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Public Standard[edit]

Why does this article say that XUL isn't a public standard? The specification is freely available [1] online. And the article can't be talking about some kind of official (inter)national standards organization like ISO, since it implies that W3C standards are public even though the W3C is no more official than Am I missing something? Eurleif 02:16, 7 Nov 2004 (UTC)

This might help: Internet Standards (IETF & W3C). In short, Mozilla can promulgate an open standard but it won't become a true public standard until they let go of it to a broader organization. That doesn't mean it can't become dominant and influential, of course. --Dhartung | Talk 09:51, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)
1. Mozilla XUL is _not_ proprietary - on the contrary it is open
2. Mozilla XUL is _not_ a standard for XML based UIs because:
2.a. The Mozilla Foundation doesn't have the legitimacy to adopt formal standards
2.b. Looks like Mozilla XUL failed to achieve widespread adoption outside the Gecko Engine. The proof is that there are more than a dozen other candidate XML User Interface Languages out there (alphabetical listing): Laszlo, Luxor XUL, MyXaml, Jazilla, xWidglets, XMLFace, Ultrid, Xoetrope, Flex, SwiXml, XAML, Beryl, Purnama XUI, Xamlon, Zeepe, Zulu, WiSer, Thinlet, UIML.NET and this could go on. The _formal_ standards here are UIML (OASIS) and XForms (W3C) but still they have not achieved widespread adoption either so things are still too hot to call a winner. Catalin Hritcu 2005-05-05
How open? While the documentations are open, the standard is not open. e.g. Windows API has lots of open and public documentations, yet it is hardly an open standard. Unless it is standardized by standard bodies like W3C and IETF, XUL is hardly an open standard.
XUL was not intended to be used outside the Mozilla browser. Those "XUL motors" don't really support XUL. Check out their lists of supported element/attributes, and compare that if the reference in XULPlanet. You'll find lots of differences.
Maybe those "XUL motors" should embrace UIML, as it is truly an open and public standards that implementation is independent to the specification. --minghong 18:33, 5 May 2005 (UTC)
I just said "Mozilla XUL is _not_ a standard" so there is really no need to contradict me on this one. I started another thread for the "XUL is (not) proprietary" debate. Catalin Hritcu 2005-05-05


I think XULRunner deserves a spot here. But I'm afraid I don't know much about it myself, if there's anyone who does, please add it :) Gijs Kruitbosch 21:35, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Would that be relevant for anything or anyone? Catalin Hritcu 2005-05-05
Yes, because it's a framework to run XUL applications 'standalone'. Right now the best you'll do is totally write your own app (meaning writing another framework to use Gecko and XUL), or develop an extension for Firefox/Thunderbird/Sunbird/Seamonkey. XULRunner means you'll be able to write XUL applications as easily (or more easily) than you can write extensions for the products mentioned. That alone is reason enough, I think.

"a zool document" vs "an ex you ell document"[edit]

I know this seems really trivial, but I think we should decide which pronunciation of "XUL" we are going to imply in this article, and stick with it: the article repeatedly refers to the fact that it is pronounced as a word ("zool"); but it also uses the phrasing "an XUL document", which would only be correct if it were pronounced as letters ("an ex you ell document", as opposed to "a zool document").

Also, the sentence "The initialism can be pronounced as zool (to rhyme with "cool")." is, if I understand the distinction correctly, somewhat contradictory - if it is pronounced as a word, it is called an acronym even by those who make the distinction [personally, I am one of those who use the word "acronym" for all such formations, howsoever formed or pronounced, but I respect the opinion of those who feel a distinction is necessary] Looking around, I find increasing evidence that "zool" (or "zuul") is not only a possible pronunciation, but the correct one; just about every introduction to the technology mentions this straight away, e.g. So I'm going to go through and make the article reflect this; feel free to challenge my reasoning and/or decision by responding here. - IMSoP 15:47, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Changed back to "Zool" as it is what used in The Joy of XUL. --Minghong 19:40, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Yes, I guess telling someone to pronounce it as "Zuul" isn't really much help, since that's an odd spelling in its own right. I guess I was getting a bit carried away by the film-reference reasoning. - IMSoP 02:31, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)

It is certainly 'zool', as the acronyms "XML Ui Language", and also "Cross (X) platform Ui Language" were invented immediately afterward only to justify calling it 'zool'. --Trudelle 18:25, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

The "screenshot"[edit]

I'm not sure what to do about describing the result of visitting While I can see your thinking in creating a "screenshot", for people who can't just browse to it, I'm not sure how worthwhile it is. Unlike, say, The Book of Mozilla, there is nothing particularly interesting about the layout or styling of the text - it's in the centre of the screen, and in a large bold font. What's more, the background colour of the current box doesn't even match the background colour that shows up on the XUL page for me; and putting it in a floating box, while distracting less from the rest of the article, means that the lines wrap differently (the "XUL." ends up on its own line for me). Personally, I think just writing out the text, and saying it appears in the middle of the screen, would be good enough; the details really aren't that important or interesting - surely the point of mentionning it is that it displays the slogan. - IMSoP 02:31, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Actually I like my previous version more. My previous version is just like The Book of Mozilla: trying to recreate the same background color, font style, layout, etc. I don't see why it was distracting. I've used CSS system colors [2] so the appearance should match your browser/OS theme.--Minghong 07:42, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Yes, I understand what you were trying to do, but there are a few reasons why it doesn't really "work" here the same as it does at The Book of Mozilla:
  1. The Book of Mozilla has a lot of styling, so displaying it exactly adds information to the article which would be hard to convey any other way; this XUL file, though, is just bold text on a default background, so displaying it exactly conveys little more than quoting the text (with perhaps a little description).
  2. The article The Book of Mozilla is entirely about those messages, so having one's attention drawn to them when looking at the page is not a problem; in contrast, this article is about a markup language, with the message in question a really very minor detail. The reason I described it as "distracting" was that on a page of text, anything other than plain text will draw the reader's eye; your original version was the width of the entire page, and the height of a whole paragraph, so was about as eye-catching as it could possibly be, despite being completely trivial in relation to the subject of the article.
  3. There's probably no way of accurately recreating a XUL document using HTML. Although you've tried, it seems that those CSS colours don't truly match the theme in Mozilla/Firefox; they seem to be pulled directly from the OS, which I guess is because themes don't affect in-page widgets. I also tested a particularly extreme theme on Firefox ("Walnut for Firefox"), and found that the XUL file (since it describes an interface) will use the theme's background texture (in this case, wood-grain), so I guess it's really not reproducible in HTML. Obviously, none of this matters for people who are using non-XUL browsers anyway, but if the "screenshot" doesn't accurately reflect what the XUL document looks like, then that seems to rather defeat the purpose of trying.
Well, that's my opinions on the matter, anyway, but I'm certainly open to counter-arguments or compromises. - IMSoP 14:34, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)

XUL isn't a standard[edit]

This article does not belong in Category:XML standards, XUL is just an XML language.

I totally agree on this one so I removed it from there Catalin Hritcu 2005-05-05

"Open XUL" is NOT XUL[edit]

My proposal is to entitle this article Mozilla XUL to distinguish it from "the other XULs" out there (User interface markup language) Catalin Hritcu 2005-05-05

There is no "other XUL". There is one and only one XUL. Other "XUL" is simply borrowing and polluting XUL's name. It had been discussed long long time ago. For more, see this post by Neil [3] and the explanation here [4]. Blame Gerald Bauer. Not me. ;-) P.S. Similarly, there is one and only one XAML. Other "XAML" like MyXAML is simply borrowing the XAML name. --minghong 18:11, 5 May 2005 (UTC)
OK, you are right here because Mozilla first coined this term XUL and it has a trademark for it (I didn't know about it at first). However, why don't they use it against guys like Gerald Bauer? His "Open XUL initiative" can confuse users very effectively -- they confused me at least. The article could mention smth. about this so that users can no longer be confused. Catalin Hritcu 2005-05-05

Is XUL proprietary?[edit]

XUL is proprietary. Go to XULPlanet and see the Mozilla/Firefox-specific stuffs. Minghong

Proprietary (Wikipedia)
Something proprietary is something exclusively owned by someone, often with connotations that it is exclusive and cannot be used by other parties without negotiations. It may specifically mean that something is covered by one or more patents, as in proprietary technology. It can also mean that the copyright is used in a way that restricts the users' freedoms.
Proprietary (Webopedia)
Privately owned and controlled. In the computer industry, proprietary is the opposite of open. A proprietary design or technique is one that is owned by a company. It also implies that the company has not divulged specifications that would allow other companies to duplicate the product.
Proprietary (Webster)
Something that is used, produced, or marketed under exclusive legal right of the inventor or maker.
Yes, XUL has features that can be thought as Gecko-specific but this is not because Mozilla prevents others to craft their own implementation of XUL. The XUL 1.0 specification is available for anyone to read. Gecko itself is open source and can be used as a starting point for building other XUL implementions. The fact that nobody forked so far doesn't mean somebody can impede you from doing so. Finally, even if it is not a de-facto standard (yet) XUL is based on open (i.e. non proprietary) standards.
The Microsoft Office .doc format and SMB protocol are proprietary. The Macromedia Flash format (.fla) is proprietary. On the other hand the PDF format is generally NOT regarded as proprietary because the specification is available and there are third party implementations thereof (e.g. Ghostscript ). How can XUL be proprietary when PDF is not?
I think that calling XUL proprietary is wrong and could harm the XUL's reputation -- or whats left of it.
Catalin Hritcu 2005-05-05
Well. Let's not to mention that then. See the article change. --minghong 07:25, 6 May 2005 (UTC)
Only saw this discussion after I edited the page to add 'proprietary' back. Here's my reasons for doing so:
  • XUL is a technology developed my Mozilla alone. The idea was to invest some time in XUL to save on cross-platform support and ease-of-development costs when building the Mozilla application suite.
  • Any changes to XUL are made by respected people of the Mozilla project. There's no open process to influence XUL, other than get involved in the Mozilla project.
  • XUL does not have a specification. Please stop pointing at [5], it's clearly not one. It's incomplete and outdated.
  • There are no inter-operable implementation, nor are they likely to appear.
Well, it's pretty much the definition of 'proprietary' to me. I feel it's important to mention this in the article, so that people know this is not a public/open/web standard. I doubt Mozilla wants XUL to be used on public web, since it's not much better than proprietary IE extensions to web standards. --asqueella 18:57, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Still though, Asqueella's objections meet exactly 0 of the criteria listed above for something to be called proprietary, unless you count that the fact that their attempt to "divulge specifications that would allow other companies to duplicate the product" has been a bit half-baked and therefore might qualify for one of the word "proprietary"'s implications. In any event, and especially given the uncertainty here, is this really important enough to mention it in the lead sentence? I don't think so, so I've moved it to the second paragraph and deliberately weakened the statement (a criminal use of language, but hey, that's the price of Wiki-democracy). I recommend that if there's any consensus we ditch this "proprietary" description altogether and stick with "internal" because that seems to match the situation more closely. I've left in both words as a compromise for now. Fang2415 18:51, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
I think my points match the "Privately owned and controlled." definition of proprietary. But I agree with your edit and don't mind dropping the "proprietary" altogether. --asqueella 18:18, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Performance impact resulting from using XUL[edit]

Can we include a reference to the fact that implementing an application's UI with XUL results in a tradeoff of convenience versus performance/responsiveness of the interface? Seems like a pretty important thing to note, in my opinion. This behavior is consistently quite evident on Firefox 1.0 and 1.5 on the 5 Windows systems I've tested personally ranging from 450MHz to 1.8GHz. J. Straub 20:50, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

I heard a voice say XUL (Zuul)[edit]

Back off man, I'm a scientist. -Venkman

Removing the frame "there is not data there is only xul..."[edit]

I propose the removal of this panel, that sounds as a stupidity. Booles 12:38, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

  • Seconded It's cute but adds nothing encyclopedic. Wikipedia is an encoclopedia, not a joke repository. Move it to WP:BJAODN. Dgies 16:30, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

QuickTime for Windows uses XUL[edit]

As far as I see it, it looks like Apple is using XUL (or some subset of it) for defining property panels in QuickTime 7 for Windows. Files are at: C:\Program Files\QuickTime\PropertyPanels\*.pdef

I don't feel 100% certain of it, so please somebody else check it so it can be added to the article. Psz 13:16, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Remote XUL =[edit]

The article says: "Such documents also suffer from various limitations of the browser, including the inability to load remote XUL [...]"

I don't get this, since I was sure the named Amazon Browser uses remote XUL without beeing "signed". This might apply to Firefox Add-Ons, is this what the author intended to say? -- (talk) 00:38, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Similar languages[edit]

In this section it mentions WPF as a "similar language". This would not be correct as WPF is a UI component object model similar to GTK, WinForms, and Java Swing that facilitates building graphical applications on MS CLR based runtimes. It is NOT a language nor does it have anything directly to do with any markup language (though the inverse is true). It would be more approriate to link to XAML in this section instead as it is the most often used XML layout format for building WPF applications (though I need to note that XAML specifically doesnt have anything tying it to only GUI applications, see WWF). Unless someone objects, I intend to change this. jimmyzimms —Preceding undated comment added 21:05, 30 November 2009 (UTC).

XUL license?[edit]

The document says XUL is licensed: “GNU GPL, GNU LGPL, MPL”. Are you sure? Never heard before of the GPL applying to a language definition (unless GPL is seen as a patent here?). Either this should be removed and it only applies to an XUL interpreter (which is not the same as the language), or it requires some explanations. --Hibou57 (talk) 13:36, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

Yes, the license is correct. Whether or not the licenses chosen are strictly suitable for non-code releases, that's the ones that apply here. The specification basically is the reference implementation in this case AFAIK. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 13:42, 1 March 2013 (UTC)


How does XUL relate to QML? ScotXW (talk) 12:39, 26 February 2014 (UTC)