Open Source / Software

Mozilla Developer Days

This week I’ve had the pleasure of attending the Mozilla Developer Days here in Toronto.  I have never attended an event like this, and I must say that it was quite an interesting experience.  There were developers from as far away as Germany who came to talk about Mozilla and their products.  

After the introductions, we were given a brief overview of some of the technologies and case studies under development at Mozilla, most of which I have never heard of before, and I had to do a little research to findout a little more.

XUL (XML User Interface Language) – is an XML markup language which relys on CSS, JavaScript and the DOM for creating Mozilla applications and extensions

XULRunner – Is the runtime environment used by XUL applications.  

Fennec – A mobile version of Firefox currently in development.

SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) – is an XML based standard for rendering graphics in a browser, offering anti-aliasing, filter-effects, pattern fills, gradient fills and animations.

After the discussion on the projects we were introduced to some of the faces at Mozilla, the first of whom was Stephen Lau who was working on Songbird, which is an open-source cross platform media player, which has the ability to be completely customized through extensions and add-ons.  His demo showed off some of the great work he is creating using XULRunner, he used CSS for the color theme and layout, and it was amazing to see all the data Songbird is pulling from the Web.  However my inital reaction when the Songbird app first opened, was how similar it looked to Apple’s iTunes, I’m hoping that the layout is adjusted before it is released.

Next was Jono DiCarlo who began showing off Ubiquity, which I was actually foundout about last week. He actually gave a lot more backgound on the inner workings of Ubiquity, and the direction they are trying to take it, as well as some of the difficulties they are having.  I am very excited about this project, but it does sound like they are a while from release.

After we had a short Q&A and had a chance to talk to some of the developers about Mozilla and their technologies.  Unfortunately I had to leave during the lunch break to go to work, I really wanted to go into the Desktop track to learn more about their applications and extensions, and hopefully see more about XULRunner, I guess i’ll have to check out the videos

See the Presentations


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