As part of their new MobileMe online platform announced at the 2008 World Wide Developer Conference, Apple has recently released a web-applications framework which they’ve put their hands in with. SproutCore was originally designed by the SproutIt company for use in their Mailroom help-desk application.
Please note, that while Apple has chosen SproutCore, and they’ve gained it a lot of attention, it is not an Apple technology. It’s not really a Google technology either, the project just happens to be hosted on Google Code. Hell, even on MacBreak Weekly this week, Leo and the rest of the MacBreakers get that wrong. Apple has hired the developer, and they’ve been extending it, but the project is so far beyond just Apple. Google’s involvement is basically just providing hosting, but Google’s interest is similar to Apple’s. Both companies are interested in keeping the Web open using Open Standards. Google, so they can sell ads. Apple, so that no one can lock their platform out of the market. I may not care much about the motives, but I definitely support the potential results.
My first impression of SproutCore may have been unfairly negative. Developing for SproutCore depends on Ruby, a language which I’ve felt no inclination to learn. This really has nothing to do with Ruby, which I applaud for successfully bringing the excellent MVC Design Pattern to the Web via the Rail framework, but mostly that I don’t want to go through the effort of learning the language without requiring it for a job. I know that i could learn the language pretty quickly,if necessary. Part of my problem with SproutCore was that it appeared to me to be little more than an extension on top of Rails.