Archive for the 'XUL' Category

The Future of HTML: XHTML 2.0

Saturday, January 28th, 2006


XHTML 2.0 is the W3C's effort to fix inherent problems with HTML and to meet the growing requirements of web-based solutions. XHTML 2.0 takes the move toward XML to the next level and will try to acheive the following design goals:

  • Use XML as much as possible: Where a language feature already exists in XML, don't duplicate or reinvent it.
  • Structure over presentation: Thanks to CSS stylesheets, you no longer need explicitly presentational tags in HTML.
  • Make HTML easier to write: Remove some of the needless idiosyncrasies of HTML.
  • More accessibility, device independence: Make as few assumptions as possible about the way a document will be read.
  • Improved internationalization.
  • Better forms: Long overdue improvements are required!
  • Reduce the need for scripting: Include typical scripting usages in HTML itself.
  • Better semantics: Make it easier to integrate HTML with semantic Web applications.

Of particular interest to me is the goal of XHTML 2.0 to provide a declarative format for specifying user interfaces in a similar way to Mozilla's XUL or Microsoft's XAML. W3C will also define XBL2, a declarative language that provides a binding between custom markup and existing technologies. XBL2 will essentially give programmers a way to write new widgets for Web applications.

If you want to prepare yourself for the future an article on IBM Developer Works suggests the following:

  • Get serious about using CSS, and try to remove all presentational markup.
  • Think about how you can deploy microformats in your pages. (Microformats are a way to make human-readable elements in Web pages carry semantics that computers can interpret too. They are a bridge between today's HTML-based ad-hoc semantics and tomorrow's RDF-compatible XHTML 2.0 metadata.)
  • If you've not done so already, get experience with XHTML 1.0.
  • Experiment with the X-Smiles browser, an experimental platform with early support for many of the W3C's new client technologies such as XHTML 2.0, SVG, XForms, and SMIL 2.0 Basic capabilities.
  • If you create new client systems based on XHTML-like functionality, seriously consider using XHTML 2.0 as your starting point.

XHTML 2.0 is not likely to become a W3C Recommendation until 2007, according to W3C HTML Working Group Roadmap. Now is the time to start reading and experimenting with XHTML 2.0 – and prepare for the future!

For the full article from IBM Developer Works click here.

PHP and XUL in the Enterprise:

Friday, January 27th, 2006 - using PHP and XUL

I found an interesting article on PHP and XUL being used to power – a leading information website in France. It is an excellent example of PHP and XUL being used at Enterprise level – and a nice case study to read about if you use these tools.

The site receives around 68,000 subscriptions monthly and an average of 70,000,000 (million) page views. Not bad. The entire website is powered by PHP, and they use XUL/PHP combined to power their Content Management System. The following statements highlight the benefits from using these technologies:

The system is now powerful, using 4 Linux servers at 20% cpu while it was using 4 Sun servers at 70% cpu before. Development time has been divided by 2 and number of bugs by 3, in addition to the excellent documentation and support available in both XUL and PHP Communities.

You can read the full article here.

CMS written in Remote XUL

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2006

I have been analyzing XUL for quite a while with a view to perhaps redeveloping my software using it. Looks like I have been beaten to the punch – have a look at Elixon, the end result of 3 years of development. I have corresponded with Daniel the core developer who informs me that it will be a commercial app to begin with – but may eventually become Open Source. If it does it will be a great help to the community. Even so, it is a great example of what remote XUL is capable of.