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Can InDesign open websites in a tab or can it be scripted?

Engaged ,
Sep 30, 2022 Sep 30, 2022

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I am using TiddlyWiki with TiddlyMap for creating the drafts of my articles and I thought instead of writing in InCopy I could create my document in physical size directly in InDesign, from a draft in an InDesign panel created in TiddlyWiki / TiddlyMap.

Is there any way to open a website or run at least TiddlyWiki (requires JS) in a tab in InDesign?

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Engaged ,
Sep 30, 2022 Sep 30, 2022

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TiddlyWiki can be run from NodeJS, I wonder if it could be used integrated in InDesign.

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Community Expert ,
Sep 30, 2022 Sep 30, 2022

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InDesign’s JavaScript (ExtendScript) is specific to Adobe’s applications. The InDesign API is here:

 

https://www.indesignjs.de/extendscriptAPI/indesign-latest/#about.html

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Community Expert ,
Sep 30, 2022 Sep 30, 2022

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Did you look at CEP extensions? They can run Nodejs packages as well

https://github.com/Adobe-CEP/Getting-Started-guides

-Manan

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Engaged ,
Oct 01, 2022 Oct 01, 2022

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Thanks.

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Engaged ,
Oct 01, 2022 Oct 01, 2022

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Since CEP is available many years ago, do you know by any chance if there is already one CEP extension out there, available, that can load a website in a panel and use NodeJS from a folder? Couldn't find any yet.

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Engaged ,
Oct 01, 2022 Oct 01, 2022

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Couldn't find a tutorial for creating a browser/nodeJS extension panel either.

If anyone knows about one please let me know.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 01, 2022 Oct 01, 2022

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For examples refer the following, I see nodejs in the description of some extensions so you can look at those

https://github.com/Adobe-CEP/Samples

See the documentation here. Search for nodejs inside it, it describes much about its use within CEP context.

-Manan

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Engaged ,
Oct 06, 2022 Oct 06, 2022

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Engaged ,
Oct 06, 2022 Oct 06, 2022

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I created a viewable sample in the main branch, this is how it looks (this is only with "download" saving because it's not off of NodeJS), this is what should be in the draft extension panel in InDesign. 

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Engaged ,
Oct 06, 2022 Oct 06, 2022

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Do people help with a little coding also on these forums?

I created my extension following this article.

I unpacked the Node.js binaries in the "server" folder.

My index.html in the "client" folder is my TiddlyWiki file, that I want to use as a drafting script in InDesign, it's wiki software, basically a single HTML file containing all the necesssary JS to run.

It can run without Node.js, but saving without NodeJS is implemented as downloading due to some security features (because TiddlyWiki can be used also as a website), so it needs to run off of Node.js for automatic saving, and it's more modular and more hackable when used from Node.js.

TiddlyWiki can run from Node.js in a portable way, without actually installing Node.js, according to this article.

I did not follow the instructions in the article regarding creating the files in the server folder because the author has a different purpose with that server, so I just unpacked Node.js into the server folder, that should be sufficient to run TiddlyWiki, according to the article above.

But I am not confident about my extension, what could be possibly wrong?

I did not test it yet because I know it's not properly configured.

Could anyone help?

Thanks in advance.

 

 

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Engaged ,
Oct 14, 2022 Oct 14, 2022

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InDesign could open a website in a tab already back in 2010, here is an extension from that time (cannot download it, it's just adware left on the link):

Panel: tomaxxiBROWSE [panel based web browser for InDesign CS5] | IndiSnip [InDesign® Snippets] (wor...

In fact it's not a must to incorporate Node.js and the Chrome engine into an extension.

It's sufficient to make a tab that would launch the default system browser.

I know that JS has a "defaultbrowser" something, option.

Because TiddlyWiki would run for most people from the cloud like from OneDrive anyway, from the unpacked Node.js binaries, without install, which is convenient, from the localhost address.

That only needs to get the deafult browser launched in an InDesign tab or extansion, nothing more.

Anyone who knows how to launch the local browser window in an InDesign tab?

The extension linked above was done with flash, so I am sure it's possible with HTML 5, I just don't know how.

Many self publishers don't need to work in a team, so using InCopy is an overkill, and anyways that many window switching would drive me crazy, I think.

Anyways InCopy is nothing like TiddlyWiki, especially with TiddlyMap and FontAwesome installed.

I am not sure that launching the local browser in an indesign tab (preferably resizable tab) requires a CEP extension, or does it?

 

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Community Expert ,
Oct 14, 2022 Oct 14, 2022

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I am not sure that launching the local browser in an indesign tab (preferably resizable tab) requires a CEP extension, or does it?

 

I think so, the only object in ExtendScript API that lets you connect to a TCP/IP server is Socket:

https://www.indesignjs.de/extendscriptAPI/indesign-latest/#Socket.html

 

But even if you can get the data, you still have to construct the panel or dialog, which probably isn’t going to happen with ExtendScript.

 

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Engaged ,
Oct 14, 2022 Oct 14, 2022

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What you are saying is implementing a browser in InDesign (using their Chrome engine clone, right?)

But what I mean is embedding the local browser window only, that doesn't require any server or TCP/IP implementations, becasue the default browser would run there, as an iframe.

 

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Engaged ,
Oct 14, 2022 Oct 14, 2022

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What I mean is allowing in an InDesign tab or extension to run any scalable installed desktop app, in this case the default browser. Actually grouping 2 deskop windows into 1 would also be sufficient, especially on higher resolutions than HD.

I can't do that on Windows so far, but maybe you can do it on Mac.

If you can do it, then you can run TiddlyWiki off of the Node.js unpacked binaries (after installing Tiddlywiki (not Node.js) into a One Drive cloud folder, where the binaries are unpacked.

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Engaged ,
Oct 14, 2022 Oct 14, 2022

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Just to avoid constant window switching or looking from one monitor to the other.

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Engaged ,
Oct 14, 2022 Oct 14, 2022

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TiddlyWiki is 100% scalable / responsive so it would adapt to the window.

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Engaged ,
Oct 14, 2022 Oct 14, 2022

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It only requires localhost http://127.0.0.1:8080, or it will select 8081, 8082, etc if 8080 port is already taken (even if it's already taken by an other wiki).

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Engaged ,
Oct 14, 2022 Oct 14, 2022

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But Adobe I am sure will allow to open browser windows in a tab (just like file explorers allow to open web pages at the path (not Bridge though), because it would be very useful because it would open access to lots of web apps, most importantly to Google, within InDesign.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 14, 2022 Oct 14, 2022

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What you are saying is implementing a browser in InDesign (using their Chrome engine clone, right?)

But what I mean is embedding the local browser window only, that doesn't require any server or TCP/IP implementations, becasue the default browser would run there, as an iframe.

 

I mean there are no methods in the ExtendScript API to do that via JavaScript. No idea if you can do it via a CEP extension ask in the coding or exchange forum:

 

https://community.adobe.com/t5/coding-corner/ct-p/ct-coding-corner?page=1&sort=latest_replies&lang=a...

 

https://community.adobe.com/t5/exchange/ct-p/ct-exchange?page=1&sort=latest_replies&lang=all&tabid=a...

 

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Engaged ,
Oct 14, 2022 Oct 14, 2022

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But a command need to be executed to start TiddlyWiki at every system startup or later, and it leaves a leftover terminal window open (didn't find out yet how to start it without a terminal window) but if you run it from a Linux Subsystem terminal with "nohup", then you can close the terminal afterwards because the process will run:

cd /mnt/c/Users/username/OneDrive/nodejs_binaries_folder_where_tiddlywiki_is _installed && nohup tiddlywiki mynewwiki (your wiki name) --listen

but on Mac I don't know.

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Engaged ,
Oct 14, 2022 Oct 14, 2022

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And you can always save it as HTML, then run it as a website from GitHub Pages or from a server.

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