Ajax JavaScript CSS HTML 5 Firefox

Comparison of XML user interface languages

Comparison table of the most widely used graphical user interface markup languages, based on XML, to choose the best one for your needs.

The comparison table

Interface Year Development Runtime Processing Language Requirements
FXML
Oracle
2011 NetBeans JavaFX Interpreted Java JVM
GladeXML
Gnome
1998 Glade IDE GTK+ Compiled C, C++, C# LibXML
MXML
Macromedia
2004 Flex Builder Flash Player / Apollo Compiled ActionScript CSS
OpenLaszlo
Laszlo Systems
2003 Text editor Flash Player Compiled ECMAScript CSS, XPath
UIML
OASIS
1997 Various Java JIT Java JVM
XAML
Microsoft
2006 Expression Blend / Visual Studio WinRT / Silverlight Compiled .NET languages / JavaScript .NET
XUL
Mozilla
1998 Eclipse XULRunner Interpreted ECMAScript, C++ CSS, RDF, XPCom, JavaScript

FXML

GladeXML

GladeXML is the XML format used by the Glade Interface Designer. It creates forms that can then be used in conjunction with the libglade library using GTK+. Glade provide a graphical interface development environment in the model of Visual Studio, C++ Builder and so ones...

MXML

MXML is an XML markup language introduced by the Macromedia in 2004. Apart the design of user interface, it can also be used in conjunction with ActionScript to implement complex business logic.

OpenLaszlo

OpenLaszlo is an open source platform for the development of web applications with a graphical user interface . It is released under the OSI-certified Common Public License.
The OpenLaszlo platform consists of the LZX programming language and the OpenLaszlo Server.

UIML

According to the website, the goal of UIML is to create an open standard user interface description language in XML that can be freely implemented by anyone. The motivation is to facilitate better tools for creation of user interfaces that work on any platform available today, but which also will allow today's legacy user interfaces to evolve to new forms for use on platforms that are created years from now.

XAML

XAML (Extensible Application Markup Language), pronounced Zammel, is the user interface markup language from Microsoft for he Windows Presentation Foundation for Vista and Seven, but which is much deeply used on WinRT on Windows 8.
XAML elements map to Common Language Runtime objects. Attributes map to properties or events on those objects.
XAML was designed to support the classes and methods in the .NET Framework that deal with user interaction, especially screen displays.
Silverlight is a cross-platform and cross-browser plugin to display interfaces of Web applications that uses XML.

XForms

The XForms standard has been defined by W3C to combine XML and forms on the web. The standard is intended to be more general, and allows input of data from within desktop applications. It replaces in XHTML the form system used for now in HTML. It is made of three parts:

  1. The XForms User Interface provides controls that are targeted toward replacement of HTML's form controls.
    These controls are usable inside XML documents, and thus inside format derived from XML.
  2. XForms also defines XML instance data, a structured XML format for data collected through XForms controls.
  3. A third part, XForms Submit Protocol, defines how data are sent and received.

But to create its own interpretation software, based on an XML parser, this format has little interest because it is not widely implemented and seems destined to be replaced by HTML 5 with JavaScript frameworks.

xWidglets

A former commercial offer which became open source under the Apache License, to another interface language based on XML. For its use, a development workshop is provided along with specialized browser that displays the interfaces.
Based on Java.

xWidglets.

XUL

XUL (XML User Interface Language), to be pronounced zool, is an user interface markup language developed to support Mozilla applications like Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird. XUL reuses many existing standards and technologies, including CSS, JavaScript, DTD, RDF and XPCom. The main benefit of XUL is that it provides a simple and portable definition of common widgets.
It is possible to install the runtime on any machine and to make a XUL application working locally.

The advantages are the compatibility with the standards: Javascript, CSS, RDF. Webmasters are not disoriented.
Integration of HTML code into XUL what makes it possible to complete it with HTML tags, in particular forms.
The disadvantages are that it is extremely difficulty for programming due to RDF, XPCom and JavaScript and the lack of technical information.

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