Appendix B. Development Tools- P1

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Appendix B. Development Tools- P1

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Appendix B. Development Tools- P1 Cuốn sách này mô tả cách tạo ra các ứng dụng bằng cách sử dụng Mozilla. Nói chung, tất cả các phần đó đi vào một ứng dụng (bao gồm cả XUL, CSS, XBL, và DTD tập tin) cần phải được xây dựng bởi bàn tay kể từ khi không có công cụ phát triển làm sẵn hoặc các ứng dụng phát triển hoàn chỉnh có sẵn mà có thể làm cho các quy trình hướng dẫn sử dụng dễ dàng hơn. Tạo tất cả những tập tin này bằng tay là một cách tuyệt vời...

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  1. Appendix B. Development Tools- P1 This book describes how to create applications using Mozilla. Generally, all parts that go into an application (including XUL, CSS, XBL, and DTD files) need to be built by hand since no complete ready-made development tools or development applications are available that would make these manual processes easier. Creating all these files by hand is a great way to familiarize yourself with the way Mozilla works, and becoming more familiar with the inner workings of a Mozilla application certainly helps you see how the various parts fit together. Once you are comfortable creating these files by hand, using the platform becomes much easier and Mozilla fulfills its promise as a rich application development framework. Development tools are important, though, and platforms like Mozilla can't obtain the sort of developer base they deserve until tools that make application creation easier are available. Although some people want to learn everything there is to know about creating applications with Mozilla, many simply want to create something without a lot of fuss. Mozilla does not yet have a full set of development tools, but currently several development projects help with part of the application creation process. These tools don't make up a full-featured development environment, but they are useful. They also point the way to an area in Mozilla development that has a bright future and is worth watching. This appendix describes some of the new tools -- including XULKit, Patch Maker, the DOM Inspector, the JavaScript Debugger, and MozillaTranslator
  2. -- that are already becoming a part of the regular repertoire of Mozilla developers. By learning about how to use these tools for your own project, you can radically simplify the application development process, especially when you combine these tools. B.1. XULKit Much of the manual editing described in Chapters Chapter 6, Chapter 7, and Chapter 8 can be automated with special scripts and templates being developed in the Mozilla source tree's tools/wizards section (these files are referred to collectively as the XULKit and can be found at These tools help you develop your Mozilla application by generating as much of the basic content, structure, and packaging of an application as possible, leaving you free to work only on the aspects of your application that you care about. We mention XULKit first because it can make setting up new Mozilla applications a snap. XULKit is essentially a set of two scripts:, which creates a new application framework, and, which packages your application once you finish developing it. B.1.1. Script Though it's not named very elegantly, the Perl script takes information you provide in the form of a simple text file and uses it to create various parts of a Mozilla application. These parts include the XUL content, which has a basic menubar you can add to; an overlay that puts an item for your application into the Tools menu in the Mozilla browser; CSS for your XUL; and an installation script for the application
  3. package. You can base your application off of a couple of different templates, including a sophisticated one that lets you generate XPCOM interfaces for components you wish to use in your application, described below. Using these scripts, you can add content and logic to your application, restyle it, or build your application however you would like. You can also register the resulting directory with the chrome registry to see it working in your local copy of Mozilla, and when you finish developing it, the application directory is already structured in exactly the way it must be to be checked into the Mozilla source tree's extensions directory (if you want to check it into this common location for applications that become a part of Mozilla). When you want to distribute your application as described in Chapter 6, you can use the other script in the XULKit,, to package your application files into a cross-platform archive that can be installed from a regular web page. To use the script, point it at a template that you filled out with your own information. It then generates the basic application code in the appropriate subdirectory structure: -t FILE [-o DIRECTORY] [- f[d]] [-h] [-?] When you run the script, the XULKit creates a new top-level application directory. In this directory, the script creates the three main package directories, and it places some basic content in each one: a CSS file called mozreg.css in the skins subdirectory, a few XUL files in the content directory (including the overlay that defines a new menu item for
  4. the main browser that opens this new application), and localizable data in the mozref.dtd file in the locale subdirectory. In addition to these files, the XULKit script creates contents.rdf files that describe each package, some Makefiles that instruct the Mozilla build process how to integrate this application into the build (which is a later step and not necessary to run the application), and an install.js file that executes the installation of this application when it appears in a XPI. (See Chapter 6 for more information about XPI, Mozilla's cross-platform installation file format.) If you look at Example B-1 -- xul-app.tpl, which comes with the distribution of -- you can see how easy it is to fill out the basic information and create your own template. Example B-1. Sample application template # load default template for a XUL app include "${top_wizard_dir}templates/xul-app.tpl" # short app name (can not contain spaces.) # until is fixed, this needs # to be all lowercase. app_name_short=xulsample # long app name (spaces are OK.) app_name_long=Sample XUL Application (generated from sample.xul-app.tpl)
  5. # name as it should appear in the menu app_name_menu=Sample XUL App # version to tell the .xpi installer app_version=1.0 # author, used in various chrome and app registration calls # size of the package when installed, in kilobytes. # this number is used by the install.js script to check for enough disk space # before the .xpi is installed. You can just guess for now, or put 1, and fix it # in install.js before you make your .xpi file. install_size_kilobytes=1 You can adapt the xul-app.tpl for your own purposes or use the sample.xul-app.tpl that is already filled out. Table B-1 details different options for Table B-1. Options for the script Option Description Recursively deletes the output -d directory before starting; requires the -f option.
  6. Option Description Forces file overwriting in the output -f directory. Displays a description of the specified template with -o. The template will not be processed. The template description is taken from the -h value of the template_description variable in the template file. template_descriptions provided by the main template file's template file(s) are not displayed. Generates the template into the directory specified by DIRECTORY. If this directory already exists, new- will fail. This failure prevents you from -o DIRECTORY accidentally overwriting an existing application. Use the -f option to continue anyway. Use -fd to force DIRECTORY to be deleted before the template is processed.
  7. Option Description Processes the template specified by -t TEMPLATE TEMPLATE. This file is usually in the my/ sub-directory, ending in .tpl. -? Shows usage information and exits. B.1.1.1. XULKit templates Two different application templates come with new-from- template.tpl, each with its own empty and sample versions. Example B-1 shows sample.xul-app.tpl in its entirety. The other template, xpcom-component.tpl, uses information you supply to create the framework for an XPCOM component. As with xul-app.tpl, the template comes with a sample that's already filled out. This script creates an IDL file, a header file, and a stubbed-out CPP file in an application subdirectory structure you can use to begin coding your XPCOM component. In the xpcom-component.tpl, many variables do not need to be changed, but required fields are set aside in the template: # variables the user's .tpl file MUST declare required_variables = ${component_name}, ${implementation_guid}, \ ${interface_name}, ${interface_guid}
  8. Using this script, you can fill out a subset of the template with the information XPCOM requires, and XPCOM will generate the basic files you need, as Example B-2 shows. Example B-2. Sample XPCOM component template # include default values include "${top_wizard_dir}templates/xpcom- component.tpl" component_name = SampleComponent implementation_guid = c6793b0c-1dd1-11b2-a246- 92bf95c9d097 interface_name = tstISampleComponent interface_guid = d03ea960-1dd1-11b2-9682- 81ecad6a042a B.1.2. Script In addition to the template-generating script described above, a second script takes your working application and creates an installable package, or XPI, out of it. This way, you can distribute it to others in the same way the various components of the Mozilla browser are distributed and installed when you use the Mozilla installer. This script,, takes an application directory as input and generates an XPI archive. It also manifests for various parts of your application, the installation script that goes inside this archive, and even the installation web page itself. While is designed to help you start your application, takes your locally
  9. developed application and makes it into a package that can be distributed to other users and installed via the Web. To use, point it at a configuration file that you have edited to point at your application directory: [-c ] [-d] [-r ] [-?] For example, to create a XPI out of your MyApp application directory, in which you created a file called MyApp.conf that defines the variables needs, execute the script as follows: perl -c ~/appdev/MyApp/makexpi.conf -r 0.9.9 A makexpi.conf file defines the variables needs to know about. Example B-3 shows an example of this file. Example B-3. makexpi.conf file # directory where xpi should be created workdir = /home/rginda/src/xulkit/sample-app/ # directory where is mndir = ${workdir}/sampleapp/resources/ # location of templatized install.js file installfile = ${xulkit_dir}/templates/xpi/install.js # directory where mozilla's and friends are
  10. mozcfgdir = ${xulkit_dir}/bin/ # name of resulting xpi file xpifile = ${app_name_short}-${revision}.xpi Table B-2 lists the options that are recognized by Table B-2. Options for the script Options Description -c FILE Specifies the configuration file to use. Doesn't remake the JAR, but -d packages the existing contents of the chrome/ directory as an XPI. Specifies the value of the ${revision} variable. This specification overrides any value specified in the -r REVISION configuration file and defaults to "0.01". Typically, this number is used in the install.js script and as part of the XPI filename. -? Shows usage information and exits. When you run the script against the configuration file, you end up with two separate pieces -- the XPI in which your application and its installation script are stored and a web page that you can post on a server to guide the XPI's installation. As described in Chapter 6, the web page interacts with the XPI's
  11. install.js to install and register your application in Mozilla. If you start your application with the script, then a template-processed version of install.js that works with your application is included as templates/xpi/install.js as part of the XULKit package. B.1.3. Using XULKit Given these two scripts and the templates that go with them, the XULKit encourages and makes the following application development workflow possible: 1. Fill out a template with your application information. 2. Run the script to generate the application directory. 3. Register your application in flat mode: as a directory in your local copy of Mozilla. 4. Develop your application: the XUL content, the CSS, the application code in JS, etc. 5. Test the application code. 6. Run against your working application to create an installable package. 7. Put the XPI and the web page up on a server to create an install for your application. That's it!
  12. B.2. Patch Maker 2.0 Patch Maker is a free software program written by Gervase Markham that lets you change and improve Mozilla's user interface by using only a nightly build. When you don't build the Mozilla source tree yourself, finding and getting to the files that need to be edited in Mozilla can be difficult. However, you can use the various Patch Maker commands in Build Mode to extract files from the right JARs, add them to your Patch Maker project, edit them, and create the patches, all in an integrated and easily traceable way. These patches can then be submitted back to so that developers working in the source tree can apply and test them. See the Section B.2.2 section later in this appendix for more information about using Patch Maker in this way. This process is possible because Mozilla's user interface is written in XUL, JavaScript, and CSS, and interpreted at runtime. Because understanding CVS or compiling code isn't necessary, Patch Maker greatly lowers the barrier to entry for contributing code to Mozilla. Significant patches, such as one used for draggable toolbars, are made using this tool. Patch Maker runs under Linux and Windows, and is experimental on Mac OS X. The latest version of Patch Maker is at This application can be used in one of two modes. CVS mode is used by developers who develop and maintain code in a CVS tree and make their changes in the tree. Build mode makes it possible to produce patches that fix some bugs in Mozilla without downloading and compiling the source. B.2.1. CVS Mode
  13. In CVS mode, Patch Maker manages and tracks multiple patches to a bit of software. It uses unique tags (patch references such as bug numbers) to separate patches, knows what files are in each patch, and can perform operations on them. In CVS mode, Patch Maker can greatly speed up the process of creating, diffing, uploading, refreshing, and checking in a patch. CVS mode's basic commands for Patch Maker give you an idea of how developers working in the Mozilla source tree can use it to work more efficiently with patches and diffs. The basic CVS mode commands are described in Table B-3. Table B-3. Patch Maker's CVS mode commands Command Description pmlist Shows the file list. pmadd Adds filename to the file list. pmremove Removes filename from the file list. Does a cvs diff -u of all files in the file list. Extra arguments, such as -w, are passed through pmdiff to diff. This command won't clobber your old diff if the new one has a size of zero. pmview Brings up your diff in an editor window. pmupdate Updates CVS on all files in the file list. Extra
  14. Command Description arguments to this command are passed through to the CVS update. Patches your diff into your CVS tree. Takes a -R pmpatch to back the patch out again. Brings up files matching the pattern in your editor. The pattern is a glob, not a regexp. If pmedit there are no arguments supplied, then all files are opened. pmwhich Prints the current patch reference. Changes Patch Maker to work with a new patch reference. It automatically creates a pmswitch pmupdate( ) and a pmpatch( ) (which won't have any effect if the patch is already applied.) Greps for pattern in all of the current patch's pmgrep files. Good if you can't remember where you put some code. Copies all files in the file list to their positions in pmcopy your installed Mozilla tree. Takes a -f argument to force copying of all the files.
  15. Command Description Points Patch Maker to your current Mozilla-built installation's chrome directory. Use pmsetpath /usr/src/mozilla/dist/bin/chrome/ if you build yourself. pmunjar Unjars the chrome in your setpath installation. Runs the executable in the setpath installation. pmexecute Extra arguments to this command, such as &, are passed through to the executable. Runs pmwhich, pmupdate, pmdiff, and pmcheckin pmview to show what you are about to change, and then asks you if you really want to check in. Does a CVS add of all files. Previously added files fail with a harmless message. You need to pmcvsadd use this command for new files so the CVS diff will work properly. See the CVS Mode instructions at the Patch Maker web site for instructions on how to use Patch Maker with your source tree. B.2.2. Build Mode The fact that Mozilla's user interface is interpreted at runtime rather than compile time makes it possible to change the interface and see your changes in the browser. In Build mode, Patch Maker can help you make these
  16. changes and apply, package, and send them to the developers who own the interface modules you edit. The Patch Maker's Build mode is a boon for Mozilla developers who do not build the CVS tree, but who want to take part in developing the interface, in the bug-fixing process, and in other aspects of Mozilla development. In Mozilla-specific mode, which is triggered when you sit in a Mozilla build install point's chrome directory, you can make patches to Mozilla chrome without using a CVS tree. Patch Maker can cope with multiple patches and has a notion of the "current patch" -- the one you are working on at the moment. Patches are identified by a patch reference, or patchref, which is any combination of characters that make a legal filename on your platform. Bug numbers make very good patchrefs. You can add and remove files from Patch Maker's internal list of files that comprise the current patch. B.2.2.1. Using Patch Maker in Build mode Here are the steps to use Patch Maker in Build mode (flip the slashes in these paths if you are on Windows): 1. Set up Patch Maker (see the installation instructions at 2. Change to the chrome directory of a Mozilla nightly build. 3. Execute pmuj to unjar your chrome. 4. Run Mozilla (../mozilla) to see if it still works. Turn off the XUL cache in the Debug > Networking preferences and quit Mozilla. 5. Execute pms test. Patch Maker will tell you that you are working on patch "test."
  17. 6. Confirm this with pmw. 7. Execute pml. Note that no files are currently in your patch. 8. Execute pma content/navigator/navigator.xul to add navigator.xul to your patch. 9. Execute pml again and see if it was added. Experiment with pma and pmr if you like. 10. Execute pme. Notice that navigator.xul appears in your editor. Try pme foo to make sure you have no files that match "foo." 11. Change navigator.xul -- e.g., search for "&mainWindow.title;" and replace that string with "MyBrowser." Save this file. 12. Run Mozilla (../mozilla). 13. You should have a Mozilla titled "MyBrowser." 14. Edit the file again to make it "YourBrowser." Save the file. 15. Press Ctrl-N in your Mozilla window. The new window should be titled "YourBrowser." 16. Execute pmd and pmv. You should now have an editor window with a unified diff showing the changes you made. 17. You could attach your patch to a Bugzilla bug by fishing the CVS version (test.diff) out of your Patch Maker data directory.
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