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Disruptive Innovations

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Monday 10 November 2014

Announcing Quaxe, native desktop and mobile apps from html5 and Haxe

My technical world changed a bit recently with a few events that directly impacted me or the activities of my company, Disruptive Innovations:

  1. Mozilla shows increasing signals that the future of XUL as a platform for embedders like my company is not bright. XULRunner has many users around the world but it's not part of the roadmap any more, unfortunately. I won't discuss here their corporate strategy. My applications BlueGriffon and BlueGriffon EPUB Edition being based on XULRunner and my business being largely based on them, it would be a bit foolish to avoid looking for an alternative...
  2. I have not found a single solution allowing me the flexibility of XUL+JavaScript in native desktop and/or mobile cross-platform apps; there are hybrid solutions for mobile, almost nothing for desktop in a cross-platform fashion.
  3. the two only potential solutions, Qt on one hand and AdobeAir on the other, do not satisfy me for the following reasons:
    1. Adobe Air is nothing near native,
    2. Qt is a big and powerful beast, hard to learn and master.
  4. Apple's Swift looks nice and powerful but cross-platform is not a word available in the Apple ecosystem.
  5. I have discovered Haxe. Haxe is an open source toolkit based on a modern, high level, strictly typed programming language, a cross-compiler, a complete cross-platform standard library and ways to access each platform's native capabilities. If you know ECMAScript and/or Java, you'll find Haxe fun and easy to master. I started playing with it and fell in love with its beauty, simplicity, and the large numbers of packages available.

In such cases, I take a few sheets of paper and start writing ideas. I have put a lot of ink on a dozen of originally blank pages and tested a few designs. I want, I need a very simple, flat learning curve way of writing standalone cross-platform native apps. And if the existing ecosystem can't give me such a tool, well, I do what I always do in such cases: I write my own... So I started writing my own environment for native desktop and mobile applications.

My requirements were the following ones:

  • all UI specified in html5, of course, with the help of role attributes... Maybe I'll add a XUL-like language too just for migration purposes.
  • UI styled by CSS, eh what did you expect? :-)
  • resulting native UI
  • code in Haxe of course compiled to native!!! Assets not trivially readable like with JS...
  • trivial embedding of Haxe-based gaming frameworks
  • trivial embedding of a browser instance (Blink, Servo, etc...). When I say trivial, I really mean it. If you've played with CEF, you probably understand that this is not what I mean.
  • no ugly hacks to deal with OSX menus or Windows icons.
  • dynamic UI changes based on DOM manipulation just like in XUL
  • very simple localization
  • a "Hello world" button in a native window should be a one-minute thing. No big environment to install, no complex setup, no new IDE to learn. You know html5? Just put a <button> inside a new document's <body> in your favorite code editor, open a terminal and type "quaxebuild". Done, you have a native app in hands, ready for distribution.

The result will be Quaxe. Native desktop and mobile applications with native UI from html5 and Haxe.

I am glad to share with you the first demo screenshot below. The app was launched through a open bin/mac/MyFirstTest.app command line on OSX. Just to be very clear, there is NO BROWSER WINDOW in the screenshot below. The app is only a native resizable main frame containing a native button. It's specified in html5, you can access and modify its DOM but it's not your regular browser, there is no Blink, Gecko, Servo or any Web rendering engine inside. There is no common runtime either, à la Adobe Air. It's very, very lightweight despite of having to implement a xml parser, DOM4, a CSS parser, the whole CSS cascade and an OM for the widgetry.

First test screenshot

As you can see above, it's already taking shape. If you're an investor and you're interested, please do not hesitate to contact me at your convenience. Writing native apps is going to be way cooler and simpler than it is now, that's a promise.

Monday 13 October 2014

Happy birthday Disruptive Innovations!

Friday 21 May 2010

Actia Automotive, Web Media Group

Disruptive Innovations is glad to welcome ACTIA Automotive and the Web Media Group as new customers.

Monday 21 April 2008

Incuballiance, Smartbox

Disruptive Innovations is glad to welcome two new customers : Incuballiance and Smartbox.

Sunday 20 April 2008

Armageddon...

Le monde ne sera plus jamais le même... Mon agrégateur RSS vient de me servir une nouvelle bouleversante, une nouvelle inattendue, et je suis certain que tous les lecteurs seront choqués de la même manière. Mesdames, Mesdemoiselles, Messieurs, ne laissez pas vos enfants lire ce qui suit : la preuve est désormais faite dans le dernier item de liste de cet article, LAURENT JOUANNEAU UTILISE WINDOWS ET GUEULE CONTRE UNE DISTRO LINUX !!!!

Nom de Zeus, quelle horreur. Cela doit être la double paternité qui lui fait perdre le sens des réalités :-) Il n'a pas fini de se faire chambrer à son retour chez Disruptive Innovations :-)

Thursday 17 April 2008

Nouveau fork de laurentj

Mes très sincères félicitations à M. et Mme. Jouanneau pour la naissance de leur fils Maxime hier le 16 avril !!! Joie chez Disruptive Innovations ! Selon certaines sources bien informées, il semblerait que le premier cri du nouveau-né ne fut pas "OUIIIINNNNNNNN" mais "Micromou c'est vraiment nul", déclenchant la joie et l'hilarité de son papa, et le cri du coeur de sa maman "encore un geek ?" :-) Nous n'avons cependant pas eu de confirmation directe de cet évènement, nous attendons un mail du bébé à cet effet ;-) Encore bravo à toute la petite famille !

Tuesday 30 October 2007

Away

Starting thursday morning, I am away from the office to attend the W3C Technical Plenary meeting in Boston.

Tuesday 2 October 2007

Outwit Technologies, DVC Labs

I forgot to mention that Disruptive Innovations is glad to welcome two new customers : Outwit Technologies, and DVC Labs.

Disruptive Innovations (not so) fun

<olivier> dites-moi....
<daniel> moi
<laurentj> bwahahaha
<olivier> _sigh_

De la solitude du codeur de fond dans sa caverne...

Wednesday 9 May 2007

Crazy ?

What ? Crazy folks ? Us at Disruptive Innovations ???? Noooooooo :-)

Friday 4 May 2007

Les preuves sont accablantes...

Olivier

Daniel et Olivier

Laurent

Thursday 3 May 2007

DI-hips...

Tout Disruptive Innovations se retrouve au bistro pour une coupe de champagne pour l'anniv d'Olivier, et une photographe est là... Il ya désormais des preuves concrètes de notre pochtronnerie, c'est terrible :-)

Yooooooooo :-)

Happy birthday Olivier Gambier !!! Champagne !

Friday 16 March 2007

Jelix PHP framework

Disruptive Innovations is now sponsorizing the Jelix PHP framework, and Laurent can now spend time on it during his work hours. We plan to offer consulting, trainings and feature development on Jelix through Disruptive Innovations. So if you're interested in Jelix for your project and need help from us, please ping Laurent at laurent.jouanneau AT disruptive DASH innovations DOT com !

Jelix is already used by OverBlog in their forthcoming v2.0, the second blogging platform in France, and Kayuko, an independant price comparator for DVDs

Thursday 8 March 2007

BNP Paribas

Disruptive Innovations is happy to welcome BNP Paribas as a new customer.

Thursday 21 December 2006

Off time

Disruptive Innovations will be closed next week for winter holidays. We'll be back at work on the 2nd of january. So Merry Chrismas and Happy 2007 to all !!!!

Thursday 30 November 2006

Tss tss

C'est pas possible, quand je suis en voyage, Laurent doit picoler :-)

Thursday 23 November 2006

Marine Nationale / SIRPA

Disruptive Innovations est très heureuse d'accueillir le Service Communication de la Marine Nationale parmi ses clients.

Friday 27 October 2006

Landes Mutualité

Disruptive Innovations is happy to welcome Landes Mutualité as a new customer.

Wednesday 25 October 2006

Chroniques délirantes d'un (petit) entrepreneur

  1. partir en vacances le 13/07
  2. recevoir entre le 13/07 et le 30/07 un courrier daté du 28 juin pour un payement avant le 31/07
  3. rentrer de vacances le 2 août
  4. trouver le courrier, payer immédiatement
  5. donc ne pas tenir compte de la lettre de rappel arrivant en fin de semaine
  6. recevoir peu après une injonction à payer 10% de pénalités de retard plus 4.33€ de frais de traitement
  7. expliquer par courrier la situation et demander l'annulation des pénalités en recours grâcieux
  8. recevoir ce matin un courrier d'accord, mais exigeant le payement des 4.33€ de frais par, je cite, retour de courrier
  9. se dire que (1) le traitement de ce courrier coûtera en tout plus de 4.33€ et trouver que décidément l'administration française mérite des coups de pied assez conséquents au derrière (2) quand on accordera aux entrepreneurs et commerçants en EURL le droit de prendre des vacances ou d'être en longue maladie sans leur tomber dessus à bras raccourcis, on aura fait un grand pas...

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