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[FEATURE] need to enable launching of helper apps



18 years ago
13 years ago


(Reporter: ekrock's old account (dead), Assigned: Scott MacGregor)


Windows NT

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)


(Whiteboard: [nsbeta2+][6/27]Exception Feature, URL)



18 years ago
Plug-ins aren't able to launch and run as helper apps in their own window yet. 
(e.g. clicking a .ra or .rm link and seeing RealPlayer launch and run in its own 
window.) This is supposed to be working for beta2 on Win32 and Mac at least. (On 
Linux we need some upgraded plug-ins to test before we'll know if they work.)

Verified not working in 5/5 Commercial 2000050513 on WinNT 4.0 SP4.

To repro:
1) Go to above URL
2) Click any of the "RealPlayer" links in the black area on the right edge of 
the page

Expected: RealPlayer launches in its own window and starts playing the clip.

Actual: Get a "Unknown File Type: You are about to download a file of type 
audio/x-pn-realaudio. This file is unrecognized by Netscape. You can save it or 
open it with another application" stickup.

Nominating nsbeta2 as this is on the beta 2 criteria list.

Comment 1

18 years ago
Marking M16 and realplayer and flash.
Keywords: flash, realplayer
Target Milestone: --- → M16

Comment 2

18 years ago
Renominating nsbeta2 as this is on the beta 2 criteria list and my previous 
nomination seems to have disappeared.
Keywords: nsbeta2

Comment 3

18 years ago
Don...moving to you to make sure this gets done.
Component: Plug-ins → Browser-General
Whiteboard: [nsbeta2+]

Comment 4

18 years ago
Per discussion in PDT today, changing wording from "need to enable plug-ins 
running as helper apps" to "need to enable helper apps." We believe this bug is 
a DUP of another bug (but I haven't been able to find it). We also believe that 
this bug really belongs somewhere in the browser team, most likely XPApps. 
Changing component to XPApps. Leaving assigned to av until we figure out who 
owns this.
Component: Browser-General → XPApps
Summary: [FEATURE] need to enable plug-ins running as helper apps → [FEATURE] need to enable helper apps

Comment 5

18 years ago
hmm...bug 10958 ?

Comment 6

18 years ago
Reassigning to davidm as I believe this bug is a DUP of bug 13784, "[FEATURE] 
Mime Type/File Extension/Application Service Registration" but am not certain. 

davidm: This bug tracks the need for us to support launching of external 
helper apps in their own window. When you implement 13784, will you have 
associated file extensions and MIME types to helper apps, and enabled the 
launching of external helper apps, so that (for example) when I click on a 
TodaysNews.ra file at news.com, RealPlayer launches as a helper app in its own 
window and plays the clip? If so, please close this tracking bug as a DUP of 

If not, please accept this bug or reassign it to whoever's responsible for 
implementing the launching of helper apps. Thanks!
Assignee: av → davidm
Summary: [FEATURE] need to enable helper apps → [FEATURE] need to enable launching of helper apps

Comment 7

18 years ago
The mime service is there. It currently doesn't do plugins or external apps. It 
is easy to extend the service to add that bit of data but I have been unable to 
pin down  who is doing the connecting work to associate actions with mimetypes. 
This is largely independant of my other mime bug.

Comment 8

18 years ago
Mozilla does not crash on this page.  Tries sereval times on different machines
browser - N6 Preview release 1
Keywords: flash

Comment 9

18 years ago
Gagan, who owns this now that davidm is gone?
Assignee: davidm → gagan
Component: XP Apps → Browser-General
Target Milestone: M16 → ---

Comment 10

18 years ago
Adding Exception Feature status.
Whiteboard: [nsbeta2+] → [nsbeta2+]Exception Feature

Comment 11

18 years ago
I will own this for now. cc'ing relevant people.

Comment 12

18 years ago
This bug should probably be owned by me
Assignee: gagan → mscott


18 years ago
Depends on: 33768

Comment 13

18 years ago
Putting on [6/27] - PDT ok'd late delivery of this beta2 feature.
Whiteboard: [nsbeta2+]Exception Feature → [nsbeta2+][6/27]Exception Feature

Comment 14

18 years ago
moving to M17.
Target Milestone: --- → M17

Comment 15

18 years ago
I've filed separate feature exception bugs for the UI issues that got this bug
the extension:

prefs ui for adding external applications: Bug #43581
popping up a dialog before we launch helper app: Bug #43583
Mac integration using internet config: Bug #43585

This feature is working user both user specified over ride information (even
though there is no UI to add new entries) and using OS defaults on windows.

Mac and Linux both use user specified defaults.

Two caveats:
1) As seen in Bug #43075. layout has some hard coded content types for plugins.
So layout trys to digest the following content types even if it doesn't actually
have a plugin for them:

// XXX temporary
static char* gPluginTypes[] = {

Try to load a url with any of these content types will NOT cause a helper app to
be invoked even if such an app is properly registered until this bug is fixed.

2) if your url does not specifically have a content type inside of it, it won't
necessarily launch the right helper application. This is because, the networking
layer currently "guesses" a content type based on file extension if the content
type isn't explicitly set. The list they use to do this is a hard coded list of
content types. So for many helper app required content types, we don't guess the
content type correctly and you get the unknown content handler dialog. Most
files you download on the net will have the content type set so you should be
okay. But trying it out on local files will fail. Bug #43556 has been filed to
cover this.

I think that about does it. Marking this as fixed!!
Last Resolved: 18 years ago
Resolution: --- → FIXED

Comment 16

18 years ago
I see realplayer and quicktime working on windows(2000062608). Is this supposed 
to be fixed for mac too? 

Comment 17

18 years ago
This needs to work on Mac and Linux as well.

On Mac, we can test this using the existing Nav4 Mac plug-in binaries. Shrirang,  
could you please check this on Mac using at least Real (and any others that 
apply -- Acrobat?) as part of your verification?

On Linux, the launching of plug-ins as helper apps needs to work as well. 
However, I'm not sure how to test that right now. It can't be tested using Nav4 
Linux plug-in binaries b/c of the Motif-to-GTK issue. And we're awaiting a 
number of plug-ins being fully upgraded on Linux. Suggestions, anyone? Are any 
of the sample plug-ins for Linux on mozilla.org usable as helper apps as well? 
Or are there other "true helper apps" (i.e. apps that *only* exist as a helper 
app, not things like RealPlayer that can be used in both ways) that could be 
used for verification on Linux?

Comment 18

18 years ago
IMHO, mp3 players are good helper apps to test such as xmms.

Comment 19

18 years ago
you can download xmms from http://www.xmms.org/
It supports everything that winamp does, mp3s, playlists, shoutcast & icecast
There's source, rpms and debs.

Comment 20

18 years ago
Ok, tested on linux. Here's how I tested:
1) Open Edit ... Preferences ... Helper Applications.
2) Pick "New Type"
3) Enter in info:
Description of type: audio/x-scpls
File extension: .pls
MIME type: audio/x-scpls
Application to use: /usr/bin/xmms

4) Hit OK.
5) Hit OK on the prefs window to save changes.
6) load www.shoutcast.com
7) Click on one of the "Tune In!" Buttons.
tadah! xmms launches and starts playing.

However, there are hoardes of bugs throughout the process I described. Lots of
new bugs will need to be made. :(

Comment 21

18 years ago
Joseph, be sure you looked at all the bugs I listed above before you start
filing new ones so we don't have any extra dups.

I didn't realize the prefs UI was up and running for adding new helper apps. I
guess it is.

Also this feature has platform specific code for each platform. So we need to
verify it on windows before we can mark this as verified I think.

Comment 22

18 years ago
I have verified that helper apps are working fine on windows,precisely : winamp, 
windows media player, Realplayer, quicktime (build 2000070608). 

Comment 23

18 years ago
So, how about Linux and Mac?  Can sox be used as an input helper application 
for audio?

More information:


Comment 24

18 years ago
mac has a seperate bug (bug 43585)

Comment 25

18 years ago
Manually (setting mime type in Prefs) trying to get realplayer working on mac is 
not working all the time for me.Sometimes, realplayer does launch but the file 
does not play and at other times, nothing happens when I click on a realaudio 
file. Should I reopen this bug as mac only or file another one? Does anyone see 
this too? Thanks!
Product: Browser → Seamonkey
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