[OpenAjaxIDE] Latest draft of XBL(2)

Jon Ferraiolo jferrai at us.ibm.com
Thu Jan 25 08:27:57 PST 2007

Hi everyone,
I wanted to make sure everyone was aware of W3C work that overlaps, at
least somewhat, with what we are pursuing in the IDE TF.

The W3C is creating a standard that is directive of the XBL 1.0 feature
that has been shipping in Mozilla since 1999, with the updated standard
version having the name "XBL 2". The spec is at: http://www.w3.org/TR/xbl/.
My understanding is that Mozilla and Safari/Webkit will support XBL2. I
would be surprised if Microsoft ships XBL2 support any time soon.

If you look at the XBL2 spec, you'll see some overlap between the feature
set it describes and some of the approaches used by jMaki. (One example of
XBL2 is at http://www.w3.org/TR/xbl/#the-binding.)

1) Both have a containment approach for the component's HTML subtree.

   * jMaki puts the HTML snippet in "component.htm"
   * XBL2 puts the HTML snippet within the <xbl:template>

2) Both have a containment approach for the component's CSS styling.

   * jMaki puts the CSS within "component.css"
   * XBL2 puts the CSS within <xbl:resources>/<xbl:style>

3) Both have a containment approach for the component's JavaScript logic.

   * jMaki puts the JavaScript within "component.js"
   * XBL2 puts the JavaScript within <xbl:implementation>

Some key differences are:

* XBL2 provides declarative definition of event handlers via <xbl:handlers>
and <xbl:handler>.
* XBL2 has an inheritance mechanism for components.
* jMaki provides a metadata mechanism via widget.json. XBL2 has nothing in
this area.

Neither XBL2 nor jMaki has any metadata that talks about events that are
published or subscribed by the given component.

Personally, I haven't made up my mind yet about what this all means to us,
but I thought I would share it so that others would be aware and could
start thinking about whether XBL matters to us.


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