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Mozilla The Internet Java Programming

Jazilla Milestone 1 Released 354

mcbridematt writes "Many of the long time Slashdot readers will remember the Jazilla project to rewrite the Mozilla browser in Java. It went into hibernation in 2000 and I took it over last August. I have completely rewrote the browser which now follows a more Mozilla-like architecture. The Result: Jazilla Milestone 1 has been released. Download it from here. No prizes for guessing that it's Alpha software." Read on below for a list of what Jazilla can do, so far.

"Significant (implemented) features include:

  • chrome:// support
  • JavaScript implemented for the GUI thanks to the Rhino engine. HTML Scripting coming.
  • GUI in part, uses XUL and W3C DOM
  • Written in 100% Java
  • Open Source
  • Uses the NetBrowser renderer, which is actually based on Jazilla-classic work."
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Jazilla Milestone 1 Released

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  • Running this puppy (Score:5, Informative)

    by mcgroarty ( 633843 ) <brian.mcgroarty@g m a i l .com> on Saturday May 24, 2003 @01:14PM (#6031464) Homepage
    I'm sure a million people will want to see this, but not everybody knows how to start it.

    Once you expand and extract this puppy, just cd into the folder it made and, assuming Java is properly installed on your machine, you need only run:

    java org/jxul/xulrunner/Main

    Good luck, and enjoy! The browser's still lacking in many obvious areas, but it does work on a lot of sites. Too cool -- props for all the hard wo\ rk. :-)

    • by jeffg ( 2966 ) on Saturday May 24, 2003 @01:36PM (#6031579)

      You may need to specify a classpath manually using one of the following (again, both from the directory containing README, COPYING.TXT, etc.):

      java -cp . org/jxul/xulrunner/Main
      java -classpath . org/jxul/xulrunner/Main

      Windows users: The "jazilla.bat" file may or may not work for you. You may wish to edit this file to specify the classpath as above. You could also change your CLASSPATH environment variable, if you felt the need.

      • by MyHair ( 589485 )
        java -Ddebug=true -Dsun.java2d.noddraw=true -cp . org/jxul/xulrunner/Main

        For Windows users with ATI cards, add the -Dsun.java2d.noddraw=true option to the command. (Prevents system lockups due to some conflict between Java & DirectX and ATI.)
    • C:\jazilla>java -Ddebug=true org/jxul/xulrunner/Main
      Exception in thread "main" java.lang.NoClassDefFoundError: org/jxul/xulrunner/Main

      /me kicks Java, tries to work out what's wrong, gives up and goes back to revising for his finals ...

    • by axxackall ( 579006 ) on Saturday May 24, 2003 @03:52PM (#6032164) Homepage Journal
      assuming Java is properly installed on your machine, you need only run: java org/jxul/xulrunner/Main

      Assuming that mozilla is properly installed on your machine, you need only run: /usr/bin/mozilla

      And presuming I run anything only if sources are available, I don't want any Java VM on my machine.

    • by mcbridematt ( 544099 ) on Saturday May 24, 2003 @07:52PM (#6033055) Homepage Journal
      I might as well add two other things I didn't put in my original submission:

      1) Look in org/netbeans/netbrowser/tags for any .java files not compiled. Compile them. The renderer uses Reflection to start up tags, so they don't get compiled at compile time. In the future, if Jazilla finds a compiler and tag which isn't compiled, it will compile that tag
      2) Did I mention that getting URL's is multithreaded? If you try and hack it abit, e.g use a JIT for Crimson, you might get a better result.

      Also, anyone wishing to make a product based on Jazilla, note that the jXUL part is unlicensed. I am yet to talk to Kevin T. Smith (co-founder of the jXUL project) about what license to put it under. The renderer is under the SPL. When that's done, expect anything under org.jxul to move to org.jazilla

    • by hatrisc ( 555862 ) on Saturday May 24, 2003 @08:13PM (#6033124) Homepage
      actually there's a script.
  • Why? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by SporkNet ( 612412 )
    The question had to be asked
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Funny)

      by mcgroarty ( 633843 ) <brian.mcgroarty@g m a i l .com> on Saturday May 24, 2003 @01:21PM (#6031508) Homepage
      Hee. I told him it would get him laid, then forgot to mention it was a joke. A year and a half later, it was just too funny not to let him keep running with it. Shh! My bad!
  • by crashnbur ( 127738 ) on Saturday May 24, 2003 @01:15PM (#6031472)
    And I still test in various other browsers and in various other operating systems. But, of course, if Jazilla ever gets good reviews, I'll try it.

    Other than being Java-based, what's the point of this web browser?

    • by watzinaneihm ( 627119 ) on Saturday May 24, 2003 @01:32PM (#6031561) Journal
      Some uses I can think of is embedding sub-parts of it in embedded environments.You also can modify it (Open-source) it for use in hundreds of ways to create useful apps.This most probably is not going to replace any browser on the average desktop, but can possibly be used as a web-test tool, automation framework etc.
      What about running a browser/modification on a Netware box (it supports java) and no cross compiler necessary.
      Also note that W3C demoes a browser on their website ( Amaya IIRC) written in Java.
    • by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Saturday May 24, 2003 @01:53PM (#6031664) Journal
      Other than being Java-based, what's the point of this web browser?

      I could probably name 100+ embedded devices that support java. Having an Open Source java browser is a good thing.

      Besides that, I could also harp about the security of java.

      Hmm, it would be ironic if Jazilla had a problem running applets.
    • It has less to do with the browser and more to do with open standards imho. Far too often I'm seeing more and more websites that are tailoring their Web experience to specific browsers like IE, Mozilla/Netscape, and Opera. The side effect is hearing *far too many people* say "IE works the best" or Opera is the greatest thing since sliced bread (thanks to the "free porn" industry). It's also a wonderful tool to see what barfs on popular websites and see the many unnecessary and cruddy obfuscations they've
      • scripsit Jon E:

        Opera is the greatest thing since sliced bread (thanks to the "free porn" industry).

        Now, I have had (Mom, you don't read /., right?) some exposure to 'net porn. I have also used Opera a fair amount, though not for a couple of years, since Galeon got to be so usable.

        I really don't seen the connection here. What makes Opera particularly friendly to ``the `free porn' industry''?

  • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Saturday May 24, 2003 @01:15PM (#6031476)
    Does the browser call a new java runtime layer, so it's a java layer running a web browser running a java layer, or does the original java layer detect the attempt to run Java and intercept to run it itself?

    What happens if I run the java web browser in a web browser?
  • its interesting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jeepee ( 607566 ) on Saturday May 24, 2003 @01:17PM (#6031485) Homepage Journal
    dont get me wrong i think its an interresting project but why write in Java a software that is already available on a huge variety of platforms (its mainly the advantage of writing java apps).

    also Mozilla is lacking a bit of speed im sure you wont help in java.....
    • Re:its interesting (Score:4, Interesting)

      by darkheavy ( 78519 ) on Saturday May 24, 2003 @02:20PM (#6031785)
      A year and a half ago I was involved on the development of a Digital TV Set Top Box.

      As User Interface Developer one of my duties was the analysis and selection of an embedded web browser. My bet was a Gecko based one, but implement it for the Nucleus RTOS was out of the question, so we should point to a propietary browser license.

      If this project was so evolved in that moment it would have been a serious alternative.
    • Here is a use: Java components are very easy to reuse in GUIs. I *hope* that the API is such that I can easily embed this browser in any application I may choose to make and hopefully it will be easy

      On the flip side, how easy is it to embed the mozilla into my own program? The Mozilla ActiveX control is pretty good but it is Windows only. I'd love to be able to write my cross platform java GUIs with an embedded web browser. Could this be the best way?
  • OS X compatibility (Score:3, Interesting)

    by snitty ( 308387 ) * on Saturday May 24, 2003 @01:18PM (#6031488) Homepage
    It seems to not work with OS X using instructions above, perhaps something else has to be done.
  • by Horny Smurf ( 590916 ) on Saturday May 24, 2003 @01:21PM (#6031505) Journal
    Combine the speed and java with the speed of Mozilla.... I bet you can reboot into windows, run IE, and get 3 first posts before Jazilla starts up.
    • But wouldn't the second and third be second and third posts?
    • Wow - I wonder if people would be saying the same thing about other languages if there was a lot of poorly written C++, C, or even assembler out there. Putting everything under the sun in your jars and classpath coupled with an improper understanding of code optimizations are typically more at fault here.

      Mozilla (like KDE) is more memory consumptive thanks to a combination of poorly hacked eye candy code. Then when you start swapping pages out - it might actually be time to drop more memory in your box.
  • by netsharc ( 195805 ) on Saturday May 24, 2003 @01:24PM (#6031519)
    Does it have support for Java applets, or do you need to install the Java plugin to have applets? :P
  • mmmm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by loudici ( 27971 ) on Saturday May 24, 2003 @01:25PM (#6031526) Homepage
    any idea why anybody would want or need to use that?

    mozilla runs on at least as many platforms as any JRE, and many more if you expect swing to work properly.

    i don't get it.
    • Re:mmmm (Score:3, Interesting)

      by OmniVector ( 569062 )
      simple: because the default HTML rendering toolkit for java sucks. The ability to have a mozilla like rendering engine built into java makes it easy to write apps in java that need web browsers built in.
    • Re:mmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) on Saturday May 24, 2003 @09:04PM (#6033295) Homepage Journal
      any idea why anybody would want or need to use that?

      They wouldn't. It's not about the users, it's about the developers.

      I use Mozilla, but I rarely hack on it. Why? I hate C++. It's a miserable language for developing an application. Java, on the other hand, is a great language for application development. The performance issues will melt away very soon as both the JRE and hardware improve. If I find a problem with Jazilla, I'm very likely to try to fix/enhance it.

      Plus, I happen to know both C++ and Java, but most kids coming out of school have never hacked C++. They've all hacked Java. These are the most likely hackers to work on a web browser.

      Let's come back in a year and see if Jazilla is more interesting to users, when it's fast, stable, and pretty, due to all the volunteer efforts.

      Short of a WxRuby port of Mozilla, this is what really has me interested.
  • Just plain question - what is intended usage of it?
  • by Ed Avis ( 5917 ) <> on Saturday May 24, 2003 @01:29PM (#6031546) Homepage
    I wonder whether the RHUG [] people will be able to build Jazilla using gcj [] and so create a native binary package. Then we could see whether it is faster or slower than Mozilla.
    • I wonder whether the RHUG people will be able to build Jazilla using gcj

      No. I've never encountered an open source JVM that fully supports AWT - let alone Swing. So they are useless for most desktop apps.

      Let me know if you find one...

  • ENmcbridematt (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by stud9920 ( 236753 )
    I have completely rewrote the browser
    Not let start the ENmcbridematt project to rewrite your statements in plain English.
  • Why... (Score:5, Informative)

    by valis ( 947 ) on Saturday May 24, 2003 @01:44PM (#6031617) Homepage
    Since half the comments so far seem to be "What is the point" I'll offer one justification.

    There is still a serious lack of a good modern HTML browser for embeding in java applications. Swing provides an EditorKit which handles HTML3 reasonable well, but most of the other quality offerings are non free.

    Major Java IDEs (Eclipse, NetBeans) have projects to implement something like this. Many other Java applications could potentially benefit. It's a good idea.
    • by pecosdave ( 536896 ) on Saturday May 24, 2003 @02:15PM (#6031758) Homepage Journal
      Imagine this uncommon but very possible setup.

      You are working on a weekend all by yourself, you get the average of one phone call every 3 hours and nobody EVER comes into the office on weekends but you, the poor tech support guy.

      You work for a small company that uses a Netware 5 file server for the firewall. (Remember, Netware 5 is Java based)

      You don't have admin access.

      The server doesn't have the console locked.

      The server IS the firewall, and therefore can be outside of it.

      You REALLY want to get your dose of porn, which the firewall wont let you do.

      The firewall is unlocked........

      Yep, time to load up a JAVA browser on the file server for your own porn surfing pleasure.
    • So are they going to make something like a Java Gecko? That seems more useful than a complete web browser. Nobody wants to do normal web browsing with a Java application. Hell, I don't want to do anything with a Java app unless there's no other option. Sure, developers like it, but end users avoid it like the plague.
    • by j3110 ( 193209 ) <samterrell@gm a i l . c om> on Saturday May 24, 2003 @03:21PM (#6032064) Homepage
      Maybe I want to write an application in Java that has a more dynamic user interface. Swing makes things like this hard. What if you could make a great GUI in seconds in Java using dynamically generated XUL with call outs to Java instead of broken impared JS.

      I'm all for duct taping a rendering engine on the front of real Java just because I don't like to deal with any of the popular layout managers for swing. Ideally, I would have my own Java widgets (because swing gets extendible widgets right like no other GUI API anywhere) that were rendered in a sane fasion (plus the native XUL widgets for when you don't need to extend them).

      Swing layout is one of the reasons Java GUIs seam to be broken. If you resize a window, you get a lot of grey boxes. Sure, Mozilla could use some double buffering on their resizing, but it doesn't leave me with a gray screen instead of seeing how the components will look after resizing.

      It would be even better if you could extend the XUL language in some manner with custom widgets.
      For example:
      XUL.registerComponent(MyPhoneEditor,"pho neEditor", XUL.TEXT);

      These are all the more reasons why we need a good renderer in Java.

      On a side note:
      Anyone notice that with Java 1.4.2, jazilla starts faster than mozilla? A little over a second for me. It just won't render any web-site properly :) I'm impressed with the speed. Maybe it will send some of those idiot trolls about Java being slow back to the drawing board so they can complain about something else for a while when it gets done.
      • /. ate my XUL part of the example becaus I forgot to put it in code format:
        <component type="phoneEditor" name="homePhone"/>

        (next time I'll learn to preview.)
      • Swing LayoutManagers (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Swing layout is one of the reasons Java GUIs seam to be broken. If you resize a window, you get a lot of grey boxes.

        The stock layout managers suck ass, but there are better ones out there. If you're doing GUIs in Swing, check out TableLayout [], HIGLayout [], FlexGridLayout []. These are all free and Free. There are probably other ones out there too.

        I've been using TableLayout and although there are some little things I don't like about it, it does let me code Swing GUIs without the pain associated with the

      • > Swing layout is one of the reasons Java GUIs seam to be broken. If you resize a window, you get a lot of grey boxes. Sure, Mozilla could use some double buffering on their resizing, but it doesn't leave me with a gray screen instead of seeing how the components will look after resizing.

        There is a new method in 1.4, the programmer needs to call this method before creating any windows....


        Toolkit.getDefaultToolkit().setDynamicLayout(true) ;
        catch (N
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 24, 2003 @01:56PM (#6031676)
    From the beginning, Sun intended the Java language to be platform-neutral. That is, Java programs are written to run on a Java Virtual Machine instead of on a physical computer--it's the Virtual Machine that runs on a real computer. Thus a programmer can develop a program that will work on the sort of computer he likes and expect it to run on the sort of computers that his customers like, because it runs inside of the Java Virtual Machines on those computers.

    This means that when you go to the store to buy an application, you don't buy the "Mac version" or the "Microsoft Windows version." You buy the "Java technology version." And as long as you have the Java Virtual Machine--which is free, and available from a large number of vendors--you can buy the program without having to worry whether it's going to run on your particular computer.

    • From the beginning, Sun intended the Java language to be platform-neutral.

      Java is platform-neutral if the platform is not weker than 2GHz CPU and 1 GB of RAM. Otherwise it's annoingly slow on that platform.

  • I think this might be a really cool idea if someone could do something like this. Say for example someone is in a really restrictive corporate or government environment which only allows HTTP and HTTPS out, and no SSH or anything like that. Now say for example you have Webmin installed on your home computer set to port 443. You use your work web browser to view your home's Webmin server inside SSL, and then if Jazilla were made into an applet and put inside a Webmin module that sends all of its informati
  • Actually I am looign forward to trying this browser out..

    given the nice way aps such as LimeWire run and that you rarely notice that they are running under java.. this may also be agood prove of that as well.

    Now if we coul donly free java from the cluches of Mordor(SUN)....
    • Now if we coul donly free java from the cluches of Mordor(SUN)....

      Um, no... Microsoft is Mordor. (Duh!)

      Sun is Isengard. You know... pretends to be on the side of good, really just wants to betray both sides and set himself up as the new Dark Lord, but in doing so is unwittingly serving Micr^WSauron.

      • Admiral Burrito:

        Um, no... Microsoft is Mordor. (Duh!) Sun is Isengard.

        Hmm. One hates to be pendantic... no, who'm I kidding, this is /.! One loves to be pendantic!

        Redmond is Mordor, BillG is Sauron. You know:

        One OS to rule them all
        One OS to find them
        One OS to bring them all
        And in the darkness bind them
        In the land of Redmond where the shadows lie...

  • I guess there's probably no option to turn off Java support.
  • Is anyone here familiar with the MPL enough to give a run-down on how well this will play with Java? Given the fact that Java and the classlibs (as far as I know) are closed-source, does the MPL have any GPL-like clauses about linking to closed-source libraries?

    While I'm at it, would it be possible for Sun to contribute a few engineers and integrate this into the Java class libraries? The current HTML renders links, I guess, but it would be *great* to have a more capable rendering lib
  • by pongo000 ( 97357 ) on Saturday May 24, 2003 @03:13PM (#6032031)
    What's needed in this world isn't another clone of *zilla written in the language du jour. The problem with anything written with the Mozilla (or Gecko engine) is speed: Why should it take more than a few fractions of a second to render HTML?

    And yes, it's been done already: Dillo [] is a blindingly-fast HTML engine/browser that runs from a binary less than 300Kb. No, it doesn't support frames, nor Javascript, nor any of the other kitchen-sink items all other browsers strive to be. Instead, Dillo sports a plug-in interface (open-source, naturally) that allows for all of this to happen, if the user wants it to happen.

    So here's my suggestion: Take a cue from Dillo and go for speed, not for bloat.

    Oh, and I should add that Dillo renders /. and Yahoo just fine.
    • Webstandards [] probably account for most of geckos 'bloat'. I'm not going to evangelize [] but there's no getting around the fact that they are important.
      • Informative links...but one thing I wasn't able to determine: Is the position of the web standards' group that all browsers support this "core" set of standards (presumably the standards in the right-hand sidebar)? Or do they support the implementation of browsers that can gracefully handle unknown web standards implementations without cratering?
  • So who is going to port this to SWT? I really need a browser written in a cross-platform language that depends on platform-specific libraries.
  • I'm not understanding - how can this be Mozilla or even a Mozilla-clone, if it's not using the Gecko renderer? I mean, kudos and all for doing it, but Gecko is the key to Mozilla. Everything else is eye-candy.
  • by dgenr8 ( 9462 ) on Saturday May 24, 2003 @06:07PM (#6032662) Journal
    What we really need is for Mozilla to be bundled into Java! Think about it... Mozilla binaries already exist for all of major platforms on which Java runs. All that's needed is a Java wrapper for it and presto, reliable, native-optimized browsing (and more) anywhere you've got a JVM.
  • SourceForge's download counters claim that Jazilla M1 has been downloaded zero times. Looks like either no-one's actually bothered to download the thing at all, or the mighty SourceForge has failed us. Ho hum...

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun