MozillaZine

Full Article Attached Open XUL Alliance Launches Wiki Wiki

Thursday November 20th, 2003

Gerald Bauer writes in with news that the Open XUL Alliance now has a Wiki. The Open XUL Alliance is a site about XUL and related XML-based declarative user interface languages. A Wiki (sometimes called a Wiki Wiki) is a collection of pages that can be freely contributed to and edited by anybody. Read the full article for more details.


#1 "XUL" != XUL

by pch <p_ch@verizon.net>

Thursday November 20th, 2003 9:36 PM

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I am not sure if the self proclaimed "XUL alliance" site deserves more advertizing, given that the maintainer has already been asked to change the name (<http://www.mozillazine.or…back.html?article=3213#60>) and declined. For him XUL = any XML-based UI language. I fear it may dilute our XUL acronym and hamper its recognition.

#2 Re: "XUL" != XUL

by vfwlkr

Friday November 21st, 2003 1:39 AM

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Who is this Gerald Bauer - has he ever contributed to mozilla?

#3 Re: Re: "XUL" != XUL

by jgraham

Friday November 21st, 2003 2:01 AM

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The main contribution I've noticed is that he goes around the web saying things like "XUL is dead as long as it is tied to Mozilla", and then goes on to mention some other XUL-like languages (i.e. languages that have a similar syntax to XUL and, in particular, use an XML dialect to describe the interface) which are, as far as can tell, wholly incompatible with Mozilla XUL.

I have no problem with other XUL-like languages existing, but refering to them generically as XUL because they have similar syntaxes is a bit like lumping Javascript, C, C++ and Java together under the name 'C' because they all have an over fondness for curly braces and semicolons.

#6 Let's Work Together - Let's Grow The Pie Together

by geraldb

Friday November 21st, 2003 8:03 AM

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> XUL is dead as long as it is tied to Mozilla.

Just to clarify: The web is build on open royality-free standards that are not bound to a single vendor or browser. If Mozilla XUL is just a Microsoft XAML-like wannabe, it's not going anywhere. Please grow up and let's work together to build a rich internet for everyone.

PS: For some insight about Microsoft XAML check out the XUL News Wire story titled "Inside Redhell: Microsoft XAML Blogger Round-Up" online @ <http://article.gmane.org/…omp.lang.xul.announce/146>

#7 Re: Where do people get this?

by doron

Friday November 21st, 2003 9:06 AM

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XAML is more of a XUL-wannabe since mozilla's XUL came first.

XUL will always remain mozilla's XML user interface language. Live with it or go moan on a blog.

#10 Re: Let's Work Together - Let's Grow The Pie Toget

by mlefevre

Friday November 21st, 2003 10:40 AM

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But what you're doing so far isn't "growing the pie" - you're just barging in, taking bits of someone else's pie and handing them out.

If Mozilla doesn't want to take its XUL in the direction you want it to go, attempting to force the issue isn't likely to persuade them to do so.

#11 XUL Has Outgrown Mozilla Long Ago

by geraldb

Friday November 21st, 2003 10:59 AM

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> If Mozilla doesn't want to take its XUL in the direction you want it to go, > attempting to force the issue isn't likely to persuade them to do so.

First, Michael you can hardly speak for the Mozilla project. In your bio page you state you're just a interested end-user.

Second, XUL has outgrown Mozilla long ago and the world has moved on. Nobody except a bunch of die-hard Mozilla junkies cares about the XUL (XML UI Language) name hairsplitting debate.

If you want to read up on the endless whinning check out the xul-talk mailinglist archive online @ <http://sourceforge.net/ma…/forum.php?forum=xul-talk>

#13 Re: XUL Has Outgrown Mozilla Long Ago

by jgraham

Friday November 21st, 2003 11:28 AM

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gerald: I for one would *love* there to be a standardised, widely implemented, cross platform way of doing rich applications over HTTP. Given this set of requirements, using XML to describe the interface seems like a reasonable solution; after all XML parsers are pretty standard. Therefore, I agree entirely that a standardised XML UI language that is not specific to one web browser would be *a good thing*. However, the main requirment here is *compatibility*. Compatibility in this sense should mean one can run the entire application in any of the 'compatible' products - so the GUI langauge must be compatible, the scripting must be compatible, the data binding must be compatible, *everything* the client has to do to run the application should work in every one of these 'compatible' environments.

Taking a bunch of products that implement the idea of XML GUI langauges, lumping them together and declating that they are all XUL-engines doesn't acheive anything. If these products were actually compatible or, at least, partially so, you could certianly sit down, declare the overlap of their feature set a "standard" and encourage others to implement that standard. Instead, all you're doing is making confusing noises about XUL having outgrown Mozilla (by which you seem to mean "other people have implemented the GUI description language in XML idea, but not made their implementation XUL-compatible, probably for excellent reasons of their own") and complain at people who try to stop you using XUL as a generic term when it in fact means something very specific. All you're doing is creating confusion and trying to distort reality in the hope that, if you twist the truth enough, a new nicer truth will emerge.

#14 Rome Wasn't Build In A Day

by geraldb

Friday November 21st, 2003 11:38 AM

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> Taking a bunch of products that implement the idea of XML GUI languages, lumping them together > and declaring that they are all XUL-engines doesn't achieve anything. If these products were > actually compatible or, at least, partially so, you could certianly sit down, declare the > overlap of their feature set a "standard" and encourage others to implement that standard.

jgraham, you have to start somewhere. The XUL Alliance site is a first humble step and it clearly beats your let's-sit-back-and-wait-for-a-miracle attitude.

#16 Re: Rome Wasn't Build In A Day

by jgraham

Friday November 21st, 2003 12:21 PM

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If you really want to create such a technology, that's good. However, there are three critcal points:

1. You need more than just a GUI language. For such a standard to be useful, all the other parts of the application framework have to be standardised as well. There's no use in having a standard if it doesn't allow for interoperability, and just having a language that defines a set of GUI elements doesn't provide any interoperability on its own.

2. You can't use the name XUL. Yes XUL is a well known name. Yes it is a bit similar to what you are trying to do. However, XUL describes a particular implementation of an XML UI language for use in the Mozilla framework. Calling another language XUL because it has a similar syntax is as useful as calling a new Operating system 'Windows' because it uses windows to display applications.

3. Learn some communication skills. No one is going to take your standard seriously if you make insulting comments every time they disagree with you.

#15 Re: XUL Has Outgrown Mozilla Long Ago

by mlefevre

Friday November 21st, 2003 11:55 AM

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I agree that I can't speak for the Mozilla project - that's why I wasn't doing so.

Some of those "die-hard Mozilla junkies" that posted in the last MozillaZine topic you contributed do speak for Mozilla though, and they said you should stop mis-using the XUL name.

If you think that XUL has long ago outgrown Mozilla, then it shouldn't bother you that the Mozilla junkies aren't cooperating with you.

If you don't want to hear the whining, don't talk about Mozilla's XUL and don't post your news on Mozillazine...

#23 Re: What a prize!

by Gerv

Saturday November 22nd, 2003 4:51 AM

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> First, Michael you can hardly speak for the Mozilla project. In your bio page > you state you're just a interested end-user.

Good morning, Gerald. I hope you'll agree that I can speak for the Mozilla project. In passing, I should point out that according to Bugzilla Michael has triaged and resolved 815 bugs, making a massive contribution to Mozilla in that area alone. I would do the same calculation for you but, as far as I can tell, you don't have a Bugzilla account at all.

> Nobody except a bunch of die-hard Mozilla junkies cares about the XUL > (XML UI Language) name hairsplitting debate.

It's not splitting hairs when it creates confusion in the marketplace - you are calling multiple incompatible things by the same name, a name that mozilla.org originally used for its specific XML-based UI langage, and which is a de facto trademark of the Mozilla Foundation.

The Mozilla Foundation cares deeply about your misuse of our XUL trademark, as we have informed you by private email (which you chose to post publically). We request and require that you cease from using it.

Gerv

#12 Re: Let's Work Together - Let's Grow The Pie Together

by napolj2

Friday November 21st, 2003 11:15 AM

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>The web is build on open royality-free standards that are not bound to a single vendor or browser.

Am I missing something, or isn't XUL already open and royalty-free? And aren't there other XUL motors (listed right on the Open XUL Alliance site) besides Mozilla that you can use to display XUL GUI's? Since even the source code that Mozilla uses to display XUL is open, I don't see how XUL is limited to Mozilla or Gecko.

#21 Re: Re: Let's Work Together - Let's Grow The Pie T

by bzbarsky

Friday November 21st, 2003 11:33 PM

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> And aren't there other XUL motors (listed right on the Open XUL Alliance site) besides > Mozilla that you can use to display XUL GUI's?

The whole point is that they DO NOT LET YOU DISPLAY XUL GUIs. They let you display GUIs described in interface languages that happen to have an XML syntax, but are not XUL (which is a _specific_ XML-based interface design language).

Note that the page you cite lists XWT as a "XUL motor". It's not.

#22 Re: Re: Re: Let's Work Together - Let's Grow The Pie T

by napolj2

Saturday November 22nd, 2003 3:23 AM

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I worded what I said poorly; I meant there were *some* XUL motors and XUL-related projects on that site, like Luxor, XUL2GTK, and jXUL. I understood about the difference in terminology and agreed that Gerald shouldn't mix things up. My point was that anyone can go write an XUL motor without paying any royalties or getting the Mozilla Foundation's permission if they wanted, so that Gerald's criticism was incorrect.

#25 Re: Re: Let's Work Together - Let's Grow The Pie T

by DavidGerard <fun@thingy.apana.org.au>

Saturday November 22nd, 2003 5:40 AM

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Although there is an obvious benefit in encouraging multiple implementations.

#4 Re: "XUL" != XUL

by beastie

Friday November 21st, 2003 2:47 AM

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After reading all of the Talkback to the article Pierre mentioned (<http://www.mozillazine.or…alkback.html?article=3213>), there's only one thing that's clear. Just because someone with obviously no clarity creates a site with "XUL" in the name does not give it any credit, nor does it deserve any mention on any Mozilla-related sites.

#5 Who Promotes XUL? The Mozilla Folks For Sure Not

by geraldb

Friday November 21st, 2003 7:53 AM

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> I fear it may dilute our XUL acronym and hamper its recognition.

Ha. Face it. Besides some hard-core Mozilla junkies pretty much nobody has ever heard about XUL. Why not leave the childish bickering over who owns the XUL ancronym behind us and let's instead work together to promote XUL to create a rich internet for everyone. Any takers?

PS: For some insight in the complete neglect Mozilla folks show for XUL check out the XUL News Wire story titled "New XUL "Portal" Now Live At Relaunched Mozilla.org Site" online @ <http://article.gmane.org/…omp.lang.xul.announce/149>

#8 Re: Who Promotes XUL? The Mozilla Folks For Sure N

by gerla <tim@gerla.net>

Friday November 21st, 2003 10:03 AM

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How about we avoid diluting the XUL name and creating a bunch of confusingly incompatible formats and avoid another Microsoft/Netscape HTML "standard" problem? I'm not exactly a hard-core Mozilla junkie, and I've written a lot of XUL. I think you're a troll. If you're not, you sure act like one.

#18 Re: Who Promotes XUL? The Mozilla Folks For Sure N

by voracity

Friday November 21st, 2003 9:26 PM

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Why not use XADL instead? You could have (with suggested pronunciations):

XADL = any Xml Application Development Language (zadel), XUI = any Xml-based User Interface (zooee), XUL = mozilla's Xml User interface Language specification (zool), XAML = microsoft's Xml Application Markup Language specification (zamel)

Why was it important to choose the acronym XUL? Surely there were plenty of other good possibilities.

#19 Re: Who Promotes XUL? The Mozilla Folks For Sure N

by Waldo_2

Friday November 21st, 2003 10:08 PM

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XUL is the name Mozilla has assigned their implementation of a User Interface Language based on XML. They do not call it Mozilla XUL, nor do Mozilla Firebird developers call it Mozilla Firebird XUL. Mozilla's version is XUL, not a XUL (Zool), but THE XUL. There is no other XUL because no one else (excepting your audacious site - no other site that I know of has grouped all the XML-based interface languages under the name of Mozilla's XML interface language) refers to their XML-based interface language as XUL. Everyone else can define away to their hearts' content, but whatever they come up with is merely another User Interface Language based on XML, NOT XUL. This situation is akin to calling all browsers Internet explorers: while browsers do this, Microsoft chose the name, so it is respected as inherent only to Microsoft's browsers. This is not "childish bickering over who owns the XUL acronym" - it is protection of the name and implementation Mozilla has worked so hard to make. (This bickering hardly matches up to some of the worst, anyways, especially as it appears to be mono a multi[1]. *cough MNG, ALT-popup, etc.*)

Regarding your "insight", I notice that you wrote this article. Until I hear more than just your lone voice (substantially more) I cannot agree with your naming choices. Feel free to dig up other voices if you want - I'll listen.

[1] My made-up suitable version of mono a mono (pardon my ignorance of any usual way). If there's a usual way of expressing this, I'd love to learn it.

#26 XUL == XML UI Language

by geraldb

Saturday November 22nd, 2003 6:49 AM

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> There is no other XUL because no one else (excepting your audacious site - no other site that I > know of has grouped all the XML-based interface languages under the name of Mozilla's XML > interface language) refers to their XML-based interface language as XUL.

Again, please grow up. XUL stands for XML UI Language and to claim its a Mozilla-only thingy is just ridiculous. Why not rename it to say Mozilla UI Language (MUL)? Or why not use a real brand name such as Zool?

Anyway, here are some quotes from the web:

mozKit (<http://www.mozkit.net>): "How well does XUL and Java play together? If you are experimenting with the two maybe Carlsbad Cubes' Theodore Editor will provide you with the vision to turn your experiments into reality. Thinlets offer a nice alternative for creating tools that will run on various OS platforms with a minimum of pain."

Paul Golding, listed in the Who's Who of Britain's Young Business Elite: "Just played around with XUL via the fabulous Thinlet authoring tool Theodore. Playing around with the Theodore tool is a great way to learn, or at least appreciate, the power and potential benefits of XUL."

#30 Re: XUL == XML UI Language

by bzbarsky

Saturday November 22nd, 2003 9:36 AM

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> mozKit (<<http://www.mozkit.net>>):

Connection refused.

#33 Re: Re: XUL == XML UI Language

by jgraham

Saturday November 22nd, 2003 10:21 AM

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I think what is being referred to is this: <http://www.carlsbadcubes.com/theodore/> It seems that somone else is abusing the XUL name in a product that does not generate Mozilla-XUL.

#32 Re: XUL == XML UI Language

by jgraham

Saturday November 22nd, 2003 10:19 AM

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LISP stands for LISt Processor. FORTRAN stands for FORmula TRANslator. Should we "grow up" and call all languages with list processing capabilities LISP? Or maybe all languages capable of encoding mathematical formulae Fortran?

#50 Re: XUL == XML UI Language

by jonasj

Sunday November 23rd, 2003 9:15 AM

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> XUL stands for XML UI Language and to claim its a Mozilla-only thingy is just ridiculous.

Doesn't that argument apply equally well to XAML? Many other languages (even XUL) fits the definition "XML Application Markup Language", so by your logic, how can Microsoft claim ownership of the name "XAML"?

#51 XAML is a code-name not a trademark

by geraldb

Sunday November 23rd, 2003 9:43 AM

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> Doesn't that argument apply equally well to XAML? Many other languages (even XUL) fits the > definition "XML Application Markup Language", so by your logic, how can Microsoft claim > ownership of the name "XAML"?

Microsoft doesn't claim ownership over XAML. XAML is a code-name and will get replaced with something like WML (Windows Markup Language) or similar once Microsoft ships Longhorn (the next version of Windows).

#55 Re: XAML is a code-name not a trademark

by bzbarsky

Sunday November 23rd, 2003 1:01 PM

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So any language that's associated with Windows and is a markup language can be called WML?

#29 "XUL" != XUL

by bugs4hj <bugs4hj@netscape.net>

Saturday November 22nd, 2003 9:35 AM

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So why is that? What is he thinking?

<http://www.mozilla.org/xpfe/languageSpec.html> <http://www.mozilla.org/projects/xul/> <http://www.mozilla.org/projects/xul/xul.html>

note: this documentation might be confusing to the general audience/public...

#9 For anyone who's not aware...

by FrodoB

Friday November 21st, 2003 10:15 AM

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Gerald Bauer also floats around the Java community (especially java.net forums and Javalobby forums), labeling the Java Community Process (which, I agree, has some issues) such colorful names as "Java Cartel Process", galvanizing groups of more or less like-minded people into pro open-source Java or anti open-source Java.

For those not familiar with the topic, Gerald argues that the JCP is not open enough using ad hominem attacks and rhetorical questions, whereas the supporters on the other side of the issue argue that the JCP is open enough (I don't think I've heard anyone argue for less openness than the JCP), often using those same tactics. The average Java developer falls somewhere in the middle, wanting to get real work done (which licensing squabbles hamper) but fearing some of the ramifications of complete open-sourcing of the language, considering the fragmentation of C++ and Microsoft's attacks on Java. Most Java developers support a Mozilla or Linux style system where the core is ruled by a benevolent dictator to prevent forking (the fear of which is due to the aforementioned Microsoft attacks on the platform). In short, while I respect Gerald's right to hold his opinion (and in many cases I agree with him on the issue at hand), I disagree with his tactics. Notice above, how he tells jgraham to "grow up" for simply pointing out that XUL is a specific language, not a generic one.

(As for me, I wouldn't really want XUL to be the common acronym. The Ghostbusters references are pretty specific to Mozilla's source code.)

#17 I vote troll

by vfwlkr

Friday November 21st, 2003 6:43 PM

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that is all.

#20 Mozilla's legal right to XUL?

by Waldo_2

Friday November 21st, 2003 10:13 PM

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Why didn't we trademark XUL and avoid this whole mess? I assume we could still allow the name to be used as long as any discussion centered around code compatible with Mozilla's XUL specs. The point is probably now effectively moot (too long with no attempted enforcement or trademarking), but as I'm only several months new to the Mozilla community an experienced insider's view would be informative (for everyone else reading this, as well).

#24 Re: Mozilla's legal right to XUL?

by jussik

Saturday November 22nd, 2003 5:14 AM

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Well, if you read the posts on the previous article (a good example: <http://www.mozillazine.or…back.html?article=3213#60>) and on OpenXUL sourceforge site (<http://sourceforge.net/ma…hp?forum=xul-talk),you'll> find that the mozilla people, mostly Hyatt and Hicks, have repeatedly asked this clown to stop abusing the name XUL. So the point is most definitely not moot.

It is a shame that just one guy can create so much noise though.

#27 Re: Re: Mozilla's legal right to XUL?

by FrodoB

Saturday November 22nd, 2003 7:28 AM

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Radicals (I do not consider Gerald to be a troll, as trolls don't usually post with an actual agenda [they post just to incite people]) often can do this. Insult enough people and spout enough drivel that people are forced to respond and your ideas will at least have listeners, if not sympathizers.

Gerald's one, very specific, opinion on all matters is assumed by him to be the one truth. He claims to desire "debate" (there *is* no debate about XUL; it is Mozilla's), but when someone counters, he attacks them and then attempts to appear impartial by asking a rhetorical question such as "What do you think?"

He's the forum equivalent of mangelo.

#34 Re: Re: Mozilla's legal right to XUL?

by Waldo_2

Saturday November 22nd, 2003 10:54 AM

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I suppose I wasn't clear enough; when I said the point was probably moot I meant in getting the name XUL trademarked, not in getting his site to change its name (due to the length of time a trademark has not been pursued - a lawyer would be able to say better, though).

And actually, I did read that whole other thread; it's just that the previous politely firm requests backed by a de facto trademark (see comment #23) don't appear to have the clout that such a request backed by a legally registered trademark would have. Without enough clout this site won't be changed.

In any case it seems arguing with Gerald Bauer isn't working in getting his site name changed. Might possibly appealing to the SourceForge admins do something about this?

#28 Whatever

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Saturday November 22nd, 2003 9:02 AM

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Gerald Bauer, instead of calling your project XUL Alliance, you should call it Firebird Alliance. They think it is okay to steal that name.

#31 Re: Whatever

by bzbarsky

Saturday November 22nd, 2003 9:39 AM

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Indeed, that would be fine, since "Firebird" is not an existing interface description language.

What Gerald is doing is the equivalent of someone creating a new database and calling it "Firebird". Much much more confusing than the database-and-browser situation...

#35 Re: Re: Whatever

by stfh

Saturday November 22nd, 2003 1:18 PM

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Or, perhaps more accurately, saying that "Firebird" refers to *any* database, and setting up a "Firebird Alliance" site that lumps in MySQL, Oracle, BerkeleyDB, and so on. I mean, grow up, they're all Firebirds, and having one organization with sole control over Firebird development is just leading to stagnation.

#36 XUL == XML UI Language == Generic Term

by geraldb

Saturday November 22nd, 2003 4:19 PM

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Just to get the story straight. Firebird is a real brand name/trademark. It's not a generic term. In contrast XUL stands for XML UI Language and thus it's a generic term like SQL or DB or DBMS. For example, there's Firebird SQL, Oracle SQL, Microsoft SQL and so on. In the the same way there's Mozilla XUL, Luxor XUL, Thinlet XUL, Macromedia XUL and so on.

#37 Is Mozilla Hijacking the XML trademark?

by geraldb

Saturday November 22nd, 2003 4:32 PM

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Here's another thought: XUL stands for XML UI Language. Now who owns the XML trademark? Any thoughts?

#38 Is Mozilla Hijacking the UI trademark?

by geraldb

Saturday November 22nd, 2003 4:40 PM

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Just as an exercise: Who owns the UI trademark? Any thoughts?

#45 Re: Is Mozilla Hijacking the UI trademark?

by vfwlkr

Saturday November 22nd, 2003 6:26 PM

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> Just as an exercise: Who owns the UI trademark? Any thoughts? Wow! I just discovered a new definition of "insanity" I cant see any reason to continue an argument here.

Who made this news post? ;-)

#48 Re: Is Mozilla Hijacking the UI trademark?

by Cryp2Nite

Saturday November 22nd, 2003 9:17 PM

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I don't know. Another few excercises:

1.a Who owns the AT&T trademark? 1.b Who owns the American trademark? 1.c Who owns the Telephone trademark? 1.d Who owns the Telegraph trademark?

2.a Who owns the SCO trademark? 2.b Who owns the Santa trademark? 2.c Who owns the Cruz trademark? 2.d Who owns the Operation trademark?

3.a Who owns the CNN trademark? 3.b Who owns the Cable trademark? 3.c Who owns the News trademark? 3.d Who owns the Network trademark?

3.a Who owns the ABC trademark? 3.b Who owns the American trademark? 3.c Who owns the Broadcasting trademark? 3.d Who owns the Company trademark?

Those were easy, they are all names of companies and any numbnut would understand you can not coopt these names because they are officially trademarked. So how about these:

3.a Who owns the FDA trademark? 3.b Who owns the Food trademark? 3.c Who owns the Drug trademark? 3.d Who owns the Administration trademark? 3.b (bonus question): Can you start a Food and Drug testing organisation and start giving out FDA stamps of approval for say "consumer safety"?

3.a Who owns the HTML trademark? 3.b Who owns the Hypertext trademark? 3.c Who owns the Markup trademark? 3.d Who owns the Language trademark? 3.e (bonus question): Can you start advocating a standard Markup Language to structure text and multimedia content for presentation on the Internet? 3.f (double bonus question): Can you expect everyone to play along with your charade?

Right, that's why you cannot go around claiming the XUL name for a XML UI Language. Even if you get away with it, it ain't 'right'.

In short: MUYODA (Make Up Your Own Damn Acronym).

To help you on your way: XUIDL: XML User Interface Description Language. XUIL: XML User Interface Langue OXUL: Open XML Userinterface Language GXUL: Geralds XML User interface Language

Oh, before I forget: Any thoughts?

Thank you.

#52 Where are the hijacked acronyms?

by geraldb

Sunday November 23rd, 2003 9:53 AM

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> 1.a Who owns the AT&T trademark? 1.b Who owns the American trademark? > 1.c Who owns the Telephone trademark? 1.d Who owns the Telegraph trademark?

Cryp2Nite, you missed the point. In all your examples you use plain english words not acronyms such as XML or UI. See the difference?

#53 Re: Where are the hijacked acronyms?

by bzbarsky

Sunday November 23rd, 2003 11:39 AM

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AT&T is hadly a "plain English word."

For that matter, would it be OK if "XUL" stood for "Extensible Markup Language User Interface Description Language"? Then it would be just like AT&T...

#54 Re: Where are the hijacked acronyms?

by jgraham

Sunday November 23rd, 2003 12:50 PM

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No, sorry Gerald, I don't see the difference. Are you asserting that /because XUL is an acronym that itself comprises the generic acronyms XML and UI, it is not possible for it to be a trademark/? If this is indeed what you are asserting, I have several issues with it.

First of all, that's an absurd distinction to make; do you also believe it's impossible to trademark acronyms which contain L for the 'word' Laser as one letter?

Second, do you think that also applies if you use the full expansion of the terms in your acronym i.e. would XMLUIL be trademarkable?

Thirdly, a cursory search of the US Patent and Trademark Office website seems to disagree with you - for example XPU is a trademark of Credolink Systems, Inc and appears to stand for XML Processing Unit (although it's hard to be sure, since the site only seems to list the mark itself, giving weight to my theory that /no one gives a danm what the letters stand for/); have I totally missed your point, or can you point out a flaw in my research?

#39 Do you believe what you're saying?

by adipose

Saturday November 22nd, 2003 5:23 PM

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Basically, you're saying that descriptive acronyms cannot be trademarked. Because what is a descriptive acronym? It's simply a way of abbreviating a logical description of something. By your logic, if something else begins to fit that description, the acronym is free for the taking. In reality, you're also saying that the entire name (whether acronym or not) is for the taking, as long as the name correctly describes the entity. A few examples (please note the sarcasm):

IBM: International Business Machines Any organization which makes business machines internationally can be called IBM, abbreviated or not.

AAA: American Automobile Association Any group which is associated with American Automobiles can use AAA, abbreviated or not.

NRA: National Rifle Assocation Anyone associated with rifles, nationally, can call themselves this, abbreviated or not.

MADD: Mothers Against Drunk Driving Anyone mothers against drunk driving can youse the term MADD, abbreviated or not. It's a generic term, after all, designed to describe mothers, who are against drunk driving. Never mind that there's already a group with this name.

In actuality, it is quite common to compose "generic terms" by putting several real words together, and then trademarking the phrase. Just because the term could easily describe an existing group of people, and/or does, does not make the term "generic" and up for grabs.

The arguments have already been made that while "XUL" could be used to describe many languages, there are many compatible phrases that could describe them as well, without being called "XUL". This alone negates the idea that XUL *must* be available for all XML based UI languages.

I don't pretend to know the legal status of the term XUL, whether it was used before Mozilla coined it, or whether they have full rights to it. But you are arguing that they can't possibly have the right to it, because it's generic. Well, that's just B.S. (a generic term, I believe). "Generic terms" can be trademarked, and are, all the time. If a trademarked phrase happens to describe your product, it's simply too bad--you must find another phrase to name it.

Of course you are free to use the term in prose, such as "I bought an internation business machine...," but what you cannot do is call your company International Business Machines (well, you can, but it's almost certain that IBM would sue you and win). Maybe it shouldn't be this way, but it is. You can't just hijack the term XUL because you say it's generic--it *was* generic until Mozilla started using it in non-generic way, and if they trademarked it, that's the end of the story. Even if they didn't, it's quite possible they could be awarded the TM in the future.

You can blither all you like about how XUL stands for real words (and/or terms composed of real words), but it doesn't make the acronym fair game. That's simply not how the law works in this area.

-Dan

#41 Why not analyze DOS, DBMS, DOM?

by geraldb

Saturday November 22nd, 2003 5:32 PM

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Dan, allow me to choose a different set of acronyms. Here we go: DOS, DBMS, DOM Now can you share your opinion on those?

#44 Re: Why not analyze DOS, DBMS, DOM?

by mlefevre

Saturday November 22nd, 2003 6:03 PM

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Those are generic, and nobody is saying that all acronyms are owned by someone. The point is that some acronyms are not generic. XUL is one of the owned ones, and you're saying it's a generic one.

Here's one set: DOS, DBMS, DOM, XML.

Here's another set: IBM, MS-DOS, XAML, XUL.

#47 Agreed

by adipose

Saturday November 22nd, 2003 8:33 PM

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Some acronyms are generic, others aren't. That's not the same as saying anything that *could* describe an entity is *necessarily* generic, which seems to be what you're arguing.

As for XUL, I don't know the history, and I don't know whether mozilla really deserves the TM on that. You'll have to investigate. But you are wrong to suggest that it *cannot* be TMed. It can.

-Dan

#49 Re: Why not analyze DOS, DBMS, DOM?

by jgraham

Sunday November 23rd, 2003 8:21 AM

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You mean that acronyms can be used for generic concepts as well as specific ones!

Now that we've grasped the idea of generic v specific, maybe you'd like to tell us why you decided to use the acronym XUL when developing Luxor and the "Open XUL Alliance". Clearly you were aware of the existence of XUL as a specific Mozilla technology; you refer to Mozilla as the "Xul Granddaddy" and state on the Luxor page that "XUL stands for XML User Interface Language and was pioneered by Mozilla". Did it not occur to you that using XUL to mean something other than the Mozilla technology could create confusion? I assume it wasn't a shortage of other acronyms that could be used to describe the same concept - there are dozens of possibilities (e.g. XIL - XML Interface Language, XGL - XML GUI Language, MUIL - Markup User Interface Language, IDLUX - Interface Descriptor Language Using XML, XDUIDL - XML Declarative User Interface Descriptor Language, and so on).

#40 Re: XUL == XML UI Language == Generic Term

by bzbarsky

Saturday November 22nd, 2003 5:26 PM

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What is your definition of a "Generic Term", exactly?

#43 It's Your Turn First

by geraldb

Saturday November 22nd, 2003 5:35 PM

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> What is your definition of a "Generic Term", exactly?

Why don't you answer my questions first?

#46 Re: It's Your Turn First

by bzbarsky

Saturday November 22nd, 2003 7:17 PM

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I thought your questions were rhetorical. You and I both know perfectly well that no one owns a trademark on the terms "UI" and "XML" as applicable to computer software of any sort. Further, I don't believe anyone has a trademark on the term "XUL" either.

None of which is relevant to the question I asked. Note that my original statement didn't say that what you were doing was illegal (which it would be if XUL were trademarked). I just said that it was sneaky, underhanded, morally reprehensible, and harmful to the Mozilla project.

#42 Re: XUL == XML UI Language == Generic Term

by mlefevre

Saturday November 22nd, 2003 5:35 PM

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The description of something as an XML UI language is just a description. "XUL" is pretty much a trademark for a particular XML UI language created by Mozilla.

There are many international business machines companies. There is only one IBM, and "IBM" is their registered trademark.

Googling for "Luxor XUL", "Thinlet XUL" and "Macromedia XUL" brings up a few dozen hits. Repeating the searches, but excluding anything containing "Bauer" or "geraldb" brings up nothing except a couple of pages on your Luxor XUL area which don't have your name on. There is only one person talking about "Macromedia XUL" and "Thinlet XUL".

#56 Whatever Again

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Sunday November 23rd, 2003 1:57 PM

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Gerald Bauer, you should create a schedule and set a date at which you will change the name of your project. Then, when everyone stops complaining, you can just ignore the date.

#57 Re: Whatever Again

by kerz <jason@mozillazine.org>

Sunday November 23rd, 2003 2:06 PM

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Please stop trolling.

jason

#58 Re: Re: Whatever Again

by mlefevre

Sunday November 23rd, 2003 5:16 PM

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Well, he was somewhat provoked by some of the other stuff posted here, including the writer of the article. If we're going to have flamewars about the XUL name, I don't see that "trolling" about the Firebird name is all that off-topic.

But it's your site...

#61 Re: Re: Re: Whatever Again

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Sunday November 23rd, 2003 5:29 PM

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I do not mind being called a troll incorrectly, but I do mind being called "he" incorrectly. Otherwise, I am glad somebody understands some of my reasoning.

#62 Re: Re: Re: Re: Whatever Again

by mlefevre

Sunday November 23rd, 2003 6:18 PM

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Doh... my apologies.

#60 Re: Re: Whatever Again

by Tanyel <tanyel@straightblack.com>

Sunday November 23rd, 2003 5:25 PM

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I think I am right and Mozilla is wrong. I think Gerald Bauer is wrong too. My main point was, Mozilla seems to think certain things are okay until those things happen to them. However, I suppose you are one of the people who operate this website so I will try to respect you. I do not need Mozilla or MozillaZine any more than it needs me. If you tell me to leave, you will never receive another post from me on this website.

#59 Mozilla XUL Needs You - Promote Mozilla XUL Today

by geraldb

Sunday November 23rd, 2003 5:18 PM

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Allow me to leave on a positive note before I sign off on this thread. If you all care so deeply about XUL I suggest starting to promote it. What's the point of whipping yourself into a frenzy over the XUL acronym when you hide it in the closet? Why not setup a XUL mailinglist? Why not setup a XUL showcase gallery? Why not create a XUL News Wire? Why not create a XUL Link Directory? and on and on. Any takers? Stop vandalizing the Open XUL Alliance Wiki Wiki and create your own Mozilla XUL Wiki Wiki. Fix up the XUL pages on mozilla.org that are hopelessly out-of-date and show the world that you care.

#63 Re: Mozilla XUL Needs You - Promote Mozilla XUL To

by bzbarsky

Sunday November 23rd, 2003 7:32 PM

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There is a mailing list already, actually (mozilla-xpfe at mozilla dot org).

But the other suggestions are indeed good ones.

#64 Is XPFE a trademark?

by geraldb

Sunday November 23rd, 2003 8:14 PM

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> There is a mailing list already, actually (mozilla-xpfe at mozilla dot org).

Well, you might consider setting up a "true" XUL mailing list. How about mozilla-xul at mozilla dot org? Or if you're a true believer why not xul-talk or xul-dev at mozilla dot org?

By the way, is XPFE another of your trademarks? Or how about XP?

#66 Re: Is XPFE a trademark?

by bzbarsky

Monday November 24th, 2003 9:04 AM

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What makes you think I'm a "true believer"? I'm not. I couldn't care less if XUL is not used anywhere outside Mozilla...

And I do not personally own any trademarks.

#65 Who cares about the Mozilla XUL "spec"?

by geraldb

Sunday November 23rd, 2003 8:53 PM

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Allow me to add another suggestion: Why not finish up the Mozilla XUL "spec"? Currently it looks much more like a swiss cheese than anything else. Has anyone touched the Mozilla XUL "spec" since the last millenium?