One of the things I am way into in development is hybrid Desktop / HTML applications. You probably use them but don’t even know it. Some good examples include Apple’s Mail program, Outlook & Outlook Express, various RSS news readers like RSSBadit, NewsGator, and NetNewsWire, and media applications like Windows Media Player and Zune Marketplace plus a whole slew of smaller desktop applications. The mixture of HTML as a networked presentation layer combined with standard Desktop UI elements for application control and settings make for very compelling applications. These applications also tend to be quite popular in the industry. (I’ve developed three major hybrid apps for VeriSign and countless others prior, Daisy is also a hybrid.)

One of things that was seriously missing from Apple’s platform the last time I took a look was an embeddable browser component. Developers on Windows have had the ability to embed an HTML renderer since Visual Studio 6, and today it’s a simple drag and drop operation within 2005’s form builder. Apple on the other hand didn’t start work on something like this until they moved to Darwin, at which point they started in on Safari and branched KDE’s KHTML engine to create something called WebCore. A subsequent, more robust framework called WebKit was released with OSX 10.3. WebCore apparently became available to developers sometime in 2003.

[Of course I have to throw out the obligatory Microsoft fan boy fact – MS built the first hybrid app back in 97 with the creation of the first embeddable HTML rendering engine – the COM based web browser control used in Internet Explorer 4.0. Oddly enough the design of WebCore and WebKit seem strikingly similar to Microsoft’s MSHTML and Web Browser Control objects.]

Today I came across the WebKit blog which appears to be dedicated to all things WebKit, including embedding. Definitely worth a subscription. Seeing as how I now have an OSX box to play with, I might try my hand at whipping up a hybrid app on OSX, which should make for an interesting comparison between Microsoft and Apple developer technologies.


It seems to me the recent calls for the abolishment of DRM are akin to demanding department stores place their clothing in the mall and hope customers come in to pay for something they pick up off the rack. If you ran a business, would you agree to that?

I don’t see anything wrong with DRM assuming it’s interoperable (licensing), allows users reasonable fair use rights (load or stream it to multiple players), and provides the ability to make backups without violating encryption laws. The HD-DVD standard, which uses AACS is a good example of DRM that provides this – it’s freely licensable, provides protected backup services, and allows you to play it on any device you can connect to your DVD player. Streaming is also possible through devices that support it. (Vista PCs are a good example) The real problem with DRM is caused by companies that refuse to abide by these rules and refuse to support other DRM systems. If Jobs and Co. are looking for someone to blame for the DRM debacle, they don’t have to look any further than the mirror in the bathroom.

Gizmodo Gadget Pimpatude

Joel Johnson, former editor for Gizmodo, rips Gizmodo on Gizmodo, and nails it.

If you write like another stupid fanboy who ricochets a pillar of spunk off the roof of his gaping mouth just because something is glossy and uses electricity, you’re just doing the work of the companies trying to get rich selling us broken promises.

I recently mentioned here I’ve unsubscribed from the site. (Gizmodo Sux) Maybe Joel will help bring them back from the depths.