The Rise of Mozilla as an Application Platform

Tuesday December 16th, 2003

Today's main article at LinuxInsider discusses Mozilla as an application platform. The increasingly prolific Nigel McFarlane sings the praises of XUL, explains the advantages offered by Mozilla's portability and predicts that we will see many more Mozilla-based programs in the future. Thanks to koody for the news.

#3 mozilla as a platform has potential...

by buff

Wednesday December 17th, 2003 9:03 AM

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Mozilla as a platform shows great potential. XUL still has some kinks here and there but in general it works quite well now for GUI's. There are still a bunch of annoying redraw bugs that force developers to overload flex attributes to get widgets to lay out properly. I am hoping that the GRE project gains momentum soon. I would be very cool if you could write an extension or application expecting a GRE to be available, similar to the way you can write a Java application and expect the JRE to be available if you know it is installed. This is still to up in the air though to depend on. Also, adding extensions and removing them is not done yet making it making it difficult for non-technical users to remove things. Often times after adding an updated XUL application the XUL cache needs to be manually deleted. I would like to see a little more polish go towards improving these problems so promoting Mozilla as an application would be more practical.

On more of a wacky tangent, it could be an interesting project to extend XUL with desktop UI widgets so that projects like Gnome and KDE could be have custom desktops developed in XUL. It would make it much easier to modify the desktop in linux and possibly could be a standard to bring together all the different desktop models under linux. Microsoft is already moving in this direction with Longhorn and a developer can easily modify the desktop if they know their XUL-like markup language. Just a thought...