Monday, May 10th, 2010

Apple isn’t developing a Flash alternative named Gianduia

Category: Apple

Apple Insider has a strong headline: Apple developing Flash alternative named Gianduia that gets you clicking.

You quickly learn that Gianduia is:

  1. Not like Flash at all (e.g. not a plugin that brings a new development model to a rectangle in a browser)
  2. Old news (shown “last summer at WOWODC (World of WebObjects Developer Conference)”)
  3. a JavaScript framework.

It is allegedly the framework behind Apple projects such as their Concierge:

They say more:

Gianduia, named after an Italian hazelnut chocolate, is “essentially is browser-side Cocoa (including CoreData) + WebObjects, written in JavaScript by non-js-haters,” according to a tweet by developer Jonathan “Wolf” Rentzsch. “Jaw dropped.”

After watching the NDA demo Apple gave for the new framework at WOWODC last year, Rentzch also tweeted, “Blown away by Gianduia. Cappuccino, SproutCore and JavascriptMVC have serious competition. Serious.”

Like Cappuccino, Gianduia takes a Cocoa-inspired name (Cocoa is itself a Java-inspired name) to describe its role as a way for Cocoa developers to bring their skills to rich online applications built using web standards, with no need for a proprietary web plugin like Flash or Silverlight.

Apple is large, and has a lot of web presences. We have seen them use various open source outside frameworks, as well as ones they work on (SproutCore, Coherent in the past, etc) and we also hear about PastryKit and that other one for the iPad. A lot of developers. A lot of different code.

I very much hope we get the opportunity to see Gianduia in the future, as well as more of PastryKit and other frameworks that they use. Apple does a fantastic job with UX, and if they have amazing tools for building rich HTML5 applications, I am sure we are all ears.

Posted by Dion Almaer at 6:22 am

2.8 rating from 8 votes


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A question is just how much interest developers actually have in such libraries. Right now, despite considerable coverage of Cappuccino, Sproutcore, and so on, and attendant excitement from many quarters, there’s evidence to suggest that not very many developers are actually using them.

This is not to criticize what are clearly powerful, sophisticated libraries. Rather, it would seem that the UX patterns which underpin them, which come from the desktop app world may not be translating strongly to the world of web based applications.

I guess the meta question is, will applications in 5 years time, almost all of which I’d contend will be running on top of web technologies looks much like those of the desktop today? I’m predicting not.

Comment by JohnAllsopp — May 10, 2010

I saw a similar article by Jim Dalrymple (Report: Apple developing a Flash alternative – over the weekend. I tweeted him back thinking he was crazy as I saw no connection between this and Flash. At the very least it doesn’t have anything to do w/ the Flash vs. Apple controversy type of Flash. I called him on it and his response was “I guess it depends on how positions and uses the tech.” I’m more inclined to think he may be an idiot.

Comment by JonBad — May 10, 2010

“Gianduia … a way for Cocoa developers to bring their skills to rich online applications built using web standards…”

So is Gianduia Apple’s countertpart to the toolkits (Google GWT or perhaps Qooxdoo) in which you develop in java and cross-compile to javascript? Only with Gianduia you’d be writing in Objective-C?

Comment by timo888 — May 11, 2010

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