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Appcelerator Previews Open Source RIA Tool

Appcelerator, a provider of open source technologies for building and managing rich Web applications, has announced the public preview release of Appcelerator Titanium, an open source platform for building desktop and mobile applications using a common set of Web technologies. A preview release of Titanium is freely available here.

Titanium lets you use standard Web technologies such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript to develop applications that can be deployed to multiple platforms, including the desktop, the browser or the mobile device. Unlike traditional Web applications, which are limited to operating within the browser, Titanium desktop applications are able to read and write local data on the desktop and interact with the operating system. In particular, Titanium enables developers to build desktop Web applications that can operate both online and offline.

Titanium is built on top of a number of open source technologies including WebKit, Google Gears and Chromium. Titanium is designed to work on Windows, Mac, and Linux. The Windows and Mac version of Titanium are available immediately and the Linux version will be available in January 2009. Titanium is distributed under the Apache Public License.

"Web applications have exploded because they are easy to build and distribute, but until now they have lacked the full feature set of native desktop applications," said Appcelerator's Jeff Haynie. "Titanium enables a whole new generation of applications that use standard Web technologies to build rich desktop and mobile applications, which will ultimately push the boundaries of innovation. By providing an open source alternative, Titanium offers a solution for those who prefer open source for strategic reasons or want to extend the functionality of the Titanium platform to meet unique requirements."

Features include:

  • Rapid development of production-level web and desktop applications
  • Native windowing
  • Direct file system access
  • Database integration
  • Local database storage
  • Desktop notifications
  • Application and system menu control
  • Geo-location, among others
  • Rapid packaging of native applications that result in easy Windows and Mac OS X installs;
  • Ability to integrate web applications into the desktop environment with desktop technologies, including offline use and direct file system access

Proof of concept applications with full source code available, including a Twitter client and a contact, are available here.

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