Eyes Above The Waves

Robert O'Callahan. Christian. Repatriate Kiwi. Hacker.

Monday 29 October 2007

Linux Matters, Addendum

There's another thing I wanted to talk about but which really deserves its own blog post: the relationship between XUL, the Web, and free desktops.

First, I think XUL and the Web are both great for free desktops. They attack the "applications barrier to entry" that has made Windows too strong for too long.

Second, XUL does not compete with free desktops. For one thing it's very much open source, and furthermore, it's a toolkit and sits above GNOME etc.

Third, the distinction between XUL and the Web will erode over time, in the sense that the features you need XUL for today will eventually be offered as regular Web standards (CSS box model, enhanced widgets, offline execution, WHATWG APIs, etc).

Therefore the interesting question is not "how do we best integrate Firefox with GNOME?", but "how do we best integrate GMail (etc) with GNOME?" We've got some ideas but there's a lot more that could be done.


Anne van Kesteren
As long as XUL itself does not need to be implemented by other vendors, I'm happy.
Robert O'Callahan
There are other vendors with XUL-like languages --- e.g. MXML --- so maybe it would make sense to spec out a common language.
But IMHO, in an ideal world XUL would just be alternate syntax for stuff which most people would write in HTML5 and CSS and XBL2.
I tried to comment on your "Linux Matters" post, but it doesn't seem to exist (according to Movable Type).
This would have been my comment:
Well, I sure would prefer it if some more Mozilla developers would use Windows as their platform of choice instead of a Mac or Linux.