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Cross-platform set of tools for building native UIs with Reason/OCaml
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README.md

Brisk

Build Status

A cross-platform set of tools for building native UIs with Reason/OCaml.

The goal of the project is to allow developers efficiently create fast, native apps for all major platforms. It's the best of both worlds: speed and portability, simplicity and great APIs.

🚧 NOTE: Brisk is a Work In Progress. 🚧


Requirements

Our development workflow is managed with esy. It's an incredibly fast package manager that provides reproducible, sandboxed environment for your projects and caches builds.

npm -g i esy@next

We're open to contributions for supporting opam workflow

macOS

XCode

Install Command Line Tools.

xcode-select --install

Other Platforms

We're looking for contributors who would help us kickstart Windows and Android renderers.

Getting Started

Examples

This repository contains the core tooling, platform-specific renderers, and examples. To view examples, clone the repository and open an example project.

git clone git@github.com:briskml/brisk.git
cd brisk/examples/components-macos

Building and running the example is a breeze:

esy
esy run

Motivation

We consider UI development an unsolved problem which is at the core of many inefficiencies both for creators and users. As a result, businesses lose money, hobbyists can't release their side projects, and users suffer from poor quality.

We've looked at React Native, Flutter, platform specific libraries, and hybrid frameworks. All of them have different trade-offs: you either give up runtime performance, developer efficiency, or quality. What's more, none of those solutions make it really easy and fast to build native UI apps. React (Native) is the closest one, but as good as it is, JavaScript constrains both runtime performance and developer productivity. React.js itself, our inspiration, is a great framework and Reason gives us tools to improve upon it.

With Brisk, we want to make building great performant apps quick and painless.

Design Decisions

We're building Brisk in Reason, a language with great performance characteristics - low memory footprint, near instant startup, and very fast execution. More importantly, it allows for great expressive APIs and has robust type system features, such as: Algebraic Data Types, Modules, and Pattern matching to name a few. (More about Reason)

All the layout and UI interactions happen on the main thread, leaving all IO/Networking on a secondary, background thread.

We made a deliberate choice to use native widgets to deliver the smoothest and platform-like experience. The macOS and iOS renderers leverage Cocoa; Windows renderer will build upon WPF (or UWP, help us make the choice); Android renderer will interface with Android SDK, etc.

This will provide great performance and allow for using both the native system controls, and implementing identical cross-platform components.

If you'd rather have a single cross-platform codebase similar to Electron apps, our sister project Revery's contributors took it upon themselves to rebuild the whole UI infrastructure from scratch to achieve the same UI on all platforms (think flutter).

Fortunately for everyone, Brisk's core has been factored out into brisk-reconciler - a separate framework that now powers both projects. In the future, we expect developers to be able to seamlessly switch between Revery and Brisk for different parts of their application. 🤯

Contributing

Follow the instructions for the editor plugins here.

To set up a development workflow, simply run this from the project root:

esy

It will install all dependencies and build the project.

To execute the test suites for macOS renderer, use:

esy test:mac

Check out the Good First Issues list and don't forget to join our Discord server if you have any questions.

Community

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