Getting Started

Webxdc brings web apps to messenger chats, in a simple file format containing HTML5, CSS, JavaScript and other asset files. All authentication, identity management, social discovery and message transport is outsourced to the host messenger which runs a webxdc app container file and relays application update messages between app users, letting each app inherit offline-first and end-to-end encryption capabilities implemented by the hosting messenger.

A simple example

The e-mail based Delta Chat and the XMPP-based Cheogram messengers support webxdc apps, which run on both messengers without any change.

The following index.html shows a complete webxdc app, with an input field shown on all peers. Data submitted from the input is delivered to all members of the chat.

<!DOCTYPE html>
    <meta charset="utf-8"/>
    <script src="webxdc.js"></script>
    <input id="input" type="text"/>
    <a href="" onclick="sendMsg(); return false;">Send</a>
    <p id="output"></p>
      function sendMsg() {
        msg = document.getElementById("input").value;
        window.webxdc.sendUpdate({payload: msg}, 'Someone typed "'+msg+'".');
      function receiveUpdate(update) {
        document.getElementById('output').innerHTML += update.payload + "<br>";
      window.webxdc.setUpdateListener(receiveUpdate, 0);

To package the app as a .xdc file, zip the directory containing index.html and any related files:

(cd PATH_TO_DIR && zip -9 --recurse-paths - *) > myapp.xdc

Now it's possible to share the myapp.xdc file in any chat: recipients can hit "Start" to begin using the app to enter text in this input field and send updates to each other.

To simulate multiple chat participants in the browser, try Hello as a minimal example; it includes everything needed to run the app and requires no build systems.

The webxdc-dev simulation tool is the recommended tool for developing webxdc apps as it allows multi-user simulation, and allows observing network messages between app instances. However, no messenger is required to develop a webxdc app with the webxdc-dev tool.

More examples

webxdc on Codeberg and webxdc on GitHub contain curated webxdc app examples.

The webxdc store contains working webxdc apps that you can use today. Each app comes with a "source code" link so that you can learn and fork as you wish. You can submit your own available FOSS app for inclusion into the curated store.

Useful background for developing webxdc apps

Webxdc app development and deployment is fundamentally easier than developing for and maintaining an application-specific always-online HTTP server. But there are undeniably complications in arranging consistent web app state across user's devices, a typical issue for any Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networking system. Even if you don't study the topic in depth, reading Shared web application state introduces you to the terminology and some necessary considerations, with a particular eye on webxdc and providing practical guidance.

Participating in developments

  • Support Forum: the webxdc category on the DeltaChat forum is a space to ask questions and announce your app projects. Log into the forum via DeltaChat, Github, or by creating a username and password there.

  • If you have any question about Webxdc support in the XMPP-based Cheogram messenger, head over to the Cheogram forum channel

  • Announcements: Delta Chat and Webxdc-related developments can be followed on Fediverse