XULRunner Developer Preview

If you’ve ever thought about developing an application using Mozilla’s XUL toolkit, you’ll want to check this out: a developer preview of XULRunner is now available.

What is XULRunner, you ask? There’s a long list of features, but basically it’s a runtime environment for Mozilla’s user interface toolkit, XUL. Previously, if you wanted to use XUL to build an app, you could only deploy it on a machine with Firefox or another Mozilla app already installed — which limited you to building stuff that made sense inside a browser or mail client. With XULRunner, you can bundle everything you need right into your app, so you can distribute it as a full-blown standalone application rather than a simple extension.

An example of what’s possible with XULRunner is Songbird, the new music player; it’s the first serious application to ship that uses XULRunner at its core.