Monday, March 22nd, 2010

SproutCore 1.0 is here

Category: SproutCore

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Congrats to Charles Jolley and the entire team behind the SproutCore 1.0 launch. Bespin uses SproutCore now, so I am excited to see a stable build, and the hints to the future:

This project was in the works for 18 months. We rewrote 20,000 lines of code, added nearly 6,000 unit tests, and significantly improved the clarity and consistency of the API.

Most importantly, SproutCore 1.0 is a performance beast. It feels really good to be able to recommend SproutCore to people building complex app that will push the boundaries of the browser knowing that we have the goods to get them there.

If you’ve been holding off on SproutCore 1.0 until it was really really done – well it’s ready so come and get it!

Now What?

Ironically, most of the core SproutCore team has moved well along past the 1.0 candidate. A lot of work is already going into the next release with some really fantastic results. So must so that I will spend most of my talk at jsconf in April covering the new stuff instead of 1.0.

The good news is that 1.5 (or whatever it’s called) will be a much shorter release cycle – probably starting this summer. And this time a lot of the development is happening in the community so it is a lot easier for everyone to get involved.

I’ll save some of the big surprises for jsconf but suffice to say the next few versions of SproutCore will be major moves forward. 1.0 was about laying the ground work for some big things down the road. These next few releases we start to reap those rewards.

I hope to see tools and some killer mobile features in the upcoming releases :)

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Posted by Dion Almaer at 1:22 am
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Many of the widgets are still cut-off in FF3.6. Surely there’s more to this framework than what I’m seeing. But as best I can tell, it’s not ready for 1.0 yet.

How is this different than Dojo or ExtJS (other than being prettier)?

Comment by tercero12 — March 22, 2010

@smith: That is not a very clever advice. Randomly picking a framework, without some research, might make you end up with some obscure or badly maintained framework. There may be many Ajax libraries that fix x-browser issues and provide some DOM traversal and XHR functionality, but when it come to frameworks that provide a full widget set (of decent quality) there are not so many options and each of those options have different strong and weak points. (Don’t get me wrong, I do like the jQuery/Prototype/Mootools-like libraries and use them extensively, but they serve a different purpose).
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About SproutCore: As tercero12 says: “Many of the widgets are still cut-off in FF3.6″ and I found a couple of widgets not to work as expected or be very slow to respond to user actions. To be honest I think this is not usable as it is now, and certainly not worth a “1.0″ version number. I think SproutCore is lacking a few very important features:
1. Good documentation with examples
2. A large example that showcases a real application built with SproutCore
3. A proffesional looking theme. I do like the “cartoony” look, but for serious apps this is not desirable

Comment by daanlib — March 22, 2010

@MichaelSchoeler @smith – Can you tell us which controls were getting cut off/ not working as you expecting?

@smith – A good example application is tasks.sproutcore.com. It is built entirely with Sproutcore. You can also find the code here:http://github.com/suvajitgupta/Tasks
As for professional looking theme, themes are totally customizable. Why not make your own?

Comment by alexpercsi — March 23, 2010

my comment was actually for tercero12 and daanlib, sorry :D

Also, MobileMe is built with Sproutcore AFAIK, how’s that for a large example that showcases a real application built with SC?

Comment by alexpercsi — March 23, 2010

As a SC developer (not core team), I think I speak for the project when I say that basic, cross-browser issues get the utmost attention, within reason. When made aware of an issue, we’ll often push a fix the same day. I’ve just reviewed some of the demos in Firefox 3.6, and haven’t found any rendering issues. If you could provide a screenshot or description of the problem, that would be most helpful.

Documentation is very important, and is somewhat lacking right now, this is true. As an open source project, however, these things are moving targets, and we can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. The codebase for Sproutcore is 1.0 ready, now. It is stable, highly usable, and performs great w/r/t our core functionality. The documentation for Sproutcore isn’t. That will be ameliorated in the coming days and weeks.

Performance is a big issue for the developers, so there’s really no point at which we say that performance is “done,” and 1.0 certainly isn’t the end of the line for performance improvements. The visual appearance is another area where we’re constantly improving. There are members of the community and core team working on a complete retheming of the framework, but, again, SC is comparable to the competition on this point, and while there is room for improvement, there’s a good deal of subjectivity involved.

1.0 is not the end, but a beginning. The framework is stable, powerful, and responsive. We’re “moving on” to 1.1 or 1.5 or whatever it ends up being, but no more so than we’ve been “moving on” from minor point release to minor point release for the past several months. SproutCore is a great tool as it stands, and it’s only getting better. I’m excited to be a part.

Comment by endash — March 23, 2010

@endash: screenshot submitted to the SC mailinglist

Comment by tercero12 — March 23, 2010

Rendering issues here as well. Tone down the hyperbole, there’s not much to write home about here.

Comment by LFReD — March 23, 2010

@Lfred Would you care to be a bit more specific? Thanks.

Comment by alexpercsi — March 24, 2010

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