Rich Cross-Platform Desktop Applications Using Open-Source Titanium
It is important to note that Titanium is not a system that provides a point-and-click ability to build a single application that runs both on the Web and on the desktop; however, that is not to say code sharing across the Web interface and desktop interface is impossible.
Some developers may choose to develop with a share-and-segregate pattern: write a common set of shared libraries, then write platform-specific code for use in a Web interface and other code for use in a desktop interface. In this case, you'll still have a single codebase, but you'll end up with two different apps.
Other developers may choose to develop using progressive enhancement. With progressive enhancement, you start by implementing a basic set of features, then as new resources become available, you build up functionality to make use of these new resources.
A good example is Google Docs. There's a basic set of features you can access on-line, but if you install Google Gears, you get off-line access and other features as well. The same goes for Titanium apps. Developers can enhance their Web applications progressively by adding features and functions that will be available only when the app is run on a Titanium instance. Using this approach you have just a single app.
Both of these techniques are valid choices when it comes to developing apps. Both techniques have pros and cons, and it's up to you as the developer to choose which method to use.
The idea behind Titanium isn't new, but Titanium clearly separates itself by giving you something unique: unlimited possibilities with open-source choices. You aren't forced to use anything proprietary—you can use any library or framework you want. All technological decisions are yours to make.
Because Titanium is distributed under the open-source Apache Public License v2, you can download the source code, play with it, fork it and extend it. It's this extensibility that makes Titanium a platform that developers can grow with in the future. The platform can morph and evolve into different forms as new needs emerge.
Titanium is evolving rapidly and has experienced several major changes to its architecture in the past few months.
The initial preview release of Titanium (PR1) incorporated WebKit and a modified version of Google Gears. Essentially, Titanium PR1 used WebKit as its main component, and additional features were exposed to the runtime via a native extensions system, which gave developers access to features from a modified version of Gears.
Soon after this initial preview release, the Titanium team started to re-architect the platform. Google Gears was removed, and instead, a new system for exposing new features was created: Kroll.
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