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Posts: 114 | Thanked: 201 times | Joined on Apr 2009
#1
Browser Switchboard
Latest stable release (Diablo/Maemo 4.1/OS2008): 3.3-2 (2010/10/09)
Latest stable release (Fremantle/Maemo 5): 3.3-2fremantle2 (2011/08/17)

I'm pleased to announce version 3.3 of Browser Switchboard, a program which lets you use Tear, Firefox Mobile, Opera Mobile, Midori, or other alternative browsers as the default browser on Maemo devices.




The recommended way to install Browser Switchboard is via the Extras repository. Extras is enabled by default in the Application Manager, so you should be able to install it by looking in the Application Manager under the network category. If you're viewing this on your device, you can open the one-click install (Maemo 4/Diablo, Maemo 5/Fremantle) and follow the prompts to install Browser Switchboard from Extras.

Source and prebuilt packages can also be downloaded from our page on Garage: https://garage.maemo.org/frs/?group_id=1159. Installing the package (Maemo 4/Diablo, Maemo 5/Fremantle) will take care of installing and setting up Browser Switchboard for you.

Releases of Browser Switchboard are considered stable, and have been well tested by me and others.

Quick start:
  1. Download and install the package using the Application Manager.
  2. Select the default browser by using the Browser Switchboard applet in the Control Panel (Diablo) or the Settings menu (Fremantle).

Links in most applications, locally-saved web pages opened from the file manager, and (for Maemo 4) entries in the Web sidebar panel will now open in the browser that you select as the default. Opening the "Web" menu entry and running "browser" from the shell will also cause your chosen default browser to open. If you don't configure a default browser, MicroB will continue to be used as the default browser.

No matter which browser you select as the default, MicroB can always be opened via the MicroB menu entry in the applications menu (for Maemo 4, it's placed in the Extras menu by default), or by running "microb" from the shell. While MicroB is open, it will receive all links from other applications; closing MicroB will restore your chosen default browser.

If you experience trouble after installing the package, try rebooting your device. If that fixes things, please report this as a bug.

Full instructions for configuring and using Browser Switchboard, along with instructions for compiling and installing manually, are available in the README file.

Maemo 4: Direct upgrades from Browser Switchboard 2.2 are supported. Direct upgrades from browser-proxy packages (2.1 and below) are NOT supported. You must remove browser-proxy before installing this new package; otherwise, the new browser-switchboard package will refuse to install. Unfortunately, the package rename doesn't play nice with seamless upgrading.

Known issues in this release:
  • [Diablo only] No "Loading" message (startup notification) is displayed when you open the MicroB menu entry.
  • [Fremantle only] When MicroB is not the default browser, opening the MicroB menu entry causes a blank window to load in MicroB instead of the bookmarks window to be displayed.
  • [Fremantle only] When MicroB is not the default browser, a bookmarks window will open in the background whenever MicroB is started, even when loading a URL.
  • [Fremantle only] When MicroB is not the default browser, Browser Switchboard kills MicroB after the last browser window closes, even if a bookmarks window is still open.

User-visible changes between 3.2 and this release:
  • In the Control Panel applet, only offer browsers that are actually installed.
  • Fall back to MicroB instead of silently failing if the configured default browser is not installed.
  • [Fremantle] An overhaul of the MicroB launching process, which should greatly increase the robustness of Browser Switchboard with MicroB on Fremantle. When MicroB is selected as the default browser, the user experience should be identical to that when Browser Switchboard isn't installed; MicroB will still behave differently when another browser is selected as the default (see the known issues for details).
  • Listen on the D-Bus system bus as well as the session bus, to accommodate applications (like some versions of Hermes and witter) which send link opening requests on the system bus. (Application developers: the system bus isn't for user programs, you should be using the session bus.)
  • [Diablo] Continuous mode is now the default mode of operation.
  • [Fremantle] Continuous mode is now forced on regardless of the setting of the config preference; this change is required to make sure applications can find us on the system bus.
  • [Fremantle] Browser Switchboard is now started on startup; this change is required to make sure applications can find us on the system bus.
  • [Fremantle] By default, MicroB is now prestarted on startup, and remains in memory even when no browser windows are open, if MicroB is the default browser. This behavior can be configured via a new autostart_microb preference.
  • Update the package description to mention that there's a control panel applet in the package, to help out users who don't read documentation (and therefore won't find this thread). Thanks to Emanuele Cassioli for the suggestion.
  • Rename the MicroB option in the control panel to "MicroB (stock browser)", as some have pointed out that the MicroB name isn't used anywhere and is therefore not familiar to many users. Better wording suggestions are welcome.
  • Provide a command-line tool for configuring Browser Switchboard which can be used by browser developers to set their browser as the default. See the commit message for more information. This interface isn't set in stone, so if you have comments, please let me know.
For more detail on the changes, see the changelog for the package (Diablo, Fremantle).

Questions, bug reports, and patches can be posted here, or sent to me via email (see the project website).

Discussion of this release starts here in this thread.

If you're interested, discussion of previous (pre-3.0) Browser Switchboard releases was in the Tear thread.

Last edited by steven676; 2012-08-08 at 05:18.
 

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Posts: 114 | Thanked: 201 times | Joined on Apr 2009
#2
I've now promoted the Diablo packages for Browser Switchboard 3.0-1 to extras. Extras is now the recommended way to install Browser Switchboard for Diablo.

I've still yet to hear from anyone who's tried out Browser Switchboard on Fremantle. Does this work for you on Fremantle? -- please let me know!
 
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Posts: 1,674 | Thanked: 171 times | Joined on Mar 2007 @ Anderson, IN
#3
Im using an N810, but awesome work steven...not had one single problem whatsoever!
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Posts: 4,274 | Thanked: 5,356 times | Joined on Sep 2007 @ Looking at y'all and sighing
#4
Fremantle version works fine. I installed, rebooted; loaded up the RSS Reader applet, tapped a link and Tear popped up fine. Tested on an N900 running 51-1.
 

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Posts: 4,274 | Thanked: 5,356 times | Joined on Sep 2007 @ Looking at y'all and sighing
#5
OK, so I jumped the gun a little bit.

It does work fine for starting up Tear, yes, but it stops the default browser from loading up when I click on the Web icon in the menu. This is with the default browser being set to MicroB and continuous mode being turned on (I also tried with it turned off). I'll try and look into it.

Meanwhile, I've updated the GUI to be more Fremantle-friendly; diff here: http://slexy.org/view/s2JL7ye01p

The changes are rather intrusive and do make it more dependent on Hildon, but I'm hoping the following screenshots sway you:



 

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Posts: 133 | Thanked: 172 times | Joined on Jul 2009 @ Travel bag
#6
Steven676

I tried installing the browser-switchboard by downloading the .deb and installing through the application manager.. For some strange problem ( installation freeze) I had to restart and uninstall. After this, my attempts to reinstall fails with this msg:
"Unable to install Browser Switchboard".

I have tried intalling the package available from Diablo extras repository with same result - failure!

I would really like to have this program to switch between the browsers.. Any clues on what is happening pls..
 
Posts: 1,950 | Thanked: 1,169 times | Joined on Jan 2008 @ Seattle, USA
#7
I'm using with Diablo. I installed it, it automatically used Tear as the default, and I've left it that way.

All works fine. Only issue: I wish mnotify opened Tear instead of MicroB.
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Posts: 739 | Thanked: 114 times | Joined on Sep 2009
#8
I would download this if Firefox mobile is stable. But it's too slow and laggy.
 
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Posts: 4,783 | Thanked: 1,252 times | Joined on Aug 2007 @ norway
#9
Originally Posted by GeraldKo View Post
All works fine. Only issue: I wish mnotify opened Tear instead of MicroB.
sounds like its launching microb directly from commandline or something then, as anything using the dbus way should get whatever you set in the switchboard settings.
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Posts: 114 | Thanked: 201 times | Joined on Apr 2009
#10
Originally Posted by qwerty12 View Post
It does work fine for starting up Tear, yes, but it stops the default browser from loading up when I click on the Web icon in the menu. This is with the default browser being set to MicroB and continuous mode being turned on (I also tried with it turned off). I'll try and look into it.
Hmm. Does running "maemo-invoker browser" from the shell bring up MicroB? Does running a symlink named "browser" pointing to maemo-invoker bring it up? If neither of those works, I'll have to think of a different way of starting MicroB.

Originally Posted by qwerty12 View Post
Meanwhile, I've updated the GUI to be more Fremantle-friendly; diff here: http://slexy.org/view/s2JL7ye01p
Thanks, looks nifty -- going to have to think about how I want to integrate this, though (keep two copies of the code? #ifdefs?).
 
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