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larry bagina's Journal: Death and Rich Internet Applications 1

Journal by larry bagina
Remember Rich Internet Applications (RIA -- not to be confused with RIAA)? Three years ago, they were the new hotness, with frameworks like Cappuccino, SproutCore, and (less buzz, but just as interesting) GWT getting their fair share of virtual ink. They promised desktop-quality applications in the browser with better development methodologies. GWT let you develop and debug your web app in java and then compile to javascript. Cappuccino (from a group of former Apple employees) re-implemented the Cocoa/OpenStep libraries and even the objective C language in javascript. And SproutCore copied Cocoa ideas, but with javascript/ruby sensibilities. Apple liked SproutCore enough to hire the developers and used it instead of Web Objects for iWork, iCloud, et cetera.

But then what?

GWT is still around and developed, but they've moved on to the next big thing, i.e., dart.

280 North, the Cappuccino developers, was bought up by Motorola a year ago for $20 million.

Strobe, the primary developers of SproutCore, were bought up by Facebook a couple weeks ago.

Since these projects are all under Free (MIT, Apache, and LGPL) licenses, they won't disappear (in fact, they're still receiving minor updates). But when their primary (or only) developers get bored or cash out, it's safe to say they'll soon stagnate, which is a shame, really.

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Death and Rich Internet Applications

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Not only is UNIX dead, it's starting to smell really bad. -- Rob Pike

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