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  1. Wookie
  2. WOOKIE-182

Flatpack: Allow exporting of Widgets including instance information.

    Details

    • Type: New Feature
    • Status: Open
    • Priority: Major
    • Resolution: Unresolved
    • Affects Version/s: None
    • Fix Version/s: 2.0.0
    • Component/s: Parser, Server
    • Labels:
      None

      Description

      The feature I've called "Wookie Flatpack" is for the use-case where a user has accessed a Widget Instance from within some sort of web platform (portal etc) but then wants to install the widget on a mobile device (or some other sort of device) instead. And by "the widget" what the user usually means is the widget instance.

      At the moment the only option is to clip the URL of the iFrame, navigate to it in the mobile browser, and then save the page as a bookmark app. Not great.

      So what I propose is to have a capability to on-the-fly generate a new .wgt package for the Widget Instance that the user can download and then side-load on their phone using something like the rather wonderful Opera WAC Runtime for Android [1].

      The "flat" bit is that rather than just downloading the .wgt package that was originally installed by the admin, Wookie generates a new, instance-specific .wgt file that includes the injected scripts that are specific to Wookie (such as the Wave feature) and removes their <feature> references from config.xml. It also embeds the context information (idkey, proxy_url) directly in the widget JavaScript code rather than expecting the scripts to pick it up from the browsing context.

      This means that rather than a generic widget, you'd get your instance of it. So we "flatten" the widget and the widget instance configuration and "pack" it into a single, one-shot .wgt package for that user's device.

      There are some things that need thinking about - for example securing the "flatpack" .wgt store so you can't hjiack someone else's widget instance. And managing the requests in a secure fashion. I think this could involve having the Connector Framework request a flatpack and then returning the URL for it along with a short-lived download key, and deleting flatpacks from the server itself after downloading or after an expiry time.

      We would also want to selectively not flatten some features - for example, we'd want to use the original <feature> elements for device APIs rather than include our flash/browser versions for things like camera capture.

      One issue is that the W3C Widget Interface isn't exactly the same as the WAC widget object used by mobiles (e.g. different method signatures for preferences). Not sure what would be the best solution there; maybe a shim in our Widget interface to delegate to WAC where its present?

      Also the user experience and documentation needs some thought.

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            • Assignee:
              scottbw Scott Wilson
              Reporter:
              scottbw Scott Wilson
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