Mozilla / Open Source / XRap

XRap version 0.8 update

XRap 0.8 is now completed, and everything is now coming together.  I have managed to merge Mac packaging into XRap, so that it creates a dmg to mount on the Mac file system, and then I have created a script to run xulrunner-bin –install-app, which installs the XULRunner application into the Application folder on  a Mac.  In terms of XRap all this means is that when XRap detects that it is being run on a Mac, it will create all this for the application you want to package.  

The step for creating a package is the same as create one for Linux and Windows, one the first screen open the directory to where your application is stored, click the ‘Next’ button, and XRap will create a script to install your application into the Applications folder, and then create a dmg of the application folder. Done!  

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Windows packaging is just about finalized, and running perfectly.  Linux on the other hand might need some last minute refactoring.  After working on the Mac, and talking to some people on IRC, I realized that ‘xulrunner-bin –install-app’ is an awesome script, and that there should be one for Linux.  There is, only it is ‘xulrunner –install-app‘.  So now I might scrap all of the Autotools work (which will also remove the prerequisite of the developer needing autotools installed), and just tarball the application and create an install script for it, which will put it into ‘/usr/lib/’ for all Linux distros.  One of the benefits of dumping Autotools, is that I can now write an install script, and zip it on Windows, the same method can also apply for Mac, since it is not possible to create a dmg without a Mac, I can write an install script and zip.  This will tackle one of the requests, that XRap be able to package for any platform, no matter what you are working on.  It should definatly be done by my 0.9 release.  

I have got a ton of ideas from my professor on little ideas/features to make XRap a better product.  Here’s a list of things which I have compiled which I expect to be completed for the next release:

  • Use a ‘Throbber’ for the Packaging status screen, so that the use knows the application is working.
  • On the last page create a link to the destination of the output file.
  • On the second page allow the user to import/apply a license into their application, by giving them a list of available licenses to choose from, or apply their own.
  • For the Windows version of XRap, give a description of each Installer, and change the dropdown list of Installers to a list of radio buttons
  • Automatically go from the ‘Packaging Status’ page to the ‘Completion page’ when packaging is complete
  • Create an installation log generator
  • Logo (for final release)

Tinkering…

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