--app option to run web applications in "app mode" Feature Request

NEW
Unassigned

Status

()

Firefox
General
--
enhancement
11 months ago
4 months ago

People

(Reporter: Nathan O'Brennan, Unassigned)

Tracking

Trunk
Points:
---

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)

Details

(Reporter)

Description

11 months ago
User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/51.0.2704.106 Safari/537.36

Steps to reproduce:

I want to use Firefox to run desktop web apps similar to Google's Chrome --app functionality. When running firefox --app='myurl.tld' the browser should open to a specified url without toolbars.


Actual results:

Feature Request


Expected results:

Feature Request

Updated

11 months ago
Severity: normal → enhancement
Component: Untriaged → Startup and Profile System
Product: Firefox → Toolkit
Component: Startup and Profile System → DOM: Apps
Product: Toolkit → Core
I'm not so sure this is a "Core" request.  After all, Firefox command-line flags are features of Firefox (even if some of them are provided by Gecko code).  And presumably a feature like this would require Firefox's cooperation.  It wouldn't be possibly to simply add it to Gecko and advertise it as a platform feature that happens to be accessible via Firefox.

Regardless, I'm interested in understanding the use case better.

Nathan: are you interested in using a feature like this to create a site-specific browser <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Site-specific_browser>?  And would it be for your own personal use, or do you want to distribute an application that starts Firefox in this mode to other users (f.e. so they can use your website via a site-specific browser)?  Lastly, how would you expect to start Firefox in this mode (via a Windows shortcut, by starting another application that starts Firefox, by manually entering its path on a command line, etc.)?
(Reporter)

Comment 2

11 months ago
I have a computer at home that my kids use for some school and entertainment. I found Chrome's --app feature useful because I created specific icons for my younger kids to click on which take them directly to Netflix or Wikipedia or several other sites and the benefit is they do not have bookmarks shown or the address bar. Rather than a web browser it makes it more like an interface and simplifies it for my young kids. (this is all in Fedora KDE). 

I also do this with my own desktop as I use Roundcube for email and I created a chrome --app to access it, along with several other sites, which focuses the use to that specific site.

Along the same lines, at work I realized I could create an icon and share it around the office for users to access some internally developed web applications. In this respect it is really just a neato factor, though it does psychologically affect some people because they no longer look at the web app as a web app but as a real application worthy of consideration.

I appreciate your interest in my use cases, thank you!

Comment 3

9 months ago
After the latest upgrade of Firefox from 47 to 48 some keyboard shortcuts in our web-based erp-application doesn't work any longer. These are essentiell to our customers. For example our users can press CTRL-N to create a new object in the application. Other webapplications are also suffering from this problem.

The same problem exists in newer versions of Chrome but Google provides the application mode (starting chrome.exe with --app) and all our keyboard shortcuts works there. In addition there is a really great interface and a application based icon in the task-bar (based on the favicon of the server).

We welcome the idea of having an app mode in firefox because it will solve our problem.
(In reply to Jan Fader from comment #3)
> After the latest upgrade of Firefox from 47 to 48 some keyboard shortcuts in
> our web-based erp-application doesn't work any longer. These are essentiell
> to our customers. For example our users can press CTRL-N to create a new
> object in the application. Other webapplications are also suffering from
> this problem.

Hmm, I reviewed the Firefox 48 release notes <https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/48.0/releasenotes/< and I don't see a reference to a change that broke keyboard shortcuts in web applications. (I would have expected to see something related to key events, or possibly something about the behavior of Event.preventDefault/stopPropagation.)

Also, bug 380637 suggests that apps can still override browser shortcuts, although the bug is ambiguous, so it isn't clear whether it refers to keyboard shortcuts generally or Ctrl+S specifically.  Hearing that other apps are experiencing the same problem suggests that it isn't a bug in the apps themselves (unless they share a dependency that does event handling).

Have you tried filing a bug report on the problem?  If you file one with a reduced test case (i.e. the simplest possible web page that registers an event handler for the key event in question and demonstrates the difference in behavior between versions of Firefox), it'd be possible to determine whether or not the change is a regression or an intentional change.


> The same problem exists in newer versions of Chrome but Google provides the
> application mode (starting chrome.exe with --app) and all our keyboard
> shortcuts works there. In addition there is a really great interface and a
> application based icon in the task-bar (based on the favicon of the server).
> 
> We welcome the idea of having an app mode in firefox because it will solve
> our problem.

That's useful information, and it might be the case that an app mode is the only/best way to ensure reliable support for arbitrary keyboard shortcuts.  But I'd still confirm that the change in Firefox 48 is actually intentional, as it might be a regression.

Comment 5

9 months ago
Based on the feedback in the new bug (based on a reduced test case on jsfiddle) https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1301476 the change is intended behavior.

Comment 6

8 months ago
(In reply to Myk Melez [:myk] [@mykmelez] from comment #4)
> That's useful information, and it might be the case that an app mode is the
> only/best way to ensure reliable support for arbitrary keyboard shortcuts.

Our development team can confirm that an app mode works great for them (tested with Chrome) and all keyboard shortcuts (including CTRL-N) works as expected.
 
> But I'd still confirm that the change in Firefox 48 is actually intentional,
> as it might be a regression.

The new bug report with a minimal example (https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1301476) states that this change in the behavior is intentional.

Do Mozilla already have any further plans about the implementation of an app mode? We need a forecast for our customers and their users.

We don't want to change our recommended browser to Chrome but based on the feedback of Mozilla we will discuss this step internally.
(In reply to Jan Fader from comment #6)
> Do Mozilla already have any further plans about the implementation of an app
> mode? We need a forecast for our customers and their users.

I'm not aware of such a plan, but I've set the "productwanted" keyword and am requesting needinfo from a Firefox product manager who should be able to answer that question authoritatively (or redirect the request to another product manager who can do so).
Status: UNCONFIRMED → NEW
Component: DOM: Apps → General
Ever confirmed: true
Flags: needinfo?(jgriffiths)
Keywords: productwanted
Product: Core → Firefox
(In reply to Myk Melez [:myk] [@mykmelez] from comment #7)
> (In reply to Jan Fader from comment #6)
> > Do Mozilla already have any further plans about the implementation of an app
> > mode? We need a forecast for our customers and their users.
> 
> I'm not aware of such a plan, but I've set the "productwanted" keyword and
> am requesting needinfo from a Firefox product manager who should be able to
> answer that question authoritatively (or redirect the request to another
> product manager who can do so).

We currently have no plan to implement Chrome's app mode. Firefox as-is does prevent some keybindings including Cltr+N, on par with other browsers ( including chrome when not in app mode ).

See also bug 1164954
Flags: needinfo?(jgriffiths)
See Also: → bug 1164954
Sorry, that is instead https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1203059
See Also: bug 1164954bug 1203059
Keywords: productwanted

Comment 10

4 months ago
> We currently have no plan to implement Chrome's app mode. Firefox as-is does
> prevent some keybindings including Cltr+N, on par with other browsers (
> including chrome when not in app mode ).
> 
> See also bug 1164954

Wait, this only addresses keybindings use-case but not main use-case, in Comment #2, which I also have. There was this Standalone add-on ( https://addons.mozilla.org/pt-br/firefox/addon/standalone/ ) that used to do part of that (it missed some functionality but at least did the basic) but it no longer works because something it relied on was taken away, so apparently not even an add-on is an option anymore.
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