Native apps using web technologies with Node-Webkit

Standard

node-webkit allows you to design and implement desktop applications using web technologies. Everything runs on the client side, and is backed up by node.js. It offers the perfect combo to build native apps using node.js + HTML.

node-webkit is an app runtime based on Chromium and node.js. You can write native apps in HTML and JavaScript with node-webkit. It also lets you call Node.js modules directly from the DOM and enables a new way of writing native applications with all Web technologies.

It’s created and developed in the Intel Open Source Technology Center.

node-webkit can be downloaded from here.

Setting the node-webkit command:


alias nw='path/to/node-webkit/executable'

node-webkit also  comes with the browser restrictions removed, so it perfectly adapts to native app development.

App creation:

A package.json and an index.html are the minimum requirements to create an app. An example package.json would look like:

Packaging:

Packaging the app is even simpler. We only need to create a zip archive, and change its extension to “.nw”.  This archive can then be exectued with the node-webkit command.

Or, the app can also be provided as a stand-alone one, users don’t need  to download node-webkit separately to run the app, making it easy for all kinds of end users. More information here.