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I'm completely new to development for Mac OS X but I want to have a Mac desktop app for my own small project. What I have in my mind is to have web application (will use the same app running on the web) running in some kind of wrapper window and pack everything in .app file so it could be run just by clicking icon and will not run in a browser.

So in short - I have web application written in html+css+js and want to run in some kind of wrapper and make it look and act like desktop app. The best way to do that?

Do I need to write some kind of wrapper app in Objective-C which basically will have window and will use WebKit to load my files? Or maybe there is already a solution for it which could be used?

The best example I can find quickly of this is where a web app is packaged to look like a compiled app and runs on my Mac.

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What's wrong with opening it in a browser? By definition, it will not look and act like a desktop app if you are not using the standard controls the OS provides. – Gerry Jun 26 '12 at 11:27
I want to distribute it easier. And yes, I know that it will not act like native desktop app... I also found something like maybe it will be what I need... – Ignas B. Jun 26 '12 at 11:28
An .app is more difficult to distribute than a hyperlink. – Gerry Jun 26 '12 at 11:29
Gerry, hyperlink is useful only if you have internet connection. .app will be useful anytime. – Ignas B. Jun 26 '12 at 11:30
Sounds like something that could be a Dashboard Widget. Apple has a Dashcode development environment for creating packaged webpages with html+css+js. Not really an answer, as you are looking for an .app. – David Rouse Jun 26 '12 at 12:01
up vote 4 down vote accepted

You could also use Fluid to create a site-specific browser. SSBs often feel more like restricted versions of browsers than standalone applications though.

One example of a Fluid application is

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Tried Fluid, but if I'm right then another person will need to install Fluid to be able to run my .app? Right? – Ignas B. Jun 26 '12 at 18:46
@IgnasB. No, they can be run even if Fluid wasn't installed. – user495470 Jun 26 '12 at 19:40
Then maybe it's the easiest way to go... :) Will check. Thanks! – Ignas B. Jun 27 '12 at 20:08

I found MacGap2, but it's still in development.

It is a Xcode project and just compiles to an app with a WebView. You just put your html/css/js app in the public folder and hit the build button.

It does almost the same as Fluid, only it hasn't got a javascript api (yet).

EDIT: I found a second better solution based on nodejs, nw.js (node-webkit framework). It's in development, but cross platform for MacOS, Linux and Windows.

I found several apps that use nwjs. One is

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Maybe PHP Nighttrain? True, it utilizes PHP, but HTML to PHP isn't too hard to do. Nighttrain is in active development & is open source.

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try nw.js (formerly node-webkit). originally developed at intel, it’s very fast, super-easy to use and "compiles" for OS X, Windows and Linux Graphic Shells. Also, there’s a lively community, which is always a good thing.

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