Javascript apps

On the creation and testing of apps based on Javascript and possibly HTML5 technology.

Normal web site

On the internet

Covered elsewhere. It’s called the web. Except there is a wrinkle of interest to some of us: offline mode ServiceWorker tech allows you to serve a web app even without connectivity. I don’t care enough about this to really understand the API; I just cargo culted enough chunks of code to make it go. Seems to work.

Some of my friends recommend firebase for combo mobile/webapp development. I don’t have opinions about it but is noted here against future need.

Local dev website

You can do a lot by just hosting a webpage somewhere, and even some things with an HTML files on your hard disk, although these are locked down for security reasons.

So you run a localhost dev server.

Desktop embedded browser

The approach popularised by the abominable Adobe AIR is less terrible. Can also be made to run with, e.g. python GUIs.

Yep, you can run this on the desktop with a GUI and everything. It’s not-too-hardish.

Don’t learn some proprietary GUI framework, build a javascript GUI like everyone else.

Now, choose your weapon:

Compare these two options.

  • left field alternative: plask hosts a full 3d-friendly javascript runtime.

Smartphone framework apps

For tablets etc I should link to phonegap and cordova and titanium, but I am bored now. Build apps using javascript via Cordova or CocoonJS. Cordova takes HTML/JS apps to the mobile phone.

react-native is Facebook’s attempt to generalise to native apps, or something.

ionic builds on cordova with native look-and-feel.

Chrome apps

Run it straight in your Chrome browser.


  • Weird script inclusion style that is not quite the native web
  • doesn’t generalise to other browsers


  • more powerful than usual web-pages (UDP!)
  • instant web store
  • Can include compiled C++ code vial PNaCl