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Author Topic: Looking for Browser Add-in/Plug-in/Extension Plaforms - Advice?  (Read 1690 times)
Renegade
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« on: April 11, 2011, 12:48:47 AM »

Does anyone have any experience with browser plug-ins or extensions?

I'm looking to develop some software, but want to integrate it with the browser. i.e. As you're surfing around, you find something, then the extension acts as a front-end for the software.

This would let me do some things that simply aren't practical inside the browser. e.g. JavaScript and AJAX are not a replacement for C# and desktop power.

In the past, I've written custom browsers, but I'd like to switch direction there.

Thanks for any advice, links, or anecdotes.
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Renegade
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« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2011, 10:20:27 PM »

Well, looks like I'm back to browser components. For now I'm going to be using MozNET, but if anyone knows of something that will let a browser plug-in interface with regular desktop compiled software, please do chime in.
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steeladept
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« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2011, 11:28:10 PM »

I want to say there are some things for out-of-browser apps that are essentially what you are looking for, but I can't think of anything off the top of my head.  There are out of browser apps that I have seen, but from a developer side....Off to Google....

And the verdict is....

That's where I heard about it!  Silverlight.  That was it's whole point - to be Flash + Adobe AIR but better.  Well in Microsoft's eyes, anyway.  Though I do believe there were some independent confirmations that it was technically better, both in richness and performance.  Unfortunately it looks like they *MAY* be abandoning it by and large.  Still, it may give you another direction to continue your search...
« Last Edit: September 08, 2011, 11:32:23 PM by steeladept » Logged
Renegade
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« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2011, 11:44:29 PM »

I want to say there are some things for out-of-browser apps that are essentially what you are looking for, but I can't think of anything off the top of my head.  There are out of browser apps that I have seen, but from a developer side....Off to Google....

And the verdict is....

That's where I heard about it!  Silverlight.  That was it's whole point - to be Flash + Adobe AIR but better.  Well in Microsoft's eyes, anyway.  Though I do believe there were some independent confirmations that it was technically better, both in richness and performance.  Unfortunately it looks like they *MAY* be abandoning it by and large.  Still, it may give you another direction to continue your search...

Yeah... There's Silverlight, but what I'm looking to do is have a plug-in for the *browser* and not for the *web page*. i.e. I'm looking to do some web automation and drive web pages directly in the browser.

And no -- this is nothing nefarious. that kind of functionality can lead to the dark side, but I'm basically looking to automate a web browser game -- i.e. Have the bot in the browser. So... I suppose yeah... If you're against bots, then I've switched to the dark side. tongue All Hail Emperor Palpatine~! Grin

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#2 - In the Emperor's throne room
Emperor Palpatine: And now young Skywalker... You will die...

#1 - Immediately following the second best line
Luke Skywalker: Aaarrrggghhh~!



I can do all of this stuff in a stand alone application, but I'd rather hook into a browser directly. Still... Looks like I'm heading down the stand alone path for now.
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app103
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« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2011, 05:59:31 AM »

Perhaps nevf might be able to point you in the right direction. He did create browser extensions to work with his Surfulater application.
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ecaradec
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« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2011, 11:39:11 AM »

The most common way of communicating with the desktop is to open a server in your desktop app and then to request json file thought <script> tag injection. I think that's the most common way. I think that this is what snarl do. I've also seen browser extension do this, though I can't remember their name (they used websocket then ), but just injecting script tag will work anyway.

The second way is to register a browser protocol. That'll only allow you to communicate one-way, from the browser to the app, but not the other way around. Chrome doesn't even allow you to know if the operation succeded or failed.

The gorgeous solution is to create an extension for each browser that allows you to communicate with your desktop app, I wouldn't recommend that solution, because there is some annoying OS protection between IE and Vista / 7 and various other issues, but I can give you some tips if you really want to go that way.

I'll personnally vote for the first solution.
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