Chapter 3. Coding and Testing for the Real World

I’ll start this chapter with an overview of using JavaScript with a specific XUL application—in particular, I’ll discuss how JavaScript objects and the XUL document structure interact to put some machinery behind the interface widgets. I will follow up the development topics with an overview of debugging techniques and services offered by Mozilla.

Defining a Target Application

One effective technique for exploring different elements of an interface is to define a target application that exercises topics of interest. With that in mind, in the next few chapters we’ll design an Internet application that allows the user to select portions of a web page and create a text note that cites the page (and selected text).

The application will allow users to do the following:

  • Manually enter a web page for viewing

  • Save the viewed web page into a category of bookmarks

  • Create a note that captures their comments about a topic

  • Cite in a note the text they’ve selected in the viewed web page

  • Change the font style and size attributes of the note text

  • Export the note text as an HTML document

We will also use custom code to “bookmark” viewed pages, and we will build the application to run as a standalone application. Figure 3-1 shows a rough sketch of what we will be designing.

NewsSearch interface sketch
Figure 3-1. NewsSearch interface sketch

With this sketch, we can start by building a simple ...

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