection...
> Thanks,
> -Mike
> PS:
> I have to hang my head in shame that I have not yet done much Python /
> XO activity coding (yet) - I've done more Java/J2EE and Linux server
> admin thus far.  I will take time over the "weekend"...
> 2009/1/13 Sameer Verma <sverma at>:
>> On Mon, Jan 12, 2009 at 2:15 AM, S Page <info at> wrote:
>>> Carlos Nazareno wrote:
>>>> - I'd also like to see more work done on a method to easily bundle
>>>> Gnash or HTML-based/Browser applications as stand-alone activities, or
>>>> at least launch the browser with the wrapped activity loaded upon
>>>> startup.
>>> See the Help activity in 8.2.0, it instantiates the WebView from hulahop
>>> that underlies Browse and points it at help/XO_Introduction.html.
>>> But is it so bad to make your "HTML-based application" an installable
>>> collection that shows up in the "OLPC Library" navigation on the Browse
>>> home page?  See <>.  Just
>>> because most library content is static non-interactive ebook material is
>>> no reason really cool browser apps shouldn't go in the OLPC Library.
>>> One thing that might make collections more appealing and feel like
>>> applications is if the collection's icon (which seems
>>> otherwise unused?!) or the web site's favicon would appear in the
>>> Journal instead or as well as the generic globe icon of Browse.  I filed
>>> a confused ticket #9188 for this enhancement.
>>>> - Using a local daemon or service of some sort, the method I
>>>> previously outlined can also be used here for "standalone" mode of the
>>>> tests. This way, the learner can also practice with them and learn
>>>> outside of class hours.
>>> The WikiBrowse activity (WikipediaEN.activity on G1G1 8.2 laptops)
>>> starts a local python Web server and fires up a WebActivity (Browse)
>>> instance pointing at it.
>>> Better, Browse's engine is XULRunner 1.9 and it has support for most of
>>> the HTML 5 offline application spec
>>> <>.
>>> E.g. is an
>>> expanding form you can fill out while offline that will update the web
>>> server when next online.  It should work on an XO (I can't try it, my
>>> wireless router is bust! :-( ).
>>> I concur with where you're going.  *Never* ever bet against the browser.
>>>  Browse or a custom WebView activity can do everything that Firefox 3
>>> can do, without worrying about compatibility with abysmal MS Internet
>>> Explorer that's keeping the web stuck in 2004.
>>> E.g. -- why bother with crappy
>>> static PDF atlases when interactive technology like that is available?
>>> And you can View > Source it!
>> This is one of the coolest things I've seen in a long time!!! This is
>> definitely going down in the SVG examples section for my class in
>> Spring.
>> Sameer
>> --
>> Dr. Sameer Verma, Ph.D.
>> Associate Professor of Information Systems
>> San Francisco State University
>> San Francisco CA 94132 USA
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