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

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Mon Jan 12 02:15:14 EST 2009

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!

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