April 14, 2011, 4:59 p.m.
posted by redcraft
This chapter describes how to jump up and down on Firefox using XML content. Sometimes that content starts out with an HTML page, and sometimes it doesn't. You have the option of a pure XML environment or an HTML-driven one.
One of the big problems with XML support in web browsers is feature creep. Once you have XML, you want XML namespaces. Once you have namespaces, you want XLink. The next thing you know, you're buried under an onslaught of XML standards. Feature creep makes cross-browser content more challenging than usual, because every browser has a different idea of which direction it should creep in.
Nevertheless, there are plenty of places where quality XML content is needed and where cross-browser compatibility isn't a problem. Intranets are one such place; help systems, bundled content solutions such as CD distributions, and kiosks are others. Finally, there's the growing area of user interfaces, which are supported by a class of XML standards called XUILs (XML User Interface Languages); in this case, that means XUL. Firefox is a suitable platform for all of these uses.
In fact, Firefox is particularly rich in XML standards support. Whether it's web services, knowledge management, data transforms, dictionaries, or feeds, Firefox does it's best to find a standard to implement. There's no room in this chapter for extensive standards nit-picking; this is just a tour of the major features Firefox supports.