Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Web Interaction In Emacspeak

Users running out of SVN will have noticed that the emacspeak codebase has seen a significant number of updates over the last couple of weeks. During this time, I've refactored the Web interaction code in Emacspeak to meet the following goals:

  • All Emacspeak Web smarts have now been re-factored to be independent of any given Web browser. In practice, this avoids code duplication between W3 and W3M support.
  • The interface to XSLT has been significantly improved.
  • When using W3, Emacspeak automatically builds a cache of CSS classnames and ids occuring on the page. These are then used to provide interactive completion when invoking commands emacspeak-extract-by-id (bound to e i in Web pages) and emacspeak-we-extract-by-class (bound to e c in Web pages).
  • Module emacspeak-we holds all code related to editing Web pages before they are displayed.
  • Module emacspeak-webutils holds all Web utility code.
  • Atom and RSS feeds are now pulled using Emacs-22 built-in library url rather than via libxslt. This has the advantage that the feeds are pulled with any cookies the browser may have set during the session.
  • All url templates, search wizards and related Web utilities should now be capable of working similarly under W3 and W3M.
  • Module emacspeak-moz provides a basic level of integration with Firefox --- see my related blog post on FireBox.
  • Module emacspeak-w3m still needs work to take advantage of all of these changes; I myself do not use W3M much, so those updates will happen as and when W3M users contribute the necessary time and patches.