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Apple's SproutCore, OSS Javascript-Based Web Apps

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the mmmm-cocoa dept.

Technology (Apple) 203

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF writes "AppleInsider is running an article about Apple's new SproutCore Web application development framework, utilizing Javascript and some nifty HTML 5 to offer a 'Cocoa-inspired' way to create powerful Web applications. Apple built on the OSS SproutIt framework developed for an online e-mail manager called 'Mailroom.' Apple used this framework to build their new Web application suite (replacing .Mac) called MobileMe. Since SproutCore applications rely on JavaScript, it seems Apple had good reason to focus on Squirrelfish for faster JavaScript interpretation in Webkit. Apple hosted a session last Friday at WWDC introducing SproutCore to developers, but obviously NDAs prevent developers from revealing the details of that presentation. Apple has a chance here to keep the Web becoming even more proprietary as Silverlight and Flash battle it out to lock the Web application market into one proprietary format or another. Either way, this is a potential alternative, which should make the OSS crowd happy." TechDIrt's writeup on the browser evolving towards acting as an OS expands on the theme AppleInsider raises.

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203 comments

Another good article on this... (4, Informative)

Nicky G (859089) | more than 5 years ago | (#23817637)

Roughly Drafted==Spam (2, Informative)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 5 years ago | (#23817749)

Uh-oh,

You've linked to Roughly Drafted - the site that was caught trying to spam digg [wordpress.com] .

Roughly Drafted is poorly written & not credible. Please don't link to it - as the unofficial apple weblog puts it [tuaw.com] :

Posts like this that use underhanded techniques and shoddy math to prove a biased point aren't helping the Mac community. In fact, they're making it look even worse because, once found out, they are (rightfully) transformed into key evidence for clueless Apple fanaticism, which can easily harm the reputation of almost anyone with something genuinely educated and relevant to say about Apple or their products, whether it's a good or *gasp* unpleasant statement.
If you're an Apple fan - don't link to RD; that website actually hurts, rather than helps Apple.

Re:Roughly Drafted==Spam (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23817787)

TUAW is poorly written & not credible. Please don't link to it - as anyone with any sort of brain will verify.

If you're an Apple fan - don't link to TUAW; that website actually hurts, rather than helps Apple.

Re:Roughly Drafted==Spam (5, Insightful)

Nicky G (859089) | more than 5 years ago | (#23817821)

Sorry, I don't keep up with the minute-by-minute Mac fanboy vs. Windows fanboy battles on the Intertron -- just linking to a relevant article on the subject at hand. I actually don't use Digg, so I have no idea about the history there. Some of Daniel's articles come off as a bit skewed, sure, but it's his blog and he's entitled to his opinion. Plus, is trying to get a few people to email Digg and Apple, which your linked blog article claims, the same as "spamming" it? Give me a break.

Re:Roughly Drafted==Spam (0, Offtopic)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 5 years ago | (#23817947)

There is credible evidence that he created over sixty accounts to promote his blog [googlepages.com] .

And really, Windows fanboys? Didn't anyone ever tell you that professing a belief in such things is an Apple zealot shibboleth?

Re:RoughlyDrafted (4, Informative)

DECS (891519) | more than 5 years ago | (#23818029)

Sorry that's not true and you know it.

Over a thousand of my readers wrote Digg to ask it to stop censoring my articles (and cc:ed me) after a small contingent of Digg users complained that I was poking at their Xbox, Zune, and Windows Enthusiast views.

Digg has never accused me of creating scores of accounts, and some anonymous blog entry is not "credible evidence."

Promoting articles I write by submitting them to sites designed for that purpose is not spam.

Why didn't you use one of your sock puppets? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23818185)

Why didn't you use one of your sock puppets to defend your blog entry like you usually do?

Re:RoughlyDrafted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23818211)

I like my iPod Touch, but I don't like smug Apple fans like you who choose to worship a corporation and deride others for using a different product. You need some serious growing up to do. [Unless of course you are doing it make money from all those affiliate ads on your site; then it's OK.]

Re:RoughlyDrafted (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23818339)

Did your readers also write in to Apple and have your Apple Store Affiliate Program account canceled? Or was it because Apple found out your were SPAMMING and kicked you out? How did it feel?

Re:RoughlyDrafted (-1, Offtopic)

DECS (891519) | more than 5 years ago | (#23819083)

Hi troll: I've never had an apple store affiliate account.

I did set up one for iTunes, but wasn't making enough to bother with making links. I still post links to the iTunes of the week, largely so I remember to snag them for free. Actually I don't write for money, I write to offer people something different to read.

If I wanted to blog for money, I'd put up pictures of kittens and link jack the articles that worked last month, and post them to Digg. That would bore me.

Re:RoughlyDrafted (-1, Offtopic)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 5 years ago | (#23818341)

Eh, sockpuppets, minions, same difference. You're all one collective hive mind anyway. :-P

Re:RoughlyDrafted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23818517)

Just out of curiosity, am I supposed to have some idea who you are?

Hi Daniel. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23818667)

Just how many accounts do you have on slasdot?

More than twitter even it would appear.

Re:Roughly Drafted==Spam (3, Funny)

Gewalt (1200451) | more than 5 years ago | (#23817925)

Wait a minute... Did you just post on a blog that some other blog doesn't like its competitor blog and that somehow this other blog is supposed to be able to decide which blogs are harmful to me? ...whiney fanboy indeed...

Re:Roughly Drafted==Spam (4, Insightful)

Admiral Ag (829695) | more than 5 years ago | (#23817959)

Rubbish.

Roughly Drafted is one of the better Apple blogs out there. I don't agree with everything the guy says, but it is original and interesting, unlike most Apple blogs, which are just rehashes of press releases (sadly much like the rest of the news).

DECS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23818093)

Nice sig. You're clearly not a sockpuppet at all.

Re:DECS (1, Offtopic)

Admiral Ag (829695) | more than 5 years ago | (#23819549)

Actually no, but thanks for pointing that out. I had no idea that DECS was DED until I read your post. The sig I picked up months ago because the original made me spit coffee over my monitor.

I am a regular reader both RoughlyDrafted and TUAW. I don't care about past spats, but I like both blogs.

Re:Roughly Drafted==Spam (0, Offtopic)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 5 years ago | (#23818133)

I wish RD articles were at least formatted better, and were less verbose as well.

RD articles seem to have several links to other articles inserted into the article that have the format appearance of being a section header, which gets quite confusing. Generally, those links don't seem to have any to do with the context of the article or section of the article in question either, it really breaks up the mental flow of reading an article in a jarring way.

Re:Roughly Drafted==Spam (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23819481)

RD is full of technobabble and truthiness designed to wow the one button types. Occasionally there's an interesting point about marketing or strategy, but good luck finding it in all bullshit.

Shouldn't that be... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23817639)

"keep the Web from becoming even more proprietary"?

Re:Shouldn't that be... (3, Interesting)

FF0000 Phoenix (516214) | more than 5 years ago | (#23817939)

No, it's intentional. Think of it as a Rorschach test for your opinion on Apple. Putting in “from” means pro-Apple. Putting in “from not” is the opposite. As it is, I think we all know which category you fall in. No wonder you posted anonymously.

There are many areas where Apple matters (-1, Troll)

melted (227442) | more than 5 years ago | (#23817651)

But web is not one of them. And I don't think they have anything altruistic in mind as their goal, either. If it helps to get the retards to pay $100 per year for a set of services they can get elsewhere for free, they'll invest money in it.

Re:There are many areas where Apple matters (5, Interesting)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#23817735)

I think the iPhone would disagree there. Pretty much as long as Apple refuses to put Flash on the iPhone, anything iPhone-friendly will have to be some flavor of HTML. The fact that it would also work well on Linux is a bonus.

There are 6 million iPhones out there (1)

melted (227442) | more than 5 years ago | (#23817955)

By end of year there will be 12 million of them. I'd go out on a limb and say that about 20% of iPhone users actually use the web browser in it on a regular basis. I hate to break the news to anyone, but that's a minuscule fraction of the market.

Don't get me wrong, I have an iPhone myself, but let's be real here - people will be loading binary apps on it starting in July, at which point web development will become an inconvenience on the iPhone for a lot of things.

Re:There are 6 million iPhones out there (5, Interesting)

catmistake (814204) | more than 5 years ago | (#23818005)

just Fyi, I, and roughly a million others (probably more) have been loading binary apps on iPhone for a year or so. Some of these apps, such as the package manager, rely on HTML... and every so often they update and it gets even slicker. I really can't understand what you mean by 'inconvenient,' when it seems the whole point of webapps is precisely for convenience.

Re:There are 6 million iPhones out there (1)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 5 years ago | (#23818807)

Which package manager? Installer.app doesn't rely on HTML, it loads a main page that is HTML but the user interface, search function, etc, are all CocoaTouch/UIKit. It downloads .xml files as well for its information.

The other main package manager, Cydia, is based on apt, and it too will draw an HTML page for its intro, but the UI, search, actual management functions, everything else is CocoaTouch.

HTML makes a lot of sense when you have applications with fluid data that should be refreshed. WebKit is compact, you can make a static UI pretty quickly and efficiently and support is pretty good. But a Web App cannot install stuff to your phone if it's properly secured. (I only add that because one of the methods of jailbreaking an iphone was a website with a remote code execution exploit.)

Re:There are 6 million iPhones out there (5, Informative)

Talez (468021) | more than 5 years ago | (#23818009)

http://www.alleyinsider.com/2008/3/apple_s_iphone_smashes_larger_market_on_web_video_music_usage [alleyinsider.com]

The most important thing about the iPhone isn't the sleek design, the touchscreen, iTunes integration, or any other single feature. It's the way that people use the device. Specifically, it's that people actually use it to do stuff besides making phone calls. Examples:

Almost 85% of iPhone owners browse the Web on their phones, versus 58% of the U.S. smartphone market and 13.1% of the overall U.S. mobile market, according to mobile research firm M:Metrics.
Some 31% of iPhone owners watch mobile TV or video, like Google's (GOOG) built-in YouTube software, compared to 4.6% of the overall market.
About 20% of iPhone owners access Facebook, versus 1.5% of the overall market.
And 74% of iPhone owners listened to music on their phones, compared to 28% of the smartphone market and 6.7% of the overall market.


Even if the usage is overstated that's still a hell of a lot of mobile Internet users.

The iPhone isn't like a regular smartphone. Rather than trying to supplement an experience for someone with existing shitty expectations of the big boy Internet on mobile devices, it's trying to broadly appeal to the market and it's becoming a catalyst that is literally changing the dynamics of the mobile data market.

Saying that people will be loading binary apps will kill off web development is like saying Web 2.0 is pointless because we all have Windows.

Web 2.0 exists because (1)

melted (227442) | more than 5 years ago | (#23818073)

Web 2.0 exists because you don't have to code your apps for each and every device separately. This is not the case with iPhone - anything not specifically built for iPhone is just awkward to use.

Re:Web 2.0 exists because (5, Insightful)

ahankinson (1249646) | more than 5 years ago | (#23818213)

Almost. The iPhone is the most viable portable (as in, in-pocket) mobile web platform out there right now. So much so, in fact, that I would say that the awkwardness in having to pinch and squeeze websites to view them is cancelled out by the convenience of having the web without lugging around a laptop.

Re:Web 2.0 exists because (3, Insightful)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | more than 5 years ago | (#23819491)

What of the Nokia N810? You get a Mozilla browser w/full Java support, Flash 9.0, keyboard, 800x480 screen. Sure, you need wifi or a bluetooth phone to connect, but it seems much more viable for easy surfing with the flash support, keyboard and nice wide screen.

Re:Web 2.0 exists because (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#23819629)

It seems very likely, however, that the next generation of smartphones will be trying to steal features from the iPhone -- at the very least, I'd expect (relatively) high resolution, if not touch.

Re:There are 6 million iPhones out there (4, Interesting)

DECS (891519) | more than 5 years ago | (#23818059)

According to real statistics, well over 80% of iPhone users "use more than ten functions," and even more use Safari for browsing. That's why the phone has a majority share (~75%) of mobile website traffic in stats despite "only" taking 27% of the new phones sold in the US and only having been on the market for a year.

Web development is for the web, not targeted at the iPhone. Whether or not key customers can view your content is a big deal. iPhone users will have more impact than their numbers suggest, just as Mac users do.

The fact that this also benefits Linux users is just a nice finish.

Re:There are 6 million iPhones out there (3, Informative)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 5 years ago | (#23819247)

taking 27% of the new phones sold in the US

Wrong [phonemag.com]

The iphone took about 2.5% (you were off by an order of magnitude). Don't get me wrong, this figure is very impressive for a new entry to the mobile market, but falsely inflating figures just makes you look stupid.

Or perhaps you don't know the difference between 'phone' & 'smartphone'?

Re:There are 6 million iPhones out there (-1, Flamebait)

DECS (891519) | more than 5 years ago | (#23819401)

Don't be a dick. Nobody cares about feature phones or Fisher Price phones or how many tens of millions of subsidized instant eWaste phones were sold to unsuspecting working class people by the big mobile outfits.

It's quite obvious that I'm talking about the market for things that compare to the iPhone. Scurry back under your rock, troll. You never have anything interesting to say.

 

Re:There are 6 million iPhones out there (0, Offtopic)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 5 years ago | (#23819533)

many tens of millions of subsidized instant eWaste phones

Speaking of eWaste, it's a pity Apple doesn't:

1) Not use toxic chemicals like brominated flame retardants and Polyvinyl Chloride in the iPhone (Nokia & Ericsson don't).
2) Offer free take-back for the iPhone (Nokia & Ericsson do).
3) Make a user-replacable battery (Nokia & Ericsson do).

So, how exactly is the (also-subsidized) iPhone superior from an eWaste perspective to its competitors?

Re:There are many areas where Apple matters (5, Insightful)

samkass (174571) | more than 5 years ago | (#23817739)

I think "retard" is a little strong. Obviously you're not in MobileMe's target market, but there is an integration between Apple's products that makes things easier for those "retards" who don't mind paying money for having things handed to them instead of spending time digging around the internet like you (and I) do.

And any time someone brings something new and interesting to the web, especially something they're willing to open source, it's a positive thing.

But what will the code look like? (4, Insightful)

Denger256 (1161267) | more than 5 years ago | (#23817717)

That's my question. I have seen too many apps that "help" you create websites but the code it generates is a mess. And if you want to integrate it with another app forget it.
For example where I work we were building a B2C app and instead of wasting coder time building the bla bla stuff around the real working site. They used go live and in the end we had to re-do it all.

Re:But what will the code look like? (4, Informative)

riceboy50 (631755) | more than 5 years ago | (#23817793)

I think you are misunderstanding the purpose of this. It's not an application that generates code for you. It's an application framework, like Cocoa is for the native OSX environment, which provides simple abstracted access to do certain tasks via APIs. This just allows application developers to spend less time worrying about "under the hood" code to make things cross-browser compatible and so forth.

Re:But what will the code look like? (3, Informative)

virgil_disgr4ce (909068) | more than 5 years ago | (#23818911)

I'm pretty surprised no one has mentioned ExtJS [extjs.com] , another VERY full-featured JS interface library. SproutCore is super young in comparison, it looks like, but it will be interesting to see how it advances. ExtJS has kind of a clinical look to it, and customizing the widgets looks like a pain, but the framework is definitely robust.

Re:But what will the code look like? (2, Interesting)

IntlHarvester (11985) | more than 5 years ago | (#23819587)

Actually it seems to generate all the HTML (not sure if that's what the grandparent meant by 'code'), including re-implementing standard browser widgets.

Just taking a glace at it, I agree that it would be difficult to integrate sproutcore with an exisitng web app, its really an entirely different approach.

Re:But what will the code look like? (2, Informative)

ahankinson (1249646) | more than 5 years ago | (#23818243)

SproutCore doesn't write the code for you. It simply abstracts the low-level stuff (like calling XHttpRequest directly) to a higher level so you can just call: drag_and_drop(Object) and it will do all the backend stuff for you.

correction (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23817763)

You can get "some" services which are "similar" to .mac for free.

But not all of them and not in the same way.

There are a number of nuances that can not be completely replicated by the free alternatives and they certainly will not be as tightly integrated into the OS and into 3rd party apps that run on the OS.

Sorry, but you're dismissing some things you don't know everything about.

And calling people retards certainly does not help your case.

looks sweet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23817791)

MIT license, doesn't look like ass, fast, well designed... score: SproutCore 4, EXT: 0. If I wasn't going to be dick-deep in teen pussy tonight, I'd be all over this shit right now.

proprietary (4, Informative)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 5 years ago | (#23817803)

Apple has a chance here to keep the Web becoming even more proprietary as Silverlight and Flash battle it out to lock the Web application market into one proprietary format or another.

It's not true that Flash is completely proprietary. There are multiple open-source compilers, and there's an open-source browser plugin. You do have to work hard to develop in flash using an OSS software stack, but there are people doing it. Gnash, the open-source browser plugin, has gotten to the point where it can play you-tube videos, provided you have the right hardware and sacrifice an unblemished calf. Adobe has also been slowly moving in the right direction as far as open-sourcing some of their code, and relaxing some of the more onerous licensing restrictions. A lot of the problems with making flash more open are actually problems with codecs, and that situation is also showing signs of improving, with support for less patent-encumbered codecs being added to newer versions of flash.

Re:proprietary (4, Insightful)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 5 years ago | (#23817905)

Yea but, whats the point?

If things can be accomplished with COMPLETELY open and free (as in freedom) frameworks and languages, why choose Flash?

Re:proprietary (2, Interesting)

josath (460165) | more than 5 years ago | (#23818025)

I definitely agree...but some things just can't be done in javascript. If you need more performance, video/audio, real tcp/ip socket connections (not that crazy 'comet' hack, or wasteful polling), zlib compression, even if you want to rotate an image to an arbitrary degree on the client with antialiasing, then you need flash. Java applets take too long to load, even though the runtime performance is usually better than flash. Flash has the advantage over Silverlight of install base. SVG has limited browser support & limited features compared to Flash.

Unfortunately there's really no other choice if you want to build certain types of (buzzword alert!) "Rich Media Applications".

More on-topic: This ScriptCore looks like Yet Another Javascript Framework (YAJF?). Some choices seem particularly odd, such as choosing to reimplement buttons through javascript code instead of using native browser widgets. And they say it's iPhone-compatible, but oddly one of their demo pages caused my Java VM plugin to start up! I'm not sure what it's being used for though.

Re:proprietary (5, Informative)

Dak RIT (556128) | more than 5 years ago | (#23818179)

SproutCore is pretty impressive for building real JS web applications, although the story doesn't real end there.

There's a convergence of other improvements, such as HTML5, CSS, and SVG, that are filling a lot of the multimedia roles previously the domain of flash.

For example, WebKit already supports CSS transforms [webkit.org] , gradients [webkit.org] , client-side database storage [webkit.org] , animation [webkit.org] , HTML5 media [webkit.org] , downloadable fonts [webkit.org] , masks [webkit.org] , reflections [webkit.org] , etc.

A lot of these things are only available in WebKit right now, although they've all been proposed or will be proposed as web standards in the near future, and provide a nice glimpse at where the web is heading. Web 3.0 (or whatever marketing term people come up with) is clearly though going to be focused on multimedia.

Re:proprietary (2, Interesting)

John Dowdell (1253028) | more than 5 years ago | (#23818643)

"If things can be accomplished with COMPLETELY open and free (as in freedom) frameworks and languages, why choose Flash?" The key word in that sentence may be the first.... ;-) (The original story seemed strange to me... many screenfuls of text, with the elevator pitch seeming to be "One particular JavaScript Framework will Rule The World -- *if* it's from Apple!" The weblogs didn't show much skepticism today, so I'm glad to see some realistic questioning here at Slashdot.) jd/adobe

Re:proprietary (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 5 years ago | (#23818773)

Yea i know, if sproutcore can't do what people seem to think it will then theres a problem, but it appears to be a reasonable way of doing things.

I think well defined standards implemented by the browser might be a better approach than binary apps running in a plugin.

By the way, JDs post is not a troll.

Re:proprietary (5, Insightful)

appleguru (1030562) | more than 5 years ago | (#23817921)

You're missing the point... flash and silverlight require plugins to work in a web browser. Not only is this an extra install for the end user, it also means not all platforms and browsers will be supported (A great example being no flash/silverlight on the iPhone...) The nice thing about "SproutCore" is that is 100% based on web standards (HTML, XML, JavaScript, etc) and will work on any platform and in any browser that follows those standards out of the box, no plugins needed!

Re:proprietary (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 5 years ago | (#23818191)

Not only is this an extra install for the end user, it also means not all platforms and browsers will be supported (A great example being no flash/silverlight on the iPhone...)

I'm with you all the way as far as preferring standards over proprietary stuff. However, the iPhone seems like a bad example to me. It's a proprietary platform, controlled by Apple. It's also a machine with a very low-powered CPU compared to the typical desktop system, so flash probably wouldn't be viable on it even if Apple wanted it to be.

Re:proprietary (2, Informative)

ahankinson (1249646) | more than 5 years ago | (#23818273)

It's a proprietary platform, but its web browser isn't. Safari (or WebKit, to be correct) is one of the best and most actively developed Open Source browsers out there. It's also one of the most standards-compliant browsers out there.

Re:proprietary (2, Interesting)

riceboy50 (631755) | more than 5 years ago | (#23818921)

flash probably wouldn't be viable on it
The conclusion I come to is that Flash is too bloated. I have run into many situations where it killed even my desktop systems.

moderation should require an IQ test (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23819349)

mods, this is not really very interesting. There is zero information content, and frankly, it's stated so poorly that it's not even really clear what riceboy50 is actually saying, except, "me thinks Flash bad." Nobody gives a rat's ass if some imbecile tried Flash once and it crashed is 486 PC running Windows 95 and Netscape. What if he had said exactly the same thing about Javascript? It would be interesting if he had provided, oh, any information at all. Yeah, we all *know* Flash is a bloated horrible pile of crap. But saying that isn't interesting, if anything it's redundant.

Re:proprietary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23818821)

To be fair, Apple makes the argument against "proprietary" flash/silverlight by utterly controlling their very proprietary iPhone. So its kind of disingenuous to use the iPhone as an example of a platform that loses out because flash, etc. aren't on it. Not to say the iPhone doesn't rock. Just making the point about the example given.

Re:proprietary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23818989)

...will work on any platform and in any browser that follows those standards out of the box

In other words, it doesn't work with IE 6.

Re:proprietary (1)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 5 years ago | (#23819329)

Not true... only works in Safari. Much like XUL only works in Mozilla based browsers. This is more similar to XUL but I see XUL having an easier time as Firefox has a larger install base and doesn't require installing Ruby.

Re:proprietary (5, Insightful)

erikina (1112587) | more than 5 years ago | (#23817963)

I look at Flash opening its specifications as an act of desperation by Adobe to save it from Silverlight. And I've tried Gnash, and to call it usable is a joke. I experienced a total of 1 or 2 websites that it actually worked with. Swfdec was a little better. And the youtube "working" (does it even seek yet?) is not some natural consequence of a decent flash player, but the result of specifically targeting it - and is highly unrepresentative of the rest of the web.

These days, I try not use flash (got flashblock) but for the times I need it, the official Adobe is installed. Perhaps when Silverlight gets released for linux, and developers start using it - Adobe will lift its game a bit.

Re:proprietary (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23817965)

Changing a few of the terms in your argument, the same could be said of Windows: there are a number of open-source compilers, you have to work hard to develop on it using OSS tools (though there are people doing it), it's gotten to the point where you can port OSS applications without too much agony and it can be said that Microsoft has been slowly moving in the direction as far as open-sourcing some of their code- albeit at a speed that makes a glacier look supersonic and mostly at the behest of a court.

However, "A lot of the problems with making flash more open are actually problems with codecs, and that situation is also showing signs of improving, with support for less patent-encumbered codecs being added to newer versions of flash" you can do direct substitution of 'Windows' for 'flash' and still get the full effect.

Still think Flash isn't all that proprietary? Try selling a competing editor or changing the spec.

Re:proprietary (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23818253)

The part of the article you quoted actually makes no sense. Apple has a chance to keep the Web becoming more proprietary by releasing OSS framework? I think the submitter means

Apple has a chance here to keep the Web from becoming even more proprietary as Silverlight and Flash battle it out to lock the Web application market into one proprietary format or another.

lockin (5, Interesting)

Speare (84249) | more than 5 years ago | (#23817863)

I started writing on DOS. (I won't count the Apple ][.) Wrote for PDP-11s. Wrote for Windows. Wrote for SGI GL (before OpenGL). Each new platform was yet another paradigm, yet another set of non-portable libraries or techniques.

I like POSIX, and I like portable languages and toolkits that I can take from platform to platform. I like writing little graphical apps or command-line tools in Perl, Python, GTK, SDL, OpenGL that I can run on Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, or even my Nokia N810. All the knowledge is transferrable, all the benefits of the little tools are transferrable with a little work to smooth out details like widget placement or font decisions.

I never bothered to get deep into Objective C, because while it's theoretically transferrable, it is really just used to write for the Apple Carbon/Cocoa/Core/Whatever/Don'tNitPickItsJustAnExample* stack. Same went for DirectX on Windows when I still wrote software for Windows. I would like to make apps that do whizzy things with Core Animation or whatever, but I just can't make myself get excited at the prospect of learning yet another vendor-lockin technology. The hardware-accelerated compositing is cool, the effortless scripting of visual objects is interesting, but not interesting enough to actually learn something that won't be portable.

If I really want a visual effect like Core This or Direct That, I will write a portable library to do it in OpenGL on Python or something. Or if the need isn't extreme, I'll just wait for someone else to write the general library if it ever happens.

Re:lockin (5, Funny)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 5 years ago | (#23818011)

I'm not sure why you brought it up, or why you had so much to say about so very little, but I'm sure that I speak for all of us when I say thank you. Truly a man for your time and place.

Re:lockin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23818737)

Could someone please mod this to (Score:6, HasBallsToSpeakTheTruth)? Post is just that good.

Re:lockin (1)

wralias (862131) | more than 5 years ago | (#23818899)

Either I'm not seeing a different thread that you are replying to, or I just don't understand the relevance of what you are saying. This article is about a JavaScript MVC framework - there isn't really a vendor lock-in to speak of.

Re:lockin (2, Insightful)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 5 years ago | (#23819035)

So... you're excited about SproutCore which is open source and specifically designed to be cross platform?

Apples and Oranges (3, Informative)

A Guy From Ottawa (599281) | more than 5 years ago | (#23817873)

From TFA, SproutCore is basically a rich set of JavaScript libraries. Flame/mod away, but it's true.

Flash/Silverlight don't only contain the same app struts for you to build upon, but they are also incredibly powerful application hosting frameworks with rich graphics and multimedia libraries to go beyond what HTML can render.

Comparing SproutCore to Flash and especially Silverlight is nonsense. Saying it's a Flash/Silverlight killer is delusional.

Re:Apples and Oranges (5, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#23817949)

Flame/mod away, but it's true.
Now, there's no need for that, now is there? :)

I don't think anyone expects SproutCore to "kill" Flash in its current usage - mostly ads and multimedia. I think the claim is that SproutCore could kill Flash's aspirations (via AIR) to become a standard for building rich apps on the browser.

I mean, you have to admit that if you were considering building a rich app, and you were looking at all of the options... well, now Apple has some real rich apps working via javascript and Google has always had their javascript rich apps - at the very least it shows you that you can be successful while sticking with javascript.

Apples and Apples (2, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#23818279)

Comparing SproutCore to Flash ... is nonsense.
It's apples to apples.
Flash & anything javascript related is a security bomb waiting to go off.
Just because this is coming from Apple doesn't remove the deficiencies in Javascript.
 
/I don't actually know anything about Silverlight's security or lack thereof, so I left them out of this.

Re:Apples and Oranges (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 5 years ago | (#23818845)

Yeah, that's what I got out of it as well.

JavaScript libraries are better and more capable than they ever have been, but they can't escape being what they are. There are just too many questions that they are not the right answer for, and getting cross-platform cross-browser compability to be as good as the promise of open standards is not yet there for any reasonably complex web app. (That is to say, you can get a complex app to work right on a variety of platforms, but you're kidding yourself if you think it's going to be free/easy.)

Something like Flash/Flex or Silverlight isn't the answer to all web problems either, and never will be -- but more and more I'm seeing businesses ask for extremely rich interface intranet-ish apps to be done as web apps, and then be frustrated when the standards/JavaScript/etc. solution either is quirky or non-performant in some way that really matters to them. I think this kind of app is going to be done more and more with Flex or Silverlight or something similar in the next few years, and I don't see SproutCore as seriously competing in that space.

How does that work? (2, Insightful)

zogger (617870) | more than 5 years ago | (#23817897)

How do those seekrit sh-h-h-h-h don't tell nobody! NDAs work with OSS? The "O" part starts for "open". "..and now here we show you these open source new goodies, but you can't tell anyone about them, no details, nor show them, but they are really open, honest!"

Good luck with that. Apple makes some good stuff, but let us not confuse them with being some sort of "open" champions, because they are *not*.

An odd fit? (2, Interesting)

iamghetto (450099) | more than 5 years ago | (#23817997)

The photo gallery [sproutcore.com] demo on SproutCore.com fails to work on Opera - the right photo pane not even rendering. Although Opera isn't widely used, with its exceptional standards-compliance it's a great barometer for how compatible something may ultimately be.

It's an interesting idea, and maybe I'm missing the "awesomeness" of it, but I don't find a compelling reason to switch to this over a standard development stack. It just seems as though it's a highly widgetized javascript framework, running on ruby.

I develop in Rails and C#, and I'd just as soon use jQuery [jquery.com] and it's host of extensions to build my own application like widgets that I could use across any backend.

I've looked through the documentation and I'm hoping I'm just missing something about SproutCore's awesomeness.

Re:An odd fit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23818313)

It doesn't seem to work quite properly on Camino, either...

Re:An odd fit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23818501)

Yes, and thanks to their draconian no robots allowed policy, I can't check any other browser compatibilities out using http://browsershots.org/ . This platform doesn't seem to be getting off on the right foot with me.

Re:An odd fit? (3, Interesting)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 5 years ago | (#23819265)

Although Opera isn't widely used, with its exceptional standards-compliance it's a great barometer for how compatible something may ultimately be.
Fans of Opera always say this; but it's been my experience, when developing web apps, that Opera tends to lag behind Firefox and even Safari when it comes to CSS support - specifically when it comes to using Javascript to modify various CSS parameters on the fly.

When I have filed bug reports against Opera the developers have been very responsive - but still, the fact is that I've had to file bug reports because of shortcomings in Opera.

Re:An odd fit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23819283)

It doesn't work for me in Firefox or Epiphany either.

tagging retards... (2, Funny)

thekm (622569) | more than 5 years ago | (#23818017)

Tags on the article at time of posting: apple, rails, ruby, rubyonrails (tagging beta)

...is ruby really that lame that people are tagging unrelated articles to grassroots this bitch into existence?...

Re:tagging retards... (2, Insightful)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 5 years ago | (#23818181)

We have also created some build tools that will take care of efficiently packaging your HTML, JS, and CSS for delivery over the web that are based on Ruby. However, Ruby is not required for you to use SproutCore except during development.
Besides from being lazy enough not to investigate further, do you have any other reason to call a perfectly fine programming language "a bitch" just for the sake of a part of its users?

Re:tagging retards... (2, Informative)

thekm (622569) | more than 5 years ago | (#23818409)

did you get linked to the same links that the post linked me to!?...

Just to make sure, here's all the links that the post refers to:
http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/08/06/16/apples_open_secret_sproutcore_is_cocoa_for_the_web.html [appleinsider.com]
http://www.sproutit.com/ [sproutit.com]
http://www.sproutcore.com/ [sproutcore.com]
http://techdirt.com/articles/20080530/0022021266.shtml [techdirt.com]


...I read the article as linked, and just to make sure, I ran some text searches across them, and neither "ruby" or "rails" came up in the article content. From a goodly amount of reading, I didn't come across Rails being put forward as the big platform choice to warrant the tagging. So once again... the ruby/rails crowd seem to be shills, or at least certainly eager to grass-roots their little world into existence; because a packaging system isn't enough to be tagging the article as if it's the main technology.

Re:tagging retards... (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 5 years ago | (#23818827)

I don't know about the person you're responding to, but I found the mention of Ruby on the Sproutcore Hello World Tutorial [sproutcore.com] (bolded for emphasis):
"If you haven't yet installed SproutCore, it's really easy if you have Ruby installed on your machine."

"Note that if you are on a Mac, you will need the developer tools installed as well for Ruby to work."

Re:tagging retards... (1)

thekm (622569) | more than 5 years ago | (#23819599)

I don't know about the person you're responding to, but I found the mention of Ruby on the Sproutcore Hello World Tutorial [sproutcore.com] (bolded for emphasis): "If you haven't yet installed SproutCore, it's really easy if you have Ruby installed on your machine." "Note that if you are on a Mac, you will need the developer tools installed as well for Ruby to work."
Thanks for that. Tagging articles with shill-tags that you have to dig all the way past the bloody article and into the coding tutorial to find, is exactly my original point: bad tags by people trying to will Ruby development into relevance. But hey, I'm glad someone found the actual Ruby reference in this, it validates the existence of the tags and made the dozens of Ruby developers out there quite happy.

Re:tagging retards... (2, Interesting)

IntlHarvester (11985) | more than 5 years ago | (#23819523)

Actually if you look at the (very minimal) docs on sproutcore.com, it runs out of a Rails app server.

But otherwise it looks like a front-end toolkit, so its not clear to me how much it actually depends on RoR.

Re:tagging retards... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23818183)

Posting anon 'cause i mod'ed here. SproutCore uses ruby for its installer and for its server (at least for its test server.)

Re:tagging retards... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23818187)

No. It's just pretty obvious that Apple intends iPhone developers to use Ruby on Rails for development.

good website for sproutcore (0)

bobby1234 (860820) | more than 5 years ago | (#23818021)

or not http://www.sproutcore.com/ [sproutcore.com] Site Temporarily Unavailable We apologize for the inconvenience. Please contact the webmaster/ tech support immediately to have them rectify this. error id: "bad_httpd_conf"

It's a Javascript-centric Rails clone? (1, Interesting)

HisMother (413313) | more than 5 years ago | (#23818111)

None of the other commenters here seem to have checked out their site at all. Sproutcore is apparently a JavaScript-generating, Ruby-based templating framework. To me it looks kind of like a Rails clone with jQuery built in.

Personally I'm not seeing the need...

It can use any backend (4, Informative)

Santana (103744) | more than 5 years ago | (#23819059)

The author just happens to use Ruby on Rails, but you can use Java also (Apple is using WebObjects) or PHP ...

SproutCore is completely JavaScript based (1)

landonf (905751) | more than 5 years ago | (#23819327)

To me it looks kind of like a Rails clone with jQuery built in.

Personally I'm not seeing the need...

According to the FAQ, it's about as far from a Rails clone as you can get and still be on the web:

The SproutCore framework is completely JavaScript based. We have also created some build tools that will take care of efficiently packaging your HTML, JS, and CSS for delivery over the web that are based on ruby. However, Ruby is not required for you to use SproutCore except during development.

http://www.sproutcore.com/about/

A little too late? (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 5 years ago | (#23818159)

To me, all this looks like Zimbra. Am I right? By the way, are all components Open source? Without an answer in the affirmative, I will not touch it even with a 10 foot pole.

A recruitment ad I saw this morning. (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 5 years ago | (#23818557)

Be the next generation web app designers...$120k!

Requires 3 years experience in:
  SproutIt, MobilMe, and SproutCare

RAILS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23818621)

why is this tagged with ruby on rails? theres nothing in the article to suggest so, or are the rails nutters at it again?

(yaya, flamebait, i know)

How does it compare to GWT? (2, Interesting)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 5 years ago | (#23818713)

After reading a bit about this, it sounds like something similar to Google's GWT [google.com] (with Gears [google.com] ), except that SproutCore uses Ruby instead of Java.

How do the two compare?

Re:How does it compare to GWT? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23818831)

except that SproutCore uses Ruby instead of Java.

How do the two compare?


Based on this, my guess is that SproutCore won't make you wish you had lost your sight as a child as you write thousands of lines of boilerplate to coerce Apache to serve up your Ajax hello world. It'll be more like:

require 'sprout'
sprout = Sprout.new
sprout.content = "Hello World"
sprout.render

280 North seems to have the same idea in mind. (5, Informative)

phuul (997836) | more than 5 years ago | (#23819297)

It seems like the guys at 280 Slides [280slides.com] have been working on something similar. They have an Apple background and called their language Objective-J, from what I can tell it's an extension on JavaScript in a similar manner to way Objective-C is to C. Their Cocoa like framework on Objective-J is called Cappuccino.

Now I don't know if SproutCore is anything like what they are doing (wasn't at WWDC so I don't know the details), but the end goals of both projects seem like the same thing. A language and framework where whatever you make should just work across browsers. It's very early days for both, so we will have to see. From the article it seems like SproutCore is going to be fairly open. The 280 North guys seem like they want something similar for Objective-J and Cappuccion but they are still working on cleaning up the frameworks.

Either way, the competition should be good and hopefully bring sanity to the client side scripting world.

Flash swf is an open documented and speced format (1)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 5 years ago | (#23819537)

Summary has yet again a "Bullshit about Flash" factor in it.

The reference implementation of the Flash VM may be proprietary, but the formats and standards involved have been open source and independantly speced longer that Java has been open sourced. In fact it was Adobes SVG that was a reaction to Macromedia openin the flash swf format. That's how long Flash has been as open as you can wish for.
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