The base for XUL Widgets

I’ve been thinking the last few months about a change for XUL Widgets, and now that Firefox 2.0 Beta 1 is available, I need some advice from the community.

XUL Widgets, for those of you who haven’t followed it, is a MozDev project to extend the standard toolkit of XBL-based widgets. Other projects are invited to adopt XUL Widgets as an extension and use the extended toolkit in their own applications. I’ve been updating it from time to time with new features (or fixing bugs in the update code), but now I have to decide which version of’s toolkit XUL Widgets should support.

Currently, there are three versions I’m concerned about: 1.8.0.x branch (Firefox 1.5), 1.8.x branch (Firefox 2.0), and trunk (Firefox 3.0). A few of the changes I’ve made for XUL Widgets have landed in the 1.8.x branch, and a few more in the trunk. So my own unreviewed changes may conflict or degrade the expected results in these versions. On top of that, there are new capabilities in trunk (and to a lesser extent, 1.8.x branch) that weren’t available in 1.8.0.x.

To my knowledge, I’m the only one actiovely using the XUL Widgets extension. If I am truly the only one interested in using it, then there’s no reason for me not to switch its base to trunk. My usage of XUL Widgets is for Verbosio, and that cannot run on the 1.8.0.x or 1.8.x branches.

I’d like your feedback, especially if you use XUL Widgets. Which version of the toolkit should I base my extensions on?

UPDATE: Case in point: Trunk code just now received an active spinbuttons widget, which my integercontrol could easily depend on.

3 thoughts on “The base for XUL Widgets”

  1. my suggestion: release something that works on older branches and then move development to the newer one (of your choice) …if someone else is interested in maintaining backwards compatibility I’m sure there is someone willing to help with maintaining the code 🙂
    by the way, I have downloaded and played with the widgets but not using them yet. I can see them as useful but they would be more useful if easily integrated (or merged) with firefox codebase

  2. I agree with monkey.
    Branch, and branch often.
    I would freeze what you have now working for 1.8.0 as well as 1.8.1
    then have your trunk be for 1.9.
    You also have the advantage that not many people are using xul widgets yet, so you can do this. And as monkey said, if someone wants a feature you implement in the 1.9 trunk for 1.8.x they can back port it and offer you a patch.

  3. Well, until they get extension dependencies working well, I know I won’t be terribly interested in bringing your code into my extension (too much effort). However, once they do get that working, I can see extension authors (myself included) using the widget code a lot more. If I’m not mistaken, that isn’t planned to be fixed until 3.0, so I would say just make it work with trunk.

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