Programming Firefox
Building Rich Internet Applications with XUL
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: April 2007
Pages: 512

This is your guide to building Internet applications and user interfaces with the Mozilla component framework, which is best known for the Firefox web browser and Thunderbird email client. Programming Firefox demonstrates how to use the XML User Interface Language (XUL) with open source tools in the framework's Cross-Platform Component (XPCOM) library to develop a variety of projects, such as commercial web applications and Firefox extensions.

This book serves as both a programmer's reference and an in-depth tutorial, so not only do you get a comprehensive look at XUL's capabilities--from simple interface design to complex, multitier applications with real-time operations--but you also learn how to build a complete working application with XUL. If you're coming from a Java or .NET environment, you'll be amazed at how quickly large-scale applications can be constructed with XPCOM and XUL.

Topics in Programming Firefox include:

  • An overview of Firefox technology
  • An introduction to the graphical elements that compose a XUL application
  • Firefox development tools and the process used to design and build applications
  • Managing an application with multiple content areas
  • Introduction to Resource Description Files, and how the Firefox interface renders RDF
  • Manipulating XHTML with JavaScript
  • Displaying documents using the Scalable Vector Graphics standard and HTML Canvas
  • The XML Binding Language and interface overlays to extend Firefox
  • Implementing the next-generation forms interface through XForms
Programming Firefox is ideal for the designer or developer charged with delivering innovative standards-based Internet applications, whether they're web server applications or Internet-enabled desktop applications. It's not just a how-to book, but a what-if exploration that encourages you to push the envelope of the Internet experience.
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(1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


Do I really have to type all this code?

By Garfield

from Germany

Verified Reviewer



      Best Uses

      • Typist -

      Comments about oreilly Programming Firefox:

      I just received the book. I saw the tremendous amount of code in there. I searched Oreilly's web-site for this code, but did not find it. Perhaps it is in the 'free' Safari service?
      But I can't imagine how anybody would dare to call a
      thing 'free', if he demands personal data before enabling access to it, without ever saying what he eventually will do with the data.

      (12 of 12 customers found this review helpful)


      Oreilly what are you up to ?

      By Jeremy_C_Ward

      from Undisclosed

      Comments about oreilly Programming Firefox:

      Sorry, Oreilly, hate to be so negative, but I've come to expect a lot better than this.

      When I chose this book, I was expecting the quick, pithy introduction to the subject that I am used to from the many OReilly books that I have read and profited from in the past.

      However this book makes a number of critical mistakes.

      It is far too closely tied to the example application that is developed throughout its course. I want to learn XUL and firefox, as advertised on the cover.

      I shouldn't need to understand and install PHP, Apache and MySql in order to get the sample application up and running. In any case, the hasty explanations of these peripheral technologies whould not,IMHO, have been enough to get the uninitiated up and running.

      In the text there is way too much code listing which makes it very hard to follow and rather a tedious read.

      Worst of all, the code samples on the web-site are extaordinarily skimpy. I'm used to being able to spend a couple of hours reading the first few chapters of an OReilly book, then using the sample code as a quick-start to building my own apps. It was was not possible with this book. I read up to the end of chapter 6 then downloaded the source code hoping to quickly run it and adapt it to my own usage. However there was no useful relationship between the chapter content and the content in the example source code.

      Unfortunately I really feel like the time I spend reading the book has been wasted. I hope that readers new to OReilly will understand that this is not up to their usual world-beating standard.

      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)


      Oriented toward Firefox as an Application Framework

      By Colonel Nikolai

      from Undisclosed

      Comments about oreilly Programming Firefox:

      This book covers a lot of stuff about developing applications on the Gecko-based runtimes from the Mozilla foundation. If you were looking for a definitive book for developing Firefox extensions (AKA "add-ons"), this isn't quite it, but it will certainly help.

      There are topics covered that will help you in add-on development, like how to use XPCOM wrappers and nsServices* correctly and what they can do, but they are more tailored to people who would likely use Mozilla as a basis for a desktop application.

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