A new desktop environment… Mozilla

Almost everyone has heard of Mozilla. The Mozilla organization is the descendant of Netscape and is the producer of Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird. One of the little known technologies behind the Mozilla products is called XUL (pronounced zool). XUL is a scripting language (and interpreter) that provides all the user interface for Firefox and Thunderbird. It’s very powerful and several stand-alone applications have been built with it.

So recently, some Mozilla developers tossed around the idea of creating a new desktop environment built on the XUL technology. This would not only compete with Gnome and KDE, but also with Windows, Mac OSX and many of the other platforms. Because the heart of the Mozilla technologies has been ported to all kinds of different platforms, this new desktop could potentially run on many of the diverse kernels (the software that connects all other software applications with the hardware — the heart of an operating system).

This would be amazing! The Mozilla Desktop (has a nice ring to it) would provide a universal interface to many different platforms. Regardless of the underlying technology, the user experience would be the same. And XUL could handle all the intricacies of the diverse platforms. Windows users could more easily switch to Linux or Max OSX (or Solaris for that matter) without having to relearn an interface.

Of course, there are all kinds of issues that would need to be worked out in order for this to really work, but it’s the best start to a centralized user interface that we’ve ever seen.

So what do you think? For you tech guys, do you think this is feasible? And for you non-techies, is this something you would like?

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