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The MacGap project aims to provide HTML/JS/CSS developers an Xcode project for developing Native OSX Apps that run in OSX's WebView and take advantage of WebKit technologies. The project also exposes a basic JavaScript API for OS integration, such as display Growl notifications. The MacGap project is extremely lightweight and nimble, a blank application is about 0.3mb.


MacGap works on OSX 10.6 and 10.5.

Generate apps with the macgap generator, no compile necessary.

gem install macgap    

macgap new myapp
macgap build myapp


MacGap exposes an object called macgap inside JavaScript. You can use it to alter the Dock icon and display Growl notifications, amongst other things. The API is documented below:


// Quit application;

// Activate application (bring to front);

// Hide application;

// Un-hide application;

// System bell;

// Open URL in default browser"");

// Launch application"TextEdit");


// Open a new window{url:"public/index2.html", width: 400, height: 300});

// Resize window
macgap.window.resize({width: 400, height: 200});

// Move window (Bottom left is x:0 and y:0)
macgap.window.move({x:0, y: 200});


// Path to application

// Path to application's resources


// Set the Dock's badge
macgap.dock.badge = "10";


// Play a sound"./my/sound.mp3")

// Play a system sound


// Send a Growl notification
  title: "Notify",
  content: "New Message!"


//Mac OS X on wake event.
document.addEventListener('wake', function(){console.log('Wake!!')}, true);

//Mac OS X on sleep event.
document.addEventListener('sleep', function(){console.log('Sleep!!')}, true);

Offline Patterns

Desktop apps load immediately and work offline, whilst web apps have the advantage of being easily updated and remotely managed. MacGap gives you the best of both worlds via HTML5's offline APIs.

First you can define a refresh tag in index.html, which will immediately forward your WebView to a given address.

<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0;url=">

Then use HTML5 offline APIs to cache your application locally. The first time your application launches, it'll download all the remote resources for use offline. Then during subsequent launches the locally cached resources will be used, and the application will fully function offline. If your remote application changes, then the cache manifest will be updated and application re-cached.


MacGap was forked/ported from Phonegap-mac. It's under the same license (MIT).

Custom Build

To build, make sure you have installed the latest Mac OSX Core Library. Download at

Just clone the repository and build in Xcode. The file public/index.html is loaded on startup.