Saturday, 29 August 2009

XUL ain't so bad after all ..

I've been doing quite a bit of XUL hacking lately and I think it's actually beginning to make sense. The main problems seem to be a lack of documentation and Javascript's usual habit of trying to continue in the face of overwhelming odds which means you don't get told about errors at the point of error, but some unspecified time later.

In particular, it took me a while to work out that if you set your browser.chromeURL property to XUL without a browser marked as type=content-primary, your entire XUL gets replaced with the target window content. Any linked Javascript then runs twice - once just before the XUL gets replaced, tricking you into believing that your XUL is fine - and then again afterward for some reason.

There's also a slightly odd interaction of command-line arguments with windows: the primary window gets window.arguments[0], subsequent'd ones don't and if your content is doing the open, you need to resort to slightly nasty tricks like setting properties in window listeners. Ugh.

In other news, I'll be at ESC UK in October and at IBC on September 14th and 15th so hope to run into people there.

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