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  1. Tools (JBoss Tools)
  2. JBIDE-13364

Consider changing the way in which BrowserSim uses WebKit engine



    • Feature Request
    • Status: Closed (View Workflow)
    • Major
    • Resolution: Won't Fix
    • None
    • 4.21.x
    • browsersim
    • None


      A perfect solution for BrowserSim must match the following criteria:

      • Be Java-based
      • Allow to fully customize the application window [skinning]
      • Work on every supported platform (Windows, Mac and Linux)
      • Use browser already installed in the system [to avoid library conflicts and reduce the size of our plugins]
      • Allow to execute JavaScript and/or modify DOM [to simulate some mobile * JavaScript events and Cordova API]
      • Allow to change User-Agent header
      • Allow to disable web security or support extensions [for Cordova cross-domain requests]
      • Support debugging protocol or support extensions [for better LiveEdit/LiveReload]
      • Support debugging protocol or ability to launch Web Inspector/Chrome Developer Tools [for JavaScript debugging capabilities]

      Unfortunately, there is no perfect solution, at least I do not know any.
      This is the list of the libraries I consider for BrowserSim (+=Pros, -=Cons, ?=questionable):

      • Java wrapper for Chromium Embedded Framework
        • + I was able to run it on Windows
        • - It failed in a half of a minute
        • - Not supported since 2010
        • ? probably will work better with the most recent version of CEF
        • ? looks like there is no Linux support
      • Qt WebKit bindings for SWT
        • + I was able successfully run on Windows (32-bit) with Qt 4.8 and MinGW
        • + At least during my smoketesting it did not fail
        • - The plugin page claims that only win32 and cocoa32 are supported
        • - requires Qt (and MSVC or MinGW for Windows) libraries to be bundled with it
        • - Does not have existing API for invoking JavaScript.
        • - Not supported since 2010
        • ? I do not know how easy it would be to run it on Linux
        • ? I do not know if it will work with Qt 5
      • AppJS - a JavaScript SDK for creating Chromium based desktop applications
        • + Supports Windows, Mac and Linux!
        • + Allows to disable web security
        • + Has active community
        • + Did not fail at my smoketest
        • ? need to ensure that applications may be run without borders
      • node-webkit - the idea is the same as with AppJS - allows to create desktop apps with JavaScript
        • + supported by Intel in some way
        • ? I did not try it yet
      • Google Chrome Frame
        • + the only way to embed already installed Chrome into our application (all other require libraries to be bundled)
        • - Windows only
        • - no success to use it as Ole object
        • ? Probably will work if use it with Browser(SWT.NONE)
      • Stay with existing SWT bindings for WebKit
        • + We already use it
        • + Support all platforms
        • + Allow JavaScript to be executed
        • + Do not require to be bundled with our plugins
        • + Allow skinning
        • - Require Safari on Windows [no updates since May 9, 2012]
        • - Web security cannot be disabled
        • - Do not support extensions
        • - Do not support remote debugging protocol
        • - Do not support Web Inspector/Chrome Developer Tools

      To conclude:

      • Firstly, moving to a JavaScript SDK potentially could resolve all our problems, but now I do not think it is worth it.
      • Secondly, it would be great if we had good SWT bindings for Chromium, but they do not exist. The only way to get them is to implement them by ourself.
      • Thirdly, the last option does not look too bad. And probably it does not worth it to create Chromium bindings or to move to another non-Java language. Especially, if we would be able to create a good workaround for cross-domain requests for Cordova, then almost everything else is ok.
      • Fourthly, the biggest issue with existing SWT bindings is that Safari is not supported anymore on Windows. It is an OS specific issue and we could consider a replacement of SWT bindings on Windows only (e.g. use Chrome Frame or Qt on Windows).


        Issue Links



              ibuziuk@redhat.com Ilya Buziuk
              yradtsevich Yahor Radtsevich (Inactive)
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