OWA Extension as the main app installer file


(Reinhart Previano) #1

Recently, in order to add custom webapps on Firefox OS is by launching WebIDE on Firefox Desktop, connect a device, open a folder including the webapp source file, and click “Run”. Unfortunately, this way may be problematic if there is a bug on the WebIDE itself.
I have an idea, since Open Web Apps are somewhat independent, I think that we need the main app installer file extension for installing apps in B2G OS, like Android’s APK, Debian’s DEB, Windows’ EXE, MSI, DLL and APPX, and Mac OS X’s DMG files.
Therefore, I suggest that the .owa extension is used to installed packaged apps (NOT hosted apps).
Why .OWA files?

  1. OWA stands for Open Web Apps
  2. OWA file extensions is currently not set for a specific program (such as ODT files for OpenOffice Documents)
  3. OWA is a renamed ZIP file (to make OWA files, just zip the app source file and rename the extension to OWA)
  4. OWA may include the manifest.webapp file to load the app description (similar to AndroidManifest.xml in APK and Manifest.json in CRX)
  5. OWA files is used only for installing packaged apps (for hosted apps use the default manifest.webapp file)
  6. To install OWA files to Desktop and Android, I think we need an addon to convert that so webAPIs that are introduced in Firefox OS can be converted into native APIs, such as WebTelephony API which is not available in Desktop.

(Jovan Gerodetti) #2

There are no packaged apps anymore.


(Lapineige) #3

Wouldn’t it be simpler to maintain WebIDE than creating a new installation program, that had to be cross-platform, doing the same thing (and in fact less than WebIDE), and maintain this new program ?
It seems to be a waste of time IHMO.

Packaged apps will no longer exist on B2G OS.

And for hosted apps, it will be a lot easier and handy for users to simply be able to install them with a simple link / from a website.
Moreover, having a special format just for B2G OS will just kill the advantages of web apps, there are cross-platform, it’s a strength we should keep and rely on.