XUL as a Rich Internet Application language?

Slashdot pointed me to this ZDNet blog entry talking about Rich Internet Applications. In there is a paragraph on XUL. I quote:

While I’m sure I might get flamed a bit by the XUL community for saying so, XUL is currently a good working model for how not to build a broadly accepted RIA platform, despite some technical greatness.

Believe it or not, I actually agree. It is Mozilla-only, and Mozilla-based products don’t make up a massive part of the market share. (Fifteen percent is respectable, just not massive.) XUL would be much better if it was a standard implemented for multiple platforms – but each vendor makes their own decisions on what to do. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s something to deal with.

If the W3C were to provide such a unified language (and with XAML coming up, it may be forced to), then all would be well. But I don’t expect W3C to do so. Maybe WHATWG… maybe.

3 thoughts on “XUL as a Rich Internet Application language?”

  1. There is a lot of buzz around RIAs, but if these are by definition browser-based, then their shelf-life and usefulness is limited.
    If they are not browser-based, but based on a more general internet-connected application runtime, then we have a whole new ballgame. We now are talking about IDAs (Internet-aware Desktop Applications, or WDA, webfied desktop applications, I like the first)
    In this case, cross-browser support doesn’t mean anything! Only cross-platform support. Adobe is going to have to get people to install Apollo for their IDAs to run. Mozilla will need to get XULRunner installer for their IDAs.
    Thats where I think the comparison is, Apollo v XULRunner. I am *really* liking XULRunner, and even more so when they get a OS X UB build out. I have built two applications on XULRunner, and enjoyed the experience.
    From what I hear, when users install Firefox 3 they will have XULRunner! Awesome! But in order to get Apollo, users will have to install it as it’s own download and install.
    And I like the various features of XULRunner, like native widgets with the OS LnF. And the wide array of utils, and objects to use. And the dependable history of Gecko serving Firefox, and Thunderbird.
    Heck, it sounds like Adobe is even using Gecko as its base for Apollo!!
    We need more XUL, and XULRunner evangelism specifically. This is stuff that should be in the spotlight NOW!
    Benjamin S’s blog is awesome, but we need more developer-end-users speaking out on their experiences, and the capabilities, and possibilities with XULRunner.

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