Revisiting how we build Firefox

Mark Rousell markr at
Sat Jul 11 15:29:38 UTC 2015

On 11/07/2015 15:50, Chris Hofmann wrote:
>     The status quo is not acceptable, and I haven't even started on how
>     the technology gap hampers new contributors.
> how would the alternatives hamper new contributors?...    if its a
> native solution that's chosen its a return to the bad old days that from
> which XUL was born.   One platform races ahead at the expense of others
> since it attracts all the cool developers.   Back at netscape it was a
> big pile of windows developers piling on "best of the web features of
> the day" racing to match Microsoft, and poor Mac and Xhead developers
> left struggling to catch up.  The windows developers with poor cross
> platform experience constantly breaking things on Mac and Unix as they
> went...    Both tinderbox and XUL were born from the tension around
> these problems.
> Now days is Mac's on everyone's laps but all our users are on windows. 
> Maybe this would force more balance but it still would tax new
> contributors.  Hard to say. Or maybe your thinking browser.html is the
> chosen path; but I have not heard that.  I mostly heard that "we don't
> know what solution might be better, and hence part of the confusion and
> awkwardness  in getting this discussion going..."

As an outsider and user of Firefox looking in at this debate, it seems
to me that the only plausible way forward, if XUL must go, is surely to
replace it with HTML (if that is what you mean by "browser.html").

What else would give near-transparent cross-platform compatibility, not
only for the core program but for an infrastructure of addons and

And so isn't it a given that HTML5/JS is the future?

Although, that said, it seems to me that HTML5 will still need to be
extended in some way since HTML5 and JS on their own still cannot fully
replace what is done with XUL/XBL/etc. Is there any standards work
ongoing for extensions to HTML5 in this area?

Mark Rousell

PGP public key:
Key ID: C9C5C162

More information about the firefox-dev mailing list