GSoC2010 Status Update: Week 2

June 4, 2010

At the beginning of second week, I finished my reading on Jeff’s “Working without a nib” series. Although all the experiments are on Leopard (which is not current anymore), one can learn many things out of the series. While some people prefer the nib-approach (isn’t the framework expecting you to do so?), Jeff pointed out some inconvenience using nib. First of all, you can not search/diff a nib file, thus it is hard to see which changes in the source code may break the nib. Secondly, for the same reason, merging from version control with nibs is frustrated. Lastly, there are times in which “it’s simply easier to create the UI programmatically than to use a nib”. In conclusion, if you find yourself stuck in one of these situations, maybe you would like to give “nib-less” programming a try 😛

The rest of the second week was spent on researching XPCOM technology. Although XPCOM is widely used in many softwares (including Mozilla products), there is just too little guide on this technology. And the situation is much worse for XPCOM on Mac. What seems lacking is a simple step-by-step tutorial that *just* works. Luckily, Blake pointed me to David’s XPCOM tutorial. Another good guide is here, although it didn’t make full use of all the helper macros. Next week I will try David’s tutorial on Linux and Mac as a starting point to writing my own XPCOM components.

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