Born from Firefox

Developers and startup founders use the Mozilla toolkits to build apps for diverse uses including music and video playing.

Clayton Stark is the vice-president of engineering for Flock. "Other options were considered, yes, but Mozilla is the premiere provider of a truly open and free, cross-platform toolkit," he says. "Building our app from scratch would negate all the benefits of the work being done to refine and augment both the technology and the community that keeps it rolling forward."

The developers of Celtx chose to build with XULRunner because of this toolkit's cross-platform nature. Mac computers are used extensively throughout the motion picture and media industry, as well as Linux systems for computer animation. So the Celtx team wanted their application to run identically on all three platforms.

"We considered using platform-specific technologies, but didn't like the prospect of developing separate code bases for each platform," says Dawson. Additionally, because Celtx was designed to be a semantic web application, he adds: "We wanted to ensure that Celtx was built upon semantic web technologies. The XUL runtime environment provides us this with its support for RDF."

Another big reason why the Mozilla toolkits are attractive to these developers is that they are easy to immediately start using if one has the know-how for writing JavaScript, COM/C++ or XML code. For example, a person who designs web sites could probably use XULRunner to quickly throw together a user interface for an application.

"With just a little web developer skill, you're coding a desktop application that is 'web' from the get-go," says Lord. "When you code on XULRunner, you get everything Firefox is today and will be tomorrow, and you get everything that the Mozilla stack is today and will be tomorrow. That's a tremendous platform -- very broad and in some cases very deep, too."

This ease-of-development comes with a caveat, however. Nick Nassar, a co-founder and developer of Miro, says XULRunner allowed him and his team to create a rich user interface, but "it's slow and less flexible. Sometimes, things that are advantages in one context, like a cross-platform UI, can be disadvantages for another."

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Howard Wen

LinuxWorld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?