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#sugar-meeting, 2009-06-18

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Time Nick Message
10:03 erikos #TOPIC Sugarizing of Web apps (by Lucian Branescu Mihaila)
10:03 #LINK http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Webified
10:03 #LINK http://git.sugarlabs.org/projects/webified/
10:05 passes over to lucian__
10:06 bernie I'm around
10:06 lucian__ I'm very sorry abou that, I've just had a kernel panic
10:06 it's the second this week, i'm getting worried
10:06 i blame the 3G dongle drivers
10:06 erikos lucian__, no problem
10:07 bernie, hey!
10:07 lucian__ erikos: anyway, i was about to say that the offline feature outlined in that ticket has very little overlap with my project
10:07 erikos lucian__, yup, right
10:07 lucian__ erikos: it's basically caching bookmarked pages
10:07 erikos lucian__, I mean the global bookmark part - there are some ideas from eben hidden in the ticket
10:08 lucian__, I will move it over after the meeting
10:08 lucian__ sure
10:08 should I do a #startmeeting ? or what?
10:08 erikos lucian__, maybe you want to start to give an overview about what the project is good for
10:08 lucian__, no logs are already running
10:09 lucian__, a highlevel overview would be nice
10:09 lucian__ alright. my project aims to allow Browse to create specialised copies of itself
10:09 erikos lucian__, what can a user do with this
10:09 lucian__ the user can click 'create ssb' and a new activity is created for that specific website
10:10 that website is the homepage and there is a new toolbar called 'customize'
10:10 this toolbar will contain buttons to allow the user to further customize the activity
10:11 erikos the new toolbar then only appears in the 'clone'?
10:11 lucian__ erikos: yes
10:11 erikos lucian__, ok
10:12 lucian__ anyway, the customisation done to the SSB is stored as activity data
10:12 when the user has done more extensive customisation, they can create a new SSB (from inside the current SSB)
10:13 created SSB bundles can be shared or posted at activities.sl.o
10:13 erikos what are the possible customizations?
10:13 a new icon for example?
10:13 lucian__ adding bookmarklets, userscripts (greasemonkey), userstyles (custom css), icon, title
10:14 bookmarklets would en up on the SSB toolbar as buttons
10:14 erikos so in the end - customizing a web application to be a native application (activity)
10:14 lucian__ userscripts can alter behaviour (add offline to wikipedia, add sugar-specific functionality, etc.)
10:15 erikos: yes, that's the point
10:15 erikos lucian__, what are the benefits in just having - lets say bookmarks in browse
10:15 lucian__, each page has it's icon already normaly
10:15 lucian__ erikos: bookmarks as opposed to SSBs?
10:16 erikos lucian__, well yeah - from the user point of view
10:16 lucian__ erikos: there's a much more clear separation between the browser and the web application
10:16 erikos lucian__, I mean besides the customization - I can have it all in one app, I guess
10:16 lucian__ GMail can be made to behave like a native email client
10:16 and there's the sharing
10:16 erikos lucian__, I just ask provocatly
10:16 lucian__ erikos: yes, i figured
10:17 i think walterbender made a GMail activity
10:17 erikos yes, right
10:17 lucian__ with this SSB creator, users can make their own GMail.xo and share it
10:17 walterbender lucian: my gmail activity was a hand-built instance of what you are making happen with a button push :)
10:18 lucian__ walterbender: yes, mostly
10:18 erikos what I like about it - it is another way for kids to start customizing the system
10:18 walterbender we have a green light from Google, BTW, to package all of their google apps if we care to do so
10:18 lucian__ walterbender: i intend to do just that :D
10:19 as soon as I get a workaround working for that pyxpcom bug and Gears works, even offline :)
10:19 walterbender lucian: is there an intention that people would add their apps to ALSO?
10:19 ^ALSO^ASLO
10:19 lucian__ walterbender: yes, i'm trying to make that possible
10:19 tomeu walterbender: but those aren't free software, right?
10:19 FGrose (the Activity Library)
10:20 walterbender tomeu: the wrappers are free software...
10:20 erikos what about space constraints? or let's say the problem of always copying all of the bundle
10:20 tomeu walterbender: so everything in the client side is free software?
10:20 erikos tomeu, there was once the intention to make making a web app more simple
10:21 lucian__ erikos: i though of that. in the end bundles shouldn't be much larger than Browse itself
10:21 tomeu erikos: I think there's still that intention
10:21 walterbender tomeu: I assume so, but maybe there are corner cases
10:21 erikos tomeu, getting more of the stuff in browse.xo into hulahop
10:21 tomeu, ok
10:21 lucian__ tomeu: the .js sent to the client isn't. it's a bit blurr
10:21 erikos tomeu, might be a good moment to think about that
10:21 lucian__, ok, cool
10:21 tomeu erikos: or from browse into sugar-toolkit
10:21 erikos tomeu, ok, or that
10:22 tomeu erikos: wade sent a plan about that
10:22 lucian__ it would help with space if browser.py and friends were part of sugar
10:22 erikos tomeu, ok, good
10:23 lucian__ i still need to keep an eye out for space when bundling the gecko profile
10:23 erikos lucian__, right - if as much as possible would be in the toolkit itself
10:26 lucian, welcome back ;p
10:26 walterbender the wonderful world of 3G?
10:26 lucian erikos: got disconnected. my 3G signal isn't very good
10:27 walterbender: my neighbours upstairs have wifi, i'll have a chat with them
10:27 anyway, i still haven't implemented the ssb toolbar
10:28 custom CSS and bookmarklets will be easy to implement
10:28 walterbender lucian: are there any concernes re the toolbar?
10:28 lucian walterbender: just design concerns
10:28 it's going to look something like this
10:28 walterbender lucian: maybe we could coerce Eben into designing some icons for you
10:29 lucian add bookmarklet, add userscript, add userstyle |separator| bookmarklet buttons
10:29 i'm a bit worried about icons, though
10:29 erikos walterbender, or gary
10:29 lucian should I incorporate the website favicon in the sugar icon?
10:29 or should I leave all SSB have the same icon by default
10:30 erikos lucian, you mean into the activity icon?
10:30 lucian erikos: yes
10:30 (well, bookmarklet icons as well)
10:30 erikos lucian, the problem is I guess that the sugar icons are only two colored
10:30 walterbender lucian: I'd do the former, not the latter.
10:31 erikos: we could use a simple algorithm to change the colors...
10:31 lucian walterbender: so the Browse icon with the favicon in the middle?
10:31 erikos walterbender, yeah, thought about something like that
10:31 walterbender erikos: it is more a matter that the fav icon is not likely to be SVG
10:31 erikos or maybe - the creator has to do it himself
10:31 walterbender erikos: it would be good to give them something reasonable by default
10:31 erikos walterbender, would be a nice exercise
10:32 walterbender another task for a long airplane flight
10:32 erikos walterbender, well there could be an editor in the toolbar to allow that
10:32 walterbender, or something like that
10:32 walterbender erikos: it would be nicer to make a separate svg editor activity...
10:32 and a way to import the icon from the Journal
10:32 erikos walterbender, of course
10:33 walterbender inkscape :)
10:33 erikos heh yeah
10:34 you never know if it is kernel or 3G
10:34 lucian_ a tiny svg editor that can have an image as a background would be nice
10:34 erikos: 3G :)
10:34 so the user can just follow the contour of the original image
10:34 erikos lucian_, ;p
10:34 lucian_, yup that is what I had envisioned
10:35 bemasc I think an SVG editor is out-of-scope.  Converting the favicon should be possible.
10:35 walterbender I really discourage you from adding this level of complexity...
10:35 lucian_ bemasc: i wouldn't think of doing it for GSoC
10:35 bemasc ok
10:35 walterbender not a matter of GSoC or not... it is a matter of adding needless complexity to an already complex activity
10:36 erikos walterbender, good point
10:36 let's build small tools that can work together
10:37 walterbender erikos: the Sugar way of doing things
10:37 bemasc A totally automated favicon converter seems worthwhile... and might also be a useful component for other sugarization problems.
10:37 erikos walterbender, but the first version of the editor activity could just be a converter
10:37 bemasc, ^^^
10:37 bemasc It should certainly be low-priority for lucian_, though.
10:37 walterbender bemasc: we could make a crude version pretty quickly
10:38 bemasc walterbender: agreed.
10:38 lucian_ bemasc: i'm really not even touching that
10:38 if someone goes and makes an tiny svg editor, great
10:38 erikos lucian, ok, lets focus maybe on the main goals
10:38 walterbender I'd vote for an SVG wrapper (with Sugar icon colors) around the bitmap imported
10:38 erikos lucian, what you could do is advertising on the ml that it would be a nice thing to have
10:38 walterbender as a place to start..
10:38 erikos lucian, and if someone wants to work on it - great
10:39 lucian_ walterbender: that should be doable
10:39 erikos: sure, will do
10:39 erikos ok, lucian - what are your outstanding questions?
10:39 lucian, I have added you to: http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/D[…]admap/0.86#Browse
10:39 lucian, i guess that is ok
10:40 lucian_ i'm not sure how I should be storing the bookmarklets
10:40 they're links, possibly with a description and ideally with an icon
10:40 erikos the global bookmarks?
10:41 lucian_ erikos: they don't have to be global, i could persist them in the ssb bundle
10:41 erikos: should i try to use mozilla's stuff or roll my own (probably json files)
10:41 erikos lucian, ok - what are they from a user point of view?
10:41 lucian_ s/json files/.ini files/
10:41 erikos lucian, a bookmark in the classical way?
10:41 lucian_ erikos: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bookmarklet
10:42 erikos looks
10:42 lucian_ erikos: they have most of the traits of regular toolbar buttons
10:42 erikos: they just happen to live on the bookmark bar in most browsers
10:42 erikos lucian, ahhhhh
10:44 lucian_, json is one option - that is what we do for the sharing bokmarks
10:44 lucian_, we store an icon here as well
10:45 lucian_ erikos: yes, i'll have to make a wrapper .svg for this as well
10:46 my other issue was how to persist session data
10:46 the customisations a user does would get stored as session data
10:46 and i want to store that in the bundle i create
10:46 i'm not sure what the best way for that would be
10:47 erikos ok, let me think a sec
10:49 hmmm, it should be global data
10:49 not session data, right?
10:49 as it changes the behavior of the activity itself
10:50 lucian_ erikos: well, yes
10:50 but afaik the rainbow doesn't let activities do that
10:50 erikos lucian_, maybe this does mean activity versions?
10:51 lucian_, i mean - we create a new version of the activity I guess
10:51 lucian_ erikos: yes, bemasc compared it to currying in functional languages
10:52 erikos oh dear - haskell
10:52 lucian_ erikos: since activities are immutable and they save state externally (in the journal)
10:53 erikos hmmm
10:56 lucian_ erikos: another issue I have right now is that Gears doesn't quite work
10:56 tomeu pointed me in the right direction for implementing a workaround
10:57 (the Gears permission dialog is too small to click the 'allow' button)
10:57 erikos lucian_, so for the activity version stuff - I am not sure how we solve that, yet
10:57 tomeu lucian_: btw, you can actually click on the checkbox, you just need to do it in the right pixel row
10:57 lucian_ tomeu: heh. i'll try that
10:58 erikos tomeu, you did work on gears at one point, or?
11:00 tomeu erikos: yup
11:00 adds one more to the list of people who aren't reading his blog
11:02 walterbender tomeu: I haven't tried your tab patches yet, I have to admit...
11:04 erikos tomeu, 19 days old!
11:04 tomeu, I have forgotten about it already 5 times ;p
11:05 tomeu walterbender: I don't think the user experience should block applying the initial patch. we can only change what the gtk widget allows changing, and any of those changes won't be invasive
11:05 erikos: hmm, ok, you are off the list for now, but I will test you in the future :p
11:06 walterbender: what we'll need is adding stuff, like keybindings, etc
11:06 erikos had luck for today
11:07 lucian_, tomeu shall I add addons support to the 0.86 roadmap?
11:07 lucian_ erikos: not all firefox extensions can work with Browse
11:07 erikos lucian_, tomeu at least for now - to see if we find someone who is willing to work on it
11:08 lucian_, ok, what is the criteria?
11:08 lucian_ erikos: try it, give up if it doesn't work
11:08 erikos: extensions target the firefox XUL
11:09 tomeu erikos: as you wish, we need someone to look at the extension manager in firefox and see how much is in xulrunner and how much we should implement
11:09 lucian_ which Browse doesn't have
11:09 erikos: stuff that uses toolbars, statusbars, etc. won't work
11:09 erikos oh, ok - that soes not sound that easy after all
11:09 lucian_ erikos: gears does because it barely has any GUI
11:10 erikos lucian_, ok, but you need gears after all
11:10 lucian_, I mean you need it for your project, right?
11:11 lucian_ erikos: for making web apps work offline
11:11 tomeu erikos: extensions are bundles of chrome+components
11:11 erikos: xulrunner supports adding chrome and components
11:11 erikos: so if you read my post you will see how we expand the extension bundle and install each piece in its place
11:14 erikos tomeu, ok, thanks for the explanation
11:14 lucian_, and offline support would be nice - but not highest priority?
11:15 lucian_ erikos: not really. most web apps are inherently online
11:15 erikos: some work really nicely offline, like google docs
11:16 erikos: so it would be very nice to have it, but not vital
11:16 erikos lucian_, ok, that sounds good
11:16 lucian_, so we are not blocking on it
11:16 lucian_, but we can try to make it work in parallel
11:16 lucian_ erikos: yes
11:16 bookmarklets i plan to work on today
11:16 erikos awesome
11:17 what else do we have?
11:17 lucian_ userscripts are also very useful, i'll try to get greasemonkey installed
11:17 are you familiar with greasemonkey?
11:17 erikos nope
11:17 Allows you to customize the way a webpage displays using small bits of JavaScript. ...
11:17 ok
11:18 lucian_ erikos: yes, mostly
11:18 it basically injects some javascript in the page
11:18 it allows you to do really cool things, thougu
11:19 like this http://code.google.com/apis/ge[…]/gearsmonkey.html
11:19 erikos: there's another thing, i was thinking of allowing javascript to call dbus methods
11:19 erikos is greasemonkey similar to gears - installation wise
11:19 lucian_ erikos: yes, also an extension
11:19 erikos lucian_, yeah, I mean - barely no GUI
11:19 lucian_ erikos: so users could download a userscript that adds native sugar alerts and sounds to gmail
11:19 erikos ?
11:20 lucian_ erikos: a window and a status bar icon
11:20 erikos: i may have to remove some code from it, but it should work
11:20 erikos lucian_, so the trick we do for gears might work?
11:20 lucian_, ok
11:20 lucian_ erikos: if not, it shouldn't be that hard to make my own javascript injector
11:21 erikos lucian_, ok, cool
11:22 lucian_, http://groups.google.com/group[…]/988927e098b7b38c
11:23 actually: http://sandbox.movial.com/wiki[…]owser_DBus_Bridge
11:23 lucian_ erikos: yes, that's what i'm using
11:23 erikos great
11:23 lucian_ erikos: it works great with firefox and epiphany-gecko, but for some reason not with Browse
11:23 erikos sigh :/
11:24 lucian_ erikos: i can't find anything relevant in the logs either
11:24 erikos: i'll try to compare logs from firefox and Browse when running the dbus test
11:25 erikos lucian_, ok
11:25 lucian_ erikos: anyway, this even less priority than Gears right now
11:25 s/this/this is/
11:26 erikos yup, lucian_ - other issues?
11:26 lucian_ erikos: things like this make the platform integration better, but getting SSBs to work in the first place is more important
11:26 erikos: that's all i can think of
11:26 erikos lucian_, yeah - it is important to get the base going first
11:26 lucian_, and have the other parts in mind
11:27 lucian_, at least I understand a bit better now the parts involved ;p
11:28 lucian_, let's wrap up here
11:28 lucian_ erikos: ok
11:29 erikos a) what is the plan for the page at: http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Webified
11:29 or wait - let me see
11:30 lucian_ erikos: that page is just slighty outdated
11:30 erikos it would be cool to have the stuff we discussed today listed there
11:30 or at another place
11:30 yeah
11:30 lucian_ erikos: is my blog ok? http://honeyweb.wordpress.com
11:31 erikos lucian_, I would prefer the wiki - actually
11:32 lucian_ erikos: alright, i'll put it on the wiki then
11:32 erikos lucian_, http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/DeviceKit
11:33 lucian_, my plan is to have something like that for the roadmap
11:33 lucian_, I have to get up a template
11:33 lucian_, I guess I should do that *now*
11:34 lucian_ erikos: yeah, that looks nice
11:34 erikos: i guess I could make a new wiki page without all the GSoC related content
11:34 erikos lucian_, ok let me do this - you can then add the info there
11:34 lucian_, yup
11:34 lucian_ erikos: alright, go ahead
11:34 erikos: i'll add content later
11:34 FGrose erikos: I could do the wiki template based on the DeviceKit page
11:35 erikos lucian_, and we can send a link as a summary to the ml
11:35 lucian_ erikos: yep
11:35 erikos FGrose, that would be awesome!
11:36 ok - looks like we have a plan
11:36 lucian_, thanks for joining in today and being such a nice guest ;p
11:37 lucian_ erikos: thanks for being a nice host :)
11:37 erikos lucian_, do you think this was useful and we should do the same for othe other GSOc projects?
11:37 lucian_ erikos: yes, it was quite useful. it always helps to explain your idea to someone else
11:38 erikos: and it spurs more feedback, too
11:38 erikos lucian_, ok, I can propose this then
11:38 lucian_, of course
11:39 FGrose, thanks for the Linuxtag event reminder ;p
11:39 closes
11:39 #endmeeting

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