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Desktop WebRT


Desktop WebRT is a project to build a desktop Web application RunTime that provides webapps with a native-like look and feel along with platform integration APIs on Windows, Mac, and other desktop platforms.

The runtime comprises the navigator.mozApps DOM API through which the Mozilla Marketplace, other webapp stores, and webapps themselves request installation; an installer feature of Firefox that installs webapps on the native platform; a stub executable launcher bundled with Firefox that the installer copies to an appropriate location for each webapp it installs; and a xulapp shell that loads a webapp when a user starts it.

Feature Drivers

The feature drivers are responsible for making sure the runtime gets completed and shipped with Firefox. They triage bug reports and enhancement requests, find engineers to tackle issues, and communicate status updates to the Apps initiative and Mozilla community.

The feature drivers are:

  • Vishy Krishnamoorthy (vishy), Product Manager
  • Bill Walker (bwalker), Engineering Manager
  • Jason Smith (jsmith), QA Engineer
  • Myk Melez (myk), Technical Lead


Discussions on runtime design and development topics take place in a variety of public forums:

Status updates are also presented at the weekly Product Coordination and Firefox/Gecko Development meetings.

Bug Reporting

Bugs related to the runtime are typically filed in the following three components:

  • Firefox/Webapp Runtime: the stub executable launcher (i.e. the binary and related files that Firefox creates for each webapp you install to your local computer) and the XUL shell (i.e. the XULRunner application that the launcher uses to load a webapp and provide it with native integration APIs)
  • Firefox/Web Apps: Firefox's webapp installer (i.e. the feature that creates a launcher when the user approves an installation request)
  • Core / DOM: Mozilla Extensions: Gecko's navigator.mozApps DOM API (i.e. the API that web pages use to request webapp installation)


Drivers triage bug reports on a regular basis using the following queries for open bugs of various kinds, mostly in Firefox's Web Apps and Webapp Runtime components.

All Components

Web Apps/Webapp Runtime Components

Source Code

The source code for the runtime lives in the mozilla-central Mercurial repository in the following files and directories:

Engineers develop it in accordance with standard Mozilla development best practices, including the Coding Style Guide, the Committing Rules and Responsibilities, and Firefox's rapid release schedule.