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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 kottke.org

2016 Nov 20, 10:41
A free album of Beastie Boys remixes using Daft Punk samples http://kottke.org/16/11/beastie-boys-daft-punk-mashup 
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laughingsquid: ‘Everything Is a Remix’ Celebrates Its Five-Year...

2015 Sep 17, 3:05


laughingsquid:

‘Everything Is a Remix’ Celebrates Its Five-Year Anniversary With a Remastered Release and New Merchandise

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laughingsquid: ‘Everything Is a Remix’ Celebrates Its Five-Year...

2015 Sep 17, 3:05


laughingsquid:

‘Everything Is a Remix’ Celebrates Its Five-Year Anniversary With a Remastered Release and New Merchandise

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Retweet of ohunt

2015 Sep 16, 1:57
Is your site/app not loading resources in ios9? WebKit now blocks mixed content: You can't load CSS or JS over http from https _ever_.
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Tweet from David_Risney

2015 Jul 26, 10:42
Back to the Future 2, Donald Trump remix: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_iL8TtPOt0 ….
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Debugging anecdote - the color transparent black breaks accessibility

2014 May 22, 10:36

Some time back while I was working on getting the Javascript Windows Store app platform running on Windows Phone (now available on the last Windows Phone release!) I had an interesting bug that in retrospect is amusing.

I had just finished a work item to get accessibility working for JS WinPhone apps when I got a new bug: With some set of JS apps, accessibility appeared to be totally broken. At that time in development the only mechanism we had to test accessibility was a test tool that runs on the PC, connects to the phone, and dumps out the accessibility tree of whatever app is running on the phone. In this bug, the tool would spin for a while and then timeout with an error and no accessibility information.

My first thought was this was an issue in my new accessibility code. However, debugging with breakpoints on my code I could see none of my code was run nor the code that should call it. The code that called that code was a more generic messaging system that hit my breakpoints constantly.

Rather than trying to work backward from the failure point, I decided to try and narrow down the repro and work forwards from there. One thing all the apps with the bug had in common was their usage of WinJS, but not all WinJS apps demonstrated the issue. Using a binary search approach on one such app I removed unrelated app code until all that was left was the app's usage of the WinJS AppBar and the bug still occurred. I replaced the WinJS AppBar usage with direct usage of the underlying AppBar WinRT APIs and continued.

Only some calls to the AppBar WinRT object produced the issue:

        var appBar = Windows.UI.WebUI.Core.WebUICommandBar.getForCurrentView(); 
// appBar.opacity = 1;
// appBar.closeDisplayMode = Windows.UI.WebUI.Core.WebUICommandBarClosedDisplayMode.default;
appBar.backgroundColor = Windows.UI.Colors.white; // Bug!
Just setting the background color appeared to cause the issue and I didn't even have to display the AppBar. Through additional trial and error I was blown away to discover that some colors I would set caused the issue and other colors did not. Black wouldn't cause the issue but transparent black would. So would aqua but not white.

I eventually realized that predefined WinRT color values like Windows.UI.Colors.aqua would cause the issue while JS literal based colors didn't cause the issue (Windows.UI.Color is a WinRT struct which projects in JS as a JS literal object with the struct members as JS object properties so its easy to write something like {r: 0, g: 0, b: 0, a: 0} to make a color) and I had been mixing both in my tests without realizing there would be a difference. I debugged into the backgroundColor property setter that consumed the WinRT color struct to see what was different between Windows.UI.Colors.black and {a: 1, r: 0, g: 0, b: 0} and found the two structs to be byte wise exactly the same.

On a hunch I tried my test app with only a reference to the color and otherwise no interaction with the AppBar and not doing anything with the actual reference to the color: Windows.UI.Colors.black;. This too caused the issue. I knew that the implementation for these WinRT const values live in a DLL and guessed that something in the code to create these predefined colors was causing the issue. I debugged in and no luck. Now I also have experienced crusty code that would do exciting things in its DllMain, the function that's called when a DLL is loaded into the process so I tried modifying my C++ code to simply LoadLibrary the DLL containing the WinRT color definition, windows.ui.xaml.dll and found the bug still occurred! A short lived moment of relief as the world seemed to make sense again.

Debugging into DllMain nothing interesting happened. There were interesting calls in there to be sure, but all of them behind conditions that were false. I was again stumped. On another hunch I tried renaming the DLL and only LoadLibrary'ing it and the bug went away. I took a different DLL renamed it windows.ui.xaml.dll and tried LoadLibrary'ing that and the bug came back. Just the name of the DLL was causing the issue.

I searched for the DLL name in our source code index and found hits in the accessibility tool. Grinning I opened the source to find that the accessibility tool's phone side service was trying to determine if a process belonged to a XAML app or not because XAML apps had a different accessibility contract. It did this by checking to see if windows.ui.xaml.dll was loaded in the target process.

At this point I got to fix my main issue and open several new bugs for the variety of problems I had just run into. This is a how to on writing software that is difficult to debug.

PermalinkCommentsbug debug javascript JS technical windows winrt

This might be the strangest release of classic Chicago label...

2013 May 17, 5:43


This might be the strangest release of classic Chicago label Trax yet! The clue’s in the title - it’s Daft Punk brassified. We get four classics by the world’s most famous Gallic robot duo: “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” gets turned into a 1940s Dick Tracy-style riff-off with every form of trumpet imaginable, “Around The World” mixes wind instruments with that famous vocal mantra, “Da Funk” features plenty of sassy brass and “One More Time” wraps things up on a swingin’, jazzy high.

PermalinkCommentsSoundCloud Iamjasonalexander Brass Music music cover daft-punk

wilwheaton: owlturdcomix: Thoughts I have instead of smart...

2013 May 13, 2:31




wilwheaton:

owlturdcomix:

Thoughts I have instead of smart thoughts.

http://i.imgur.com/b9h1rc5.png

Owl Turd is rapidly becoming one of my favourite webcomics.

This may have been a Serial Experiments Lain episode synopsis.

PermalinkCommentshumor map

eclecticmethod: Hackers

2013 Apr 13, 1:57

eclecticmethod:

You don’t use the same password over and over right? Let’s be honest this is the day and age of the hacker. Eclectic Method brings you “Hackers” , Hollywood’s celebration of basement dwelling 128 bit encryption masters. They’ll shut down before you can trace them, hack into the mainframe…

Hack the planet!

PermalinkCommentshack hackers movie video mix remix mashup eclectic-method

(via Listen to two full albums of Daft Punk songs, remixed as...

2012 Feb 21, 7:47


(via Listen to two full albums of Daft Punk songs, remixed as Nintendo soundtracks [Daft Punk])

PermalinkCommentsmusic chip-tune video-game daft-punk

(via Hello, A Remix of Lionel Richie’s “Hello” Made Using Film...

2012 Jan 17, 9:51


(via Hello, A Remix of Lionel Richie’s “Hello” Made Using Film Clips)

PermalinkCommentshumor music video film remix mashup hello

YouTube - Radiohead - Paranoid Android: YouTube Artists Mix

2011 Jun 20, 2:36A mix of 36 YouTube videos of various people playing Radiohead's Paranoid Android. It sounds good but the video too is very compelling. Also I would be psych'ed if it were my video picked to rock out at 2:50.

The mix:


Crazy bear on accoustic from 6:03


Amazing big band rendition from 2:20
PermalinkCommentsvideo remix radiohead mashup paranoid-android music

John Nack on Adobe : Orchestral Daft Punk

2011 May 30, 9:32PermalinkCommentsvideo music daft-pubk remix orchestra

YouTube - Star Trek's White and Nerdy

2011 Apr 18, 2:18PermalinkCommentsstartrek humor remix white-and-nerdy weird-al data

YouTube - MICKEY MOUSE PWNZ CHILD

2011 Apr 12, 3:55
PermalinkCommentshumor youtube video dance dance-competition mickey-mouse disney remix

Listen to Max Tannone and Watch Moon

2011 Feb 23, 1:13
Max Tannone does awesome remix albums:


Also, the movie Moon is really good on a variety of points. Sam Rockwell and the voice of Kevin Spacey! Its available on Netflix Watch Instantly so you have no excuse!
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SELENE - by Richard Rich & Max Tannone

2011 Feb 23, 5:27
Awesome remix of the Moon soundtrack.PermalinkCommentsmoon Clint-Mansell max-tannone richard-rich soundtrack remix

8 Bit Mixtape by Eclectic Method

2010 Aug 31, 7:59PermalinkCommentsvideo videogame mashup music music-video eclectic-method

Beatallica - Masterful Mystery Tour

2010 May 4, 4:52Mashup of Metallica with Beatles: Beatle's melodies, Metallica style, mix of lyrics.PermalinkCommentsbeatallica metallica beatles music humor mashup
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