Desktop XUL apps

I was all set to write a post about how we should be using centralised apps with XUL frontends for aggregation to provide native interfaces regardless of location but I find that Manuzhai beat me to it

I think an online XUL aggregator is perfect: a rich UI, but available from anywhere in the world.

He mentions XUL Channels which is no longer available because of hosting problems, and it’s certainly a start (the source is available and took me a grand total 2 minutes to set up). It’s missing a host of features such as multiple users, read/unread items, flagging, Atom supoprt etc. but given that the code alone is six months old this is probably fair enough.

Presumably with a bit of hacking it would be possible to make this an executable app (loading it via the chrome:// command like ChatZilla). It could also read any feeds for which an RDF transformation is available, and the missing features don’t seem like they’d be that hard to add in – XUL’s a doddle after all 😉

The hardest part would probably be dealing with HTML entities, which it currently appears to struggle with, but they could always be stripped out in the first instace. Do I smell the future burning bright?

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