Appcelerator plans to rethink Titanium architecture, standardise on WebKit JavaScript engine

Appcelerator CEO Jeff Haynie has posted about his plans for Titanium, the company’s cross-platform mobile development toolkit.

The plan is to completely rewrite the core engine, while maintaining a mostly-compatible API. Central to the plans is the idea of using one JavaScript engine on all platforms:

With Ti.Next, we’ve created a small microkernel design that will allow us to have minimal bootstrap code in the native language (C, Java, C#, etc) that talks to a common set of compilers, tools and a single JavaScript Virtual Machine. We have found a way to make the WebKit KJS VM work on multiple platforms instead of using different VMs per platform. This means we can heavily optimize the microkernel (herein after called the “TiRuntime”) and maintenance, optimizations and profiling can be greatly simplified. We’re talking about ~5K LOC vs. 100K LOC per platform.

This will make it possible to share almost all the Titanium code itself across all platforms. The Titanium runtime itself will be shared code written in JavaScript.

Appcelerator says that Titanium code will be “faster than native code in most situations.”

No date for Ti.Next is given though according to this slidedeck the plan is to have the “first set of developer builds available soon to GitHub repo – possibly in the next 45-60 days”. It adds, “production builds are a ways away.”

Using a WebKit JavaScript engine on Windows Phone, for example, sounds interesting.

3 thoughts on “Appcelerator plans to rethink Titanium architecture, standardise on WebKit JavaScript engine”

  1. I might be wrong, but they don’t specifically mentioned windows phone as a platform, only win8?

    Although it should be possible to do for wPhone 8.

    And I am Always dubios of faster than native code statements for things that run in VMs. Everyone that runs a VM says it is faster than native, it just never turns out to be true. They use more Resources, more Power consumption and tax the platform more.

  2. Javascrip everywhere! Faster than native code
    …try to switch off Javascript in your Internet browser, and you will see how quick could be the web …without Javascript

  3. @Niclas in the blog post which I’ve now linked (apologies) Haynie does mention Windows Phone as well as Blackberry and other platforms, and while he is not explicit about what Titanium will support it does not sound as if it will be only narrowly cross-platform.

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