Part of the mozilla2.0 project is providing generic support for running XUL applications. This has been known by various names, including the XRE and the apprunner. The current way to run a XUL application is to run mozilla.exe -chrome <url>. However, this is a poor solution for several reasons:

  1. Apps have little/no control over command-line param handling (the default handlers installed by the mozilla app are always active)
  2. Apps have little/no control over window icons.
  3. Apps have to use the mozilla profile, and have odd or no control over remoting (xremote/DDE/appleevents)

The solution to this is a dedicated program to run XUL apps. This “xulrunner” will run XUL applications, from the smallest one-file applications to the largest apps such as firefox and thunderbird.

The first steps for the apprunner will be basic. However, I (and others) intend to work the xulrunner to a feature-complete solution within the next six months. There are several feature requirements for a full-featured xulrunner:

As a second step, I would like to give the xulrunner the ability to run apps in a restricted security space. This might involve some major backend changes to how mozilla handles security contexts (more on this later).

Atom Feed for Comments 9 Responses to “XULrunner”

  1. Jason Lustig Says:

    The XRE/apprunner/whatever-you’re-going-to-call-it is one of the most exciting things for me as a web programmer and is one of the things that I’ve been watching and thinking about for a while.

    What are some of the bugs you’re tracking for it?

  2. i5mast Says:

    bs, are you paid for working on mozilla codebase?

  3. Benjamin Smedberg Says:

    No, I am a volunteer. My full-time job is music director here at St. Patrick’s.

  4. i5mast Says:

    you’ve got some coding skills :D

  5. Lewis Franklin Says:

    I have long thought that XUL would make a great interface for an web application. However, I have been frustrated by its limitations. As I look over the information that has been posted about XUL2 I have a renewed interest in using XUL. One thing that I have not seen discussed in detail, however, is the handling of remote XUL (at least that I have seen). The application which I am designing is a group management system written in PHP and is accessible across a network or the Internet. Will there be improvements in XUL for remote applications as well? I would be interested in an ongoing dialog, if you wished to email me. Thanks for your time and commitment to the Mozilla project!

  6. Benjamin Smedberg Says:

    Lewis, please feel free to add your requests for remote XUL on the XULDev wiki. We are aware of some of the nagging issues with remote XUL and are trying to improve the situation, while at the same time preserving security.

  7. Tristram Says:

    I’m really expecting xulrunner.
    You said in June, that you expect it to be ready in 6 months.
    What’s now? Will it be ready within 3months, or later?
    If I had the skills, I would help, but I haven’t :(

  8. Xabaras Says:

    So it will be a kind of “vitual machine” for XUL application?
    What are the times for it’s developement?

  9. Shahzad Says:

    I use a customer version of Firefox that disables all the browser security so that remote xul application can run with the freedom of local xul application.

    I am trying to find others who are doing with.

    Challenges of Remote XUL

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