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Experimenting with MozEmbedded · Feb 22, 12:21 by Shannon Wynter
Preview Screenshot

G’day folks.

Some of you might have noticed that I’ve been experimenting with using Mozilla Embedded to create preview snapshots of off-site links to display “on-hover”.

I’m calling the overall project “Preview” and the core command line component “MozSnap” (I know, I’m very creative) and it will have it’s own subdomain off Fremnet preview.fremnet.net – Don’t bother visiting right now, as there’s nothing there.

I know there are a couple of tools (and only a couple) that do this already in linux.

  • KHTML2PNG – a project that uses kde libraries and the KHTML renderer to do the same thing as I’m doing – I found installing great chunks of KDE undesirable, you pretty much just need GTK and Mozilla as requirements for MozSnap/Preview
  • HTML2Image – A close-source (and in my opinion, slightly overpriced) application (that I could not get running)

These projects both do something that MozSnap won’t do. They are both designed to be able to capture the entire page as an image. MozSnap is designed to take a single browser snapshot at set resolutions.

I’m also aware of Snap which is a search engine that gives you the facilities to do the same sort of previewing.

So why not use Snap? – well, simply because I’m a control freak. I love to be in full control of all my tools and toys.

After long consideration I have decided to make the core of MozSnap available however, don’t expect a lot of support (I can be bribed!!!) with it as installing it is rather convoluted. If you want to use this on shared hosting, or on a machine you don’t have lots of control over – give up now.

For those of you who can’t install and run your own MozSnap I intend to make preview.fremnet.net available for all. I intend to make it themeable and without advertisement (Just a tiny link at the bottom of the image – see the screenshot above)

It’s not ready yet, I want to re-write all the javascript and ajax stuff from scratch now that I’ve worked out all the technical issues. I’m also going to attempt to make a version that doesn’t suffer from cross-site security issues.

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