Thursday, March 3, 2005

Some Cool and Redundant XUL

 Originally posted on:

Reading today some long ques of blogs, I have been on vacation for a few days, without any computer close by (I got to points where my hands were itching to type, but it is better without computers sometimes).

Vacation was great, Israel has some beautiful sites and things to see, if you like nature, now is one of the best times to come and see awesome sights. I'll be glad to provide tour help...

Anyway reading James Governor mentioning a XUL application that does Amazon,  I rememberd that a few years ago, I was raving about this at work, I downloaded a few tutorials and started building some application, just to see what would come out... I also remember sidebars, and back then I developed a small side bar for the company I was working for (never shipped anyway). But since then, I didn't much hear anything about it, and didn't know if it was even supported by the newer Mozilla/Firefox (Gecko engine if you want to be specific).

So reading that post, I fired up my firefox to that URL, and saw an excellent example of a usefull application. Smart Client anyone? XAML? They left out some functionality to Amazon (that does support these through their API) i.e. a link to amazon instead of putting a button in the application.

I was so happy, and immidately started looking for other XUL applications (google was very helpful providing filetype filtering)

Here we go:
1. Google XUL search - simplistic but oooh! it has colors. Notice that this is hosted ON
2. This - which looks like a XUL Blog reading UI (aggregator beginings???)
3. Mail application - doesn't seem to work for me, but I guess more than just trying is needed.
4. XUL Example viewer - a cool use for the technology to actually teach that technology!
5. Edit Your XUL in XUL - a XUL editor written in XUL
6. Bugzilla Interface - probably needs some parameters inputted to make this show something.
7. Just another Website interface - compare with this

Sadly, there aren't that many. I assume as the market share of Firefox/Mozilla continues (we hope) to grow, we will see more and more of these, they are simply very easy to make, and provide a much better GUI experience than a web page. Such an application can also aggregate many web services/APIs and allow building a robust application that gets all the cross platform and functionality already offered by Mozilla.

To learn more about XUL you are welocomed to go to XULPlanet which has some resources for you to go with... Here is a nice writeup of XAML Vs. XUL old but apparently still true.

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