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XAPGen 0.1 Alpha Release

July 20th, 2007 by enefekt

If you missed the announcement post, go and read that to get the low-down.

XAPGen is a project to provide tools to help automate the generation of XULRunner projects and packaging for distribution.

I now have a first release using Ant, and have done preliminary testing on Windows, Linux, and Mac.

First, you can generate brand-new XULRunner projects just by passing in an app/project name. Then you will have a project that is ready-to-go to package apps for Windows, Linux, and Mac.

Here’s what I used on the various platforms to get started:

  • Mac OS X: Xcode Tools and you’re up and running. You can create packages for all three major platforms
  • Linux: Java SDK, and Ant. You can create packages for all three major platforms
  • Windows: Cygwin, Java SDK, and Ant. You can create packages for Windows and Linux. (The Mac build relies on some UNIX tools not available in Cygwin)

There are also tasks for each platform: buildAndRunMac, buildAndRunWin, buildAndRunLinux. These will build and immediately run your app and open the Error console for debugging.

So this obviously isn’t for the projects building custom XULRunner binaries from the Moz source tree, but rather for devs using XULRunner as-is.

There is a lot of stuff that I would like to do to make this even better. And there are some really cool ways to extend this. Right now I thought I would get a tracer bullet out-the-door first. (One thing I know I want to do soon is optimize the buildAndRun tasks better)

So if you get a chance to play around with this, let me know what you think.

Check out the README file for the details.

Download: XAPGen 0.1a

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July 17th, 2007 by enefekt

I’ve been working on this project inspired by Mozpad named XAPGen:

XULRunner Application Project and Package Generator

XAPGen Logo

XAPGen is a project to provide tools to help automate the generation of XULRunner projects and packaging for distribution.

The project does not focus solely on one automation/build technology, but welcomes contributions and techniques using various technologies. This is to help XULRunner application development to be approachable to a wider audience coming from different backgrounds.

I’m really close to releasing an early version for wider testing, but am waiting to get my MacBook Pro back from getting a faulty display replaced to at least do some testing on Windows and Linux. :) The version I am working on right now uses Apache Ant.

I wanted to get out a heads up about this though before the Mozpad meeting. Here is an example of how simple it is to get started with a XULRunner app with XAPGen Ant:

Generate a project just by passing in an app name:

demo step 1

Package up your new app right away:

demo step 2

You now have packages for Mac, Windows, and Linux:

demo step 3

Filed under IDA, Mozilla, Mozpad, XULRunner having 1 Comment »

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XULExplorer 0.4 for Mac [Updated]

June 22nd, 2007 by enefekt

Since I noticed that Mark Finkle’s download slot for XULExplorer 0.4 for Mac was still labeled as “coming soon”, I figured I would whip up a Mac distribution. So I grabbed the source from Subversion and did just that.

Some things I got errors on:
I didn’t see a “tasksOverlay.dtd” file, so I just disabled those entities in “inspector.xul”.
There wasn’t a “venkman-overlay.dtd”, but I found one via Google and slammed that in there.

So I guess this isn’t an “official” distribution, there prolly is some stuff not 100% right. The app bundle directory arrangement might be a little different too, since I slapped the source into my own build process, and created the distribution from that.

Oh, and I used XULRunner, what I had laying around. I guess it’s not a UB. If I do this again, the next one will be. (Should still work fine on Mac Intel, will double-check when I get on my Macbook Pro later today)
Update: Works fine on Mac Intel, forgot that gives you a UB, will update this weekend sometime.
Update 2: Now a (fat) Universal Binary

Here it is:
XULExplorer 0.4 – Mac (Universal Binary – 19.2 MB)

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Songbird’s XULRunner Wishlist

June 21st, 2007 by enefekt

Songbird has posted their wishlist for XULRunner.

Filed under Mozpad, XULRunner having Comments Off

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Updated Mozpad Action Proposals

June 18th, 2007 by enefekt

I have updated and hopefully clarified a couple of the Mozpad action proposals that I’ve championed. You can either leave comments here or start a thread on the Mozpad groups list. The two that I’ve updated are:

Mark Finkle has already started on his Platform wish list.

Filed under Mozpad, XULRunner having Comments Off

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Mozpad Action Item Proposals

June 12th, 2007 by enefekt

I have added some bits to some existing proposals and added proposals for some items that I’ve championed on the Mozpad wiki. Here are some direct links to those:

Oh, and on the wiki, is that cat image causing the main page to load slow? It’s not a huge image, but seems like it is being served up slow.

Filed under Mozpad, XULRunner having Comments Off

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Mozpad: My Agenda

June 11th, 2007 by enefekt

I thought it would be a good idea to briefly highlight a few things about myself and my interest in Mozpad, XULRunner application development, and how I feel I can contribute.

First, where am I coming from? What is my experience to-date with software development? I have over five years experience in multimedia and web development. A while back I did a small amount of work with Macromedia Director, but mainly I have worked with HTML/JavaScript, Flash/Flex, and PHP/MySQL. I started Flash development with Flash 5, and have been working with the Flash Platform all the way through today with ActionScript 3 and Flex 2. For the past year and a half I have been working with XULRunner in addition as well. So I’m relatively new to this whole Mozilla community, so forgive me If I make some missteps or mistakes. (Like mentioning the F (irefox) word in a Mozpad IRC meeting? :) )

How can I contribute? Being able to provide a viewpoint of someone from the “outside” who is more familiar with JavaScript and ActionScript than C++ or make. Focusing on application development, not the actual platform development of XULRunner itself. Determining what are hurdles for me (and hopefully by extension others in a similar area), and helping to find a way to lower those hurdles, if not help eliminate them.

What do I expect to get in return? To start with, better firsthand experience with the technology and the community to help guide some of the decisions I need to make at my day job, and personal work. I’m especially interested in the general subject of cross-platform desktop applications that use web technologies, and work with the web. I also would like to get some more experience working with an open source community, something which I think seems to be getting more and more important. Last, I do have some selfish interests in making myself and my skills more marketable, and establishing some networking
for future opportunities.

Just a heads up too. I am not Mozilla-exclusive, and will continue working with Flex and Adobe AIR.

So thats my agenda. :)

We’ll see how this goes. I’ll regularly do some checkpoints and try and evaluate whether it seems I’m contributing anything of value, or making any progress.

To start, some brief Mozpad action item champion posts will follow.

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Super Add-Ons: The Firefox 3 Proposal

May 20th, 2007 by enefekt

There are different levels and types of applications, and different needs. So of course you end up with developers who are more accustomed to application development at various levels. By recognizing some of these differences, we can potentially identify areas for new types of internet applications.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under Firefox, Mozilla, XULRunner having Comments Off

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eMusic Download Manager

April 21st, 2007 by enefekt

New XULRunner app by eMusic. It’s called the eMusic Download Manager. Very cool example of tailoring an experience for an online app with an IDA to overcome browser limitations. One of the main goals is described here:

Our goal is to rid ourselves of years of issues with downloading and to give you an experience that should help you rock-on without having to worry about how to download.

Filed under IDA, Mozilla, XULRunner, XULRunnerApp having Comments Off

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