Building the FireBreath Plugin

See Also: FireBreath Tips: Working with Source Control


Get the source

First thing is first; get the source code.

To get a copy of the source, see the download page:

Generate the example project files

To generate the project files, there are two batch files that can be used:

The project files will all be generated into the buildex/ directory under the project root.

Generate your own project files

If you have created your own project in the projects/ directory, you can build it by running the same command as for example projects, but (this will be a shocker) without "example".

To generate the project files, there are two batch files that can be used:

The project files will all be generated into the build/ directory under the project root.

Open the solution

The main solution file for the example projects is buildex/FireBreath.sln

Build and register the DLL

The DLL for the example project will be built in: buildex/bin/Debug/ (replace Debug with the configuration type you use to build)

Register this DLL with regsvr32.exe:

regsvr32 npPluginTemplate.dll

Note that this installs for all browsers -- not just IE.

Open in your browser and play with it

On firefox, I recommend using FireBug for javascript testing. IE 8 has its own javascript debug tools.

Open the file buildex/projects/FireBreathWin/gen/FBControl.htm

Most of the links are currently broken; we're working on coming up with a good test plugin and page, but we'll get back to you on it.

Use Jash or firebug (or whatever) to make calls on the plugin. For supported calls, check out projects/TemplatePlugin/MathAPI.cpp.

A few JS commands to try:

plugin().echo("Please echo back")
"Please echo back"
Echoing: Please echo back

Attaching a debugger

To attach a debugger, set breakpoints, etc, first open the project in Visual Studio. Select Debug : Attach to Process, and then select all instances of the browser you are using. (firefox.exe will generally only have one process; iexplore.exe could have many). IE 8 is known to launch sites in different processes sometimes, so if your breakpoint doesn't fire, check to see if a new process has shown up that you need to attach to.

Once you're attached, as soon as you go to the page with the object tag loading the plugin, you should have symbols loaded (assuming it's the debug build) and breakpoints should trigger.

For more debugging tips, see the Debugging Plugins section

MSI Distributable

If you already have WiX installed on your machine, building the project files will automatically create a re-distributable MSI (Microsoft Installer) package for your plug-in.  This allows for quick installation of your plug-in on other websites without the end-user needing to know how to manually register a DLL.  The MSI file itself will be located in: build/bin/Debug/ (replace Debug with the configuration type you use to build).

For more information, see WiX Installer Help

Install WiX

If you don't have WiX already, you can download the Wix Toolset for free from CodePlex.