It is our great pleasure to finally release Objective-J and Cappuccino to the open source community today. We’ve been working hard on this, and we’re incredibly excited to get it into people’s hands and start seeing what they can do with it.
Objective-J and Cappuccino offer a different take on web development.
Imagine that if every time developers wanted to add a new feature to Python, or even just fix a simple long standing bug, they first had to get permission from Intel and AMD. They’d start by drafting up a proposal of the desired changes, then approach the large chip makers, try to build a consensus, and finally wait patiently while these chip makers actually did the implementing of the proposed features. Sounds a bit silly doesn’t it? Well, this is exactly the way web development works today. It’s as if at some point we all decided that the future of the core technologies of the web would be in the hands of a very select minority, while the rest of us would have to look on from the sidelines and hope for the best.
It’s the Frameworks, stupid.
In reality, Objective-J was built to support the real star of the show: Cappuccino. Cappuccino is essentially a port of the GNUStep frameworks (or Cocoa as more people are familiar with them), and it aims to fundamentally change the way applications are written on the web. Unlike many other libraries out there today, Cappuccino is designed with the express purpose of building desktop caliber applications that run in the browser. That’s why we chose to base this framework on proven technologies that have had thousands of successful applications written on them already, and have been proven to be one of the best development environments there is.
To be clear, Cappuccino is about building applications, not web pages. When you think about applications, think 280 Slides, or GMail, or Meebo. jQuery, Prototype, and others do a great job of making static web pages a little more interactive, but they weren’t designed for building full fledged applications. Similarly, Cappuccino is not for building web pages; it’s optimized for a completely different set of tasks.
280 Slides is the first app built on Cappuccino, and it’s a great showcase of what’s possible. Cappuccino builds in many of the features you see, like the Document architecture, object copy/paste, global undo and redo, drag and drop, and great graphics support.
We’re open sourcing this technology because we sincerely want to be part of a world where there are more high quality web applications like 280 Slides. We’ll be putting a lot of resources into Cappuccino in the future, and we plan to build a strong open source community around the development platform. We can’t wait to see where you take this with us.