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Browser-in-browser help please


I need a piece of functionality developed for our Website and I need some technical advice on how get there.

Essentially, what I want to develop is a browser-within-browser functionality where the ‘mini-browser’ has similar functionality to a normal browser.

Let me explain:

Firstly, our website interface will open up in a popup window. All the normal browser toolbars and buttons have been removed from the popup window. It’s just a resizable normal popup window.

Please see illustrations: http://www.tommyaaen.com/website/illustrations.html

On the left hand side we will have a list of Sections. When you click on a Section a list of Pages for that Section appear in the next column along. When you click on a Page the content appears in the mini-browser window, and some information about the page is written in the grey area above the mini-browser toolbar.

What you should also know is that the Sections, Pages and website text are database driven (MySQL) and entered manually through our Administration system. A number of pages are links to external websites.

The mini-browser toolbar will have the following buttons: Back, History, Forward, Refresh, Home, Maximise, Minimise.

- The ‘Back’ button will take you back to the previous page.
- The ‘History’ button will show you a dropdown of websites that you have visited and click on the website to go to it.
- The ‘Forward’ button will take you forward to a page that you have visited.
- The ‘Refresh’ button refreshes the page.
- The ‘Home’ button will take you back to our website home page.
- The ‘Maximise’ button will enlarge the entire mini-browser so that it covers the Section and Pages columns. This will make it easier view the webpage in the mini-browser window.
- The ‘Restore’ button will restore the size of the mini-browser window back to its original size.


The website must be cross-platform (Win XP, Mac OS) and cross-browser (IE, Firefox, NS, Safari, Opera, etc) compatible.

My questions are:

What is the best technology to use to develop this ‘browser-in-browser’ functionality? AJAX / Flash, ASP.NET?

Are there ‘mini-browser’ plug-in or controls that can be used?

What is the best way to display the content inside the mini-browser window to make it fully cross-browser compatible, and also bearing in mind that the content displayed are both from internal and external pages? DIVs? IFRAME? Anything else?

Many thanks!
Tommy Aaen
Nov 23 '06 #1
  • viewed: 2207

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