Well, Microsoft’s wonderful new ClickOnce technology for installing .NET applications doesn’t cooperate with browsers other than IE. :‘(

I’m using ClickOnce to deploy my handwritten math recognition software, and I wanted people to be able to use Firefox to download it. So the first thing I did was make a helper application. When you click on a link to a ClickOnce application, the XML file that describes the application gets downloaded to your computer and then my helper application takes over. It reads the URI to the application itself from the XML file and uses rundll to do a call to the appropriate DLL function to get the install started.

Unfortunately, that approach only works for some ClickOnce applications (those applications that are configured to install to the local machine). Other ClickOnce applications don’t have the URI in the XML file, and so they fail.

So, I went back and made a Firefox extension that solves this. My first Firefox extension, ever! Extending Firefox is really cool and surprisingly easy–it isn’t just an application, but a whole platform for application development! Geez… I wish the applications that I write could be so easily extendable.

Anyway, the extension is available at http://www.softwarepunk.com/ffclickonce/ . I’ve submitted it to the Firefox addons site, but it has been “pending approval” for about a week now.