GUIs - ruby on rails, rico

Martin Carlson martin@REDACTED
Mon Sep 19 19:22:06 CEST 2005

Hi all,

I haven't had a close look at this XMLHTTP, but to me it
don't sound to far from XUL (
Where you use the mozilla chrome engine to render a gui.
The "thing" is that you can either render XUL pages
(much like html pages) remotely in a sandbox mode or
you can install them ontop of mozilla as a extention,
which infact run as a "normal" application i.e. thunderbird
or firefox.

The XUL rendering works in pretty much the same way where
you have a horrible XML file and thus a DOM tree that you can
manipulat with java scripts. Thus, using the XmlHttpRequest to
communicate with the server can make the gui appear interactive
where all communication takes place in the background as POST and
GET requests to the server.


On Mon, 19 Sep 2005, Joe Armstrong (AL/EAB) wrote:

> It's even better than I thought. The Canvas widget *is* in
> Firefox 1.5 beta 1 and runs out of the box!!!
> Strangely there are very few working examples on the net to show how the
> canvas is used.
> This is amazing - up to now it has been difficult to direct display vector graphics
> on the web - with the canvas widget this is easy.
> Wow
> /Joe
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: owner-erlang-questions@REDACTED
>> [mailto:owner-erlang-questions@REDACTED]On Behalf Of Joe Armstrong
>> (AL/EAB)
>> Sent: den 19 september 2005 11:22
>> To: erlang-questions
>> Subject: GUIs - ruby on rails, rico
>> It seems like my quest for a GUI is almost over.
>> Klacke had pointed me at XMLHTTP but I just didn't get it (dumbo) -
>> Then I hacked a bit and - WOW. Firstly XMLHTTP is nothing
>> about XML - it's just allows
>> a light weight RPC to made from within a web page. So you
>> connect a bit
>> of JavaScript to an event - this JavaScript RPCs a server,
>> the server replies with
>> a string that the JavaScript interprets (any old string - not
>> necessarily XML)
>> and the JavaScript modifies the web page.
>> The last bit (the JavaScript modifies the web page) is the
>> tricky bit - to
>> do this you need to use the DOM - which is (uuugh) painful.
>> Fortunately there are libraries to do this - ruby on rails
>> uses prototype.js to do this
>> And Tobbe has written a library
>> (jungerl/lib/js) to take to prototype.js
>> Also of interest is rico
>> (especially their innerHTML
>> demo) (see
>> As far as I can see one could make a pretty snazzy GUI in a
>> web brower with
>> 	- a local HTTP server (yaws)
>> 	- XMLHTTP and
>> 	- rico or prototype.js
>> Also in the pipeline is an HTML extension <canvas> which has
>> made it to
>> safari and mozilla - this is looking good.
>> What would be even nicer would be a port of the konfabulator to linux
>> - since this (I think) would
>> solve all my GUI problems.
>> This technology is about to explode - so yaws should be well placed -
>> this means that servers are going to be handling a lot of
>> lightweight RPCs
>> So go hack
>> /Joe

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