rojohound Indeed, we originally we inherited Titanium Desktop from Appcelerator when they decided to focus exclusively on mobile. I brought together a team as the lead, and we refactored its code and got it working with all current versions of today's modern operating systems. At the time we inherited the software, it would not run on these. We also brought the project under Software in the Public Interest together with other popular open source projects like Drupal, Debian, and ArchLinux who were also under this umbrella. In Nov, 2012, some time following the 1.3.1 beta release, we decided on a new direction forming CoastalForge and began work on TideKit.
TideSDK used a custom version of 3 separate ports of webkit. As you may know webkit is one of the largest code bases on earth. So yes, TideSDK would have been slow because webkit was in need of upgrades. Because we decided on a different and broader direction for mobile, web and desktop, this did not happen in the open source codebase. That said there are still folks that use it and the 1.3.1 release is somewhere in the neighbourhood of 100,000 downloads.
With TideKit, we made the necessary investments to the latest ports of webkit and we are constantly moving to stay close to the trunk. We also optionally build with chromium/blink as well so that we can continue to have App Store access with Apple's native port and highest possible HTML5 compliance . We customize webkit and chromium/blink for our product. Our APIs across platforms are consistent and we're maintaining compatibility with our TideSDK APIs to allow folks to move to something much faster and compliant.