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In this article I’m happy to say that standalone BrowserSim is back.

Standalone BrowserSim allows to use BrowserSim without firing up Eclipse. Unfortunately, only SWT.WEBKIT engine is available in standalone BrowserSim, so it will require Safari on Windows or WebKitGTK 1.2.0 on Linux to be installed. Nevertheless, all BrowserSim features available there.

You can read about BrowserSim features here. For more information about BrowserSim see Browsersim FAQ.

standalone-bs

How can I try it?

Standalone BrowserSim is available on the artifacts tab on the downloads page. You can try stable or if you want latest greatest nightly builds are available too.

You can also build your own standalone BrowserSim from source. To do it:

  • ensure you have Java (1.6+), Ant (1.5+) and Maven (3.1+) installed.

  • execute the following commands:

    $ git clone https://github.com/jbosstools/jbosstools-browsersim
    $ cd products
    $ mvn clean package
    $ cd browsersim-standalone/target/application

You can run browsersim.jar using the following command:

  • Windows, Linux:

    java -jar browsersim.jar [$start_page]
  • Mac OS:

    java -XstartOnFirstThread -jar browsersim.jar [$start_page]
To run standalone Browsersim on Linux with specific GTK version add SWT_GTK3=1 (GTK 3) / SWT_GTK3=0 (GTK 2) before the run command.

In this article, I’m happy to introduce you new BrowserSim / CordovaSim features, which are available in the new JBoss Developer Studio 8.0.0.GA. Basically, I want to focus on:

  • JavaFx web engine

  • Eclipse console logging

  • Dev Tools Debugger

JavaFx web engine

BrowserSim and CordovaSim have a new JavaFx web engine as an alternative to SWT WebKit. In the original there was only one web engine - SWT WebKit. Unfortunately, it has several drawbacks. For example, using SWT WebKit on Windows requires Apple Safari installation (provides SWT WebKit engine), which is pretty obsolete for now - May 9, 2012 is the date of the last update. Moreover, SWT WebKit doesn’t support Debugger API. Due to these limitations it was decided to add JavaFX web engine support. Web engine can be changed in Menu → Preferences → Settings Tab → Browser Engine.

JavaFx web engine
If you want to use JavaFX web engine, you need to run BrowserSim / CordovaSim against Oracle JDK version 7 or higher (version 8 is recommended)

Eclipse console logging

Eclipse console logging is available for both SWT Webkit and JavaFx web engines. Now the output of the main javascript console functions (console.log, console.info, console.warn, console.error) is displayed in the Eclipse console.

Eclipse Console Logging

Dev Tools Debugger

Dev Tools Debugger is available only for JavaFx web engine. One can connect the debugger to the BrowserSim / CordovaSim (Right click → Debug → Dev Tools…​) and step through the code, introspect variables and so forth.

Dev tools Debugger

Demo

Here is a short demo video with the new features:

All these features are also available for CordovaSim

BrowserSim standalone

For one who doesn’t use Eclipse / JBoss Developer Studio there is a standalone mode of BrowserSim. However, only SWT WebKit web engine is supported (we are planning to add JavaFx support in the next releases - JBIDE-18703). More details about BrowserSim standalone can be found in the following blog.

BrowserSim FAQ

BrowserSim FAQ can be found here. If you wasn’t able to find the answer, just post your question in the comments to this blog.

Known issues

  • Dev Tools Debugger doesn’t work properly with the Oracle JDK 8u20. I do hope it will be fixed in the upcoming JDK releases - RT-38918, JBIDE-18526

  • JavaFx which is shipped with Oracle JDK 7 has no localStorage support. Fortunately, it is fixed in JDK 8 - RT-29584

  • JavaFx which is shipped with Oracle JDK 7 has no WebSocket support, which is vital for LiveReload functionality. So, LiveReload doesn’t work with Oracle JDK 7 for JavaFx web engine. Fortunately, it is fixed in JDK 8 - RT-14947

  • JavaFx HTML 5 Date and time inputs do not function properly - RT-34974, JBIDE-17054

Conclusion

We are trying our best to make our tools as good as possible. User feedback is what we are seeking for now. We look forward to hearing your comments, remarks and proposals. Please, comment below about features you would you like to have in the upcoming releases!
Have fun!

Ilya Buziuk
@ilyabuziuk

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