Crosswords for Ubuntu

Crosswords in a work-in-progress app for Ubuntu, with the goal of letting you solve your favorite puzzles on your phone, tablet, and desktop. Crosswords itself is fairly stable now, but we’re waiting on some issues in the SDK.



Getting It

Crosswords is being developed on Github, so the easiest way to get it on your computer is to clone the git repository:

git clone

If you’re not a git person, you can download Crosswords as a zip file.

Alternatively, you can download it as a click package or from the Ubuntu click store.

Running It

Crosswords is built on Ubuntu’s HTML5 SDK, which means it should run easily everywhere. That’s the theory—in practice it doesn’t word so well. Here are some notes that might help:

On devices (and emulators)

A bug in the SDK (#1296463) meant that the on-screen keyboard would cover some of the content. This has been fixed, but I don’t know if the fix has made it into images yet.

Crosswords has work-arounds in place to deal with the on-screen keyboard not appearing (#1296462), lists not scrolling (#1296468), clicks on buttons in the toolbar not registering (#1296469, #1302284), and the toolbar not hiding itself (#1293899). It’s not improbable that you’ll see some odd behavior in these areas.

While actually playing on a touch device will be an exercise in frustration, testing and bug-hunting would be very useful, especially since I only have an emulator for these purposes. Please report any bugs that you find!

On the desktop

HTML5 apps are supposed to be run with ubuntu-html5-app-launcher --www=www. Unfortunately, several bugs (#1293898, #1294981, #1294985) mean that mouse use in this environment is sub-optimal.

Instead, you can launch Crosswords inside a simple GTK container with the crosswords script included in the repository. This is how I run it myself. If you feel like hunting bugs, note that you can get the inspector from the right-click menu.

Since Crosswords is just HTML, you can also run it in your favorite web browser: just open up www/index.html within the source. Note that cross-site scripting restrictions may prevent you from opening crosswords from some sources. You may be able to fix this through your browser’s settings. Also note that list items will not be visible in Firefox until #1294993 is fixed.

On the web

You don’t have to download the source to try it in your browser—just click here. I’ve trimmed the source list down to those that will work under the scripting restrictions in a web environment. To get the rest, you’ve got to download it yourself.

Reporting Bugs

Bugs are tracked on the Github issues page. Don’t be shy—I enjoy getting bug reports. It’s the best way for me to know that people are using my software.


Crosswords is copyright 2014 by Robert Schroll. It is released under the GPL.