Writing a desktop app in JavaScript?

Dmitry A. Soshnikov dmitry.soshnikov at gmail.com
Sun Jul 3 09:57:04 PDT 2011

Nevertheless, IMO this list is mostly for ES design. Practical JS 
application and tools better discuss in e.g. jsmentors list.


On 03.07.2011 20:27, Axel Rauschmayer wrote:
> I hope the following question is not too out of place on this mailing list:
> JavaScript would really profit from a simple environment for writing desktop applications, especially for tasks that you would normally use shell scripts for. I like that such an environment would make it incredibly easy to add a cross-platform GUI.
> Can anyone recommend a good environment for writing desktop apps in JavaScript and HTML5?
> Requirements:
> - Read/write access to the local file system.
> - Download any file from the web (even from servers that don’t support CORS).
> - Ease of development: no extra build step before you can run your app.
> - Use HTML5 for the GUI.
> So far, I’ve looked at:
> 1. Adobe Air: needs the AIR runtime.
> 2. Google Chrome: comes pretty close: you can get read access to all files in a folder that you “upload” via a form; you can switch off cross-site restrictions via a flag; you can use the FileSystem API to write files and copy them back, out of the sandbox later. There are extensions, but those require a build step which makes it painful to develop them.
> 3. XULRunner: seems to require XUL.
> 4. Firefox Add-On: not geared towards desktop apps.
> 5. Node.js + GUI in a browser via a localhost URL: Cannot be packaged nicely, having to chose a port is problematic (usability, clashes).
> 6. Titanium Desktop: ready yet?
> (1) and (5) look like the most practical solutions that are currently available.
> Any other suggestions or experiences with the above solutions?

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