Library activity

Ian Bicking ianb at
Sat Apr 14 14:14:14 EDT 2007

I was talking to someone about the library activity, and he had done 
some work a product using Gecko without any extra UI, and it seemed kind 
of interesting.  In that case, he implemented all the back buttons and 
other navigational UI in HTML.  All of which is basically how the 
current library prototype is written, except there's an additional layer 
of normal browser UI.  Which I actually like in a general sense, but 
creates a perhaps-unnecessary second layer of UI in the library; and 
that's fine when you don't really trust the content (as with most 
websites), but if we have a consistent design process for content we can 
make the UI consistent in HTML.

This would also be great for other Activities that might want to use 
HTML and a local web server, but aren't really "web pages".  If the 
activity doesn't add their own navigation then this won't work at all, 
so it should require at least some specific assertion (maybe in CSS or 
the page itself).  And probably this should only be allowed for local 
activities; I wouldn't want normal internet pages to be able to just 
completely turn off the UI.

How these should be launched, I don't know; ideally they'd share memory 
with the web activities and each other, like when you start multiple web 
activities (I believe).  But that doesn't mean they can't have their own 
identity in the form of an icon or whatever else Activities come to 
represent.  A locally hosted web application Activity actually needs the 
whole thing -- it needs to start up a server, then start a browser, so 
it has to be its own Activity.

Ian Bicking | ianb at |
             | Write code, do good |

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