Diff for /books/www/articles/xpfe_dhtml.html between versions 1.13 and 1.16

version 1.13, 2001/08/09 20:35:05 version 1.16, 2001/08/09 20:57:18
Line 17  different supported platform. Line 17  different supported platform.
 time. XPFE, Mozilla's cross-platform front end, was designed to solve this problem by enabling engineers to create one interface that would then work on  time. XPFE, Mozilla's cross-platform front end, was designed to solve this problem by enabling engineers to create one interface that would then work on
 any operating system.    any operating system.  
   
<p>This new technology started out as a time-saving technique and turned into one of Mozilla's most powerful innovations.  Mike Cornall, in an article<p>This new technology started out as a time-saving technique and turned into one of Mozilla's most powerful innovations.  Mike Cornall, in <a
published on LinuxToday, summarizes the history of XPFE well when he says: 'The application platform capabilities of Mozilla came about through a happyhref="http://linuxtoday.com/news_story.php3?ltsn=2000-07-25-001-07-OP-SM-0036">an article</a> published on LinuxToday, summarizes the history of XPFE
coincidence of Open Source development, good design, and far-sighted developers who were paying attention.'well when he says: 'The application platform capabilities of Mozilla came about through a happy coincidence of Open Source development, good design, and
 far-sighted developers who were paying attention.'
   
 <p>Mozilla engineers were trying to create a more efficient process that would save them time and effort, but this technology ended up having the  <p>Mozilla engineers were trying to create a more efficient process that would save them time and effort, but this technology ended up having the
unintended consequence of lowering the barriers to entry for application developers.  To better understand this happy coincidence and why it can be sounintended consequence of lowering the barriers to entry to application development.  To better understand this happy coincidence and why it can be so
 useful for developers it is necessary to take a closer look at what XPFE is made of.  useful for developers it is necessary to take a closer look at what XPFE is made of.
   
 <p><b>Understanding XPFE</b>  <p><b>Understanding XPFE</b>
   
<p>The technologies that XPFE uses are all existing Web standards, such as Cascading Style Sheets, JavaScript and XML (the XML component is a new<p>The technologies that XPFE uses are all existing Web standards, such as <a href="http://www.w3.org/Style/CSS/">Cascading Style Sheets</a>, 
language called XUL, the XML-based User Interface Language).  In it's most simple form, XPFE can be thought of a simply the union of each of these <a href="http://www.ecma.ch/ecma1/STAND/ECMA-262.HTM">JavaScript</a> and <a href="http://www.w3.org/XML/">XML</a> (the XML component is a new
 language called XUL, the XML-based User Interface Language).  In it's most simple form, XPFE can be thought of as simply the union of each of these 
 standards.  standards.
   
 <center>  <center>
Line 40  standards. Line 42  standards.
 Mozilla-based application, Cascading Style Sheets are used for formatting the look and feel, and XUL is used for creating the application's structure.    Mozilla-based application, Cascading Style Sheets are used for formatting the look and feel, and XUL is used for creating the application's structure.  
 Viewed together these three standards can be seen forming XPFE in Figure 1 above.  Viewed together these three standards can be seen forming XPFE in Figure 1 above.
   
<p>Instead of using platform-specific C code to create an application, XPFE uses well understood Web standards that are by design inherently platform<p>Instead of using platform-specific C code to create an application, XPFE uses these well understood Web standards that are by design inherently
independent.  Since the framework of XPFE is inherently platform independent, so are the applications that are created with it.  Since the framework is platform independent.  Since the framework of XPFE is inherently platform independent, so are the applications that are created with it.  Since the
also made up of tools that are used to create Web page, anyone familiar with creating a Web page can use XPFE to create a cross-platform application. framework is also made up of tools that are used to create Web pages, anyone familiar with creating a Web page can use XPFE to create a cross-platform
application.
<p>The basic idea behind XPFE is simple, although the actual creation of Mozilla-based applications can be much more complicated than building a Web 
page...<p>Although the actual creation of Mozilla-based applications can be much more complicated than building a Web page, XPFE allows developers to create
applications in the same way they would create a Web page.  Or to put it another way, the application is now a Web page.  Gecko, the rendering engine
<p>Mozilla itself doesn't distinguish between a Web page and an XPFE application.  Gecko, the rendering engine that Mozilla uses to draw a Web page inthat Mozilla uses to draw a Web page in the browser, even draws the Mozilla application on the desktop.
the browser, also draws the Mozilla application on the desktop. 
   
 <hr>  <hr>
   
   <p>/*** extra content
   
   <p>Mozilla itself certainly doesn't distinguish between a Web page and an XPFE application.
   
 <p>Since well understood Web standards are being used to create applications instead of platform-specific C code, a whole new group of people now have the  <p>Since well understood Web standards are being used to create applications instead of platform-specific C code, a whole new group of people now have the
 ability to create their own applications using Mozilla.  ability to create their own applications using Mozilla.
Line 66  just create a skin for an application.   Line 70  just create a skin for an application.  
 href="http://www.netscape.com/themes/">different themes</a> for their browser suite, but the browser suite itself is also created out of these same  href="http://www.netscape.com/themes/">different themes</a> for their browser suite, but the browser suite itself is also created out of these same
 technologies.  technologies.
   
   <p>***/
   
 <p><b>Comparing XPFE and DHTML</b>  <p><b>Comparing XPFE and DHTML</b>
   
 <p>In many ways XPFE is very similar to <a href="http://www.webreference.com/dhtml/">DHTML</a>.  Dynamic HTML is a combination of HTML with JavaScript  <p>In many ways XPFE is very similar to <a href="http://www.webreference.com/dhtml/">DHTML</a>.  Dynamic HTML is a combination of HTML with JavaScript

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