XUL Templates and Fresnel ...

From: conor dowling <conor_at_the325project.org>
Date: Wed, 27 Apr 2005 23:08:07 -0700

I've been reading this mail group over the last two weeks with great
interest. After using the current generation of XUL templates to build
an RDF-driven display (see:
http://www.the325project.org/factlog/325Factlog.xul), I could see a lot
of functionality described here and in the Fresnel spec that XUL
templates sorely lack. I think that their main omission, besides the
lack of remote queries, is support for wildcards and defaults - they
need a fallback to grab all properties and use OWL labels to enable
compact but powerful displays.

There's a new XUL template proposal (see:
http://wiki.mozilla.org/XUL:Templates_Plan), one that allows for a
variety of Query Processors. One could be a Fresnel Lens interpreter,
encompassing the tree construction and label handling that's had quite
an airing on this group recently. However, the proposal leaves the
builder - the part of the template that fills in XUL elements - largely
as is. This isn't sufficient for Fresnel on two grounds I think:
- the tree of resources and properties that passes from a Query
processor to the Builder is insufficient. It doesn't have a display
label field for each property. To allow for a Fresnel Query Processor,
every property in the tree should support that field. The builder must
support it too: it needs to be able to extract and use the label field,
support the likes of <label value="?predicate-label">
- the builder itself can't handle any old list of property values. It
only likes explicitly identified properties. It needs to support value
wildcards, to allow something like <label value="?*"> where "*" stands
for the value of any predicate.

BTW, I'm sure there are many other requirements too - my knowledge of
Fresnel is very limited.

So what? Well, people could play around with Fresnel interpreters in
Firefox (I wrote up a crude list of things for a lite processor at
query.html) if, along with upgraded templates to handle a variety of
Query Processors, came an enhanced template builder. This would help
XUL and so help Firefox and I think it would help Fresnel too.

Has anyone on the list looked at the XUL template spec?

Received on Thu Apr 28 2005 - 06:08:04 EDT

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