Episode 35

035 JSJ node-webkit


November 16th, 2012

44 mins 29 secs

Your Hosts

About this Episode


Jamison Dance (twitter github blog)
Tim Caswell (twitter github howtonode.org)
AJ O’Neal (twitter github blog)
Charles Max Wood (twitter github Teach Me To Code Intro to CoffeeScript)

01:15 - node-webkit

Similar to PhoneGap

Chrome native apps

05:31 - Event loops and the browsers

06:53 - Example apps

Light Table

07:42 - node-webkit vs app.js

10:00 - Chrome

Chrome Apps: JavaScript Desktop Development

17:44 - Security implications

25:11 - Testing node-webkit applications

27:19 - Getting a web app into a native app

31:33 - Creating Your First AppJS App with Custom Chrome

Chromeless Browser
Chromeless replacement


How mismanagement, incompetence and pride killed THQ's Kaos Studios (Jamison)
The Insufficiency of Good Design by Sarah Mei (Jamison)
app.js (Tim)
node-webkit (Tim)
Macaroni Grill’s Butternut Asiago Tortellaci (AJ)
JCPenney (AJ)
Mac OS Stickies (Chuck)
Fieldrunners (Chuck)

Node Knockout
AJ: Let’s talk about boring stuff. What did you eat for breakfast?

TIM: I had donuts.

AJ: That sounds nutritious and delicious.

[This episode is sponsored by ComponentOne, makers of Wijmo. If you need stunning UI elements or awesome graphs and charts, then go to wijmo.com and check them out.]

[This episode is sponsored by Gaslight Software. They are putting on a Mastering Backbone training in San Francisco at the Mission Bay Conference Center, December 3rd through 5th of this year. This three day intensive course will forever change the way you develop the front-end of your web applications. For too long, many web developers have approached front-end as drudgery. No more! We’ll help you build the skills to write front-end code you can love every bit as much as your server-side code.]

[Hosting and bandwidth provided by the Blue Box Group. Check them out at bluebox.net]

CHUCK: Hey everybody and welcome to episode 35 of the JavaScript Jabber Show. This week on our panel we have Jamison Dance.

JAMISON: Hi guys!

CHUCK: Tim Caswell.

TIM: Hello!

CHUCK: And AJ O’Neal. And I'm Charles Max Wood from devchat.tv. This week, we are going to be talking about ‘Node-webkit’. It seems like Tim is the most familiar with it, so why don’t you jump in and tell us a little bit about it?

TIM: All right. Basically the idea is to make desktop apps using Node and then having HTML as your display layer for your widgets. And I start a project doing this several years ago from Topcube, but I failed miserably because I'm not that good of a C engineer. And since then, a few projects have taken up the idea. Node-webkit is one done by Intel and the main engineer there is Roger Wang. So on Roger Wang’s GitHub there is node-webkit. And the other popular one is called ‘app.js’ and I think there is a couple others as well. And some other people have taken over my Topcube project and they use it for some maps app. And all these projects had the basic idea of you have a desktop native app that has Node and node-webkit inside of it.

CHUCK: So, is it kind of like PhoneGap or some of these other things for mobile?

TIM: Yeah. It’s similar to PhoneGap in that, you get more privileges than a browser would have in a more native experience. Instead of just the PhoneGap extensions, you get all of Node -- you get the full Node environment -- which means you can use all that existing libraries and ecosystem.

JAMISON: So how does this compare to the Chrome native apps thing? Because I know that they are more --- already have some like JS APIs that let you touch stuff on the server or things like that. Is this just – it’s not sandbox at all?

TIM: Yeah. I mean, this is a native app. It’s not in your browser at all. It bundles its own webkit.


TIM: It’s more like -- what was that flash thing they had years ago?

AJ: ‘Adobe Air’?

TIM: Air yeah. It’s like Adobe Air that doesn’t suck.