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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

2015 Nov 3, 9:16
Isn't Gmail's new Smart Reply feature act one of Avogadro Corp? …

Ajaxian » Drag and drop file uploads in Gmail using just the specs

2010 Apr 15, 1:52Gmail now allows you to drag and drop files to make them attachments. This is HTML5 drag and drop plus file API. AwesomePermalinkCommentshtml html5 gmail google file drag-and-drop technical

webfinger enabled for all gmail accounts with public profiles - WebFinger | Google Groups

2010 Mar 13, 5:27WebFinger is finger but for the Web...PermalinkCommentswebfinger web google finger http metadata url technical

Easy: Connect your RSS or Atom feed to Google Buzz

2010 Mar 12, 1:28

It was relatively easy, although still more difficult than I would have guessed, to hook my bespoke website's Atom feed up to Google Buzz. I already have a Google email account and associated profile so Buzz just showed up in my Gmail interface. Setting it up it offered to connect to my YouTube account or my Google Chat account but I didn't see an option to connect to an arbitrary RSS or Atom feed like I expected.

But of course hooking up an arbitrary Atom or RSS feed is documented. You hook it up in the same manner you claim a website as your own via the Google Profile (for some reason they want to ensure you own the feed connected to your Buzz account). You do this via Google's social graph API which uses XFN or FOAF. I used XFN by simply adding a link to my feed to my Google profile (And be sure to check the 'This is a profile page about me' which ensures that a rel="me" tag is added to the HTML on your profile. This is how XFN works.) And by adding a corresponding link in my feed back to my Google profile page with the following:

atom:link rel="me" href=""
I used this Google tool to check my XFN connections and when I checked back the next day my feed showed up in Google Buzz's configuration dialog.

So more difficult than I would have expected (more difficult than just an 'Add your feed' button and textbox) but not super difficult. And yet after reading this Buzz from DeWitt Clinton I feel better about opting-in to Google's Social API.

PermalinkCommentstechnical atom google buzz rss social

Happy holidays from Gmail

2009 Dec 4, 5:08Gmail will send out holiday postcards for you for free.PermalinkCommentsfree google advertising gmail christmas mail postcard

Thoughts on registerProtocolHandler in HTML 5

2009 Apr 7, 9:02

I'm a big fan of the concept of registerProtocolHandler in HTML 5 and in FireFox 3, but not quite the implementation. From a high level, it allows web apps to register themselves as handlers of an URL scheme so for (the canonical) example, GMail can register for the mailto URL scheme. I like the concept:

However, the way its currently spec'ed out I don't like the following: PermalinkCommentsurl template registerprotocolhandler firefox technical url scheme protocol boring html5 uri urn

Gmail: Google's approach to email

2009 Apr 1, 9:54Lol at end of final sentence: "Two Gmail accounts can happily converse with each other for up to three messages each. Beyond that, our experiments have shown a significant decline in the quality ranking of Autopilot's responses and further messages may commit you to dinner parties or baby namings in which you have no interest."PermalinkCommentshumor google gmail ai email

Investigation of a Few Application Protocols (Updated)

2008 Oct 25, 6:51

Windows allows for application protocols in which, through the registry, you specify a URL scheme and a command line to have that URL passed to your application. Its an easy way to hook a webbrowser up to your application. Anyone can read the doc above and then walk through the registry and pick out the application protocols but just from that info you can't tell what the application expects these URLs to look like. I did a bit of research on some of the application protocols I've seen which is listed below. Good places to look for information on URI schemes: Wikipedia URI scheme, and ESW Wiki UriSchemes.

Some Application Protocols and associated documentation.
Scheme Name Notes
search-ms Windows Search Protocol The search-ms application protocol is a convention for querying the Windows Search index. The protocol enables applications, like Microsoft Windows Explorer, to query the index with parameter-value arguments, including property arguments, previously saved searches, Advanced Query Syntax, Natural Query Syntax, and language code identifiers (LCIDs) for both the Indexer and the query itself. See the MSDN docs for search-ms for more info.
Example: search-ms:query=food
OneNote OneNote Protocol From the OneNote help: /hyperlink "pagetarget" - Starts OneNote and opens the page specified by the pagetarget parameter. To obtain the hyperlink for any page in a OneNote notebook, right-click its page tab and then click Copy Hyperlink to this Page.
Example: onenote:///\\GUMMO\Users\davris\Documents\OneNote%20Notebooks\OneNote%202007%20Guide\{692F45F5-A42A-415B-8C0D-39A10E88A30F}&end
callto Callto Protocol ESW Wiki Info on callto
Skype callto info
NetMeeting callto info
Example: callto://+12125551234
itpc iTunes Podcast Tells iTunes to subscribe to an indicated podcast. iTunes documentation.
C:\Program Files\iTunes\iTunes.exe /url "%1"
Example: itpc:
Magnet Magnet URI Magnet URL scheme described by Wikipedia. Magnet URLs identify a resource by a hash of that resource so that when used in P2P scenarios no central authority is necessary to create URIs for a resource.
mailto Mail Protocol RFC 2368 - Mailto URL Scheme.
Mailto Syntax
Opens mail programs with new message with some parameters filled in, such as the to, from, subject, and body.
Example: mailto:? of mailto syntax
MMS mms Protocol MSDN describes associated protocols.
Wikipedia describes MMS.
"C:\Program Files\Windows Media Player\wmplayer.exe" "%L"
Also appears to be related to MMS cellphone messages: MMS IETF Draft.
secondlife [SecondLife] Opens SecondLife to the specified location, user, etc.
SecondLife Wiki description of the URL scheme.
"C:\Program Files\SecondLife\SecondLife.exe" -set SystemLanguage en-us -url "%1"
Example: secondlife://ahern/128/128/128
skype Skype Protocol Open Skype to call a user or phone number.
Skype's documentation
Wikipedia summary of skype URL scheme
"C:\Program Files\Skype\Phone\Skype.exe" "/uri:%l"
Example: skype:+14035551111?call
skype-plugin Skype Plugin Protocol Handler Something to do with adding plugins to skype? Maybe.
"C:\Program Files\Skype\Plugin Manager\skypePM.exe" "/uri:%1"
svn SVN Protocol Opens TortoiseSVN to browse the repository URL specified in the URL.
C:\Program Files\TortoiseSVN\bin\TortoiseProc.exe /command:repobrowser /path:"%1"
webcal Webcal Protocol Wikipedia describes webcal URL scheme.
Webcal URL scheme description.
A URL that starts with webcal:// points to an Internet location that contains a calendar in iCalendar format.
"C:\Program Files\Windows Calendar\wincal.exe" /webcal "%1"
Example: webcal://
zune Zune Protocol Provides access to some Zune operations such as podcast subscription (via Zune Insider).
"c:\Program Files\Zune\Zune.exe" -link:"%1"
Example: zune://subscribe/?name=
feed Outlook Add RSS Feed Identify a resource that is a feed such as Atom or RSS. Implemented by Outlook to add the indicated feed to Outlook.
Feed URI scheme pre-draft document
"C:\PROGRA~2\MICROS~1\Office12\OUTLOOK.EXE" /share "%1"
im IM Protocol RFC 3860 IM URI scheme description
Like mailto but for instant messaging clients.
Registered by Office Communicator but I was unable to get it to work as described in RFC 3860.
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office Communicator\Communicator.exe" "%1"
tel Tel Protocol RFC 5341 - tel URI scheme IANA assignment
RFC 3966 - tel URI scheme description
Call phone numbers via the tel URI scheme. Implemented by Office Communicator.
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office Communicator\Communicator.exe" "%1"
(Updated 2008-10-27: Added feed, im, and tel from Office Communicator)PermalinkCommentstechnical application protocol shell url windows

Official Gmail Blog: 2 hidden ways to get more from your Gmail address

2008 Apr 11, 3:48Howto avoid spam with Gmail: "If your name was, you could send mail to or"PermalinkCommentsspam gmail blog google howto mail email

Gmail integration with Internet Explorer 8

2008 Apr 3, 9:00

Internet Explorer LogoGmail Logo licensed under CC by Victor de la FuenteWith the new features of IE8 there's several easy ways to integrate Gmail, Google's web mail service, for mail composition, searching, and monitoring that I enjoy using.

I made a Send via Gmail activity that allows you to select some text, a document, or link and via the activity menu open a new tab to compose a new message with the selection. Go to my activity page and click "Send via Gmail" (source) to install it. I found info on the gmail composition URL in the comments of this gmail howto article and used that in the activity. I talked about activities previously.
I've made a search provider that searches your gmail account. See my search provider page and select 'Gmail' (source) to install the Gmail search provider. Search providers aren't new to IE8 but this fits in with Gmail integration in IE. Again in the comments of another howto I found information on a Gmail search URL.
New to IE8 is authenticated feed support and favorites bar monitoring which combined with the Gmail inbox feed means you can see when you get new mail in your favorites bar in IE. To do this, navigate to the feed, click 'Subscribe to this feed', then click on the Add button in the upper left (the star with plus icon) and select 'Monitor on Favorites Bar' to add this as a monitored item in the favorites bar. Next, right click on the new item in your favorites bar, open the properties dialog, and enter your Gmail username and password into the new username and password fields. Now when you get new mail the Gmail feed item will shine and bold and you'll be able to get to new messages in the dropdown. I described monitored feed items previously.
PermalinkCommentsactivity gmail search howto google ie feed rss opensearch

Set Gmail as Default Mail Client in Ubuntu :: the How-To Geek

2008 Apr 3, 6:48The comments have info on URI template for gmail message composition: "`echo $1 | sed 's/mailto://'`"PermalinkCommentsgmail mail uri howto reference google

"How do I search my Gmail mailbox?": Tech Support from Ask Dave Taylor!

2008 Apr 3, 2:49Looking for URI template to search over my gmail and found it in the comments: ""PermalinkCommentsgmail email google reference uri search howto

Gmail: Google's approach to email

2008 Apr 1, 1:50New customtime feature of gmail allows you to change the mail timestamp: "Is there a limit to how far back I can send email? Yes. You'll only be able to send email back until April 1, 2004, the day we launched Gmail."PermalinkCommentshumor gmail google email aprilfools

apophenia: a google horror story: what happens when you are disappeared

2008 Feb 11, 4:27Google's adminstrative red tape destroys a person's online identity. There is a happy ending to this story... but it could happen TO YOU!PermalinkCommentsgmail data backup identity google web online article

Gmail S/MIME for Firefox

2007 Oct 15, 1:33Info on a plugin for FireFox that gives GMail S/MIME support. This is a similar idea to the last but these folks have executed the idea in a different fashion.PermalinkCommentsarticle browser blog cryptography crypto mail mime mozilla pgp privacy security extension firefox gmail google

e-ignite: Webmail With Encryption and Signing

2007 Oct 15, 1:31This is a howto on using encryption with web based mail clients. This article suggests a FireFox plugin. I should look into doing this in IE.PermalinkCommentsemail secure webmail google gmail pgp encryption howto article Search your gmail in Firefox

2005 Apr 5, 12:37Add gmail to the search bar in FirefoxPermalinkCommentsblog google search tools web gmail firefox


2005 Mar 27, 6:24Google's Mail PagePermalinkCommentsmail google me
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