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The Forgotten Macro Language of HTML: XBL 2.0

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the no-nice-things-for-you dept.

Technology 138

tvlinux writes "The web is becoming more than just a media display; there is more interaction and more special things that need to be done. Right now, jQuery is the preferred method of a very dynamic user interface. There is a W3 standard called XBL2.0. It is the macro language of HTML. To me it seems like a great idea — reusable HTML widgets, where each one is a separate object contained with in itself. You can define properties, methods, and events, each of which is self-contained. If the browsers supported XBL2, I can envision a whole ecosystem of new widgets, charts, grids and inputs that people could add to web pages just like any other HTML element. I see less experienced developers being able to create fancy websites by just using DOM and not having to learn jquery. My question: why is XBL dead? I think a macro-language for HTML is a good idea." XBL is alive and well, but only for XUL. Looks like another casualty of HTML5's rejection of XML.

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138 comments

Visual Studio for ASP.NET (-1, Troll)

John Wagger (2693019) | about a year ago | (#43459079)

Many Slashdotters don't know it, but ASP.NET and Visual Studio actually make it really easy to use controls, DOM and object-oriented programming. This makes web coding much more like form-based and MFC-based Windows programming, and it works great.

Not only that, but you can actually automate database design and queries. ASP.NET can create SQL queries and db design based on your classes and this makes programming really fast and easy while maintaining good object-oriented code and practicing safe programming.

Re:Visual Studio for ASP.NET (4, Interesting)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year ago | (#43459121)

I have to hand it to you, as a paid shill you are worth your money:
  • (Article) Posted by Unknown Lamer on Tuesday April 16, @08:42AM
  • (Shill) by John Wagger (2693019) * Alter Relationship on Tuesday April 16, @08:42AM (#43459079)

Re:Visual Studio for ASP.NET (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43459221)

Maybe (ok, almost certainly) he is, the problem is that everything he wrote is true.

Re:Visual Studio for ASP.NET (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43459449)

No, the problem is that everything he said is off-topic

Re:Visual Studio for ASP.NET (-1, Offtopic)

terjeber (856226) | about a year ago | (#43459375)

Did you have anything to say about the veracity of what he said, or were you too retarded to do anything more constructive than shooting at the messenger?

Re:Visual Studio for ASP.NET (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year ago | (#43459399)

This is how you do decent shilling. Everything he said is true, his problem was his omission. The MS stack does provide a reasonable MVC programming model for web applications. So do a number of other competing frameworks, many of which are more scalable, free (to deploy and to get the dev tools), cross-platform (do you really want to be forced to run Windows on your server? Even if you like the platform, you'll pay more if you want to deploy it in something like EC2 because of the HVM overhead), and which have been around longer.

Re:Visual Studio for ASP.NET (1, Offtopic)

terjeber (856226) | about a year ago | (#43459539)

Everything he said is true

OK, just curious...

more scalable

The MS stack scales pretty well these days. IIS is not at the top of the line but neither is it IIS5 or IIS6 which were pretty bad. If you can run the iCloud on Windows Servers (they do) then you can scale on Windows.

free (to deploy and to get the dev tools)

The only thing that is not free for the ASP.NET stack is Windows on the box you develop. Both the stack and the dev tools are free. The express versions of Visual Studio are basically fully functional except for TFS (and a few other minor issues) but I use Git also for my Win development, so that is not an issue.

cross-platform

Mono is coming along quite nicely. I run two .NET MVC sites on Linux/Mono.

(do you really want to be forced to run Windows on your server?

For the majority of enterprise businesses, that is the only thing they do, and they should not even consider thinking about hiring someone to wonder if the should deploy Linux boxes in their business. Anyone small to medium enterprise thinking about putting stuff on Linux should do so in the Cloud, not on premise, but a lot of companies wants or needs their servers on-premise, and the majority of them should use Windows. It's what they know and the training cost alone for putting Linux in place would be a silly investment. Windows just works for most people, and that's good enough.

Re:Visual Studio for ASP.NET (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43459769)

We get it, you're defending a shill because you too are a shill.

Re:Visual Studio for ASP.NET (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43460659)

We get it, you're defending a shill because you too are a shill.

And the name calling begins... Let me join in!

Anonymous Coward!!!

Re:Visual Studio for ASP.NET (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43461473)

Anyone small to medium enterprise thinking about putting stuff on Linux should do so in the Cloud, not on premise, but a lot of companies wants or needs their servers on-premise, and the majority of them should use Windows.

Why? Because you said so?

It's what they know and the training cost alone for putting Linux in place would be a silly investment. Windows just works for most people, and that's good enough.

Windows "just works"? AHAHAHAHAHA. I might buy into your argument if you were talking about desktops, but we're talking about servers.

Re:Visual Studio for ASP.NET (1)

mrvan (973822) | about a year ago | (#43461885)

Okay, I'll bite.

For the majority of enterprise businesses, that is the only thing they do, and they should not even consider thinking about hiring someone to wonder if the should deploy Linux boxes in their business. Anyone small to medium enterprise thinking about putting stuff on Linux should do so in the Cloud, not on premise, but a lot of companies wants or needs their servers on-premise, and the majority of them should use Windows. It's what they know and the training cost alone for putting Linux in place would be a silly investment. Windows just works for most people, and that's good enough.

This is complete and utter bullshit. Properly configuring a windows server with active directory, samba, exchange, etc is not trivial and should not be done by the stereotypical nephew of the SME owner who is good at computers. Setting up a linux server with SMB, IMAP etc is also not trivial but imho easier to set up and keep secured. Also, to an SME the cost of a windows server license is not trivial and you should be able to hire a linux pro to set up and maintain the server for less than the cost of the license if you don't want anything fancy.

I think any small, medium, or large enterprise that does not consider linux (on-site or in-cloud) as a viable alternative to windows servers is not doing good business.

Re:Visual Studio for ASP.NET (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43462647)

To a small or medium business, setting up Linux is pointless. None of their software runs on it. You can complain to Intuit until they port Quickbooks and see how far that gets you. Or save your breath. Your choice.

Meanwhile, there are companies that will set up, administer, and maintain a Windows network for a reasonable monthly fee. $2k for full managed service is half the cost (or less) of a full-timer that can't do anywhere near that much work with that level of skill or expertise. Granted, that type of service isn't cheap enough for a start-up, but a small-to-medium enterprise (to clarify "SME" in the parent post) can afford it.

I happen to work for a company that does exactly this. We sell network management and maintenance contracts to businesses that don't want to have their own in-house IT department. A few of our clients have some Linux boxes on their networks, and we work with them with no problem. We also sell custom development work, mostly .Net. We could do Linux-based development, but, quite frankly, there's zero demand for it. I know this because I'm a developer, not a network guy. We've tried to sell development work to companies that already had Linux. All of them so far have opted to retire the Linux software they had been using in favor of custom .Net development.

YMMV.

Re:Visual Studio for ASP.NET (2)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#43461281)

He didn't mention MVC, he was talking about WebForms so I don't think what he said is true, as all attempts to make web development like forms development to date has been complete and utter crap. WebForms forces you into a paradigm that often suffers impedance mismatch relative to the way the web and HTTP actually works in practice, and often can result in unnecessary transport overheard to support the faux event-based model.

In contrast, I'd say their MVC implementation is actually quite excellent, and it scales as well as the competition- it's only really a handful of the Java alternatives that may scale slightly better (or a custom C++ solution, but that has it's costs in terms of increased development time and higher potential for security nightmares and serious bugs). Just about all of the other alternatives scale much more poorly - Ruby, PHP, and yes, I'm afraid even Python right now (even though it's a great language in it's own right). As such I wouldn't really say ASP.NET MVC has scalability as a concern, it's not one of it's weaknesses relative to the market in general, in fact, it's one of it's strengths in that it's the only true mainstream alternative to Java in most cases. The other things you say are however largely valid:

- Cost is certainly true, though if scalability is an issue you will surely be working on something with a large enough budget that the cost of IDE is a negligible fraction of the total cost of development. This is also a cost that may even be paid for in increased developer productivity through having decent tools. Similarly the increased cost of Windows Server hosting isn't likely to be an issue if you've got a product that requires some reasonable degree of scalability, the additional cost is once again going to be a tiny fraction of your total costs, though if you're really trying to maximise profit margins this will have some impact. The cost thing is of course an issue if you're a lone developer or a small start-up, that's certainly true.

- Cross platform, obviously a bit of a problem here and I agree. If you don't want to use Windows I wouldn't even bother looking at a Mono based solution, by the time you're done fucking around with Mono you may as well have just used Java or whatever in the first place.

Re:Visual Studio for ASP.NET (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43459849)

When I come to a site like Slashdot, in large part it is because of the high quality of the comments, which in turn is because of the high quality of both the moderation and people like Chrisq who expose the shills.

I can go to any site I want and wade through paid shills and astroturfing and personally try to investigate any one, but who has time for that? I come to Slashdot because I don't have time to waste. John Wagger can take his evangelism and go to hell or one of those myriad shitty sites that respectable nerds avoid because they're infested with his kind.

Re:Visual Studio for ASP.NET (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43460609)

He's got that little star because he's paid for Slashdot membership. That means he can see articles before they are visible to the rest of us. Not saying he isn't a shill, but the time isn't a smoking gun.

Re:Visual Studio for ASP.NET (0)

hattig (47930) | about a year ago | (#43459151)

Unfortunately that means you have to run a Windows server for your website, and Windows is dropping like a lead balloon in terms of web server statistics.

The current enterprise web stack is actually something along the lines of Java + Spring (Beans, DI, Security) + Apache Wicket (OO Ajax UI) + Hibernate (DB). The DAO layers being abstracted enough that they could be direct database access or remote method calls via your favoured protocol (RMI, SOAP, JSON, PB, etc).

Re:Visual Studio for ASP.NET (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43459197)

If you only know Apache thats all you see acctually according to some websites IIS is the fastest growing.
http://trends.builtwith.com/Web%20Server/growth#!sixMonths
With nearly 10x more users than 6 months before, you are also hard pressed to find a graph which shows less than 40% IIS usage.

Step outside your bubble before you make huge sweeping statements like this.

Re:Visual Studio for ASP.NET (5, Informative)

evilviper (135110) | about a year ago | (#43459285)

With nearly 10x more users than 6 months before

Those figures are for IIS 8 specifically, not IIS in general. That just means a new version was released, and while only one guy way using it 6 months ago, there's now a few hundred active instances, so the statistics fly all to hell...

you are also hard pressed to find a graph which shows less than 40% IIS usage.

Netcraft says all Microsoft web servers, combined, total just 12% of active sites, as of Feb 2013: Google's own custom, in-house web server may soon surpass IIS in market share.

Meanwhile, Apache and nginx total 67% of the market.

http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2013/02/01/february-2013-web-server-survey.html [netcraft.com]

Re:Visual Studio for ASP.NET (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#43459723)

In other words, Netcraft confirms it: Windows is dying.

Re:Visual Studio for ASP.NET (1)

Querrilla (2898723) | about a year ago | (#43460169)

Just remember that ISS is mostly used on internal servers. Netcraft doesn't and can't access that information.

Re:Visual Studio for ASP.NET (4, Funny)

alexo (9335) | about a year ago | (#43460373)

Just remember that ISS is mostly used on internal servers. Netcraft doesn't and can't access that information.

Not true.

IIS may be mostly used on internal servers. The ISS [wikipedia.org] is as external as you can get.

Re:Visual Studio for ASP.NET (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43461001)

What is the point of an internal web server? If it is development then i think you could argue that all servers have internal versions to develop on.

Re:Visual Studio for ASP.NET (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about a year ago | (#43461561)

Intranet. They serve up LOBs, and various support systems.

Re:Visual Studio for ASP.NET (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about a year ago | (#43462257)

Companies big and small provide employee-only web interfaces to perform administrative tasks. These web sites are uniformly awful.

Re:Visual Studio for ASP.NET (1)

evilviper (135110) | about a year ago | (#43462817)

Just remember that ISS is mostly used on internal servers. Netcraft doesn't and can't access that information.

There are tons and tons of internal web servers run on Apache / Nginx as well. I'd expect the breakdown to be pretty much the same.

Re:Visual Studio for ASP.NET (2)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year ago | (#43459301)

If you only know Apache thats all you see acctually according to some websites IIS is the fastest growing. http://trends.builtwith.com/Web%20Server/growth#!sixMonths [builtwith.com] With nearly 10x more users than 6 months before, you are also hard pressed to find a graph which shows less than 40% IIS usage.

Step outside your bubble before you make huge sweeping statements like this.

Unfortunately the stats you refer to are for IIS8, and are linked to a corresponding decline in IIS6 [builtwith.com] as people upgrade. If you look at the stats for all versions of IIS on the site you link [builtwith.com] you will see that far from being the fastest growing, IIS usage as a whole is slowly declining.

Re:Visual Studio for ASP.NET (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43459309)

How much are Micro$hit paying you to spread this garbage?? Go look at one of Roy Schestowitz's sites if you want the truth, that's if you're interested, $hill.

Re:Visual Studio for ASP.NET (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43459295)

Get your proprietary shit off my Slashdot, Microturd scum!

Re:Visual Studio for ASP.NET (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43459299)

Yeah right. ASP.NET is great for creating a simple page for 5 minutes.
For the normal "tasks" - it's SOOO GOOD that microsoft had to create ASP.NET MVC in order to be competitive :)

Re:Visual Studio for ASP.NET (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year ago | (#43459351)

The web world evolves. That's a good thing.

Re:Visual Studio for ASP.NET (2)

terjeber (856226) | about a year ago | (#43459395)

Yeah, that terrible Microsoft. They have one technology, ASP.NET, which over time loses favor. As does all the similar Web technologies like JSP etc. It turns out that the whole thing with pages and code-behind is a bad idea. Along comes Ruby and Rails, and things change. Microsoft sees that this is a Good Idea(TM) and they make their own similar stuff. As does everybody else. Lots of cross-copying takes place. Microsoft makes the (arguably) best template engine (Razor) and the Java world copies that (Play! Framework).

This is the natural way of things. Only when Microsoft does it it must be evil.

Seems like the mental faculties of the average /. reader is dropping faster than one would expect something sitting in a standard 1G well.

Re:Visual Studio for ASP.NET (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year ago | (#43459675)

SOOO GOOD that microsoft had to create ASP.NET MVC in order to be competitive :)

Cough ... Silverlight ... cough

Re:Visual Studio for ASP.NET (1)

r1348 (2567295) | about a year ago | (#43459463)

Man, among shills, you are king.

Re:Visual Studio for ASP.NET (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43459517)

Looks like many Slashdotters can spot a fucking shill when they see one.

I heard Orthy is looking for work too, why don't you go suck his dick instead of astroturfing here? Then you'd both feel better.

Re:Visual Studio for ASP.NET (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43459683)

The sad truth is that html5 is failing to take off.

  - whatever the reasons for this, and many of them are structural, the w3c must share some of the responsibility.

If they had any credibility before, surely it's gone now. Most devs I know will take the attitude that they need to put their 'standards' where the sun won't shine. And then some.

Re:Visual Studio for ASP.NET (1)

dingen (958134) | about a year ago | (#43459873)

The sad truth is that html5 is failing to take off.

HTML5 failing to take off? What? Who the hell starts a web project and *doesn't* do it in HTML5? And that's been the case for at least a year now. Whether it's an official standard or not makes no difference, the reality is that all current and previous versions of all major browsers do HTML5 and devs know this and use this to their advantage.

HTML5 may not be the best thing since sliced bread and it doesn't solve all of the problems in the world, but it is being used and not by a small amount either.

Maybe you're confusing HTML5 with Windows 8? Because only then your statement would make any sense.

Re:Visual Studio for ASP.NET (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about a year ago | (#43462083)

You should not confuse support and necessity with success. HTML5 is used for web apps because it's the only game in town. However, now that the hype has finally started dying and the pretty packaging burned off, its true competence is being seen. It serves certain niches pretty well, but it is built on a foundation too small to support the roles people were trying to shove it into. It is--as the saying goes--"too big for its britches". You cannot efficiently, and easily produce quality products from consumer grade equipment and that's precisely what HTML5/JavaScript are. Its heritage is that of a technology conceived and intended to be accessible to anyone with a modest amount of computer savvy and a "...for Dummies" or "...in 24 Hours" book in hand.

Management is finally starting to realize the true cost of HTML5/JavaScript and are making decisions that reflect that. In the mobile space for instance it is exceptionally likely that you will find a native app offering as the "preferred" means of a company interfacing with you. You can get the stripped down, and/or clumsy HTML5 site or just download our app. Select any Windows PC, Mac, or Linux computer and you will almost always find native apps taking center stage for its respective user.

Re:Visual Studio for ASP.NET (1)

dingen (958134) | about a year ago | (#43462371)

It's true native apps are still usually richer and faster than web applications, but if you compare the state of the web as an application platform today with how it was 5, 10 or 15 years ago it's very clear it's becoming more competent every day. Nobody expected HTML5 to be a magical leap, but it is solid progress and it isn't slowing down either. I wouldn't call HTML5 a failure at all. It's a great step forward, no more and no less.

Re:Visual Studio for ASP.NET (1)

hackula (2596247) | about a year ago | (#43460579)

What??!! Pretty much anyone who does web development is using HTML5. Is there even an alternative in the web world? "Nah, I think my new web application will only target HTML4 cuz all my customers use IE6". Sure, more consistent standards would be great, but with modern libraries, even that is not nearly as big of deal as it was in years past.

Re:Visual Studio for ASP.NET (1)

invid (163714) | about a year ago | (#43461369)

John, you'll have to mention Natalie Portman or Soviet Russia to have any chance of fooling anyone on Slashdot. Do some research first.

'MFC-based Windows programming'. Really? You're not going to win us over with that argument.

Forgotten? (3, Interesting)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about a year ago | (#43459115)

A Mozilla-only technology that no other engine supports doesn't really qualify as forgotten, even if someone submits it to W3C.

Dojo / Dijit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43459119)

If you want reusable, self-contained widgets that can be used to construct new more complex widgets that can int turn be distributed as self-contained reusable widgets, have a look at Dojo/Dijit [dojotoolkit.org] . Basically, Dojo is a library that does what jQuery does, but a slightly worse, and Dijit is a library that does what jQuery-UI does, but about a million times better.

Re:Dojo / Dijit (2)

Chatterton (228704) | about a year ago | (#43459355)

I have tried very hard by 2 times to use Dojo to develop a web application (1st try in the 1.2 era and the 2nd try with 1.9 since a week).

I get it somehow working with the 1.2 version with some workarounds (eg: I can't get it to insanciate a message box on demand. I have to have one hidden in my page, replace its content and display it when needed).

With 1.9, I can't even get it to load some HTML to put an horizontal menu in a content panel. And all the examples I find on internet are from older versions of dojo.

If I could just find some kind of template application with a login screen and a master/detail screen with the basic ADD/UPDATE/DELETE sub screens all done within one html page. I could start from that. But for now the examples are not enough to start using dojo has it should be used. And the available examples are diluted in the google results in a way that they are nearly impossible to find :/

I contrast jQuery is simpler to use, get a lot of plugins to add what you need it to do and 'lighter' that you can split your application on multiple page without having a loading time betwwen user intercation too long making the application feel unresponsive...

I like really the design of Dojo. But the step is too high for me to use it :( I should stick to jQuery :/

Re:Dojo / Dijit (2)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about a year ago | (#43459731)

I have tried very hard by 2 times to use Dojo to develop a web application (1st try in the 1.2 era and the 2nd try with 1.9 since a week).

I get it somehow working with the 1.2 version with some workarounds (eg: I can't get it to insanciate a message box on demand. I have to have one hidden in my page, replace its content and display it when needed).

With 1.9, I can't even get it to load some HTML to put an horizontal menu in a content panel. And all the examples I find on internet are from older versions of dojo.

If I could just find some kind of template application with a login screen and a master/detail screen with the basic ADD/UPDATE/DELETE sub screens all done within one html page. I could start from that. But for now the examples are not enough to start using dojo has it should be used. And the available examples are diluted in the google results in a way that they are nearly impossible to find :/

I contrast jQuery is simpler to use, get a lot of plugins to add what you need it to do and 'lighter' that you can split your application on multiple page without having a loading time betwwen user intercation too long making the application feel unresponsive...

I like really the design of Dojo. But the step is too high for me to use it :( I should stick to jQuery :/

Consider yourself lucky. I had to refund 2 months worth of billing because my attempts to use dojo/dijit were such an abject failure that the client rejected it outright.

Dojo was really hot when it was new, but I had the misfortune to try it when it was at a low spot. It also didn't help that I was attempting to plug it into someone else's DIY JS framework and they had mis-redefined core JS functions.

jQuery has been a lot friendlier to me.

Re:Dojo / Dijit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43461527)

jQuery is the herpes of JavaScript, whereas Dojo is full-blown AIDS.

Really? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43459133)

Did you even read any of the documents you linked in this post? XBL was never a macro language for HTML, though it could be used for that purpose. It was created by Mozilla specifically for use with XUL. They submitted it to the W3C as a Technical Note (http://www.w3.org/TR/2001/NOTE-xbl-20010223/), and their implementation didn't match the specification they submitted, so naturally it didn't go anywhere. XBL 2.0 was done properly, and is at the Candidate Recommendation stage. However, it will likely never go beyond that: not just because it hasn't for 6 years now, but because the W3C requires two complete and interoperable implementations to exist. Since all the other browsers already have their own ways to mangle CSS into non-standardness, there's not much interest in adopting it.

There is no Dana, only XUL (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43459139)

XUL: Do you want this <body/>?

Venkman: Is this a trick question or what?

Re:There is no Dana, only XUL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43461243)

Most excellent one! Zing!

Not the fault of HTML 5 (1)

mrbester (200927) | about a year ago | (#43459141)

XBL was disregarded long before HTML 5 by all browser makers except Mozilla, so trying to pin blame on something that didn't even exist is ignorant and downright rude.

Why is it dead: (5, Funny)

psholty2 (2696677) | about a year ago | (#43459165)

Plain old HTML:

<li onmouseover="doSomething();">...</li>

Same thing with XBL:

<xbl xmlns="http://www.w3.org/ns/xbl">
    <binding element="#nav li">
        <handlers>
            <handler event="mouseover">
                doSomething();
            </handler>
        </handlers>
    </binding>
</xbl>

Re:Why is it dead: (2, Interesting)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#43459431)

What exactly is your point? That because the HTML is shorter it is somehow better or easier to maintain? That XML style definitions are bad cause there is too much fluff for your brain to comprehend? Actually, what the Hell are you saying?

"Short != Better" (TM)
Plain old HTML fails miserably, since that hard-codes what to do into every instance of the list element. That's akin to writing a separate class for every instance of Foo, defining the exact same operations for each one. It might look shorter when you have one instance, not so much when you have 1000. Yeah, you could auto-generate the Plain old HTML from a back-end, but for your argument to work, you'd have to show that code too. Plus the code needed to bring it all together.

Re:Why is it dead: (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43459511)

Short == Better when it is a website with millions of people accessing it. Every single BYTE counts.

Also, HTML Templating exists too.

And finally, the reason it was gone isn't because of this, but because Web Components (parent of Templating) is what replaced it.
It is far more in line with HTML than generic XML is. XML is painful.
Web Components Spec [w3.org]
Templates are deliciously simple to work with as well.

Re:Why is it dead: (1)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#43459721)

Yep, short is better when every byte counts. The point was though, that OP was comparing oranges to apples. Following that argument and filling in the blanks doesn't lead to the conclusion that he would like.

Brevity (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about a year ago | (#43459599)

Good

Re:Why is it dead: (1)

LucidBeast (601749) | about a year ago | (#43459623)

Did you know us coders only have limited number of KEYUP events before we die.

Re:Why is it dead: (4, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#43459787)

"Short != Better" (TM)

Short sometimes == Better:
- Programmers don't have to spend as much time reading to figure it out.
- In studies, the ratio of bugs to code size is basically constant until the code is thoroughly tested. Minimize the size of the code, reduce your bug count.
- For network services, including HTTP, fewer bytes = fewer packets = faster response.
- Short is often simpler.

Compare the XBL shown above to the equivalent JQuery:

$.("li#nav").on( "mouseover", doSomething );

Which one would you rather read and parse?

Re:Why is it dead: (3, Insightful)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#43460421)

Simplicity is in the eye of the beholder.
Your code does not contain fewer bugs because you put it all in one line. Your code contains bugs because it was, for the most part, produced by humans. And even the best developers will have an error rate > 0. Shorter lines does not magically boost reader comprehension. The quality and clarity of the code produced will however help you, no matter how many lines you're maintaining.

You can scream and moan all you want, the OP is still comparing apples and oranges, and so are you. I don't lament the forgotten-ness of XBL, good riddance. But that little tid-bit of XBL code in the OP is actually very very clear with regards to it's intent; maybe it's just me being way too familiar with XML style syntax.

If every byte counts, don't pick a framework that serves plain XML as responses, that's just retarded. Choosing the right tool for the job, is, well, part of the job.

And yes I got fed the same statistics about code size leading to more bugs in school too, and I thought it was self-evident back then too. More lines -> possibly more features -> more bugs. It is a very simple, but apparently so hard to grasp that studies had to be performed.
If you minimize your code base, you're going to have to cut out features, which in turn leads to comparing oranges and apples again because you no longer have the same product. Or are you saying that jQuery-minified.js is less buggy than jQuery.js?

Re:Why is it dead: (1)

Qzukk (229616) | about a year ago | (#43461181)

maybe it's just me being way too familiar with XML style syntax.

I think so, because I find

#nav li {
  onmouseover: doSomething();
}

to be more understandable than EITHER of the xbl or jquery examples. Sadly, the CSS people don't want to add javascript and nobody stepped up with a cjs (other than this [wikipedia.org] but it's just css with javascript, not cascading javascript sheets).

Re:Why is it dead: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43461731)

Obviously, you can tell you haven't used XUL then. With the CSS style -moz-binding, you can bind events to DOM elements through this. The kewl thing is that when you removed the style, the bindings removed as well. This makes it very easy to handle drag and drops, among other things. I think XBL is great, but completely useless for actual web pages. They are wonderful for actual webAPPs though. It allows you to completely create encapsulated components that others can use without even having to use javascript.

Re:Why is it dead: (1)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#43462051)

Much appreciated.
Simplicity is in the eye of the beholder. I have a preference due to experience and training, and so do you. Discounting one technology because it takes a few more lines to clearly define intent for all instances, as opposed to defining it for one instance with one line, is being a religious zealot, a troll, a retard or possibly a combination of them all.

Re:Why is it dead: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43462175)

Oh please, are you really trying to defend that crap XBL snippet by saying jQuery has bugs? Strawman. You think your XBL engine runs on pixiedust? jQuery API is way cleaner. There is no comparison.

Re:Why is it dead: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43462305)

What exactly is your point?

The point is that XML bloat is the suck. XBL isn't going anywhere because smart people know better than to inflict that crap on themselves.

Dead because HTML templates won (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | about a year ago | (#43461039)

That's not really the problem. Sure, it takes more code to define a reusable template than to just use HTML to define a use-one widget, but that's expected. The savings from templates come from reuse, not from using them once.

XBL 2.0 is not a W3C standard, its a W3C Working Note -- which is very far from a standard -- that has a big fat "no one is maintaining or implementing this" on it.

It seems to be dead because the competing HTML Template (current W3C working draft [w3.org] ) model was more successful in attracting commitments from implementers.

Re:Why is it dead: (1)

higuita (129722) | about a year ago | (#43461133)

you can also format the layout of a page with tables, its may also be much shorter than CSS!!

Good thing it's dead (3, Insightful)

MaxToTheMax (1389399) | about a year ago | (#43459183)

HTML, XML, and really the whole SGML family kind of suck-- ugly syntax, annoying to hand-edit, lots of boilerplate, and the list of faults go on. The idea of writing actual programs in such a language is terrifying.

Re:Good thing it's dead (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43459227)

Yet it's popular. Alright, not entire programs, but recall that there isn't just one, but three xml-y query languages. Just the thing if your business logic language manages to feel yet more like a straitjacket. Just look where their use is popular.

To me the whole thing is rather useless as a data format too, since it's rather hard to parse correctly (no, "just use a library" is not a valid counter for observing that the format is hard to parse--libraries do not make complexity go away, they just hide it under the carpet, making you deal with the resulting bumps) and all too often serves as an excuse to fuck up the encoding worse than what they would've managed without prefab oh-so-useful libraries. As such, it reeks like buzzwords. Liked-by-developers buzzwords.

Re:Good thing it's dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43459473)

So... what alternative do you suggest? Should we revert to every application having its own, proprietary, arbitrary, undocumented, inscrutable, binary data format?

Re:Good thing it's dead (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year ago | (#43459667)

So... what alternative do you suggest? Should we revert to every application having its own, proprietary, arbitrary, undocumented, inscrutable, binary data format?

Microsoft is very good at this!

Re:Good thing it's dead (1)

MaxToTheMax (1389399) | about a year ago | (#43462719)

I can think of a few alternatives. Lua, while usually thought of as a programming language, started out as a data description language, and still does that job well. JSON is basically JavaScript initializers. Hell, even S-expressions at least have the advantage of being less cluttered. There are plenty of existing, standardized plaintext formats for representing structured data, and just about all of them are better than HTML/XML. I guarantee you'd find _any_ of them more readable than HTML/XML, even if it was the first time you'd seen it.

Re:Good thing it's dead (3, Informative)

jetole (1242490) | about a year ago | (#43459231)

HTML, XML, and really the whole SGML family kind of suck-- ugly syntax, annoying to hand-edit, lots of boilerplate, and the list of faults go on. The idea of writing actual programs in such a language is terrifying.

You cannot write programs in any of those. They are not programming languages. They are markup languages. That's why they all have ML in each acronym. It's short for "Markup Language".

You cannot program? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43459287)

Like in... XSLT?

I don't know whether you were being ironical or not. But the amount of bad taste coming from this XML direction is almost boundless. Even programming.

Re:You cannot program? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43459383)

Almost as bad as LISP. But useful.

Re:You cannot program? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43459715)

Where do you see "ML" in "XSLT" ...? XSLT is a (IMHO quite ugly but pretty smart) functional transformation language completely distinct from the "ML" themselves. You said crap, admit it.

And well, really, the "ML" from SGML descent might be verbose and ugly, they are not so bad. They are languages to describe trees (and graphs to some extents) and that's it. They all are ugly anyway, we actually just don't care are they mostly are generated by the smart stuffs we create as programmers.

Re:You cannot program? (1)

John Bokma (834313) | about a year ago | (#43462419)

XSLT is an XML *implementation*. You write the transformations (the T in XSTL) in XML... So contrary to what you implied, you *do* write the programs in XML...

Re:You cannot program? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year ago | (#43462631)

"XSLT is an XML *implementation*."

Mod up for funny. That's hilarious! :)

XSLT is NOT XML. It's a programming language created to manipulate XML, but it is not even remotely written in XML. I mean, not even close.

You are confusing a programming language with the data it was designed to manipulate.

libxslt, for example (one of the implementations of XSLT) is written in C. Xalan is available in Java and C++ versions. No XML anywhere in sight.

Re:You cannot program? (1)

John Bokma (834313) | about a year ago | (#43462851)

*sigh* there are plenty of programming languages that are not written in itself. perl is not written in Perl, but C and still Perl is a programming language. XSLT is indeed written in XML, but it's not coded in XML. It can be coded in C, Java, whatever.

Re:Good thing it's dead (1)

MaxToTheMax (1389399) | about a year ago | (#43462755)

Quite right, but adding a macro language to HTML moves it much closer in that direction, as it adds a more declarative rather than imperative feel. Note that I fully support imperative markup, but if you're going to do that, you might as well use a real language.

Re:Good thing it's dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43459689)

Please don't be patronizing when you don't know what you are talking about. This is not a matter of programming at all. The idea that you are involved in computer stuffs is terrifying as well.

Re:Good thing it's dead (1)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#43460807)

I take it you never really liked Coldfusion then?

Seriously though, I don't really know why people bitch about XML etc. being ugly. It may be true, but of all the alternatives I've seen they're all just as bad, and often even have more quirks and of course, completely lack any level of worthwhile support.

Come up with something better, then you can complain.

Re:Good thing it's dead (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year ago | (#43462765)

This.

Re:Good thing it's dead (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year ago | (#43462709)

"HTML, XML, and really the whole SGML family kind of suck-- ugly syntax, annoying to hand-edit, lots of boilerplate, and the list of faults go on."

You have a replacement in mind?

Sure, XML has its faults, but so far there are no direct replacements... nobody has yet had a better idea, for doing what XML does.

XML was designed to be easily machine-readable AND human-readable. That is what it is for.

The only viable "replacement" these days is JSON, and JSON sucks really hard, because all the faults you list for XML are even more true for JSON than XML: it's hard to read, the syntax is ugly, it is awesomely annoying to hand-edit (far worse than XML), etc. And that's not even delving into JSON's other quirks.

The only reason JSON is so successful is that it is exceedingly easy to read and create using JavaScript. That's what it's for. But human-readable? Yuck. Editing? Fuhgeddaboudit.

It's been superceded by Web Components (5, Informative)

Amtiskaw (591171) | about a year ago | (#43459283)

It's been superceded by Web Components: https://dvcs.w3.org/hg/webcomponents/raw-file/tip/explainer/index.html [w3.org]

That's why it's dead.

Re:It's been superceded by Web Components (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43459317)

See also http://www.w3.org/TR/shadow-dom/ and http://www.w3.org/TR/components-intro/

Re:It's been superceded by Web Components (2)

spiralx (97066) | about a year ago | (#43459477)

There's some articles about the template tag [robdodson.me] , web components [robdodson.me] and custom elements [robdodson.me] . HTML5 Rocks has some articles on the shadow DOM [html5rocks.com] as well.

Re:It's been superceded by Web Components (1)

Flammon (4726) | about a year ago | (#43459981)

Web Components will be useful when theyr'e eventually implemented in browsers other than WebKit but a better solution already exists and is supported by all major browsers. JavaScript. It can be just as declarative as XML, more succinct and much more powerful.

Here's how I write my web apps lately.

var saveButton = new Button({
        label: 'Save'
        , busyLabel: 'Saving...'
        , timeout: 30000
}).placeAt(container);

XBL? (0)

ExploHD (888637) | about a year ago | (#43459509)

XBL stands for eXtended Business Language and is designed for the financial accounting of a company. Corporations must transmit their data in XBL to the SEC for quick analysis. I guess it can be used on the web, but it's much more of an internal language.

Re:XBL? (1)

liamevo (1358257) | about a year ago | (#43459803)

I suppose ignoring the fact acronyms can be more than one thing makes your comment relevant.

Re:XBL? (1)

rla3rd (596810) | about a year ago | (#43460075)

XBL stands for XML Binding Language
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XBL [wikipedia.org]

XBRL stands for Extensible Business Reporting Language
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XBRL [wikipedia.org]
http://www.xbrl.org/ [xbrl.org]

Re:XBL? (1)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#43460843)

No it stands for XBox Live.

GO acronym wars!

Though technically XBL is an abbreviation, not an acronym.

More languages is *not* what the web needs (4, Informative)

dingen (958134) | about a year ago | (#43459555)

The absolute minimum a developer needs to know in order to create a web application these days is: HTML, CSS, Javascript, some programming language on the server (e.g. PHP, Java, Python) and something to store stuff on the server (e.g. MySQL, PostgreSQL, CouchDB, MongoDB). It's also nice if the developer knows how his webserver works. At the very least he should know how .htaccess files work so he can configure his web application to work the way he wants.
Then there is not really necessary but certainly useful stuff to add like an Ajax library (jQuery, YUI, Dojo etc.) and a CSS preprocessor (SASS/SCSS). And there is a bunch of other useful stuff that doesn't really require any training, but they are beneficial to the development of your project like normalize.css, modernizr and html5shiv. These things help to make your web app cross browser compatible and make sure they sorta work with old (but not too old) IE's as well.
And because this is already a lot of stuff and you dont need to invent the wheel for the millionth time, it may be nice to wrap both your clientside and serverside code into a framework. This also helps to prevent things from getting too messed up as the project grows.
For the clientside the choice is relatively limited as Javascript is the only language available. A selection of different frameworks for review is available here: http://javascriptmvc.com/ [javascriptmvc.com]
For the serverside you pick a framework based on your language. Or you pick a language based on the framework you choose. Its up to you.

So no, we dont need yet another language on top of all this, thank you very much.

Re:More languages is *not* what the web needs (1)

garyoa1 (2067072) | about a year ago | (#43459659)

Yeah, well cross browser compatibility seems to be a thing of the past. A lot of problems have been turning up for a lot of folks lately. Need to fill out a form? Won't work? Change browsers... works like a charm. That new browser won't fill out another form? Try another browser or maybe even your original browser. Works fine.

Re:More languages is *not* what the web needs (1)

louden obscure (766926) | about a year ago | (#43459703)

yup. i need to use firefox when selling on ebay cuz chrome doesn't work right; photobucket chokes on firefox, gotta fire up chrome to access certain features...

Re:More languages is *not* what the web needs (2)

dingen (958134) | about a year ago | (#43459845)

That's a creative use of the phrase "works fine".

Re:More languages is *not* what the web needs (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about a year ago | (#43459747)

The absolute minimum a developer needs to know in order to create a web application these days is: ....

Don't be silly. Web development is easy. Just this week a wise person right here on /. told me an 8-year old child can do it.

Re:More languages is *not* what the web needs (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year ago | (#43462869)

"The absolute minimum a developer needs to know in order to create a web application these days"

You forgot XML or (probably and) JSON. And knowing how to use at least one good graphics manipulation program, probably more. And intimate knowledge of your editor.

YOU FbAIL IT (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43459797)

It aate8pts to

Guess I'm the one guy here. (3, Interesting)

bobaferret (513897) | about a year ago | (#43460003)

Xbl is dead because it's got a steep learning curve and is painfully abstract. Having written a fair amount of it, it took quite a while to get used to. I used while doing a bunch of xforms work with the Orbeon engine; but even they have dropped support for it as their component model. It was pretty cool, you could nest a number of XBL components together and have them render based on the data type of your XML element. An example would be an XBL phone number editor. Every time your schema used that type in your form you always got that editor for it; but debugging was impossible. It all happened in the dark on a cloudy night through three layers of fog snow rain and ice.

Where are you keeping your inner cynic? (2)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about a year ago | (#43460607)

>less experience developers be able to create fancy websites by just using DOM and not having to learn jquery

and you expect more experienced developers to make this happen? Look at lawyers and the law since the 1600s - when has it ever gotten simpler or easier for newbies?

Slashdot Editors (1)

lightbox32 (1903946) | about a year ago | (#43461411)

[...]separate object contained with in it self.

Honestly, is this where the English language is headed? Breaking up words until all sense is lost?

Re:Slashdot Editors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43461861)

Probably a gomer or a dothead.

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