The past few days have seen a stink regarding web applications on iOS. El Reg ran a story about how web applications launched from iOS’ homescreen ran significantly slower than when ran inside mobile Safari. As more details emerged, it became clear this wasn’t a deliberate move by Apple – but rather an implementation issue.
The issue here stems from the fact that Nitro is a just-in-time-compiler, and therefore, requires memory pages to be marked as executable. iOS, however, does not allow memory pages to be marked as executable. For Safari, Apple apparently made an exception – but for Web.app (which is what full screen web applications use when run from the home screen) and third-party applications that use UIWebView they did not make this exception. It would defeat the purpose of the App Store review process.
You could, of course, conclude that Apple did this on purpose to harm web applications, to push developers to make native applications. However, this makes no sense since App Store applications that use UIWebView don’t get Nitro either.
It makes much more sense to see the exception for mobile Safari as a temporary measure until WebKit2 is ready. WebKit2 will integrate the slit-process model into the very bowels of the rendering engine, which would enable Apple to run Nitro in its own trusted process so that any application can make us of it.
So, this seems to be much ado about nothing. Nitro makes mobile Safari faster – it doesn’t make anything else run slower.
What?! The Register talking out of their ass – wow, that’s gotta be a first *rolls eyes*
Come on, really, the number of people citing The Register article as some sort of ‘final say’ when it comes to all things related to IT makes me cringe. The Register is little more than a glorified set of Slashdot posts being paraded as articles with the comments section being no better than clicking onto a Glenn Beck/O’Reilly fan forum (if such an entity exists).
The forum itself is a massive echo-chamber where the moderators only allow the views they agree with being approved before being posted. I’ve signed up and posted a couple of replies (in the comments section) pointing out where the article writers were incorrect (in a polite way) and found that my comments are never accepted – god forbid someone actually writing a constructive critique of where the article went wrong!
Edited 2011-03-18 23:50 UTC