Michal Migurski's notebook, listening post, and soapbox. Subscribe to this blog. Check out the rest of my site as well.

Mar 30, 2007 6:24am

browser shims (lazyweb)

Last week I tried out Cocoa Dev Central's One Line Of Code Browser. It's an Xcode tutorial that shows how to create (from scratch) a Mac OS X standalone application with a text entry field, a fetch button, and a WebKit view - a complete browser in just one line of code. It's actually one line a code and a fuckton of clicking around in Xcode and Interface Builder, but their point roughly stands. I opened the tutorial when I got on BART, and had a running browser six stops later despite never having used Xcode before.

The promise of WebKit is that it makes possible a range of hybrid, web-on-the-desktop applications for prototying and deploying. Matt has tread this ground before, but it's worth repeating. Tom and I kicked around a few ideas for such applications over beers, but they hinge on the existence of open source browser shims for Mac, Windows, and Linux. This should be possible with WebKit, Explorer, and Konqueror or Firefox, but it's outside of my area of expertise. Does such a thing exist? Can it? I'm picturing and application kit that lets you specify width and height of the final window, pack in some html, css, and javascript, and pop out an executable for any platform that runs the resulting browser-in-a-box as a first-class application.

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