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  1. #1
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    Introducing XUL - The 'Net's Biggest Secret: Part 2

    This forum thread discusses the SitePoint article 'Introducing XUL - The 'Net's Biggest Secret: Part 2' by Harry Fuecks.

    "Harry continues his grand tour of XUL! In the second part of the 3-part series, he shows how easy this new techology makes searching and site navigation, with a few handy examples throw in!"

    The examples are online at;

    http://xul.phppatterns.com/?ex=example2.xul
    http://xul.phppatterns.com/?ex=example3.xul

    You need a recent version of Mozilla, Netscape or better yet Firebird (the new and very fast Gecko browser) to view them properly.

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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    Excellent articles both. Two gripes though (and neither with your work)....

    1: Couldn't rate the articles with Firebird
    2: While this is indeed an exciting prospect, it remains of the ilk which we so oft criticise M$ for. It is proprietory, not w3c yada yada. Now if it were to be employed across browsers as a standard, it would probably blow the .net framework (and poss J2ee) out of the water.....ergo it isn't going to be (even M$ don't shoot their feet to quite that degree!)....

    Sooooo, is this something to get excited about as a geek, but keep quiet about 'cos no other buggers gonna get to here about it, or should I just add "Best viewed with FireBird" to my splash page?
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    1: Couldn't rate the articles with Firebird
    Been having a few problems with SPFs as well with Opera or running on a 640*480 screen. Anyway...

    While this is indeed an exciting prospect, it remains of the ilk which we so oft criticise M$ for. It is proprietory, not w3c yada yada. Now if it were to be employed across browsers as a standard, it would probably blow the .net framework (and poss J2ee) out of the water.....ergo it isn't going to be (even M$ don't shoot their feet to quite that degree!)....
    Interesting point. One comment I read somewhere put the point about XUL really well, that it's not really a technology for building websites but rather a technology for building applications which can be launched from a website. In other words say you write a PHP based CMS then develop an XUL app to help administer it with a nice WYSIWYG editor, the end user will no doubt be happy to install Firebird just to run this app, even if they don't use Firebird otherwise.

    Having said that the examples I've given are more like DHTML so I'm saying using XUL to build "add ons" for your website which means... "Best viewed with Firebird".

    I don't think XUL / Gecko would really displace .NET or J2EE in general - would you want to write complex business code in JavaScript? But for building the front end, the GUI I do think its approaching the point where it's a better alternative. The idea would be your XUL app will communicate with a .NET / J2EE (or even PHP) "business tier" over say SOAP with help from WSDL. The XPCom library now has practically everything you need to communicate with a business tier over a network and Gecko being fast, free and cross platform presents an attractive platform for companies looking to deploy applications to their customers. The added bonus is XUL and supporting technologies (like JavaScript) doesn't require a PhD to develop with so hiring developers to build the app would be fairly inexpensive.

    One other thing that wasn't around when I wrote these articles: The Open XUL Alliance - plenty of useful information here.

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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    Ouch, gonna have to add some custom .css to that link before reading the content, my eyes!



    Hmmm... I'm not so convinced about people downloading Firebird to use it though. I have rejected .net bids purely because some of the controls have required users to have IE, not because of the platform....
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    Hmmm... I'm not so convinced about people downloading Firebird to use it though. I have rejected .net bids purely because some of the controls have required users to have IE, not because of the platform....
    There may be good news from MS eventually, as suggested here. May be it will be possible to transform between markups with XSLT on your site, meaning you could offer something to both Mozilla and IE browsers. The question will then be how JavaScript (or otherwise) is supported on each.

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    For me, I feel the draw of XUL is not Mozilla or Gecko itself, but rather the promise of a possible "standard" format for designing user interfaces. XUL and other XML-based UI graphical toolkits allow you to design the view of your applications using a simple XML format, thereby enforcing clean separation of view and controller, a common fallacy in Swing-based or AWT-based programs (not saying it can't be done, but it is often too easy to mush your view and controller together). Simplicity, clean separation of model, control and view, and portability is the key.

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    Can't seem to start a discussion for the third part so adding this here.

    First WSDL support is now available see here with the latest versions of Gecko (i.e. Mozilla 1.4 / Firebird 0.6).

    Also my frustrated ranting about the script signing process seems to be something Mozilla are already addressing with their new security model, which makes web services a "special case" where a more developer friendly security model is implemented.

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    Not really going to 'be there' untill W3C are behind it IMO;

    Once they are behind it, then IBM, MS, Et Al will at some point (sooner rather then later) get behind it as well and then your laughing...

    Already wouldv'e thought it was a standard myself ?

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    Harry you may want to get the editor to fix the typo in the 1st paragraph, where 'XUL' was mis-typed as 'UXL'. Could be a bit confusing.

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    http://www.thegarageinc.com/tools/links.xul

    Seems that having a tab with flash content throws Mozilla off. Anyone else see the flickering?

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    No flicker althought the scrolling is to smooth at corbis.com but it's the same for me whether I view with tabs or just head straight to the site (using Firebird 0.6)

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    Hey its the main man [img]images/smilies/smile.gif[/img]

    Any cool new XUL examples Harry?

    The tabs don't work too well in Mozilla 1.3 when flash is in one of the windows.

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    Any cool new XUL examples Harry?
    Sort of (not XUL but Mozilla XML in action);

    http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/mi...om/search.html

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    Doesn't work with IE - Obviously ?


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