Weekend Discussion

Friday March 24th, 2000

Time for another weekend discussion. The question this weekend:

What do you feel is an appropriate level of integration between a browser and an Operating System? And at the other end of the spectrum, what are your feelings about Mozilla's cross-platform approach?

#44 XPCOM and XUL are the future

by ttfkam

Sunday March 26th, 2000 12:23 PM

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#1 The main reason most MS-Windows developers remain MS-Windows developers is COM.

You are never going to tear them away from a language-independant, reasonably fast, component architecture no matter how bad any other part of the operating system becomes or how good any part of an alternate OS becomes. Don't believe me? Try talking to a VB coder for more than five minutes. And you thought Linux zealots were rabid...

Any part that is unless that part is an XPCOM service running alongside the OS on any arbitrary platform -- independant of the browser. You do this, and you cripple the number one argument for MS-Windows.

#2 XUL makes sense as a general UI framework. It's component-based, skinnable/themeable, scriptable, has a uniform API on multiple platforms, etc.

For all of the naysayers regarding XUL becoming "integrated" into the OS, let me remind you that GTK also started as a widget toolkit for a specific, specialized application: GIMP.

XUL is the future: Structured markup on top of a compiled framework to produce a complete MVC architecture.

Whether the Mozilla developers intended this result or not, they are going to see their baby leap out of a browser-only role with both feet and become the tie that binds for all platforms.

The funniest part about it all is that almost no one will see it coming.