[sugar] [pyxpcom] PyXPCOM viability and OLPC

edward baafi edwardbaafi
Wed May 9 10:51:52 EDT 2007

> I looked a bit into this, it seem pretty simple in theory. Then I tried
> to compile pyxpcom and it fails to build on the trunk:
> https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=375318
> The last patch there apply cleanly but doesn't solve the problem for me.
> I didn't try the previous patches but bsmedberg think they are wrong
> so...
> Pyxpcom looks pretty much unmaintained, which isn't promising :/

To be fair, I think people are confusing the state of the mozilla
beast with the state of pyxpcom..

If pyxpcom doesn't build, it usually means that someone else has
broken it.. Remember, mozilla is a beast and major revisions need to
land before we jump from Firefox2 (gecko1.8.1) to Firefox3
(gecko1.9)..  I haven't built the trunk in a while.. I might have some
time over the weekend to try to build it..  In the meantime:

1) how are you trying to build pyxpcom: standalone, or as part of xulrunner?
2) If you're building as part of xulrunner, can you build xulrunner
without pyxpcom? (this is a prerequisite)
3)What does your build environment look like? Are you doing anything
laptop.org specific?

Some things to keep in mind:

1) I'm a single developer who was able to navigate the mozilla beast
to get some traction with xulrunner + pyxpcom on my own time.. This
was early when people were having trouble just building xulrunner so
this is definitely doable now, but you have to decide that you need
this technology first and just dive in..

2) To decide that you need this technology, you only have to ask
yourselves two questions:  a)Do we want a gecko based browser? b)are
proper python bindings a must?

3) I think once you're able to build xulrunner + pyxpcom, you should
really give some thought to using xul widgets as enabling them by
default on the laptop allows people with web backgrounds to build
compelling UIs.. This doesn't break sugar's "1 toolkit" rule as you
can build xulrunner to use gtk/cairo:
 I also know that internationalization of text is an issue and olpc
has chosen pango.. What's interesting is that FC6 ships Firefox with
pango text rendering so this is also doable and you can get advice
in-house: http://download.fedora.redhat.com/pub/fedora/linux/core/6/i386/os/RELEASE-NOTES-en_US.html#id321398

Besides these issues, the only other issue I see (please let me know
if there are more) is to make the xulrunner based browser a true sugar
"activity"..  I don't know all this entails, but it would seem that
all window switching, multi-user interaction, etc is done using some
python modules.. Pyxpcom will probably help there..


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