Mozilla Platform – Basic Desktop Application

After a short break, I am back to working with the Mozilla platform (XUL, JavaScript & XPCOM). I want to begin exploring the platform by building a basic desktop application using XULRunner. Given that Firefox, Thunderbird and the rest of the Mozilla suite is written using the platform, it a safe bet that it can be used to build a basic application. However, I know nearly nothing of the Mozilla platform, so I need to start somewhere.

I consider a basic desktop application to at least be able to support:

  • Main window, popup windows and dialogs (modal and non-modal)
  • Menus and toolbars (with images and themes)
  • Basic assortment of controls (edits, buttons, checkboxes, radiobuttons, lists, trees & tabs)
  • OS common dialogs (file open & save at a minimum)
  • Clipboard operations
  • Printing
  • Help system

Alright, I am off to build my basic application. I’ll update this post as I go. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a tutorial, but I’ll link to any tutorials I find along the way.


  1. Getting Started with XULRunner
  2. UI Basics [Part 1]
  3. UI Basics [Part 2]

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