NW.js (formerly node-webkit) news and update

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  • Hi all,

    There's a few bits of news about node-webkit:

    • Node-webkit has been renamed to NW.js since the "node" and "webkit" technologies aren't relevant any more. The project also has a new website at nwjs.io. (I've read a suggestion maybe "NW" can be a backronym for "Native Web" )
    • NW.js is now based on IO.js, a compatible fork of node.js. So hopefully this won't break anything.
    • An alpha update has been released for NW.js v0.12.0. This is based on Chromium 41 and therefore should fix the infamous jank bug in node-webkit 0.11.x (which is based on the buggy Chromium 38).

    Since v0.12.0 is described as an alpha, the official version at scirra.com/node-webkit hasn't changed, and I'm just posting this version here as an experimental option for testing. Hopefully everything works smoothly, but let me know if anything is broken. It worked for me with a simple "does Space Blaster work" test.

    I've also read NW.js has dropped support for Windows XP, since the underlying IO.js has. This is regrettable, but probably inevitable. Although Windows XP is still hanging around with ~12% market share (according to StatCounter), it's ~13 years old, a lot of software is already incompatible, it's less secure, and it's going to die out eventually. Windows XP users probably correlate with older hardware with broken graphics drivers that either crash or fall back to software rendering anyway, so they may not have had a great experience with HTML5 games anyway. I do realise this impacts the reach of games published this way, but this is probably the beginning of a trend of decreasing XP support from browsers in future so was only a matter of time.

    Note the name of the d3dcompiler DLL has changed for Windows versions. The next version of C2 (r195) will copy the right version, but at the moment r194.2 will only copy d3dcompiler_46.dll. I'm not sure what the impact of this is, but maybe copy d3dcompiler_47.dll over to the exported folder afterwards to make sure that doesn't cause a problem.



    Since we're due a stable release I don't want to make any unnecessary changes, so r195 will probably go out still referring to "node-webkit", and through the next beta cycle we'll go through all the node-webkit references and update them to say NW.js instead.

  • Edited OP to add a note about Windows XP support.

  • Sounds promising! I hope the jank issue really is corrected, though it wasn't as impactful on my own game.

  • Sounds cool. Thanks for the update.

  • Tested it quickly, it seems less leaky. I've had trouble with the last few builds (mainly window resize and painting opperations eating memory)

  • not sure what this implies for us, but I guess a little heads up is still nice

  • Quick test : Seemed better, but intermittent jerking is still present.(not as long or intense) It also seems to use about 5% more cpu.

  • Improved considerably. And also fix the bugs fade in and fade out the previous version. But from time to time even the one fought.

    The version of "node-webkit-v0.10.5-win-ia32" is even better for me.

    Plus version "nwjs-for-c2-v0-12-0alpha.exe" is getting very good!

  • At first I thought you were going to say you removed Node-Webkit (i.e desktop functionality) and replaced it with something else. Crisis averted xD.

  • Glad to see some slow recovery from the disaster that was chromium v38/nw 0.11.X

    10.5 still works better, but 0.12.x is certainly a viable option, unlike 0.11. Here's hoping it zooms ahead by stable.

    XP support...well, it had a damn good run, but honestly, I see this as a positive step, much for the reasons you mentioned (users on XP are liable to be a support issue anyway). Win 7 is the best OS Microsoft has made so far, and hopefully 10 will be another step forward after the mis-handling of Win8.

    BTW, Ashley, great idea to 'alpha test' a new version of node this way prior to update. Hope to see this become the standard approach moving forward.

  • The alpha testing is indeed a great idea. As for Windows XP... It's time has come to an end.

  • agreed alpha testing is a must!

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  • I like the sound of alpha testing for changes to things like that. Is that possible though, it seems like a lot of this 3rd party software goes through a lot of changes.

    So I heard the issue was also related to chrome and not just nw- which makes sense as I have been having trouble with that... is there an update timescale on that or am I out of the loop already?

  • I don't understand. Where's the d3dcompiler_46.dll file? Is there suppose to be one in the game's exported node-webkit folder? Can't seem to find it.

    ah wait.. nevermind.. thought this was related to r195.. you're just talking about the alpha..

  • A moment of silence please [bows head]. RIP XP - you were beautiful and good and will be missed...

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