Yager: Skip Chrome, Go Right to WebKit

Googleis Chrome is based on advanced technologies like V8 enhanced Javascript. Even so, developers should just skip the browser framework and write Internet apps that use Webkit directly, according to Tom Yager at Infoworld.

"The trouble is that browsers are designed for surfing, not as application platforms. Think about it," Mr. Yager wrote. "If you were cranking up a new client development project, would you issue a statement of objectives that it must look like a Web site, take twenty seconds to paint a window, offer no feedback when you click a button, skip reporting the progress of transactions, refuse to run unless youire connected to a network, and force users to re-enter form data if thereis a hiccup in delivery?"

Instead, Mr. Yager proposes that developers go right to the open source Webkit to develop Internet ready apps.

"...you donit need a fat, clunky browser. You donit need to host a browser in an application window. Just take the framework shared by multiple commercial browsers and bake it right into your project. Thatis WebKit."Mr. Yager noted. "At a total cost of nothing and with free lifetime updates, itis as sweet a deal as youill find, and unlike many open source projects that youid love to use but which vary in the quality of support, documentation, and maintenance, WebKit is driven by companies like Apple, Nokia, and most recently, Google..."

Along the way, Mr. Yager explains SquirrelFish [and V8], the Javascript accelerators that werenit required for casual surfing but nowadays enables highly responsive, iteractive Web applications. SquirrelFish makes that leap by compiling to bytecode and moving from a stack to a register architecture. [He doesnit cover the details of accessing the Cocoa libraries, via SproutCore, but Dan Dilger has explained that recently.]

Important changes are being made behind the scenes to browsers, which are really just a wrapper for underlying app technologies. Googleis Chrome and Appleis Safari are those wrappers, but for serious developers, Mr. Yager advises developers get right to the core with WebKit and accelerated Javascript.