[Dev] User interface
Michael R. Bernstein
webmaven at lvcm.com
Fri Oct 25 13:58:53 PDT 2002
On Fri, 2002-10-25 at 10:45, Jack Bell wrote:
> Hmm... One point about XUL being easier to modify; easier for *you* or for the
> *users*? The big advantage to XUL is that Joe Superuser could probably create
> his own custom versions of your screens with XUL more easily than he could
> with wxWindows. What is more, it would be easier for you to allow Joe's dumber
> cousin John Sixpackuser to pick and choose among different 'themes' created by
> others with more technical savvy than he, extending John's range of choices at
> no cost to you.
> What I am saying is that XUL is more flexible and has a lower cost of entry,
> something that may be a critical need for user adoption in cases where MS
> Outlook solves most of their requirements now and they would need to add some
> custom features to the your existing feature set in order to make a compelling
> case for switching. Plus, by allowing users to create and share custom
> versions of the software, you are more likely to increase adoption rates via
> people bringing in their friends, customers and suppliers.
I'm not sure that that XUL's advantage is as large as you seem to think,
since (if I understand correctly) Chandler will most likely be using
wxPython rather than wxWindows directly, and there is a project to make
wxPython at least as accessible to Joe Superuser as VB is
The main difference between XUL and wxWindows is that a XUL app will
look exactly the same on every platform, whereas wxWindows uses the
native widgets on each platform.
Depending on the scenario, this is either good or bad.
If you'd like to switch your users to a different OS Platform XUL makes
that easier, because the app will still look familiar.
If you want the app to look familiar to users on their current platform,
wxWindows is better.
Similarly, if you are designing a brand new UI widget type, XUL makes
this easier, as you don't have to create a new 'native widget' for each
I suppose the OSAF designers such as Andy Hertzfeld would know whether
they intend to do anything like that.
Hopefully, I haven't muddied the waters even more.
More information about the Dev