conversion - Dave's Blog


Win10 PWA Terminology

2018 May 31, 8:26

Folks familiar with JavaScript UWP apps in Win10 have often been confused by what PWAs in Win10 actually are. TLDR: PWAs in Win10 are simply JavaScript UWP apps. The main difference between these JS UWP Apps and our non-PWA JS UWP apps are our target end developer audience, and how we get Win10 PWAs into the Microsoft Store. See this Win10 blog post on PWAs on Win10 for related info.

Web App

On the web a subset of web sites are web apps. These are web sites that have app like behavior - that is a user might call it an app like Outlook, Maps or Gmail. And they may also have a W3C app manifest.

A subset of web apps are progressive web apps. Progressive web apps are web apps that have a W3C app manifest and a service worker. Various OSes are beginning to support PWAs as first class apps on their platform. This is true for Win10 as well in which PWAs are run as a WWA.

Windows Web App

In Win10 a WWA (Windows Web App) is an unofficial term for a JavaScript UWP app. These are UWP apps so they have an AppxManifest.xml, they are packaged in an Appx package, they run in an App Container, they use WinRT APIs, and are installed via the Microsoft Store. Specific to WWAs though, is that the AppxManifest.xml specifies a StartPage attribute identifying some HTML content to be used as the app. When the app is activated the OS will create a WWAHost.exe process that hosts the HTML content using the EdgeHtml rendering engine.

Packaged vs Hosted Web App

Within that we have a notion of a packaged web app and an HWA (hosted web app). There's no real technical distinction for the end developer between these two. The only real difference is whether the StartPage identifies remote HTML content on the web (HWA), or packaged HTML content from the app's appx package (packaged web app). An end developer may create an app that is a mix of these as well, with HTML content in the package and HTML content from the web. These terms are more like ends on a continuum and identifying two different developer scenarios since the underlying technical aspect is pretty much identical.

Win10 PWA

Win10 PWAs are simply HWAs that specify a StartPage of a URI for a PWA on the web. These are still JavaScript UWP apps with all the same behavior and abilities as other UWP apps. We have two ways of getting PWAs into the Microsoft Store as Win10 PWAs. The first is PWA Builder which is a tool that helps PWA end developers create and submit to the Microsoft Store a Win10 PWA appx package. The second is a crawler that runs over the web looking for PWAs which we convert and submit to the Store using an automated PWA Builder-like tool to create a Win10 PWA from PWAs on the web (see Welcoming PWAs to Win10 for more info). In both cases the conversion involves examining the PWAs W3C app manifest and producing a corresponding AppxManifest.xml. Not all features supported by AppxManifest.xml are also available in the W3c app manifest. But the result of PWA Builder can be a working starting point for end developers who can then update the AppxManifest.xml as they like to support features like share targets or others not available in W3C app manifests.

PermalinkCommentsJS pwa uwp web

Tweet from David_Risney

2016 Feb 1, 10:44
Chakra conversions between JavaScript objects and WinRT types: … I've just updated to note how IPropertySet works.

JavaScript Types and WinRT Types

2016 Jan 21, 5:35PermalinkCommentschakra development javascript winrt

Internet Archive lets you play one of the earliest computer...

2014 Apr 28, 9:39

Internet Archive lets you play one of the earliest computer games Space War! emulated in JavaScript in the browser.

This entry covers the historical context of Space War!, and instructions for working with our in-browser emulator. The system doesn’t require installed plugins (although a more powerful machine and recent browser version is suggested).

The JSMESS emulator (a conversion of the larger MESS project) also contains a real-time portrayal of the lights and switches of a Digital PDP-1, as well as links to documentation and manuals for this $800,000 (2014 dollars) minicomputer.

PermalinkCommentscomputer-game game video-game history internet-archive

Bug Spotting: Ctors with default parameters

2011 Dec 1, 4:59

The following code compiled just fine but did not at all act in the manner I expected:

BOOL CheckForThing(__in CObj *pObj, __in IFigMgr* pFigMgr, __in_opt LPCWSTR url)
BOOL fCheck = FALSE;
if (SubCheck(pObj))
I’m calling SubCheck which looks like:
bool SubCheck(const CObj& obj);

Did you spot the bug? As you can see I should be passing in *pObj not pObj since the method takes a const CObj& not a CObj*. But then why does it compile?

It works because CObj has a constructor with all but one param with default values and CObj is derived from IUnknown:

CObj(__in_opt IUnknown * pUnkOuter, __in_opt LPCWSTR pszUrl = NULL);
Accordingly C++ uses this constructor as an implicit conversion operator. So instead of passing in my CObj, I end up creating a new CObj on the stack passing in the CObj I wanted as the outer object which has a number of issues.

The lesson is unless you really want this behavior, don't make constructors with all but 1 or 0 default parameters. If you need to do that consider using the 'explicit' keyword on the constructor.

More info about forcing single argument constructors to be explicit is available on stack overflow.

PermalinkCommentsc++ technical bug programming

Android eBook Reader And Makers

2009 Dec 13, 1:27

I was reading Makers, Cory Doctorow's latest novel, as it was serialized on Tor's website but with no ability to save my place within a page I set out to find a book reading app for my G1 Android phone. I stopped looking once I found Aldiko. Its got bookmarks within chapters, configurable fonts, you can look-up words in a dictionary, and has an easy method to download public domain and creative common books. I was able to take advantage of Aldiko's in-app book download system to get Makers onto my phone so I didn't have to bother with any conversion programs etc, and I didn't have to worry about spacing or layout, the book had the correct cover art, and chapter delimiters. I'm very happy with this app and finished reading Makers on it.

Makers is set in the near future and features teams of inventors, networked 3d printers, IP contention, body modifications, and Disney -- just the sort of thing you'd expect from a Cory Doctorow novel. The tale seems to be an allegory for the Internet including displacing existing businesses and the conflict between the existing big entertainment IP owners and the plethora of fans and minor content producers. The story is engaging and the characters filled out and believable. I recommend Makers and as always its Creative Commons so go take a look right now.

PermalinkCommentstor aldiko cory doctorow g1 makers ebook android book

Composing the Semantic Web: Units ontology with SPIN support published

2009 Sep 1, 4:25"Each unit has a stable URI, making it possible to link to it from your own domain models in a reliable way. For each unit, the ontology defines some useful metadata including abbreviation, a link to DBpedia and a categorization of units into groups, such as length units."PermalinkCommentssemanticweb via:connolly web unit conversion uri technical

Time/Date Conversion Tool

2009 Aug 28, 3:39

I built timestamp.exe, a Windows command line tool to convert between computer and human readable date/time formats mostly for working on the first run wizard for IE8. We commonly write out our dates in binary form to the registry and in order to test and debug my work it became useful to be able to determine to what date the binary value of a FILETIME or SYSTEMTIME corresponded or to produce my own binary value of a FILETIME and insert it into the registry.

For instance, to convert to a binary value:

[PS C:\] timestamp -inString 2009/08/28:10:18 -outHexValue -convert filetime
2009/08/28:10:18 as FILETIME: 00 7c c8 d1 c8 27 ca 01

Converting in the other direction, if you don't know what format the bytes are in, just feed them in and timestamp will try all conversions and list only the valid ones:

[PS C:\] timestamp -inHexValue  "40 52 1c 3b"
40 52 1c 3b as FILETIME: 1601-01-01:00:01:39.171
40 52 1c 3b as Unix Time: 2001-06-05:03:30:08.000
40 52 1c 3b as DOS Time: 2009-08-28:10:18:00.000
(it also supports OLE Dates, and SYSTEMTIME which aren't listed there because the hex value isn't valid for those types). Or use the guess option to get timestamp's best guess:
[PS C:\] timestamp -inHexValue  "40 52 1c 3b" -convert guess
40 52 1c 3b as DOS Time: 2009-08-28:10:18:00.000

When I first wrote this I had a bug in my function that parses the date-time value string in which I could parse 2009-07-02:10:18 just fine, but I wouldn't be able to parse 2009-09-02:10:18 correctly. This was my code:

success = swscanf_s(timeString, L"%hi%*[\\/- ,]%hi%*[\\/- ,]%hi%*[\\/- ,Tt:.]%hi%*[:.]%hi%*[:.]%hi%*[:.]%hi", 
&systemTime->wMilliseconds) > 1;
See the problem?

To convert between these various forms yourself read The Old New Thing date conversion article or Josh Poley's date time article. I previously wrote about date formats I like and dislike.

PermalinkCommentsdate date-time technical time windows tool

Creating Accelerators for Other People's Web Services

2009 Aug 18, 4:19

Before we shipped IE8 there were no Accelerators, so we had some fun making our own for our favorite web services. I've got a small set of tips for creating Accelerators for other people's web services. I was planning on writing this up as an IE blog post, but Jon wrote a post covering a similar area so rather than write a full and coherent blog post I'll just list a few points:

PermalinkCommentstechnical accelerator ie8 ie

Software Sleuthing : Date/Time Formats and Conversions

2009 Jul 7, 6:02More on converting between different date/time formats and the effective range of the formats.PermalinkCommentsdatetime time date programming c++ c technical

Subst Allows Non-Letter Drive Letters

2009 Mar 4, 2:39

I knew that the command line tool subst would create virtual drives that map to existing directories but I didn't know that subst lets you name the virtual drives with characters that aren't US-ASCII letters. For instance you can run 'subst 4: C:\windows' and then 'more 4:\win.ini' to dump C:\windows\win.ini. This also works for non-US-ASCII characters like, "C" (aka U+FF23, Fullwidth Latin Capital Letter C), which when displayed by cmd.exe via some best fit style character conversions looks just like the regular US-ASCII 'C'. None of Explorer, IE, or the common file dialogs allow the use of these odd virtual drives -- just cmd.exe, so I'm not sure how this would ever be useful but I thought it was odd and I wanted to share.

PermalinkCommentscli technical boring subst windows

YouTube: YouTube File Hack (and Others) Download Clips to Your Desktop

2008 Aug 6, 2:56Online and offline YouTube link to video download and conversion tools.PermalinkCommentsyoutube video hack lifehacker flv converter

bsp2wrl - Tool to convert Quake BSP levels to VRML

2008 Feb 26, 11:47This is the readme for bsp2wrl which converts Quake BSP levels to VRML. Two out of date file types that taste great toghether. The zips for the tool are in the same folder.PermalinkCommentsquake game tool free download vrml bsp conversion

Date Time Formats

2007 Sep 27, 2:17Starting on a new simple project I wanted to get the history of my Delicious links. Delicious has an export tool available via the settings section so I thought I'd try that. However, the links aren't exported in XML not even in XHTML but rather in HTML. Shocking. An example:
"Don't Tase Me, Bro!" (UF Student Tasered Remix)
Remix of the 'Don't tase me, bro!' guy getting tasered.At this point I'm already not going to use this file because its in HTML but I'm even more disgusted by those date time values. Raymond Chen of the Old New Thing posted about recognizing timestamps and timestamp sentinel values. From the first blog post and with the use of a calculator for base conversion one can tell that those are UNIX style timestamps counting the number of seconds since 1970.

It reminds me of my hatred for the MIME date time format I developed working on my webpage's server side parsing of atom and RSS. Atom is of course my favorite as Atom uses the Internet date time format described in the following documents. Here's an example of one 2007-09-27T020:50:00.000-08:00 On the other hand the evil and villainous RSS uses the MIME date time format now described in the more recent IETF MIME standard. Here's an example Thu, 27 Sep 2007 20:50:00 -0800
The Internet date time format has the advantage of being so easy to sort. An alphabetic sort with normal C-style collation rules of strings containing Internet date times will also sort them chronologically. This is not the case for the MIME date time due to the preceding day of the week and the spelled out month name. This also means that when producing these you have to figure out the day of the week and when parsing them you have to match month names rather than just parsing out numbers. Anyway now days if I see mention of a date time in a new proposed standard or spec I be sure to point out the numerous advantages of the Internet date time format.
PermalinkCommentsdate xml html feed time technical date-time code atom rss


2007 Sep 26, 11:57Free XSLT Extension libraries to support things like date/time conversions, string manipulation, etc.PermalinkCommentsxslt xsl api xpath xml library extension programming free development

ishida >> utilities: Unicode code converter

2007 Feb 14, 3:09Richard Ishida's website that converts between encodings of UTF-8, UTF-16, and HTML NCRs.PermalinkCommentsunicode conversion html encoding javascript software tool utf8 richard-ishida


2006 Dec 3, 7:21Free encoding conversion application I made. Convert strings between various Internet related encodings including character sets, HTML encoding, URI encoding, and more.PermalinkCommentsfree encoding language tool download encodeomatic convert .net projects me personal

Encode-O-Matic Update

2006 Dec 3, 12:28I've updated Encode-O-Matic again. This is a tool I'm working on to convert between various Internet related encodings such as character sets, HTML encoding, URI encoding, base64, and IDN. In this update I've put it all into an installer. I'm using Nullsoft's installer generator to produce the installer. I've added a Base Conversion converter to convert between arbitrary bases and a Reverse converter that reverses the input by character, byte, or strings with arbitrary delimiters.PermalinkCommentsinstaller encodeomatic project charset nullsoft encoding
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