December 6, 2000


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Page 6

You can demonstrate this for yourself by displaying navigator.xul, for example, in the Mozilla or Netscape 6 browsers. What you see when you do that is a Web-like page displayed in the Web page

Be careful when you display navigator.xul in a Mozilla-based browser. It will be interactive and functional. That means that if you click something such as File > Exit in the page display of navigator.xul, that will close the browser.

A Mozilla developer points out that the Mozilla browser is "more than a web 'page' - it has application access to your system, the files are mostly local files, it has much more functionality... etc. etc."

display window. However, if you open navigator.xul in a text editor or a non-Mozilla-based browser, you will see what amounts to XML code. You should find navigator.xul in the \bin\chrome\comm\content \navigator directory where you installed the Mozilla browser suite.

XUL (pronounced zuul) is pretty much unique to Mozilla. It is a Mozilla implementation of XML that is used to describe the interactive Web-like page faces of Mozilla-based applications. Think of XUL as the Mozilla developers' name for an XML-based language used to describe the UI (User Interface). Creating your own Mozilla skin is mostly a matter of hacking the XUL, XML, CSS, JS and so forth that define the chrome and skin, and/or redoing the graphic images and widgets they use.

The Mozilla Applications Programming Framework

Mozilla-based Web-browser suites, including the navigator, e-mail, news, and composer components, all are applications built to run upon the underlying Mozilla applications programming framework. And what you see when you run such Mozilla-based Web-browser suites also are interactive Web-like pages.

To some degree, Mozilla is not exactly a program. It is more of an application programming framework upon which you can build programs such as a browser, composer, or e-mail program. You also could build an FTP client, a Telnet client, an IRC client, or just about any other sort of program on top of the Mozilla framework.

Custom Mozilla-based client and/or application building is not limited to merely Internet clients. One can build all sorts of applications such as word processors, spreadsheets, image editing, and other such applications on top of Mozilla.

When Mozilla is ready for prime-time, the software and OS wars raging over the PC landscape could be swallowed up and lain asunder by the new order of Mozilla-Scape!

For more information about Mozilla the organization, Mozilla the application programming framework, and Mozilla the Web browser suite, please see the series, Mozilla--A Lizard for All Seasons. (Please check the Resources Section at the end of this article for links.)

Article Index

Page 1
Introduction &Overview
Page 2

Comparing the Mozilla & Netscape Skins

Page 3

Branding Your Lizard

Page 4

Mozilla Is Right Choice

Page 5

Mozilla Skinning Easy

Page 6

Mozilla Applications Programming Framework

Page 7

Lizard Skinning Tools

Page 8


Resources Section

Page 9

More Resources

MozillaQuest the Series -- Building Your Own Mozilla-Based Web Browser:Part II

Recent Articles

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Some Basics for Computing & Networking Novices

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dual-boot Linux & windows for best of both operating system worlds

New Browser War Heats Up -- But It's Netscape vs. Netscape

MozillaQuest the Series -- Building Your Own Mozilla-Based Web Browser:Branding your Lizard

Sneak Preview of Mozilla Milestone 0.7

Mozilla Organization Revises Development Roadmap and Product Release Schedule

How to Download,, Install, & Configure Netscape 6.0 Safely

MozillaQuest the Series -- Building Your Own Mozilla-Based Web Browser:Skinning the Lizard

MozillaQuest Magic: Enabling Changes Made to Mozilla-Based Browsers & Applications Chrome -- A Tutorial

Mozilla's ChatZilla, The Lizard Speaks:- IRC

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