3. Who Should Read This Book

This book is primarily aimed at programmers (and would-be programmers) interested in exploring this brand-new platform -- the Mozilla development framework. However, you do not need to be a professional programmer to create your own cross-platform Mozilla-based applications.

As shown in the coming chapters, all you need to get started is a basic understanding of a few technologies that are already familiar to most web developers: CSS, XML, and JavaScript. In fact, this is one of the great advantages to developing a Mozilla-based application: the learning curve isn't as steep as most alternatives, such as C, C++, or even Java.

Your applications will be cross-platform automatically (although you can create platform-specific applications as well) and easily installable over the Internet by anyone running Mozilla on their computer. What more could you ask for in a development platform?

This book assumes that the reader has some level of familiarity with JavaScript, CSS, HTML, and XML. Reading this book in conjunction with other books that are devoted specifically to these topics may be useful if you are not already comfortable using these technologies. Some useful O'Reilly & Associates titles include JavaScript: The Definitive Guide, Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide, HTML & DHTML: The Definitive Guide, Learning XML, and XML in a Nutshell, Second Edition. Concepts and technologies that are new to Mozilla or used with Mozilla in a new way are explained in detail throughout the book.

This book also assumes that the reader has access to a computer with Mozilla 1.0 or later installed on it, plus any text editor or word processor. Mozilla runs on almost any type of personal computer available today, so finding a compatible platform shouldn't be difficult. The full system requirements for any Mozilla release can be found on the mozilla.org site.