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About XML: from Ghostbusters to libraries – the power of XUL

Judith Wusteman (Department of Library and Information Studies, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 1 March 2005




This paper introduces XML user‐interface language (XUL) and its use in Mozilla/Firefox extensions. It also describes OPAX, a prototype XUL OPAC user interface based on the Mozilla Amazon Browser.


Extensions offer a clear illustration of the strength of open‐source software.


XUL could have a major impact on the functionality, ease of development and interoperability of user interfaces for a range of library systems.

Practical implications

There is a distinct move towards declarative, markup‐driven user interfaces. It is not yet clear whether XUL will emerge as the leader in this field, although its leverage of common standards and its long and excellent track record make this the ideal scenario.


For anyone not yet convinced that the move from IE to a Mozilla browser can only improve their productivity, extensions should decide the issue.



Wusteman, J. (2005), "About XML: from Ghostbusters to libraries – the power of XUL", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 23 No. 1, pp. 118-129.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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