November 24, 2008
As mentioned in my previous post, the preview part of WebCoder 2009 comes with a lot of changes. In this edition of the "Making of WebCoder 2009" series, I wish to tell you about a more subtle, yet very important change. For several versions of WebCoder, it has been possible to preview with both the Internet Explorer and a Mozilla based browser. As I have mentioned before, implementing IE preview is very easy, due to Microsoft's decision to offer it as an ActiveX control, included in pretty much every version of Windows. The Mozilla foundation never really did that, perhaps because it's a multiplatform browser, with no special focus on Windows. Unfortunately, this made it very cumbersome to have a Gecko based preview in an external application like WebCoder. Some efforts were made by various people, and especially the person behind the Mozilla ActiveX control contributed to making it possible. However, Mozilla is now an old browser, mostly replaced by the wildly popular Firefox, and to use the Mozilla preview, this ActiveX control from a 3rd party site had to be downloaded and installed.
Fortunately, I'm finally able to make the change in WebCoder 2009, offering a Firefox based preview instead of the old Mozilla one, where all you need is a copy of Firefox 3 installed. In case you don't have that, you can simply click a link in WebCoder, to download a copy of the required data files. I have tested this on various machines, and it seems to work much better and easier than the old Mozilla ActiveX based solution. Hopefully the upcoming beta test will show the same results. In the next post, I will show you one of the new preview related features of WebCoder 2009, made possible by this change. Stay tuned!