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   Macromedia XUL (= MXML - Macromedia FleX Markup Language) Now Live

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  To follow up on the Microsoft XUL (=XAML) discussion
allow me to highlight the latest breaking XUL News
Wire story titled "Macromedia XUL (= MXML - Macromedia
FleX Markup Language) Now Live".

  Here we go:

  Macromedia just released their very own XUL dialect
for a beefed up Flash player (formerly known as Royale
now known as Flex) that runs outside a browser and
lets you build "classic" standalone desktop apps using

  In the tech paper titled "An Overview of MXML, the
Macromedia Flex Markup Language" Macromedia Flex
Evangelist Christophe Coenraets writes:

  Markup languages have proven successful and
relatively easy at laying out application user
interfaces. MXML, the XML-based markup language
introduced with Flex, builds on this success. You use
MXML, much like HTML, to declaratively lay out the
user interface of your application. As an XML-based
markup language, MXML has a more structured and less
ambiguous syntax than HTML. MXML also includes a much
richer set of tags than HTML. For example, DataGrid,
Tree, TabNavigator, Accordion, and Menu are all part
of the standard set of tags. You can also extend the
MXML tags and create your own components. But the most
significant difference is that MXML-defined user
interfaces are rendered by Flash Player, providing the
users with a much more engaging experience than
traditional HTML-based, page-centric web applications.

In addition to laying out visual components, you can
also use MXML to define other important aspects of
your applications: For example, you can declaratively
define your application as a client for a web service,
or define animations that provide the user with visual
cues about the state transitions in your application.

  Now if you wonder what Macromedia XUL (aka MXML)
looks like here's a sampling:

    <mx:TextInput id="source" width="100"/>
    <mx:Button label="Copy"
    <mx:TextInput id="destination" width="100"/>


   Deja vu? How about this one:




  Now to wrap up the MSXML story guess what you use
for styling? Allow me to quote Christophe Coenraets:

  Flex adopted the cascading style sheet (CSS)
standard to help ensure the consistency of your user
interface and to facilitate the maintenance of your
applications. Much like in HTML, you can inline a
style sheet in your code, point to an external style
sheet, or define a style as an attribute of a specific
element. Style sheets also allow you to define fonts
for your applications. The required font definition is
embedded in the bytecode of your application to ensure
that the font is rendered correctly even if it is not
available on a user's machine.    

  Full story and links @

   Any comments?
  - Gerald

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