Feature Request: Embedded webbrowser

The interface, modeling, 3d editing tools, import/export, feature requests, etc

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wsippel
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2004 12:53 am

Feature Request: Embedded webbrowser

Post by wsippel » Thu Jan 22, 2004 1:06 am

I believe the possibility to embed a webbrowser right inside Blender (gecko for example, it's already available for every platform) would greatly improve the productivity. The ability to access groupware, prokect management, web-based messaging, the complete blender documentation, tutorials without leaving Blender would not only speed-up development, but an embedded browser would also allow the development of python-generated, dynamic HTML frontends for plugins and scripts. Another useful addition would be the ability to load scripts, projects, models, materials or images from the embedded webbrowser using dnd (drag the image to the 3D view to load it as background image, drag it on an object loads it as texture). It's one of the greatest UI features of Softimage|XSI.
Don't get me wrong, I don't suggest to include the browser, but to add a framework that allows embedding a browser if it's installed (I think Mozilla and IE have this possibility).

ideasman
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Post by ideasman » Thu Jan 22, 2004 4:33 am

Hi wsippel
I went on a rant about how bad embeded web pages would be.
But I like you point about drag and drop-
dragging an image from a web page into blender.

This could be done simply with the OS's drag and drop- All support it dont they?? Win/Linux do anyway.

Use blender to launch a browser with all the texture libs, scripts, model web pages.
Drag the script/image/model from Mozilla/IE into the blender window.
New data block is created!

Thats good?

Probably need to link to libcurl for loading files over the net as well as OS spesific d&d code but not I big addition?


now for the rant!
<RANT>
I dont like the idea of embedding a web browser, I think it stinks of all sorts of bloatedness and possible problems (I know embedding will not BLOAT blender its self but still.., load times, web page's etc could be a pain.)

I think it would be best for blender to link to web pages (from the menu) launching them extarnaly.

I mean.. It just opens blender up to compatability issues... I can imagine..
- Rendering somthing and not being able to read your tutorial.
- Blender crashing because of a bug in the browser/plugin
- Popups... in blender??? Noooooooooo!!!! give me a break.
- Blender running slow because of some stupid flash plugin.
- Blender running slower in general- extra overhead created by browser.

Im sorry but python-generated, dynamic HTML frontends also sound fishy to me.

I like blender!!
and I like mozilla!! (not IE)

And all the possible problems I have listed could be overcome, but I like a small quick app, I think embedding a web browsed would be one step away from that.

- Cam :)

wsippel
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2004 12:53 am

Post by wsippel » Thu Jan 22, 2004 5:06 am

Sorry, but your rant makes really no sense...
Including a browser would add bloat, embedding would not. If you don't need it, don't use it. It won't waste any memory if you don't load the embedded browser. On the other hand, calling an external stand-alone browser would use about as much memory and would load about as slow as loading an embedded browser, right?

>> - Rendering somthing and not being able to read your tutorial.
Why? It should be possible, but even if it's not, just open an external browser...

>> - Blender crashing because of a bug in the browser/plugin
An embedded browser shouldn't bring down blender on a crash. It should create it's own thread.

>> - Popups... in blender??? Noooooooooo!!!! give me a break.
Why? an embedded browser shouldn't be able to spawn new windows (why should it). BTW, Mozilla blocks popups very well...

>> - Blender running slow because of some stupid flash plugin.
If that matters, don't open a browser. The same is true for an external browser, anyway...

>> - Blender running slower in general- extra overhead created by browser.
Nope. Why should it make any difference to an external browser? And like I stated, the browser should only be started if you actually use it.

>> Im sorry but python-generated, dynamic HTML frontends also sound fishy to me.
Check Softimage|XSI - it work's very well... ;-) (OK, XSI uses VB, JScript, Python and Perl, but Python alone should be sufficient.)

I like integrated solutions. Using different apps for different tasks is fine, but why should these apps not be integrated? I run Blender in fullscreen, so it is a pain to use an external browser to read tutorials or check the project manager.

\\Willie
[ z ]

ideasman
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Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2003 2:37 pm

Post by ideasman » Thu Jan 22, 2004 7:36 am

Your right in some cases, the things I have mentioned could all be resolved in some way.

But from past blender development I have seen all the problems would not be ironed out.

Its also a situation where you cant win in some ways- like ith popups.
Some pages require them so Disable popups??? And stop some websites from workig? - Yafrays site for instance.

If you render somthing sore, you could go and launch a browswer and find the tutorial... Just ends up being a pain, mabe canceling the render to copy the url into Mozilla... only to find blenders text fields dont support cut/copy/paste - (again could be fixed)

You probably right here- But in my experience embeded apps CAN and DO crash the programs they are imbeded in.
Imagine there are probably possible crashes.. like blender is downloading an image to edit (from its URL) YOu have another web page with that crashes (say.. a java applet bums out- Happens to me some times) - And blender is downloading an image from mozilla... what now? Does it hang?
Of course it dosent, the programmer would have thught of every possible network error, embeded browser crash scenario, error handeling for currupt data etc.

But that takes time, i just dont think it would be as stable as you say.
Sure a browser in a window could be- But with network intergration with blender then it would be more dificuled... couodl be very complex... Im not that sure.
Would need to ask a real programmer about this one....

>>>> - Blender running slower in general- extra overhead created by browser.
>> Nope. Why should it make any difference to an external browser? And like I stated, the browser should only be started if you actually use it.

The difference is you you can Kill (like in linux) I web browser, you cant kill a thread (not simpley anyway).
You would have to kill blender too.

If it was hogging cpu recources, say in a loop race condition, you would have to have a way of killing the browser, not blender.
__________

>>I like integrated solutions. Using different apps for different tasks is fine, but why should these apps not be integrated? I run Blender in

I dont like intergrated solutions- So many programs have tooo much in them these days- Take photoshop, it has a fance gallery, thumbnail thingy. It takes ages to load and if you want to do somthing on PS while its loading- you cant.

I know embedding mozilla would be an elegant way of doing it. but I prefer applications where data can be seemlesly moved between them. (drag and drop is one way, verse is another.. but a bit of a different thing too.)


>>fullscreen, so it is a pain to use an external browser to read tutorials or check the project manager.
This is a window management issue- I find alt+tab fine mostly. other times I tile the windows- I use linux too so I use multiple desktops.

I think my rant makes SOME sence... tho without exact implimentation or a good knoweledge of threading/mozilla/C.. etc Its hard set absolutes.

Im sure it could be done, and could eventualy be quit cool, But good external intergration with web browsers is all I would be interested in.
And I dont think its worth the effort.
- Cam

leinad13
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Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 5:35 pm

Post by leinad13 » Thu Jan 22, 2004 9:33 am

I thought of this a while and posted a proposal to the Functionality Board Mail List, i got flamed, and just left it alone.

http://www.cardiffhigh.cardiff.sch.uk/~ ... posal.html
-------------
Over to you boffins

L!13

ideasman
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Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2003 2:37 pm

Post by ideasman » Thu Jan 22, 2004 2:17 pm

leinad13 wrote:I thought of this a while and posted a proposal to the Functionality Board Mail List, i got flamed, and just left it alone.

http://www.cardiffhigh.cardiff.sch.uk/~ ... posal.html

A python html browser could be nice... and a lot of works-
It would allow people to have the oprion not to run it, wich is the problem I have with a browser thats compiled in the sourse.

Just for docs and simple sites- not a full fleged web browser, if your after anything more then Formatted text any hyperlinks then you may as well go the whole hog and use a real browser.

The best option might be to have mozilla load in as a python module, and render in the script window as leinad13 suggests. but that could be massy and invilve writing large chunks of code.

wsippel
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2004 12:53 am

Post by wsippel » Thu Jan 22, 2004 5:23 pm

@leinad13
Well, I like getting flamed... ;-)

@ideasman
An integrated Python based browser would be far more dangerous than an embedded browser... and, like you stated, a lot of work.

And I'm not suggesting to go the Photoshop way, Photoshop adds useless features (bloat). But what I suggest is different. Check KDE, for example. Your app needs a webbrowser? Just embed KHTML. Text editor? Embed Kate. Or VI, if you're oldschool. Audio/ Video player? ARTS. All of those apps could run on it's own, but you could also integrate a few of them in a common framework, without the need to compile them in.

BTW, to kill the embedded browser, it should be possible to add a 'kill and restart' button that terminates the browser thread, so you don't have have to try to kill it manually (Blender would know the thread id). Or add a watchdog.

- Drag and drop, if implemented right, wouldn't depend on the embedded browser, it should also work with an external browser.
- Switching the desktop or tiling the window to access a broser is far less intuitive.
- If Blender's embedded browser doen't allow popups, Blender websites would be rewritten to work without them. Popups are evil, anyway... ;-)
- Blender needs no network integration to support an embedded browser with drag n drop. Why do you think it had to? After all, Mozilla would download the files, not Blender...

\\Willie
[ z ]

halibut
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Post by halibut » Sat Feb 28, 2004 3:24 pm

I really think this would be useful for following online tutorials. I'm currently using a program called powermenu to set the webbrowser to always on top, and then resizing it to fit over blender.

theeth
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Post by theeth » Sat Feb 28, 2004 3:48 pm

Why don't you just start Blender with a size to fit half to screen through the command line arguments?

Martin
Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans.
- John Lennon

ilac
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Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2002 8:24 am

Post by ilac » Sat Feb 28, 2004 4:29 pm

halibut wrote:I really think this would be useful for following online tutorials. I'm currently using a program called powermenu to set the webbrowser to always on top, and then resizing it to fit over blender.
Actually, blender has this feature already built in... :roll:

Just CTRL+LMB on any header and blender will be sent to the back while still remaining the active program... (Don't forget to minimise all the windows you do need and size your browser to the size you need before CTRL+LMB)

:wink:

dandeloreon1984
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Post by dandeloreon1984 » Sat Feb 28, 2004 7:19 pm

How about this an Image browser that uses only images in a specified directory...

I also aggree, an full blown browser would be cumbersom to implement, but an image browser would be great...

Analogy
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Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2004 4:02 am

Post by Analogy » Mon Mar 01, 2004 8:23 pm

This has to be the most idiotic idea I have EVER heard.

It's called alt-tab, or perhaps moving your mouse a whole TWO INCHES to the taskbar to flip over to your web browser.

Seriously, the last thing a piece of 3D software needs is a web browser, you know how developer time that would take that could be devoted to adding something useful? Yeah, just throw Gecko in there, since Gecko is perfectly optimized to handle rendering web pages out to OPENGL! It would be worse than GameBlender, at least GB had something marginally to do with 3D content creation!

While we're at it, why don't we just integrate a CD ripper/burner, IM client, crossplatform printer driver, FTP client, and GIMP? Or how about we DON'T and keep working on adding network rendering and other actual useful features?

Sorry for the flame, but wow, I can't believe how stupid this idea is.,

Arathorn
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Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2003 3:15 pm

Post by Arathorn » Mon Mar 01, 2004 9:31 pm

I don't like this idea. I don't like web browsers in anything but my web browser. Why does every program want either a built-in web browser, the ability to burn cd's or preferably both? It would only slow the program down.

solmax
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Post by solmax » Mon Mar 01, 2004 11:15 pm

i don't believe an integrated browser would "greatly" improve productivity, as stated in the first post. to properly look onto a webpage, you need a certain space on screen, or you have to scroll left/right/up/down all the time. i'd never share a single screen for web content AND a 3d app at the same time, as in this case i don't have enough space for either application.

XSI has a "NETVIEW", which actually builds upon internet explorer and shows webcontent right within the main app. however, on a single screen i had the same problems as above. ok, no real problems, i just hate scrolling around in small windows.

the only solution is using a dualhead workstation, but this has nothing to do with blender or browsers or anything - it's just double the space and no fiddling around with small windows or application embedding.

i agree that integrating a webbrowser is - at that point - a waste of time and ressources.

pildanovak
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Post by pildanovak » Wed Mar 03, 2004 12:10 pm

the libraries for softimage are done so that you don´t have to scroll a lot. Blender still doesen´t have a optimal way to acces thumbnailed libraries(materials, presets, scripts,models, ...). I agree that it would be a waste of resources right now, but why not to add this feature on the end of the todo list?

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