Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board

Joel's XUL fears corroborated

Reading an article, Linux GUI Application Development for Windows Programmers ( http:// ), I came across this quote the author included from a mailling list:

I can corroborate your conclusions. The are some additional drawbacks to XUL that aren't apparent until you have developed a significant XUL code-base. I spent a year and half developing a very large, commercial application based on XUL. Initially, XUL seemed to be a very attractive solution (and I believe that it still is for small applications). However, the way that the behavior of an XUL application is mixed with UI layout specification makes it very challenging to maintain clean, understandable code. Consequently, the level of development effort was much higher than I had expected.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>END QUOTE>>>>>>>>>>

It makes me think - how many of you are technophiles that like to try out the latest technology versus how many of you are more conservative and let others beta test it first?

Nick Hebb
Sunday, January 12, 2003

Good question.

I find myself developing applications using Mono ( trying to see how it stacks up against the MS .net framework. So I guess I would consider myself on the side of experimentation and trying out the latest technology.

But before I start down a road I usually take the time to evaluate if I think it will be worth while. Since time is the rarity in my life I like to focus on learning new technology that I think will benefit me most. Technology that I think will add value to my skillset and make me a better programmer.

Ian Stallings
Sunday, January 12, 2003

I usually let others try it out throughly before taking the leap.

I'm thinking about trying Windows C++ development when VC++ .NET 2003 is released, I've heard good things about it and it seems like C++ has some potential :-)

And no, I wasn't trying to be funny.

Sunday, January 12, 2003

I think most developers outside of Mozilla are staying safely away from XUL.

Sunday, January 12, 2003

"the behavior of an XUL application is mixed with UI layout specification"

How so?  I'm not an XUL expert but I have been taking a close look at it and as far as I can see, aside from declaring event handlers on XUL tags (onclick="doSomething()"), presentation and logic are nicely separated.  Can anyone back up this quote?  My FUD alarm is going off.

Monday, January 13, 2003

I like to try out new things. I try to make time to play with almost every new technology that is even remotely related to my profession (web development).

On production code and servers, though, I'm more conservative. I'll usualy use something in production after it has been in use for more than 2 years, and only after I had good experience with it for non-production projects.

Chen S.
Monday, January 13, 2003

I tend to just look at the summaries of new stuff, glancing through the docs if I'm curious about something. 

Like Matt, I'm also curious about the scaling problems of XUL, if anyone has a link.  In particular, how it's significantly worse than embedding the gui in sourcecode.

Monday, January 13, 2003

My experience is that XUL is fine for small apps. For larger apps, I recommend wxWindows/wxPython for the GUI stuff.

fool for python
Monday, January 13, 2003

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home