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Preview Quartz Composer (.qtz) files in Safari Web Browsers
I was hunting for a very specific screensaver the other day online, and was thrilled to find a direct link to the Quartz Composer (.qtz) file in question. So I clicked on the URL in Safari, expecting it to start downloading, and was pleasantly surprised when Safari began rendering the screensaver from directly within the active Safari window. Nice one!

Additional investigation revealed that any .qtz file on your computer will render in Safari via the drag and drop method. Right-clicking on the active window in Safari brings up an option to "Save Composition," which allows you to download the .qtz file to a location of your choice.

Some additional notes:
  1. I have Developer Tools installed, and haven't tested this without Developer Tools installed.
  2. Not tested in 10.4.x (Tiger)
  3. Quartz Composer files are pretty darn small and they load and render very quickly. They are easily created with Developer Tools and can access all kinds of system information and can link to, fetch, and deliver all kinds of information (eg. RSS feeds) online.
  4. So one REALLY big question that this now poses, is what kind of wonderful potential uses, if any, do these have in the realm of web design and development?
  5. Quicktime can also render and play .qtz files. So is Safari using the QuickTime Plug-in to render these files? Or is Safari accessing the Quartz graphics engine directly?
  6. If Safari is using the QuickTime Plug-in, then Windows users might be able to benefit from any potential web applications that these files have to offer. If this is not the case, then any potential applications would be limited to Mac OS X platforms only. Either way it is still a tantalizing thought for Mac users.
[robg adds: I tried this in Safari on Windows XP, and wasn't able to open the .qtz file.]
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Preview Quartz Composer (.qtz) files in Safari | 6 comments | Create New Account
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Preview Quartz Composer (.qtz) files in Safari
Authored by: bschoate on Jan 31, '08 08:31:39AM

I tried out a few at I'm sure there is utility here, but I'm wondering what the security implications are.

In addition to being able to access system information (username, OS / kernel versions -- which could be used to determine additional suitable attacks, perhaps exposed back to the originating server through query parameters to some RSS/XML request), there is a JavaScript control for doing limited scripting operations.

This feature can be turned off by disabling plug-ins from the Security tab in Safari's preferences. Of course, that will disable Flash as well.

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Preview Quartz Composer (.qtz) files in Safari
Authored by: PGB on Jan 31, '08 02:02:54PM

Also, in Leopard, select a QuartzComposer file in the Finder and tap the space bar. The QuickLook feature will play it right away without a browser. Lots of fun!

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Preview Quartz Composer (.qtz) files in Safari
Authored by: asmeurer on Jan 31, '08 02:43:08PM

If you choose installed plugins from the Safari Help menu, you will se that there is a separate "Quartz Composer Plug-in" (search for "qtz") not associated with Quicktime.

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Preview Quartz Composer (.qtz) files in Safari
Authored by: Asmus Vierck on Jan 31, '08 04:36:59PM
Quartz Compositions get rendered locally on your Mac. There is no way to get any data back to a server, the only known hole that allowed that was a bug in QuickTime for Java, and was fixed back in 2006. As far as I know, Safari uses the Quartz Engine directy, though other apps can access Quartz also through QuickTime. If you´re interested in this, I highly recommend the famous iSight prank of 2006:

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Preview Quartz Composer (.qtz) files in Safari
Authored by: koelling on Feb 07, '08 05:27:13PM
Developed for Dashboard, The Quartz Composer WebKit PlugIn is fully supported in Safari. That means loading and playing compositions, as well as controlling their parameters from javascript.

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I tested it in Tiger
Authored by: macosxleopard on Feb 29, '08 03:41:05PM

I tested it in Tiger with Developer Tools installed, it works.
Hint: Instead of dragging & dropping into a Safari window, try this. First, click on a .qtz file to start dragging it. Then, press Command-Option. Finally, drag it to the dock icon of Safari.

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