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XML User Interface Language (XUL) Links

Note, this page has moved and now lives at the Open XUL Alliance site @ Please click on the new address and update any bookmarks you might have.

Getting Started - Overview

Xul Tutorial @ Xul Planet
Neil Deakin's example-packed, no-fluff Xul workout

Xul Intro @ Mozilla
Beyond hairballs and spaghetti code: separate content, appearance, behavior and locale

Creating Applications with Mozilla Using XUL, CSS and Javascript
O'Reilly's 500-page Xul thriller by David Boswell, Brian King, Ian Oeschger, Pete Collins, Eric Murphy (September 2002); all twelve chapters available for free in HTML under the Open Publication License; 1. Mozilla as Platform; 2. Getting Started; 3. XUL Elements and Features; 4. CSS in Mozilla Applications; 5. Scripting Mozilla; 6. Packaging and Installing Applications; 7. Extending the UI with XBL; 8. XPCOM; 9. XUL Templates; 10. RDF, RDF Tools, and the Content Model; 11. Localization; 12. Remote Applications


Peter Bojanic; The Joy of XUL (March 2002)
Praises XUL's key benefits including: Powerful widget markup (XML, Babe); Builts on proven standards (Reuse, Reuse, Reuse); Platform portability (Runs Anywhere); Splits presentation and application logic (Beyond Hairballs and Spaghetti Code); Easy customization, localization, or branding (Your Way or the Highway)

DevX: Nigel McFarlane; New GUIs: XML Is The Heir Apparent; The future of GUI development isn't class libraries, frameworks or platforms. It's XML (October 2002)
Are you ready for a GUI technology that doesn't require you to learn a class library? Could XUL be, finally, the simple, cross-platform solution to two decades of GUI programming frustration? To me, there's no other future. It has that comforting old-fashioned buzzword-compliance feel about it: cross-platfrom, human readable, client-server, extensible, integrated. Most of all, it has the beauty of simplicity.

DevX: Nigel McFarlane; XUL Defines New User Interface Options (August 2002)
Because XUL files consist of plain-text XML, XUL avoids the problem of 3GL code tortuously exploiting some low-level library like Win32, Swing or Gtk.

DevX: A. Russell Jones; SWT, XML Put True Cross-platform GUIs Within Reach (October 2002)
Wouldn't you like to be able to design GUIs in a medium that wasn't entirely dependent on a specific development environment or delivery platform - and then be able to activate that GUI from the language of your choice, and have it run in any platform?

MSDN: Paul DiLascia; .Nyet GUI Bliss: Streamline Your Code And Simplify Localization Using an XML-Based GUI Language Parser (November 2002)
I knew I wanted something like RC files that would let me express menu and other UI definitions in a separate and therefore more easily translatable file, using some kind of special language. What better language to use than XML? In fact, such a language already exists: XUL ("zool"), the XML Userinterface Language. XUL is a dialect of XML for describing user interfaces. But it's not hard to write a mini-XUL that supports only the widgets you need. XUL - or something like it - is just the ticket to GUI greatness!

Salon: Farhad Manjoo; Mozilla Rising (September 2002)
Netscape won't dislodge Internet Exporer from its hegemony over browser space. But its open-source sibling is aiming at even bigger game: Windows; For a piece of software, the Web browser has remained remarkably stagnant during the nine years it's been around; But the way things are going now, whatever new features you want are probably not going to come from Microsoft; Now they say they've been proved right -- I.E. is not changing; Microsoft has no reason to radically change Internet Explorer. The product doesn't make the company any money and it's already overwhelmingly popular.

Sitepoint: Harry Fuecks; Introducing XUL - The Net's Biggest Secret (May 2003)
Episode I of Harry's XUL article trilogy: In one of the Internet's quieter corners,, a revolution has been taking place. A new XML format, called XUL (eXtensible User Interface Language), pronounced "Zool", is on the way to re-shaping what we know about both the Internet, and desktop applications. A bold claim perhaps -- but once you've finished reading this, you may just find yourself agreeing.


Xul Reference @ Mozilla
All tags and attributes lined-up

Xul Reference @ Xul Planet
All tags and attributes illustrated

Xul Reference @ Luxor |
All tags and attributes explainded with cherry-picked real world examples

Xul Spec @ Mozilla
Xul spec under construction

XForms Spec @ W3C
Post Form Data in XML; The Next Generation of Web Forms Upcoming in XHTML 2.0 in 2005

Cheat Sheets

Quick Reference @ Xul Planet
All tags grouped

Pocket Reference @ Luxor
Carry it in your purse

Talk Slides, Presentations

Luxor: The "Linux Kernel" for Desktop Apps - Uniting XUL, SVG, HTML, Velocity, Web Start, XSL/T, Python and more
Fast-Paced, example packed Xul Intro (50+ slides)

Luxor Xul - Beyond Swing and HTML: Building Rich, Cross-Platform, Zero-Admin Desktop Apps on Open Standards Today
35.000 feet Luxor Xul panorama (50+ slides)

FAQs - Off-The-Shelf Answers, Collected Wisdom

Mozilla XUL FAQ



XUL News Wire @ Open XUL Alliance | |
Breaking News About XUL

The Richmond Post
Chronice of the Xul Revolution; Daily Xul News and Links

Most Popular Mozilla XUL News Site

Mozilla News
Less Popular Mozilla XUL News Site

Major Open-Source XUL Motors - The Big Three

Xul Granddaddy; runs on Mac OS, Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD, Irix, BeOS, HPUX, OS/2, BSD, and more

Xul toolkit includes web server, portal engine, template engine, scripting interpreter and more; GNU General Public License (GPL); Headed by Gerald Bauer

XML Windowing Toolkit (XWT)
Xul "Lite"; available as self-installing ActiveX browser plug-in; developed in Java; GNU General Public License (GPL); Headed By Adam Megacz

More Open-Source XML UI Builders (aka XUL Motors)

Jelly Add-On/Taglib For Building Swing UIs; Apache License; Headed By James Strachan (of dom4j, jaxen and more fame)

Jelly Add-On/Taglib For Building SWT UIs; Apache License; Headed By James Strachan

Tiny XUL Motor in Java (less than 30k); designed for applets or mobile devices; runs even on Java 1.1; no Swing required; GNU Lesser Public License (LGPL); Headed By Robert Bajzat; check out the Amazon Browser example app (showing off XUL and Web Services); includes Web Start demos

Tiny (less than 30k) XUL Motor in Java for creating Swing UIs for apps or applets; Apache-Style License; Headed By Wolf Paulus (of Theodore - XUL UI Designer for Thinlet - fame)

Jazilla NG
Reborn Mozilla Browser Clone In Java Includes XUL Motor named JzXUL (forked off from jXUL); Mozilla Public License (MPL); Headed by Mathew McBride

XUL motor in Java for building Swing UIs; includes Pnats scripting engine; GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL); headed by Fabian Pena and Ricardo Zuasti

XUL motor in Java for building Swing UIs; GNU Lesser Public License (LGPL); Headed By Ezequiel Cuellar

XUL motor in Java for building AWT UIs running on Java 1.1.8 and up; Artistic License; Headed by Luan O'Carroll

XUL motor in Java for building Swing UIs using Sun's long-term bean persistence XML format (Java Spec #57); also includes an XML scripting engine; GNU Lesser General Public License; headed by Russell White

Java GUI Builder (JGB)
XUL motor in Java for building Swing UIs, GNU General Public License (GPL); Headed By Francois Beausoleil

Not Yet Xulux (Nyx)
XML Forms Engine using Swing; Apache License; Headed By Martin van den Bemt

GUI Builder
XUL motor in Java building Swing UIs using XUL dialect dubbed "GUI Design Language" (GDL); includes scripting in Pnuts; Headed by Peter Koeker; includes a JavaDoc-like tool dubbed GuiDoc that automatically creates HTML documentation from Xul files; GNU Lesser Public License; (Note: German site ahead)

Tiny XUL Engine in C# for .Nyet using Windows Forms; First Published in MSDN Magazine (November 2002); Headed By Paul DiLascia

XUL Motor Prototype in PHP for GTK; GNU Library General Public License (LGPL); Headed By Harry Fuecks

Dead/Neglected Open-Source XML UI Builders (aka XUL Motors)

Java XUL Toolkit; Apache License; No Code Yet; Founded By Martin van den Bemt and James Strachan; Died Aboring

Code Drop from the book "Essential XUL Programming"; GNU General Public License (GPL); Founded By Vaughn Bullard, Kevin T. Smith, Michael C. Daconta; Dead Since October 2001

Xybrix |
Java Xul motor for building Swing UIs dressed up in Kunststoff L&F; includes XForms support; MIT License; Headed by Jim Wissner; Frozen since October 2001 at version 0.1

Xul forerunner, builds Swing UIs from XML descriptions and supports scripting in Javascript or Tcl; Founded By Pierre Morel; Frozen since 1999

Closed-Source XML UI Builders (aka XUL Motors)

Montreal startup; tiny Java XUL toolkit (less than a 100k) designed for applets or mobile devices runs on Java 1.1 and up; Headed By Louai Munajim; starts at US $699 for 1 dev license/1 website license and goes up to US $3,499 for 8 dev licenses/unlimited website licenses

San Jose startup; Java XUL Toolkit for building Swing UIs; includes Web Services support and a XUL browser/sandbox

XUL Motor in 100% Actionscript using Macromedia Flash MX; Headed By Ovi Comes

XUL Motor in Java for building Swing UIs; Headed by Harry Pfohl; Standard version US $49; Professional version US $490; Enterprise version US $4900

Apps Hall of Fame - XUL World Wonders and Beauty Queens

Komodo / Active State |
Dev Studio for Perl, Python, PHP, XSL/T and more

Venus Application Publisher (Vamp) / Boy Toys
Tool suite that helps you develop, package, sign, catalog, publish, syndicate, rip, collect or install Web Start apps

Mozilla XUL Apps @ |
Hosts over a hundred Moz XUL apps such as XULmine (XUL-based Minesweeper game), Jabberzilla (Jabber IM client for Mozilla), Mozoffice (Office productivity suite project) and many more.


Creating Applications with Mozilla Using XUL, CSS and Javascript |
O'Reilly Xul thriller (September 2002) by David Boswell, Brian King, Ian Oeschger, Pete Collins and Eric Murphy; 474 pages; ISBN: 0596000529

Essential Xul Programming
By Vaughn Bullard, Kevin Smith and Michael Daconta (July 2001); covers the whole Mozilla Xul machinery including CSS, XBL and RDF; 448 pages; John Wiley & Sons; ISBN: 0471415804

Misc Links

James Strachan's Radio Weblog; Building Rich User Interfaces with XML
Its becoming increasingly common to learn from web technologies and apply them to older computing problems we faced before. For example, SOAP and XML-RPC is changing the way we implement distributed system intead of distributed object technologies like CORBA, DCOM and EJB. The area of rich user interfaces is also benefiting from lessons we've learnt building web based user interfaces.

Robin Cover; Cover Pages: XML Markup Languages for User Interface Definition
Hundreds of links including tons of links to hot-air papers from academia describing Yet Another Abstract (translation: Useless) Interface Markup Language (YAAIML)

More Links

O'Reilly Mozilla DevCenter

Xul Projects @ Sourceforge
Dissect Xul Apps

Xul Projects @ Freshmeat
Find Nuggets

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