Installing and Configuring Plug-ins for Mozilla Firebird on Fedora Core
Saturday January 31st, 2004
mariuz sent us a link to a FedoraNEWS.ORG article that describes how to install and set up plug-ins for use with Mozilla Firebird on the Fedora Core Linux distribution. The tutorial covers using apt to install Adobe Acrobat Reader, Java and Macromedia Flash Player and describes how to configure Firebird to use them. Next week, FedoraNEWS.ORG will publish an article detailing the manual installation of these plug-ins.
If it requires a document to tell you how to do it, then it's too hard to do. Does anyone know of any work going on to make finding and installing the proper versions of plugins easier? Any bug numbers?
Doing the work from Firebird's end doesn't make a lot of sense. You're asking for Firebird to have code to go searching around the system for plugins and trying to do the setup. That stuff would need to be work with a bunch of plugins across a bunch of distros, and would then need to be maintained as each plugin or distro changed. As far as I know, nobody is working on that.
It would make sense for the plugins to find the browser and plug into it, or for the distributions to distribute the bits in a way that makes them work together.
IE doesn't have a hard time doing it. The web page developer puts a link in their object tag to the download page for the particular plugin. When it's not installed, the browser looks at that location and downloads/installs the files for the user... without them needing to reload the browser or lose the page that they were on.
I'm not saying do it all automatically, but it would be nice just to be able to click on the puzzle piece and it gets installed and starts working.
I don't think you've described that quite right, and the difference is significant. When the plugin isn't installed, IE (or whichever browser) downloads the plugin installer and runs it. It's the plugin that does the work of "plugging in" into the browser, not the browser. The problem for Firebird is that the plugins don't support it specifically.
I was speaking about how it should be easy for the user to do.
The problem you're talking about is partially mozilla's problem (but mostly the plugin manufacturers) All Mozilla needs to do is provide some way of saying to the plugin manufacturers "I'm installed and I'm over here!" Does the linux version not do this? (In windows it adds a registry entry)
Sure. I'm just saying that I don't think it's Firebird's job to do more than say "I'm here".
AFAIK (I should point out I don't actually use Linux currently), Linux doesn't have a registry or anything like it - stuff like that differs between Linux distros and desktop environments. Installation of plugins into any browser requires the user to do some work - making links or copying files. You can't compare Windows plugins to Linux plugins...
Isnt Fedora supposed to be a version of LINUX? I'm sure IE would have a very hard time working there.
Current situation with flash and Firebird/Linux:
Go to site with flash content but no flash plugin
Dialog box pops up saying "You don't have flash installed"
Click OK to go to the Macromedia download page for Flash/Linux
Follow the instructions to install flash for Mozilla.
Copy Mozilla file to Firebird plugin directory (I guess firebird isn't recognised)
Go to site with unrecognised media
(no dialog box) - click on media to get a dialog box to pop up that says "would you like to install flash"
Get taken to macromedia page (or some other page, or just start download) with a link to an XPI which downloads and installs flash to your profile directory
Notice that Macromedia has to package flash in an XPI file - there's no magic method for detecting that a download is a plugin and installing it appropriatley. This document actually makes the situation seem harder than it really is because it talks about a lot of unnecessary commands, like how to locate a version of Firebird that has been installed via rpm. It also uses apt to get a Mozilla version of the plugin and makes the user copy that to firebird. One could just as easilly have a firebird version of the plugin avaliable via yum/apt so it would automagically install to the correct directory. No doubt that will happen once firebird hits 1.0.