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turn a website into a native-like app on your Mac
Python
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README.md
createAppBundle.py
dockicon.py
install_web_apps.py

README.md

ChromeWebApps

Turn a website into a native-like app on your Mac.

Warning

Before you follow these steps, beware that this is still highly experimental! Pyjector and SIMBL might break your whole system! ChromeWebApps, too! And it might make Google Chrome unstable or not working anymore!

Installation

  • Install SIMBL from here. This patched SIMBL is needed to work around restrictions in Chrome. See details on the project page.
  • Install Pyjector.
  • Git clone (or download) these files somewhere.
  • Symlink install_web_apps.py into ~/Library/Application Support/Pyjector/StartupScripts/.
  • Restart Google Chrome.

Usage

  • In Chrome, browse to some site which you want to turn into an app.
  • From the "Python" menu in Chrome, select "make webapp". This creates a new app bundle for the web app (in the directory ~/Library/Application Support/ChromeWebApps/Apps/) and starts it. The app bundle is linked to a window in Chrome which represents the web-app.

Internals

  • install_web_apps.py does all the hard work. When initially run by Pyjector, it will setup all the event hooks, the menu and an AppleEvent handler in Chrome.
  • The dock icon helper app and Chrome are communicating via the AppleEvent.
  • ... (see the source)

Future

  • All of this could be made much more stable and bullet-proof.
  • The web-app could interact more with the app dock icon. E.g., GMail could set some unread-message-count indicator on the dock icon. Stuff like this could be controlled by user scripts. Or by Chrome extensions.
  • When the web-app window is in the foreground, it could replace the Chrome menu by its own so that it looks even more native.

-- Albert Zeyer, http://www.az2000.de

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