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2.0 Alpha 9 Release Notes

READ THIS Before You Build and Install

Webclient is distributed as a mostly-binary release. The platform-dependent native code and the core webclient java code are pre-compiled. The binary distribution includes the complete webclient and MCP Java source code. This includes the code for the sample browser, sample MCP tests, JUnit tests, and the core webclient API and implementation. The Netbeans project included with the webclient distribution has build targets for the samples, as well as the core source code.

Webclient 2.0 Alpha 9 depends on xulrunner If you build webclient from source, you must first build xulrunner. For instructions on building xulrunner please visit

Installing the 2.0 Release

This section explains how to install and run webclient using the binary distribution.

  1. Un-install any existing webclient installations.

  2. Install JDK 1.5 or later from Older JDKs may work but you're on your own for support.

  3. The binary distribution has a NetBeans 5.5 project file to ease building and running the automated and manual tests. It also has a non-ide build.xml file that allows building and running without an IDE. You can download NetBeans 5.5 from If you want to use the non-ide build file, you need Apache Ant, which can be downloaded from

  4. Make a new empty directory, called WEBCLIENT_DIST for the purposes of discussion. The rest of the instructions will guide you in populating this directory.

  5. Download the approriate xulrunner for your platform.

    Windows: Unpack the zip directly to WEBCLIENT_DIST. It is strongly recommended that the path to WEBCLIENT_DIST contain no spaces.

    Mac OS X: Copy the XUL.Framework from the mounted Disk Image to WEBCLIENT_DIST.

  6. Download the binary at and unpack it into WEBCLIENT_DIST. This zip file that contains native binaries for all supported platforms.

    At this point, you should have the following directories in WEBCLIENT_DIST:


    The contents of these directories are as follows.

    Native binaries for each supported OS
    JavaDocs for the public API
    Jar files for the public API and implementation
    A Netbeans 5.5 project directory that allows easily building and running the automated tests and sample app.
    A build.xml file for building and running the webclient tests and example browser without an IDE.
    The source files for the automated tests and sample app.
    The root directory of the xulrunner binary dist. The name of this directory will vary from platform to platform.

  7. IMPORTANT Before launching NetBeans or running ant, make sure the directory under XULRUNNER_DIST that contains the actual xulrunner executable has been added to the platform appropriate environment variables.


      Add WEBCLIENT_DIST/xulrunner to your PATH environment variable. It is recommended to do this in an individual command shell rather than through the System Properties. Verify correctness by cding to the root directory of your machine, and entering the command xulrunner. If you see a dialog titled "XULRunner" with "Mozilla XULRunner" as the first line, you are ok to proceed. Otherwise, don't continue with these instructions until you see this dialog. Click OK to exit the dialog.

      Mac OS X:

      Add WEBCLIENT_DIST/XUL.framework/Versions/ to your PATH and DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variables. Verify correctness by cding to your home directory, and entering the command xulrunner-bin. If you output starting with "Mozilla XULRunner", you are ok to proceed. Otherwise, don't continue with these instructions until you see this output.

  8. If you are using NetBeans

    1. Using the same command shell where you successfully ran the xulrunner command, start NetBeans 5.5 and use the File->Open Project... dialog to open the "netbeans" directory in the WEBCLIENT_DIST/webclient_2_0_a9 directory.

    2. Go to the "Files" tab, open the "webclient" node and edit the "" file.

      Adjust the browser.bin.dir property to point to the absolute path to the xulrunner directory.


        This is the directory that contains the xulrunner.exe file. It is the same directory you added to the PATH. IMPORTANT: make sure this property does not contain any spaces and any backslashes in the path are escaped. On win32, you may have to use the funky "~" syntax. For example, Program Files may become PROGRA~1 and Documents and Settings may become DOCUME~1. To see what the "~" syntax is in your case do a dir /x in the parent directory.

        For example, on my machine, browser.bin.dir is C:\\DOCUME~1\\edburns\\MYDOCU~1\\tmp\\webclient-alpha\\xulrunner.

        Mac OS X:

        This is the directory that contains the XUL library file. It is the same directory you added to the DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH.

        For example, on my machine, browser.bin.dir is /Users/edburns/Projects/chaff/XUL.framework/Versions/

    3. Save the modified file.

    4. Back in the Project tab, Right-click on the "webclient" entry in the tree view and choose "Build Project".

    5. Once the project builds successfully, you may "run" or "test" it using the netbeans commands.

  9. If you are using the non-ide build with ant

    1. Using the same command shell in which you executed the xulrunner command, cd to the non-ide directory and copy to Edit the file according to the environment of your system. The same constraints about spaces and backslash characters apply here, as in the above steps for NetBeans.

    2. Run ant -projecthelp to see what targets are available.

Building the 2.0 Alpha 9 Release

Build Instructions -- Cross Platform

These instructions cover how to build the java source for webclient using netbeans, included in the binary distribution. Instructions for building the native code are still pending.

  1. Install the binary, as above.

  2. Open the netbeans project and Go to the "Files" tab.

  3. Expand the webclient node in the tree viewer. Expand the build.xml node. Right click on the "compile.core. src" target and select "Run Target". This will move aside the webclient jar and compile the core sources into the build directory.

Uninstalling the 2.0 Alpha 8 Build


  1. Stop any running mozilla or webclient instances

  2. Run the "clean" ant target.

Available and Unavailable Features

New Features for This Release

New package org.mozilla.mcp for easy automated testing of Ajax web applications. Please see the javadoc package description for usage instructions.

This package now includes a timeout facility

New Features from Previous Releases

The following methods are known to work.





BrowserControl.queryInterface() for the following interfaces


CurrentPage.getDOM() (including getElementById())

EventRegistration.addDocumentLoadListener() (including PageInfoListener)


Full support for Java AWT KeyListener and MouseListener.


Support for new windows popped up by the browser with chrome supplied
from Java.

Known Issues

Browser and General Issues

  • Webclient hasn't yet been stress tested, so there are probably lots of issues that will come up with a little use.


Printing is not yet implemented.


You can run plugins inside webclient, but on win32, the Java plugin will not work. You must remove the java plugin. Please see the section on installing the win32 binary in this file.

Bookmarks and History

Bookmarks is not supported with XULRunner. Both the Bookmarks and History interfaces are incompletely implemented.


If webclient is acting funny, it may be due to conflicting mozilla registry file. Follow the steps in the mozilla 1.8 release notes to remove the registry, then re-run mozilla 1.8 to generate a new registry.

Known Bugs