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Web Apps integration

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Status

Web Apps Integration to Desktop
Stage Landed
Status In progress
Release target Firefox 15
Health OK
Status note Feature landed in Firefox 15 and is currently on in the Aurora channel. There are several outstanding bugs. (See implementation section.) Will reassess whether to enable/disable this feature before Firefox 15 beta based on feedback from Aurora cycle.

Team

Product manager Asa Dotzler / Chris Lee / Ragavan Srinivasan
Directly Responsible Individual Lawrence Mandel
Lead engineer Felipe Gomes
Security lead `
Privacy lead `
Localization lead `
Accessibility lead `
QA lead Jason Smith
UX lead Bryan Clark / Brian Dils
Product marketing lead `
Operations lead `
Additional members Dietrich Ayala / Tim Taubert

Open issues/risks

Current Blocking Issues
  • Need to figure out testing situation for the install procedure and the webapp runtime
  • Need icon/URL for about:home
  • New about:home bounced in fx-team
  • UX polish needed for install UI.
  • UX decision needed: Post install message tells user where the app was installed OR the OS can show the user where the app was installed (or both?)
Needs decision or clarification from Apps/Product/UX (ALL ANSWERED)
  • UX (Boriss) has confirmed that there will not be a permanently visible Home Tab. Does this alter the user stories below? Do any assumptions by Product or Apps need to be re-evaluated in light of this?

A: (JA) We will only keep the link to the market place on the home tab for FF13.

  • Should we open the dashboard after app install? Myk said "The doorhanger prompt seems reasonable and consistent with existing Firefox prompts for similar activities. But opening the dashboard isn't necessarily the right thing to do next. In the addon it feels clunky. It would be good to specify something else here."

A: (JA) No. There is not dashboard because we are cutting Sync.

  • What is the default app opening behavior? Open as app tab? Open full-screen? Customizable? If the app is already open, open new one or activate the existing one?

A: (JA) The app is only installed natively so native is the only way to open. If app already open it should reactivate the open app window.

  • About "Manual Install button on page that triggers Firefox install flow". Myk asked "Does it mean Firefox would add a button to the content of a page that offers an addon? Or simply that a page can display UI for installing an addon? The former feels underspecified and raises thorny questions that someone from the UX team should work through. The latter is just the natural consequence of having the mozapps API."

A: (JA) Do not understand this question. Feels out of scope.

  • "App launchers must be able to update their appearance" - This is a web-side feature, so doesn't belong here, correct?

A: (JA) Not sure why appearances would need to be updated, but either way we're not building that now. So it does not belong here.

  • "Apps should be able to run offline when possible" - Apps can use all the same offline features that the web platform offers. Is there any additional work to be done here?

A: (JA) - I do not see any additional work here. As long as an app that is designed to work offline can we're good.

  • All of the uninstall features seem to be either web-side (launcher page) or WebRT side (OS uninstall support). Is there anything in Firefox UI that needs to be done to support these?

A: (JA) - Nope

  • Data will be stored locally and synced to app once connectivity is available. Is this the apps' job to do the Syncing?

A: (DA) - Apps must listen for online/offline events, and sync their data as necessary on their own. There's no Web platform feature for automatically syncing data at this time.

Recent Changes
  • All permissions features are punted for now. Needs more UX and specification work done. Using standard web permissions model (prompt-on-access) as a normal tab.
  • Removed "use and re-engagement" bit about Home Tab updates when apps aren't loaded, and prompting user while browsing.

Stage 1: Definition

1. Feature overview

  • App Discovery
    • Through link to app store on Home tab
  • App Management
    • Users can only install Apps to their OS default install locations.
    • Users can uninstall Apps from the OS uninstall mechanism.
Important Apps Dates
  • Developer Preview: Dec 14
  • Beta Release: Mar '12
  • GA Release: end Q2

2. Users & use cases

User Stories

User: Alice is a desktop Firefox user.

Prioritized by (Win7, Mac OS X)
  • Alice can install an app natively on Windows 7 from Firefox
  • Alice can install an app natively on Mac OS X from Firefox
  • Alice can launch an app through native means on a Windows7 desktop
  • Alice can launch an app through native means on a Mac OS X desktop
  • Alice can use an app that has an offline mode when there is no connectivity
  • Alice can uninstall a natively installed app through native means on Windows 7
  • Alice can uninstall a natively installed app through native means on Mac OS X

3. Dependencies

Platform and Apps work:

UX

  • Mac & Win: The user is prompted if they are sure they want to install and perhaps some messaging as to where the app will be installed
  • Mac & Win: Post-install message tells user where the app was installed or the OS can show the user where the app was installed

4. Requirements

Discovery
  • Firefox App Store launcher in the Home Tab
Install Experience
  • Install prompt is in Firefox chrome
  • After install has been completed, the user is shown where the app can be found
Launch Requirements
  • Native launch works in Windows 7 and Mac OS X
Offline Requirements
  • Apps should be able to run offline in the same manner that Web apps are able to run offline
Uninstall Requirements
  • Uninstall from system uninstaller, appropriate to the OS

Non-goals

See cut section for more details
  • Discovery aside from within the Marketplace
  • Apps in the Cloud
  • Permissions model specific to apps. Apps will use same permissions model as web content in tabs currently does.
  • Notifications of app updates on Home Tab, or prompts while browsing.
  • Offline support other than what the Web platform provides.

Stage 2: Design

5. Functional specification

Install Use Case - Windows 7
  • From Home Tab click on Marketplace link
  • Browse to and install an app
  • The user is prompted if they are sure they want to install and perhaps some messaging as to where the app will be installed (UX to-do)
  • User confirms app installation and app is installed into program files and start menu
  • Post install message tells user where the app was installed or the OS can show the user where the app was installed (UX to-do)
Install Use Case - Mac OS X
  • From Home Tab click on Marketplace link
  • Browse to and install an app
  • The user is prompted if they are sure they want to install and perhaps some messaging as to where the app will be installed (UX to-do)
  • User confirms app installation and app is installed natively into Apps folder
  • Post install message tells user where the app was installed or the OS can show the user where the app was installed (UX to-do)
Launch Use Case - Windows 7
  • From Start Menu (or task bar or desktop shortcut) click app
  • App launches into a full-screen, chromeless window
Launch Use Case - Mac OS X
  • From Apps folder (or desktop or dock shortcut) click app
  • App launches into a full-screen, chromeless window
Re-launch already opened app - Windows 7
  • From Start Menu (or task bar or desktop shortcut) click app
  • App window is refocused
Re-launch already opened app - Mac OS X
  • From Apps folder (or desktop or dock shortcut) click app
  • App window is refocused
Use an offline app - Windows 7/Mac OS X
  • User is using an app with an offline mode and there is no connectivity
  • It is up to the app to show UX about offline mode
Uninstall - Windows 7
  • Open Program and Features
  • Select the app and click "Uninstall"
    • Uninstall should clear any locally stored app data
Uninstall - Mac OS X
  • Drag the app to the Trash or select to put in the Trash
    • Uninstall should clear any locally stored app data

6. User experience design

Mockups:

Stage 3: Planning

7. Implementation plan

`

8. Reviews

Security review

`

Privacy review

`

Localization review

`

Accessibility

`

Quality Assurance review

`

Operations review

`

Stage 4: Development

9. Implementation

Meta-bug: bug 731054

Open Tasks

ID Summary Priority Status

Open; Resolved; Total (0% complete)


Resolved Tasks

ID Summary Priority Status
733631 Unit test infrastructure for the webapp runtime P1 RESOLVED
756308 Implement MacWebAppUtils to allow callers to locate and manipulate native webapps on Mac P1 RESOLVED
770771 Implement WebappRT unit test framework on Windows P1 RESOLVED
747645 move webapp-uninstaller.properties to browser/locales/ to make it easier to localize P1 RESOLVED

Open; Resolved; Total (100% complete)


Verified Tasks

ID Summary Priority Status
760323 Runtime fails to create WebGL contexts without Direct X End-User Runtime Installed -- VERIFIED
760067 Release all OfflineCache custom profile files ASAP after custom profile cache update has finished -- VERIFIED
755551 Allow whitelist configuration for what plugins can and cannot be ran within a gecko-based application -- VERIFIED
765063 navigator.mozApps.install can be fooled into using an incorrect installing origin -- VERIFIED
749459 The desktop web runtime fails to create WebGL contexts because it can't load the ANGLE libEGL.dll P1 VERIFIED
748214 Cannot use the Geolocation API within the desktop web runtime P1 VERIFIED
768276 Implement new behavior for getInstalled/getSelf/getAll/getNotInstalled P1 VERIFIED
747990 WebappRuntime should have same User Agent as Firefox P1 VERIFIED
748967 desktop runtime needs to disable globally installed add-ons P1 VERIFIED
755355 Clicking URLs from within Mac OS X native apps, brings Web App to front P1 VERIFIED
764172 [Win & Linux] Reinstalling an App that was previously launched deletes an old profile and re-creates a different app profile P1 VERIFIED
774772 Launching of a web application with a l10n build results in a XUL error - app fails to launch P1 VERIFIED
745980 integrate breakpad and crash reporter into desktop webapp runtime P1 VERIFIED
749029 Apps cannot operate offline right now - Offline cache cannot be used P1 VERIFIED
751310 ensure Yahoo identity provider works in runtime P1 VERIFIED
752666 provide explicit mechanism to specify URL load target P1 VERIFIED
755554 Only enable flash within the desktop runtime, all other plugins should not be allowed to run P1 VERIFIED
755557 support blocklisting flash versions P1 VERIFIED
771395 show origin of page in window title when it is different from webapp's origin P1 VERIFIED
751177 Cannot uninstall natively-installed webapps whose names contain unicode characters on Windows P1 VERIFIED
771090 crash in RtlpCallQueryRegistryRoutine | BaseThreadInitThunk with Flash in webapprt (caused by incorrect plugin-container launch) P1 VERIFIED

Open; Resolved; Total (0% complete)


Stage 5: Release

10. Landing criteria

`


Feature details

Priority P1
Rank 7
Theme / Goal Discover
Roadmap Firefox Desktop
Secondary roadmap `
Feature list Desktop
Project `
Engineering team `

Team status notes

  status notes
Products ` `
Engineering ` `
Security sec-review-needed bsterne
Privacy ` `
Localization ` `
Accessibility ` `
Quality assurance In Progress Test Plan
User experience ` `
Product marketing ` `
Operations ` `


Cut List:

Overview

  • App Discovery
    • Through the app store.
    • Personalized recommendations in the home tab.
    • On the Web.
  • App Management
    • Users can install Apps to Firefox Home and optionally their OS default install locations.
    • Users can only install Apps to their OS default install locations.
    • Users can uninstall Apps from Firefox Home and/or the OS uninstall mechanism.
    • Users can set individual permissions upon installation, and from the App itself. (CLARIFICATION NEEDED: Is this still a goal for v1?)
    • Users can specify how Apps are opened.

Requirements

Discovery
  • Firefox "Recommended Apps" section of Home Tab
  • Mechanism for Web sites to offer an App
  • Manual Install button on page that triggers Firefox install flow (CLARIFICATION NEEDED: what does this mean? -DA)
    • A separate Marketplace App
Install Experience
  • Install prompt lists all permissions the App wants, each one with a grant or deny
  • Install prompt offers to place a launcher in appropriate OS locations
  • Installation occurs when the "Install" button is clicked
  • After install has been completed, the user is shown where the app can be found
  • After install the app is launched (CLARIFICATION NEEDED: which is it, the above or this?)
Permissions Requirements
  • Permissions settings are per-App
  • Permissions re-prompt at App launch as needed
  • Global permissions manager
  • Apps can register as protocol handlers
  • Apps can add "open with" items to Firefox context menu
  • Firefox decorates links openable by installed apps
  • Apps open in chrome-less windows by default (customizable)
Notification Requirements
  • App launchers must be able to update their appearance
Uninstall Requirements
  • Uninstall from launcher page
  • Provide option for per-app data to be retained