The HTML5 standard brings endless possibilities to the future of Web applications. By enabling desktop-like features, the Web can finally achieve a new level of rich user experiences. SproutCore is an open-source HTML5 application framework for building responsive, desktop-caliber apps in any modern Web browser without plugins.
What’s the motivation behind the SproutCore project? This new digital age goes beyond PCs and into mobile devices, iPads, and tablet computers. So what’s the best way to make data commonly accessible from these devices? By developing Web applications that can be accessed from anywhere, on any device. This is where SproutCore comes in, to enable development of rich cloud applications with dynamic UIs.
In fact, Apple’s MobileMe, amongst other apps, are currently using the SproutCore framework. Charles Jolley, creator of SproutCore, helped lead that effort at Apple before leaving last year to start his own company. His new startup, Strobe Inc., will focus on “helping companies bring great native-style app experiences to mobile device,” with the center of the company being SproutCore.
What does this new company mean for SproutCore? In Charles’ own words:
“First, SproutCore is now and will always be totally free and open source. I think this business of charging for a commercial license is not an effective way to grow a project. Sure you make a little cash, but at what expense to the community? My goal is to make SproutCore and all of the developer tools that surround it totally free to everyone. All I ask is that you participate in the community somehow to make things a little better for those who come after you.
Second, now that I am no longer held back by big-company legal restrictions, I am going to be much more involved with the platform.
My goal is that by the end of the year, any average developer can pick up SproutCore, build, and deploy a basic app without feeling lost. This is open source and I can’t usually guarantee timelines but at least now we can do what we need to make it happen.
Finally, I started working in SproutCore almost 5 years ago because I believe the future of software development lies in native-style apps in the web browser. It is the platform of the future and when that shift change happens, I want to be there with the technology. Now, I believe that time is almost finally upon us.”
For a sneak peek of what might be in store for the future of Web apps, take a look at the NPR demo built with SproutCore Touch, the first edition of SproutCore that includes complete touch support for touch events and hardware acceleration on the iPad and iPhone. But the beauty of it lies in that apps built with SproutCore Touch can run on both touch devices and desktop computers.
Currently, Strobe Inc. is focused on the digital publishing vertical, however, the possibilities are endless.