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XUL and Java. It seems obvious to me.

2 replies [Last post]
Joined: 2004-01-25

Have others looked at XUL and its potential for use as a Java UI framework? I gathered a few links to XUL resources. I like working with XUL in Mozilla, that is, until I start wanting it to act like a web client. Trying to program sophisticated functionality in JavaScript is not my cup of tea. I wish Mozilla allowed more direct manipulation of the DOM via Java, but that is OT for this forum. What is on topic is the idea of supporting XUL with Swing. This is what the luxor project has been working on.

This is the best resource for XUL in Mozilla:

This is an opportunity for convergence:

Message was edited by: hattons

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Joined: 2005-05-29

You might want to take a look at XAMJ. We just
released a pre-beta version. Go to

Joined: 2003-06-11

First off, let me say that I worked with external
UI descriptions for over 4 years and built a couple of
cross-platform user interfaces in this style.

Although XML UI descriptions have good potential for
the future, I'd say that these solutions still lag behind
other UI solutions for the Java desktop regarding
quality, production time, and the learning curve.

I recommend to compare the different desktop solutions
(including the additional XML description layers) and
check the following disciplines, weighted as appropriate
for your project and UI, among others:

1) Does it support multi-platform applications well?
For example, OS X users complain about the poor Mozilla XUL UI.
2) How easy can you express/produce simple things?
3) What design quality can you achieve? Is the hard stuff possible?
4) Does it help you achieve a well-designed UI?
5) Can everybody in your team work with the solution?
6) What about the readability of the layout description?
Can you understand and edit what your collegue has designed?
7) What about compile-time safety?
8) What about tool support: e.g. editor support, code-completion?
Can you browse references?
9) Does your editor integrate with your refactoring tool?
10) How easy can you find and fix bugs? Can you debug
the build process and component configuration?
11) Does it support your favorite widget toolkit well?
For example, can you work with the GlassPane?
And does it integrate with Java2D?
12) Does it support multiple widget toolkits?
(Without ending up with the worst of all worlds).
13) Can you rely on the solution vendor?
14) How large is the extra download size?
15) How much does it cost?
16) Is support available?
17) Can you change the layout at runtime?
18) Can users change the layout at runtime?

Regarding 11) see for example whether you can use overlays as in:
Or check the Book Finder's integrated animated tour
that you can launch from the tool's help menu:

As a forum moderator I won't comment that much on the author
of Luxor XUL. Anyway, be warned and google how others reflect
his statements, his policy, his marketing, his prices.
He's violated the forum rules at and has been banned.

If you are looking for XML UI descriptions for Java,
I suggest you have a look at SwixML and Thinlet.

Again, I'm not saying that an XML UI description doesn't
make sense. I'm preparing such a solution for customers.
It's just not obvious to me, the contrary is the case.

Hope this helps,