XulApp Redesign

The idea is to make XulApp into a shell for installable components - much like the Eclipse IDE, but specialized for Mozilla development.

XulApp Platform

The XulRunner project looks to be the delivery platform of choice rather than Firefox directly.

XulAppIDE is the main program for the XulApp system. It contains practically no structure of it own. It will run as a separate XulRunner application/process. A separate (Firefox) profile will be used for XulAppIDE which will allow installation of private extensions for the IDE using the regular extension mechanism. The XulApp IDE will generate XulRunner applications which will be able to run in their own processes.

XulApp Components

XulApp components fall into four classes:

  1. Library like components (eg. XaLib) which have no visual interface, but general utility.
  2. The XulApp shell: is itself an  extension.
  3. XulAppIDE content Area, or shell extensions . These customize the main XulAppIDE appearance. Multiple shell extensions may be installed. If required, alternatives will be accessible via the View menu
  4. Tool Extensions. These are available from the XulAppIDE shell and present their own windows. Tools may be selected for a particular file using context menus or by double-clicking that file. Alternatively, non-specific tools may be invoked from the menu or toolbar.
    Tools may optionally add a page to the Tool>Options menu to store project related settings for that tool.

Currently identified components are:

  1. XulAppIDE: a small footprint xul window.
  2. Project: a component which services project related functionality.
  3. Explorer: a Project File Explorer which serves as a shell for other tools.
  4. Subversion: a Project File Explorer with hooks to the Subversion source repository system.
  5. Form Designer
  6. Javascript Editor
  7. XML Editor
  8. TickXPath Explorer
  9. RegEx Explorer
  10. Project Extension maker.

XaLib Utility Library

As part of this process a new utility library called XaLib is being developed which may find uses in other Firefox projects.


The redesign of the XulApp is progressing well

The items shown with tick marks above are currently working, or being developed.

The project is currently only available via CVS source download. See README in cvs: src/xulapp for setup details.

Design Notes

Extension Mechanism

Form Designer

The xulapp project can be contacted through the mailing list or the member list.
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