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  1. Big Endian
    Devshed Beginner (1000 - 1499 posts)

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    Is XUL ready for prime time


    Until a couple of days ago, I didn't know anything about XUL. Based on a thread in the Lounge, I started looking at it to see how I might be able to use it.

    A lot of the sites I linked to had screenshots but no applications I could demo to evaluate what XUL was capable of. I eventually found some demos at http://www.xwt.org/demos.html.

    The problem was, these examples were a bit glitchy. The cut-and-paste example wouldn't work because you couldn't type in the textbox. Scrollbars wouldn't respond properly if you clicked on the up/down arrows, only if you dragged the block between them. Text typed on one tab would sometimes appear in a widget on a different tab as well.

    While this did not dampen my enthusiasm for the potential of this technology, it didn't inspire a lot of confidence either. Did these problems appear just because these demos aren't very robust? Or are these type of anomalies common because the technology isn't very mature? Referencing the post that started it all, how ready is XUL for the enterprise? Is it only good for small applications or could it be used for larger systems? Also, all the examples I saw were single document interfaces (SDI's). Can you do MDI applications with XUL?

    Or should I just read some more and stop asking so many questions?
  2. #2
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    Contributing User
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    xulplanet.com is a very good site for learning XUL
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    Moderator =(8^(|)
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    Well, Mozilla uses XUL....

    It's got tabs, so sorta MDI, and the interface works well. This is the only app I'm familiar with that does XUL well, though, so that doesn't really mean it's robust.
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    Gödelian monster
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    Yes, I have seen the buggy demos at xwt.org. For what it's worth, those are the only buggy demos I have seen, and I think this is because they were written for a pre-release Mozilla (pre 1.0). There were a few changes in XUL upon the final release, but I believe the base features are fairly well frozen now. (Obviously, anyone can write buggy software anyway, even if the XUL API is perfect.)

    Examples? Oh my, yes:

    1. http://games.mozdev.org has several games you can play right in your browser.

    2. http://www.mozdev.org/projects.html lists 94 active projects at the moment.

    3. Activestate's Komodo is a full-featured commercial application written in Mozilla.

    4. Here is an exmple on Oreillynet of a small application using Mozilla as a SOAP client.
    The real n-tier system:

    FreeBSD -> PostgreSQL -> [any_language] -> Apache -> Mozilla/XUL

    Amazon wishlist -- rycamor (at) gmail.com
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  9. Contributing User
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    3. Activestate's Komodo is a full-featured commercial application written in Mozilla.
    And what an extremely nice application it is, complete with debuggers and more features.....

    Also, the Phoenix Browser is using the Mozilla/XUL technology....
    Last edited by jpenn; October 17th, 2002 at 02:03 PM.
    ~ Joe Penn

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