Windows 10 + Microsoft Edge + Continuum

Dear colleagues from GDG,
as you know in summer we will have brand new Windows 10 launched.

  1. They will replace Internet Explorer with Microsoft Edge:

Question: will protected books that had been created as “WebBrowser (Internet Explorer) publication” be still working in Windows 10?

  1. They launch Continuum:

Question: does it mean that now our books will work on Windows phones?

Thank you!

Microsoft Edge will be a stand-alone browser with its own rendering engine. The webbrowser (IE) publication uses the standard webbrowser component installed in Windows that relies on the MSHTML engine. So in Windows 10, it will continue to work like it did in previous Windows releases.

Yes, probably if Continuum allows legacy 32-bit code to work on phones. Anyway, we’ll keep HTML Executable updated, and we’ll also work on the possibility to build Windows Universal apps.

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Hello! One more question: OK, but how would we be able to check what we done in our html code, if IE would be terminated as a stand alone software in Windows? Maybe I didn’t understand your answer, but if it would run only under the hood, how can we reach something that would show whether our design is that intended to be?
This damned IE translates html codes and scripts so differently from other browsers. Things work in Chrome or Firefox wouldn’t work in IE and vice verse…

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That’s why we will release the Chromium engine and even we are also working on adding EdgeChromium. Because EXE files with Chromium engine have a large size (80 MB without data) and with EdgeChromium it’s more like 10 MB.

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Oh, this is a great news! Does this mean that in the future html publications should work perfectly in Chrome or Edge Chromium, then to compile them? No need to work well in IE anymore?
Can you please tell about the deadline of this development? Because if it is going to happen soon, I won’t make a new development in my e-book before that. There are only a few web developers who intend to work the way IE needs it, so it will make my life definitely easier.

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Maybe @gdgsupport is planning a Xmas present for all of us: the much anticipated HTML Exe with Chromium support

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Is it possible to add functionalily to enable htmlexe application to share screen with apps like Zoom, Skype, but to keep screenshot protection enabled at the same time?

If I’ve understood correctly, future versions of HTMLExecutable will support multiple engines:

  1. IE WebControl (via Trident) — i.e. the old engine from v4.x, which runs in IE11 emulation mode, with limited supported for HTML5/CSS3 and modern features, including JavaScript version.
  2. Chromium (via CEF) — full HTML5/CSS3 support, and all modern browser features, at the cost of an extra size bloat of approx. 50Mb per eBook.
  3. Edge/Chromium (natively supported in Win 10 and above) — full modern features, just like Chrome.

The good thing about multiple engines support is the possibility of providing multiple editions of a same eBook, in order to ensure that end users with any Windows version can access the eBook.

  • Edge/Chromium — for Windows >= 10.
  • Chromium — for Windows versions above XP up to Win 8.
  • IE WebControl — for older versions of Windows.

Probably Win 7 and Win 8 users can also install the Edge/Chromium engine from MS website, but I’m not entirely sure about this (they can install the Edge browser, but not sure about the Edge WebControl), but this might be an overkill operation for non-tech users, so the Chromium/CEF offers a good alternative, albeit at the cost of extra size (but 50Mb is peanuts nowadays, since storage is cheap).

The fact that it’s possible to store the Chromium/CEF dependencies outside the eBook binary can obviate to the size bloat when dealing with eBook collections — i.e. multiple eBooks can share the same Chromium dependencies, so the bloat cost translates to 50MB for any number of eBooks. The drawback is that you need to ensure that all eBooks share the same exact CEF version, and that if you adopt a newer (or different) version for any eBook you might have to update all eBooks accordingly.

Another concern might be security in this case, since CEF is an open source project, and it could be possible to create a fake DLL with the correct functions signatures to access the eBook protected contents — unless HTMLExe checks the DLLs signature before binding them. Does it? (no idea)

So, right now the future looks brighter than ever for HTMLExe, with all these options at hand.

It’s unfortunate that MS took such a long time to come up with a modern WebControl replacing the old Trident engine, which ultimately resulted in a long twilight period for the development of HTML based GUI applications (a period which has seen various solutions propping up and dying out, each with its pros and cons). Finally, Edge is now available also as WebControl and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel in this respect. As it happens, Edge featured very well amongst other browsers in terms of security and performance; the only concern possibly being personal data collection (as in most modern browsers engines anyhow).

Sure, and you can also configure HTMLEXE to keep DLLs into memory, so that it’s more difficult to manipulate them. The counterpart is that it takes more time for your ebook app to load.

HTMLEXE takes care of that. It stores each CEF version into a separate folder.

Fully agreed.