ActiveState to Build Cross-Platform IDE Using Mozilla Foundation!
Thursday May 25th, 2000
Mitchell Baker wrote in to tell us that ActiveState is also using Mozilla as foundation of its cross platform IDE "Komodo."
Again, this damn "Mozilla is a platform" meme keeps turning up, refusing to be squashed by the "Mozilla should only be a browser" naysayers (the same folks, mind you, who admit that Microsoft is turning IE into a platform as well). When a company like ActiveState throws its development muscle behind Mozilla as it has with this announcement, it proves that Mozilla is actually being recognized as a key to future cross-platform development.
#13 My Interpretation...
Friday May 26th, 2000 12:07 PM
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Now, from what I gather from what is being said, they do mean running applications on it as a platform and not just re-using the code. However, I think you have a misconception when you mentioned "using the Mozilla binary".
From what I gather, the "Mozilla Platform" is just things like some of the .dll and .xpt files in the components directory.
That stuff defines the system calls and ways of defining the interface of the application, etc.
So then Mozilla the browser is an application running on top of this. Currently the browser has its own executable (and is the only executable?), and so other applications have to run on top of it, but I think they don't mean to keep it that way.
My guess is that what would happen eventually is that there would be a file you could download that contained all of the basic files needed between applications. You install that and you have the "Platform". I'd guess it wouldn't be that large of a file.. 5-10megs? It'd need some sort of executable file to lauch the applications, but this would be non-application specific instead of the browser executable as it is now.
Then if you wanted an application that used the platform (such as the browser or anything else), you'd download it and it'd include its program scripts, its chrome files, its xpcoms?, etc...
So you wouldn't need the browser installed. I'd guess you wouldn't even need Gecko installed unless the application was using it (like a preview for a html editor or something?).
Does anyone have any comments on this. Is this what people mean?
If it is, I think it is an interesting idea. I'd guess the main things factoring in how much it actually gets used is how many developers use it, the speed of the applications (this was of course a big part of why Java hasn't been used as much), and other things like that.
I don't see it being a massive trouble on the user end, just like how old applications would need VBRUN or whatever to run. The application website would just link to the mozilla platform installer for if you needed it.
The developers may tend to use it more than something like java because of the easier time making interfaces and support for skinning and such, etc. And instead of traditional languages of course because of the cross-platform support being so much easier to do.
Whether the users use it I think will depend more on how well these applications actually work, the speed of them, how well they look, all of that normal stuff.
But I don't think it'll get to that point unless it really does get seperated all the way and you don't have to install the browser and all of that just to run these applications...