Monday, June 16, 2008

Apple's answer to Flash and Flex

As a web developer, one of my major weaknesses is that I don't do Flash. I understand the basic concepts, but that's about it. I'm not a huge fan of it either since it's kind of a bandwidth hog. So imagine my surprise when I read that Apple is preparing a so-called Flash Killer and it's not a proprietary format - it's JavaScript. It's a MVC framework called SproutCore labeled as Cocoa for the Web. It's what Apple is using for the new MobileMe web interface. From all accounts - so far only from Apple and Apple fanboys (e.g. grain of salt is necessary) - this is going to be a great way to develop applications for the web. The bonus is that special plugins will not be necessary (because it's JavaScript) - one of the major downfalls of Flash and it's big brother Flex, which is used for developing online applications. I'm a little bit excited about this, but we'll have to wait and see what actually comes of this. Now Apple only has to make sure that Safari can handle the JavaScript and we'll be all set.

1 comment:

Nomad said...

SproutCore is still very much rumorware, so I would hesitate before putting too much faith in it.

That being said, this just makes sense from an Apple perspective and reflects the existing philosophy at Google where the only Flash apps are those they have bought from the outside (i.e. Flickr). Flash and Silverlight are ways for external companies to lock you into proprietary codecs. For Apple, this means putting their future in the hands of Adobe or Microsoft. JavaScript, on the other hand, is independent and community-owned.

The other beauty of this approach is it can still bring value for Adobe or Microsoft. All they have to do is to create a translation layer from Flash or Silverlight to AJAX. If their way is better, it can still generate revenue.

My guess is this is why Apple did not buy Adobe last year, when they were in talks. They realized in the end it was not worth what the stock market said it was, when AJAX was there for the taking.