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Following Apple on the road to rich web apps

Robert Palmer

Roughly Drafted has an interesting (and long) article that discusses Apple, Adobe, Google and Microsoft, and their different approaches to developing rich applications for the web. The article is very readable for a non-technical audience, and well-researched, too.

The article contrasts Apple's mature development tools and platform frameworks with Google's new open-source tools (like Google Gears). Further, it discusses closed frameworks like Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight, and why Apple is ignoring those in favor of open-source, standards-based development for both and support for the iPhone.

Then it gets good. Daniel Eran Dilger writes about Charles Jolley's SproutCore, a JavaScript framework that Apple has adopted for its own rich web apps, based on a Cocoa-like model-view-controller foundation with bindings, key value observing, and view controls. Think JavaScript on Rails. SproutCore bares its teeth at Adobe's development tools, all ready to show off in Apple's upcoming release of Mobile Me.

"That makes SproutCore a light Cocoa alternative for deploying web apps that look and feel like Mac OS X desktop apps," Dilger writes.

It's a good read for a Sunday afternoon, and will get you thinking about the kinds of apps that you can build (more easily than ever) for the web. If you enjoyed Brett's earlier video about 280 North, you're sure to love this.

Thanks, William!

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