More Third-Party Innovation: XMLTerm

Monday September 27th, 1999

R. Saravanan has sent in to us a copy of his recent posting to the xpfe and unix newsgroups. He writes:

"XMLterm: an experimental Mozilla terminal

Real time chat ...
Real time messaging ...
Now, real time computing ... (no controversies here, I hope!)

An early prototype of XMLterm, an XTERM-like terminal program implemented using the Mozilla layout engine, is now available to tinker with. XMLterm aims to add graphical and hypertext capabilities to the XTERM command line interface, while maintaining backwards compatibility.

The basic design philosophy of XMLterm is that the user interface is a dynamic XML document. The user and the computer interact by taking turns at appending to this XML document. The plain text content of the XML document, i.e., excluding any markup, corresponds to the plain text that would be displayed by a plain XTERM. The markup in the XML document is used to add graphical and hypertext features. XMLterm uses the Mozilla layout engine to display the XML document.

See for more information, screenshots, and downloads. XMLterm is a non-commercial open source project in its early stages. Comments and contributions are welcome!"

Definitely check it out! You can download the source, or, if using Linux, you can download a binary for use with M9. There's a lot to see at that site (and quite a bit not mentioned in his announcement). What are "Pagelets"? I'll let you find out for yourself, but they're worth seeing.

#20 GREAT idea! + two questions

by Anon

Tuesday September 28th, 1999 5:09 PM

You are replying to this message

First off I'd like to say that this is a GREAT idea! I was thinking along vaguely similar lines myself, although I'd only got to the point of 'wouldn't it be great to have a mozilla-based terminal emulator', and I certainly hadn't thought of the possibilities of allowing full html/xml in the terminal window. It's an *awesome* concept!

Two questions occur to me about XMLTerm (future) features... one looking backward, one looking forward.

First off, do you plan to make it completely backward compatible, to the extent of being able to run applications which make heavy use of cursor positioning (examples include vi, pine, emacs without x, and so on) and support ANSI colors as well as XML colors?

Secondly, supposing XMLTerm is being used as a telnet client, so the application writing to the terminal is on a separate machine than the terminal itself. Is it possible for images to be sent along the same stream as the regular text data, or does the app have to simply point to a URL? In other words, would commands like lx -i work remotely even if the local machine doesn't have copies of the icons?

Again, GREAT idea!

Stuart (wishing that lack of membership didn't make you "anonymous")