Netfront with http://gwgt.webvm.net/

With all due respect, Access Company cannot claim to support the W3C widgets specification with their latest release 'NFWP20_WMPRO_ENU_R002.CAB' of their widgets player.

Firstly my very poor conformance checker named widget validator points out some doctype errors. E.g. they use title instead of name. Ok, minor... but...

Then I tried to get one of my widget books to load in NetFront widget runtime. The run time does not seem to understand the content element!

Then I renamed the startfile to a default index.html and I did manage to download and install my widget from Opera. Remarkable. However I was unable to launch the widget. The run time reports: "Error occurred. Code: 100000004". Hmm, that error code looks suspiciously like a string.

The BONDI reference implementation amazingly seems to be the most W3C compliant Widget runtime atm.

If any employees of Access (Disclaimer: I used to work for Access) are reading my (new) blog, I encourage you look at some draft W3C widget test suite cases I am working on.

Otherwise I am impressed. HTML5 canvas support LGTM and it feels quite responsive.

Looking a little deeper into the Access Company widget configuration document

I downloaded a couple of NetFront Widgets and peered into them with vim and a helpful .vimrc setting:

au BufReadCmd *.wgt call zip#Browse(expand("<amatch>"))

Besides config.xml (widget specification says this is optional btw), there is often a config.js. The config.xml is extended with xwidget.

<access network="true" />
<xwidget profile="1.0" distributeurl="https://update.access-widgets.com/update_check.php">
    <accessControl>
        <netaccess host="www.google.com"  port="80" />
        <netaccess host="maps.google.com" port="80" />
    </accessControl>
<display type="VGA" width="300" height="90" />
<display type="QVGA" width="180" height="60" />
</xwidget>
  • They seem to have additional requirements with screen sizes with <display>. I think scalability might be a problem... esp. when you consider widgets are usually dependent on pixel perfect canvas support.
  • They should be using the update element instead of this proprietary distributeurl attribute

The proprietary netaccess tag, reflects the a similar issue in the BONDI Architecture and Security document, which extends W3C widgets with a bondi namespace (not xwidget) and elements like:

<bondi>
    <resources>
        <network>
        <target>www.google.com</target>
        <target>maps.google.com</target>
        </network>
    </resources>
</bondi>

So I guess the access element needs a makeover to meet Access's and Bondi's requirements.

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