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support tel protocol

  • 8 ŋuɖoɖowo
  • 1 masɔmasɔ sia le esi
  • 31 views
  • Nuɖoɖo mlɔetɔ jamescobban

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On Android (and presumably on any other smartphone implementation) if I click on an anchor whose URL specifies the tel protocol, that is <a href="tel:..."> then if the device has a SIM with a phone number the browser places the phone call. If the device does not have a SIM with a phone number the browser invokes Skype to place the call. But on a desktop or laptop computer Firefox barfs rather than assist the user to establish the connection! I cannot find a straightforward explanation of how to support the tel: protocol through a softphone application. I feel that this should be a standard knowledge base entry for Firefox.

All Replies (8)

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Hi, maybe. You seem to want answers for a phone. Your in the wrong forum for that please go here : https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/products/mobile

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Pkshadow, you misunderstood the question as it is about desktop Firefox if you look at "But on a desktop or laptop computer Firefox barfs rather than assist the user to establish the connection!"

jamescobban, Please keep this question in Firefox section if it is indeed about desktop Firefox. Somebody may have an answer or some ideas.

James trɔe

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Hi jamescobban, what do you mean by "Firefox barfs"?

I don't know how it works on Linux, but on Windows, if an application has created a Windows Registry entry for a protocol such as tel: then Firefox will try to send the URL to the corresponding application. Similarly, if the user has added a protocol handler from a website, Firefox will send the URL to that site.

If there is neither an external application nor a website registered to handle the protocol, Firefox will display the "The address wasn’t understood" page. Maybe that's what you're seeing.

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I don't know if you can create your own handlers using about:config. To see what's in there by default:

(1) In a new tab, type or paste about:config in the address bar and press Enter/Return. Click the button promising to be careful or accepting the risk.

(2) In the search box above the list, type or paste scheme and pause while the list is filtered

You should find a series of preferences whose names start with gecko.handlerService.schemes. and correspond to:

  • irc://
  • ircs://
  • mailto://
  • webcal://

These entries are somehow migrated to the handlers.json file in your profile folder. (Profiles - Where Firefox stores your bookmarks, passwords and other user data)

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The message from Firefox is unhelpful. By contrast on an Android system when the tel: protocol is encountered, and there is no subscription to mobile phone service, the browser prompts to set up Skype. I can appreciate that Mozilla does not want to endorse any specific softphone handler. My concern is that I cannot find ANY advice on any website as to how to address this issue in a straightforward manner directed at a non-technical audience. I just want to be pointed at a knowledge base entry that explains how to implement a softphone connection from Firefox.

I actually first raised this issue 20 years ago when I was working for a telecommunications equipment manufacture and running the Netscape browser on Solaris. I did not understand then, and I do not understand now, why support for initiating a voice connection to an E.164 address is not integral to a browser.

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Hi, you are correct it does barf out as I have a web page I made for someone and the tel command gets the error page on a desktop.

Not getting much and tel is not listed in this but other protocols are : https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/Add-ons/WebExtensions/manifest.json/protocol_handlers A desktop is not hooked to a phone so adding the protocol for Skype would if it is installed.

Options : https://css-tricks.com/the-current-state-of-telephone-links/

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James said

Pkshadow, you misunderstood the question as it is about desktop Firefox if you look at "But on a desktop or laptop computer Firefox barfs rather than assist the user to establish the connection!" jamescobban, Please keep this question in Firefox section if it is indeed about desktop Firefox. Somebody may have an answer or some ideas.

Thank You James, is always good to run across it much later.

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As pointed out by pkshadow if you do a search for this issue you get totally irrelevant sites relating to the <input> tag.

I did not understand why in 1998 I could not make a phone call from my desktop, and I understand even less today 20 years later.

Of course I have always been ahead of the technology curve. I built my first web-site in 1982. That is not a typo. I built a website 10 years before Tim Berners-Lee. Of course that was on an Intranet because the INTERNET did not exist! But I created a site with several hundred pages defined using text files connected by links which was accessed by over 12,000 users.

jamescobban trɔe