Monday, August 02, 2010

Qt Web Runtime for N900

Some might have already noticed the "launch" of the Qt Web Runtime. What is Qt Web Runtime? Simply put Qt Web Runtime provides a runtime environment for web applications, applications written using HTML/CSS/Javascript.

A question which I get often is - what are web applications and how do they differ from just pointing browser at web pages or saving web links as application shortcuts and launching them in a browser (very much like native installed applications) ? Web Application working group is a good place to start.

Web Browser consist basically of 2 parts (simplified).
  1. Browser application/framework (UI /chrome, process model, extensions, settings etc) and
  2. Web Rendering engine. This is the part which does much of the work, like fetching web pages, rendering them, running javascript etc. This is the part which implements the various W3C specifications and standards
Web Runtime shares much of the characteristics of a web browser (in this case webkit/Qt), while focusing towards the needs of an application developer.
  • Widely deployed, understood and mature web technologies html/css/javascript. (enables rich client side applications to be written by web developers)
  • Emerging W3C specifications e.g Widget Specifications which provide the foundations for (hopefully) a standardized environment for web application developers in crucial areas missing from the web browser paradigm like widget API, packaging & configuration, digital signing, view modes among many others.
  • Provides an execution and deployment mechanism (e.g how web applications are installed, executed, transition between various view modes, integration to platform UX/chrome etc)
  • Rich API's comparable to native application developers enabling the use of e.g sensors, runtime info, calender, file system (among many others) etc while developing rich web applications.
Working on standardizing the various API's and specs through W3C would help unify web application development, which at the moment is quite fragmented (while predominantly using the same web technologies) e.g opera widgets, apple dashboard widgets, yahoo widgets among many others. This would also mean better return of investments for developers (while at the same time enriching choice for end user).

If you are a web developer and own a N900 , you can take the QtWeb Runtime for a ride. It is now available from maemo extras repositories . Writing a W3C complaint widget should be relatively straight forward (Just follow the above w3c specs). You can also find some simple examples in the source code.Code is available here. Developers can discuss and provide feedback at Qt Web Runtime Forum. Remember, this is work in progress !

29 comments:

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Martin Ove said...

Haha, the two first comments have to be the spammiest I've ever seen!

Anyways and on topic: This looks very nice and sure makes app-making a lot more reachable for a non-programmer(but HTML familiar) guy like me.

Thx y'all!

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Anonymous said...

Instead of spam, can someoen post an installable wrt file? Would like to get some sample code.

Hasan said...

Well you can download this app for Twitter based on Qt Web runtime called TwimGO!

http://twimgo.substanceofcode.com/

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Hieu Nguyen Ngoc said...

The Nokia N900 (Maemo 5) Qt Web Runtime is now available in the Extras-Devel repository, so you must have it enabled in order to be able to install it. The package name is qtwrt-experimental.
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