I need to use ff-activex-host, "An NPAPI based plugin for Firefox that enables the use of ActiveX controls", to enable me to build firefox's browser plugin using activex (for simplicity reason). It's a very helpful bridge without which we need to write different code for different browser.
We need to customize and build the plugin ourselves to be able to use it in a secure way i.e: avoiding any arbitrary activex can be run. Here's the main documentation on building. I find it still too general and requires us to build firefox source which takes a long time. After collecting some infos on the project site, forums and after some "fun" trial and error (including building the firefox source which is a bit painful and still not work in the end :) ) I finally able to build it in a less painful way. So, here's the summary of the steps that got me to it :
- Checkout ff-activex-host source
- Get the latest firefox source from here. Follow the instruction there to get the path to the latest source, in my case it's : ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/3.5.5/source/firefox-3.5.5.source.tar.bz2
- Get xulrunner-sdk from here. I downloaded the one titled "Gecko 1.9.1 (Firefox 3.5)"
- I used Visual Studio 2005, so I need to update the .sln and .vcproj file of the original source of ff-activex-host which is a Visual Studio 2008 ones. Here's the article on how to convert vs2008 solution and projec file to vs2005. In my case, I only changed "Version="9,00"" entry to "Version="8,00"" in the .vcproj file, make a new blank .sln file and mount the updated .vcproj file and it works straight away
- Change the additional include directories in ffactivex project as follow : change any "c:\src\mozilla\objdir\dist" to your xulrunner-sdk path, change the rest of "c:\src\mozilla" to firefox's source path. Here's the discussion that mention it somewhere in the middle, if you're interested.
- Build the solution
- Install Inno Setup (isetup-5.3.6.exe as of this writing) and it's QuickStart Pack (ispack-5.3.6.exe as of this writing). You can download them here
- Use ISTool to open "install\ffactivex.iss" and update the line
#define xbasepath "c:\src\ff-activex-host\ff-activex-host\"
to the directory where your solution file reside
- Compile and run the installer script
This path is basically just replace the step of compiling the firefox's source in the formal documentation with using xulrunner-sdk, adding some technical details and stuff specific to my situation.