XUL Explorer 0.2

I received a lot of feedback on XUL Explorer. It’s been a great learning experience for me as well. Here is a list of changes:

  • Preview tab has been removed. The preview pane now appears below the editor pane. Previewing in a popup window is still available.
  • Option to automatically update the preview as the editor changes. (Thanks to Richard Klein)
  • Indicator in the statusbar shows errors. Double-click to display Error Console.
  • Option to specify the snippet used to load the editor on startup.
  • Option to include a user snippet file. The snippets are merged with the builtin snippets at startup.
  • File > New allows user to pick any “Template” snippet, as well as blank.
  • Simple XUL Checker can be used to ‘validate’ the XUL snippet. This is fairly basic for now: It checks for legal element and attribute names, including allowed attributes for a given element.
  • More than a few bug fixes


Here are some things I am considering for the future:

  • Support attribute value checking where appropiate (boolean and enumerated values) – XUL Checker
  • Support “best practice” checks such as: using of commands and keys, strings in DTDs and so on – XUL Checker
  • Multi file support (probably use a tab for each file/editor).
  • Venkman support
  • Support extension creation – perhaps by using Test mode

Keep the feedback coming!

Install: xulexplorer-setup-0.2.exe 5.7MB
Source: xulexplorer-src-0.2.zip

9 Replies to “XUL Explorer 0.2”

  1. This enhancements are cool ๐Ÿ™‚

    Just a comment : your XUL checker should consider any tags in fact, not only those which are “official”. What about user tags on which an XBL binding is attached ? And what about user attributes on “official” tags ?

    So error message generated by your XUL checker shouldn’t be “illegal element” but “unknow element” or “unknow attribute”. In XUL, any tag is allowed ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. oh, some ideas for the futur :

    – drag and drop from snippets to the editor
    – for some snippets, when we insert it, a dialog appears to edit some parameters, to fill easely some attributes etc..
    – the possibility to create/edit snippets directly into xul explorer

  3. It would be nice if certain features (e.g. “best practices checker”) were nicely factored out so that they could be easily re-used in other settings. Something like (simplifying):

    function xulCheck(doc, errorReporter, warningReporter) { … }

    function(node, msg) { dump(‘Error on : ‘ + msg + ‘\n’); },
    function(node, msg) { dump(‘Warning on : ‘ + msg + ‘\n’); });

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  5. I like Laurentj ideas on improvements. I’ll also add my thoughts on improvements as well.

    – when inserting a snippet put the focus inside the editor.
    – when the error console is cleared remove the indicator in the statusbar.
    – get the view source window working.

  6. another suggestion is to move the help viewing to an external browser. You could do something like:

    var url = this.app.getHelpURI(cmd);
    var ioService = Components.classes[“@mozilla.org/network/io-service;1”].getService(Components.interfaces.nsIIOService);
    var protocolSvc = Components.classes[“@mozilla.org/uriloader/external-protocol-service;1”].getService(Components.interfaces.nsIExternalProtocolService);
    var uri = ioService.newURI(url, null, null);

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