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Web Applications with Mozilla's XUL? 23

An Anonymous Coward's idle musings inspires this query: "Web-based applications are a hot topic, right now, but sometimes HTML is too simple for your applications. Using a cross-plataform, more powerful and efficient UI like Mozilla's XUL would be great." XUL is more an interface description language rather than an application language, as it still uses Javascript to handle application processing. It would be interesting to see if future browsers (or future versions of existing browsers) would add XUL bindings for other languages like PHP, Perl, or even Visual Basic if such a thing interests you.
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Web Applications with Mozilla's XUL?

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  • by Lally Singh ( 3427 ) on Tuesday December 25, 2001 @02:27PM (#2749621) Journal
    If you're planning to require the user to have a specific piece of software on their machine already, why not give them Java web start?
    Then you can use something your developers are more likely to know. Besides, the more popular the technology, the less expensive the developers...
    • Java Web Start is an execllent solution to deploy and update Java apps.

      Be they pure web centric apps (thus client apps to some server with JWS just doing the network caching and using the clients CPU power in end effect) or full apps (signed JWS apps) that run on the client like any other program as well.

      To me it is the easiest means to get Java stuff installed and running on a box.

      I believe .NET's global assembly cache will go for the same (the configuration file allows for assembly download from servers as well).

      So we get rid of the old setup/install from some medium paradigma and install from an URL rather (be it a web server in Australia, or a web server that is on the dvd, start by autorun.inf :)

      However XUL and similiar systems might be easier to program and not require some Java GUI programmer.

      Another reason is GUI changing at runtime.

      Plus it might be nicer/easier/better to write GUI designers that operate on XML rather than generating and reverse engineering Java Swing code.


  • by pong ( 18266 ) on Tuesday December 25, 2001 @03:15PM (#2749705) Homepage
    Yes ... Lets try to introduce another web technology. (Sarcasm!!)

    Everyone and their momma want their new and old software to be "web-enabled". What a great idea - someone invents a great concept for browsing hypertext documents with images, and hey... ho we all find ourselves being forced to develop applications for it! Of course web browsers, being web browsers, were never intended for running applications so the market place is now plastered with different technologies to make the web browser a better platform for .. you name it!

    I hate developing for the web for two reasons primarily:

    1. The user experience is seldom exactly what you want because, well.. web browsers are web browser - hypertext and images, remember! Good thing someone invented the web - writing gopher applications would probably stink even more.
    2. You write the GUI in HTML or XML/XSL whatever, then you have your clientside scripting in javascript or vbscript. The server side is implemented in [customers bizar language requirement here]. Of course, as you are writing a state-of-the-art distributed application you use .... good-ol' one-way http for communication. WHAT A MESS! You have to master all these technologies and the tools/testing frameworks/IDEs to work with them. Good riddens

    Am I the only one considering a change of career?
    • At my workplace, we happily develop (and sometimes just generate) web applications using the UIX framework. These are a couple of Java libs which make your life quite easy. Lots of things here which make a good natively compiled user interface are implemented in cross-browser HTML/javascript.

      See also Oracle JDeveloper [] on OTN.

      Besides, you can talk all you want. But there's no way you can stop the customer asking for web applications.
  • Activestate ( is working on this. They actually have the python bindings out in beta form, but I don't knoe what happened to the perl bindings. They actually use the the python bindings to build their IDE, called 'Komodo', which is built on top of Mozilla, and I think uses Scintilla for text processing.
  • Check it out. Its everything you need

All science is either physics or stamp collecting. -- Ernest Rutherford