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Re: [xul-talk] Growing the Pie Together - XUL Needs To Break Free

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Wed, 28 May 2003 13:27:14 -0700 (PDT)
To: "xul-talk@lists.sourceforge.net" <xul-talk@lists.sourceforge.net>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.50.0305281309030.7869-100000@dhalsim.dreamhost.com>

On Wed, 28 May 2003, Gerald Bauer wrote:
> Ok. Then let me rephrase what I meant: Mozilla is a single code-base.
> There's no competition. There's no choice.

Mozilla is free software -- competition is pretty pointless, as anyone can
take the source and fix it and redistribute it if they feel like it.

> For XUL to thrive you need more than one code-base.

I don't see why. There's only one implementation of the Win32 API and yet
it has thrived fine. There's only one implementation of the Perl
programming language and it is one of the most successful scripting
languages on the market.

>> There is nothing stopping other implementors from implementing XUL
>> rendering engines, although in practice there is little reason to.
> I guess that's preposterous. That's like saying who needs anything other
> than Windows or Internet Exploder?

Not at all -- It's like saying "who needs any implementations of the Mac
OSX widget set other than Mac OSX" or "who needs to implement Flash
viewers other than Macromedia".

You are confusing the idea (UI described in configuration files, an old
idea that has been around for literally decades -- the "Z"  programming
language is one of the earliest examples of this, and it was developed in
the 1970s) with a particular language, XUL.

What advantage do users of XUL-based applications gain from having
multiple XUL interpreters? There are many disadvantages, such as
compatability issues and versioning problems, but I do not see any

This isn't a commercial product, so the usual advantages (increased
stability and more features caused by healthy competition) is moot, as any
potential authors of new implementations can simply put their expertise to
use in fixing Mozilla.

> Again, the reason is competition that keeps you honest and up on your
> feet.

Having the source freely available, and giving all users the freedom to
take it and use it as they see fit, is what keeps free software projects

> Without competition why bother with adding any new stuff or cleaning out
> old bugs?

Pride in ones work, interest in the technology? Those are the only things
keeping most Mozilla contributors working on Mozilla at the moment, even
with competition from other UAs. Why would the XUL part be any different?

> If I use XUL I mean the XML UI Lanuage that works with any
> browser/runtime/motor.

There is no single XML UI Language that works with any browser or runtime.
(The term "motor" in this context is unfamiliar to me, maybe you mean

In any case, "XUL" is a trade mark used by mozilla.org. Your use of it to
mean something different confuses the market place. (I have already had
reports saying that people are getting confused about whether Microsoft
are implementing XUL or not, and this confusion can be directly attributed
to your misuse of the term "XUL".)

It is therefore irresponsible for you to co-opt the term "XUL" as you have
and to then apply it to other products, especially products that are not
yours, and that may not wish to be associated in this manner.

Thus I respectfully ask you to stop using the term "XUL" in this manner.

> My point is that the W3C isn't going to come up with tags for a rich
> widget set anytime soon

What is your basis for believing this?

> and, thus, you need a different forum.

So do you intend this forum to result in the creation of a new UI markup

Ian Hickson                                      )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
"meow"                                          /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
http://index.hixie.ch/                         `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Sunday, 1 June 2003 18:38:00 UTC

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