Firefox.html: rebuilding Firefox UI in HTML

Paul Rouget paul at
Tue Dec 9 16:43:08 UTC 2014

Firefox.html is an experiment, a proof of concept: trying to
re-implement the Firefox UI in HTML, as an app (like FxOS apps).

Code, builds, screenshots:

We are working hard on making HTML fast and rich enough to build
a whole operating system (Firefox OS) and a browser (Firefox OS' browser).
With a UI in HTML leveraging the Browser API, we could drop XUL and close
the gap between B2G and Firefox Desktop. And eventually be able to
render Firefox Desktop with Servo. And maybe, one day, host the
Firefox UI online (trusted app?).

The only purpose of Firefox.html, at this stage, is to yield a
discussion about the future of XUL.

I'm fully aware of the massive amount work required to ever reach
the quality of Firefox Desktop (we're talking about years of work),
but I thought that we might want to talk about it.

What do you think? Is it something we want to try? Or maybe it's
too early, or maybe we don't want to use HTML for this, use native
toolkits, or just keep XUL.


Some techical details:

  - code is ugly. Don't build stuff on top of that. It's just an experiment.
  - The runtime is just Firefox Desktop with some tweaks (mostly ajusting
  how apps are handled on Desktop).
  - The app (app:// is loaded in a <iframe>.
  - The only remaining XUL piece is the top level window. It's a blank window
  that position the iframe over the window controls, to allow HTML to draw
  in the titlebar.
  - The app itself uses the Browser API.

-- Paul

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