Apple’s Trojan Horse: Webkit


Back in the early days of TAB, one of our fellow writers was one, Chris Holland. Chris is a pretty smart guy, knows a little too much about too many super geeky things, many of which revolve around Apple technology. He’s since moved on from TAB, but continues to rant about technology on his own time, and from time to time we’ll exchange some IM’s to discuss these things. (If you’ve ever had the extreme pleasure of chatting with Chris, you’re already fully aware of the toddler-like energy levels and spastic excitement he displays for this stuff!)

Well Chris is at it again, and recently wrote up his own take on a topic that I took a stab at a few months back. While my guess at Xcode dropping on the Windows platform was received with both favorable and not-so-favorable comments (Chris pu-pu’s my idea toward the end of his article…why am I even linking to him?), Chris offers up his own thoughts on the subject, fingering some of the underlying technology behind iTunes and Safari as the real key to the future of Apple software on the Windows platform.

Webkit is an open source browser engine that powers Safari, and several other applications found in Apple’s stable of program offerings. Seeing as how it helps run Safari, and iTunes (see comments 1 and 3 below) which is now available to the Windows users of the world, Chris surmises that it wouldn’t take much more to offer up a way for Windows developers to test the waters of the OS X development world without having to make a full jump to the new platform first.

Admittedly this is a teaser into that world at best. But it could be a nice foot in the door for Apple to bewitch current Windows developers with the great features and power available to them on the Cocoa side of the house. Coupled with the available frameworks within OS X and the accessibility of Apple’s hardware features, a whole new wave of developers could result from a move such as Chris suggests. And of course more third party developer support for a platform can only be a good thing.

So take a few minutes to read what Chris has to say about “Apple’s Decoy into Microsoft’s World” and see what you think. Does the idea hold water? Or is it as out of left field as my guess of Xcode on Windows was?


Nick Santilli

#1 – although I know in years past iTunes was not based on Webkit, I was certain I remembered reading differently in recent months. However after your comment I could not find any such indication around the web. So thanks for keeping us honest!


or more interesting: how about a savvy dev figures out how to use webkit to pull in a browser interface so that those without tmobile hotspot accounts can walk in with itunes music store enabled (free with apple/starbucks) and back door into an open internet browser session?

Anon Ymous

Seeing as how it helps run Safari, and iTunes which are both now available to the Windows users of the world

iTunes makes no use of WebKit, but don’t let that stop you from speculating wildly.

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