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Apple to drop WebObjects in Snow Leopard Server

post #1 of 53
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According to sources familiar with Apple's plans, the company will drop deployment support for its WebObjects web application server in Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server later this year.

WebObjects is Apple's enterprise framework for developing web applications and the company's Java web application server that deploys them. Apple acquired the product when it bought NeXT in the final days of 1996.

Originally priced at $50,000 per deployment license, Apple dramatically lowered the price of WebObjects to $699 in 2000 and then in 2005 bundled the software for free deployment with Mac OS X Server. Later this year however, WebObjects will disappear entirely in the release of Snow Leopard Server, which sources say has scrubbed any mention of the deployment runtime.

While Apple's efforts to sell WebObjects to third parties has waned, the company's use of the technology progressively increased. Apple was able to put WebObjects to work immediately in building a new build-to-order online store in 1997 just months after acquiring NeXT. Since then, the company has used WebObjects to build the iTunes Store, its Dot Mac site, iTunes U, and iPhone App Store.

Apple's use of WebObjects appears to have been pulled back in some areas on the MobileMe front, which is in the process of tearing down the old WebObjects-based Dot Mac Groups, Home Page, web mail, and iDisk features and replacing them in part with other technologies. Signup for the MobileMe service is still done via https://secure.me.com/wo/WebObjects/Signup.woa, so it's not as if Apple is retreating away from WebObjects across the board in its MobileMe unit.

Additionally, there's no apparent plans in progress to scale back the company's broad use of WebObjects in its online stores, iTunes, or the App Store, all of which have broken records in online retailing and have scaled impressively as the company experienced dramatic surges of growth.

Instead, it appears Apple is simply reserving WebObjects for its own use rather than continuing to try to sell it to an unappreciative audience that either prefers the immediacy of web development tools like Ruby on Rails, which Apple included with Leopard Server, or the familiarity of PHP and MySQL, which has long been a part of Mac OS X Server.

WebObjects Origins
When Apple acquired NeXT, it was interested primarily in its Unix-based NEXTSTEP operating system which the company subsequently adapted as the foundation of Mac OS X; WebObjects was picked up by Apple for free, despite being the apex of NeXT's focus at the time.

NeXT, founded by Steve Jobs in 1985 after his ouster from Apple, originally built state of the art hardware running an advanced set of development frameworks on top of Unix, resulting in a powerful computing system that was far ahead of its time. While Jobs' futuristic NeXT Cubes of the late 80s offered great performance value for their price in comparison to Unix workstations and high end Macs, there were no budget model offerings due to an agreement pressed by Apple that prevented NeXT from competing in the consumer market.

That forced NeXT into a tight niche that made its products popular only among higher education, research, investment houses and intelligence services, all of which appreciated its stability and performance over the cost savings afforded by lower end hardware. NeXT eventually backed out of the hardware business in 1993 and began selling NEXTSTEP first as an operating system for standard Intel PCs and PA-RISC and SPARC workstations, then as a development layer that could run on top of Sun Solaris or Windows NT.

NeXT even created an open specification for its development frameworks called OpenStep in a partnership with Sun that attempted to make NeXT's development and operating environment the standard for all computers.

After a series of failed partnerships involving IBM and HP (who abandoned NeXT to work on a NeXT frameworks clone with Apple under the name of Taligent) and then Sun (which abandoned NeXT after attention began to swirl around Java), NeXT was left with impressive piles of technology that nobody seemed to want. Microsoft had refused to develop for NEXTSTEP, with Bill Gates famously saying he'd rather "piss on it" than develop software for the platform. Selling an operating system in competition with the Windows PC monopoly was becomingly clearly impossible, even for firms with far more resources than NeXT.

That reality led NeXT to apply its advanced development frameworks as a way to build web applications, resulting in WebObjects in early 1996. The web itself had been developed using NEXTSTEP by Tim Berners-Lee, who in 1990 wrote the first web server and browser on a NeXT computer at CERN. Developing a way to expand simple web pages into dynamic, object-oriented applications appeared to be NeXT's last hope for survival.

Jobs and WebObjects
In a February 1996 interview with Wired, Jobs announced, "The desktop computer industry is dead. Innovation has virtually ceased. Microsoft dominates with very little innovation. That's over. Apple lost."

Jobs said, "the desktop market has entered the dark ages, and it's going to be in the dark ages for the next 10 years, or certainly for the rest of this decade. It's like when IBM drove a lot of innovation out of the computer industry before the microprocessor came along. Eventually, Microsoft will crumble because of complacency, and maybe some new things will grow. But until that happens, until there's some fundamental technology shift, it's just over.

"The most exciting things happening today are objects and the Web. The Web is exciting for two reasons. One, it's ubiquitous. There will be Web dial tone everywhere. And anything that's ubiquitous gets interesting. Two, I don't think Microsoft will figure out a way to own it. There's going to be a lot more innovation, and that will create a place where there isn't this dark cloud of dominance."

In that interview, Jobs underlined three parts to the web: clients, servers and pipes. "On the client side," Jobs said, "there's the browser software. In the sense of making money, it doesn't look like anybody is going to win on the browser software side, because it's going to be free. And then there's the typical hardware. It's possible that some people could come out with some very interesting Web terminals and sell some hardware." It would be another decade before Jobs could unveil the iPhone as "a breakthrough Internet device."

In terms of pipes, Jobs predicted huge growth in selling Internet access. "As for the server market, companies like Sun are doing a nice business selling servers. But with Web server software, no one company has more than a single-digit market share yet. Netscape sells hardly any, because you can get free public-domain software and it's very good. Some people say that it's even better than what you can buy." It would be just a few years before Jobs would turn Apple into one of the largest distributors of the open source Apache web server.

"Our company," Jobs said of NeXT, "decided that people are going to layer stuff above this very simple Web server to help others build Web applications, which is where the bottleneck is right now. There's some real opportunity there for making major contributions and a lot of money. That's what WebObjects is all about." Jobs later added that the web is "more than publishing. It's commerce. People are going to stop going to a lot of stores. And they're going to buy stuff over the web."

By the end of the year, the brand new WebObjects would reach version 3.0 and NeXT would be acquired by Apple. Within the next year, WebObjects enabled Apple to revolutionize its online retail presence. It would subsequently change how people buy music in iTunes, and then set the model for selling mobile software in the iPhone App Store.

WebObjects at Apple
In its first year at NeXT, WebObjects attracted high profile attention from a variety of large corporations from Disney to Dell, including AAA, the BBC, Chrysler, Deutche Bank, Ford, Nike, Nissan, Motorola, and Reebok. Once owned by Apple however, corporate interest began to wane.

Dell, which had just developed its new WebObjects store in December 1996, now scrambled to rid itself of WebObjects under the pressure of Microsoft, cobbling together a replacement built using Active Server Pages that launched in September 1997, just days before Apple's own WebObjects site went online in November. Jobs unveiled the store by presented Michael Dell under a bullseye target, saying "we're coming after you, buddy!"

While WebObjects helped Apple to expand its online retail presence faster, embarrass competing music stores, and leave smartphone software rivals in the dust, the company has had a hard time selling the product to anyone else. In his 1998 autobiography On The Firing Line, then CEO Gil Amelio wrote, "WebObjects looked to be clearly one of the jewels of the NeXT software. It is going to factor importantly into the future. I still can't figure out why it isn't getting more attention from the press."

Without a real server operating system or any Mac server hardware to sell apart from its rebranded PowerMacs sold as Workgroup Servers, Apple decided to port WebObjects from Objective-C to Java in 2000 in order to enable servlet deployment by any Java server. This was also intended to catch the wave of excitement surrounding Java and tap mainstream developers' familiarity with the language.

WebObjects and Cocoa diverge
Apple also floated the idea of changing Mac OS X's Objective-C to read more like Java, but idea that sunk. While WebObjects worked to become more mainstream in the enterprise, Mac OS X was retargeted to consumers, lopping off commonality it once shared with WebObjects, such as EOF database connectivity, which later reappeared in a desktop friendly but very different form in Tiger's CoreData.

What would become Cocoa's Foundation frameworks remained Objective-C, while WebObjects adopted a Java Foundation. This left WebObjects familiar to both Java and Cocoa developers, but clearly in a unique middle ground between both.

In 2006, Apple deprecated its WebObjects development tools along with its Cocoa-Java bridge that so few were using. The latest version of Xcode no longer supports developing new WebObjects applications. Instead, Apple recommends using WOLips, an open source suite of tools that plug into the Eclipse IDE and provide a better development environment for writing Java code than the company's own Objective-C-centric Xcode.

Rumors briefly surfaced about the potential for releasing WebObjects as an open source project, but Apple appears more interested in simply giving the community a liberally open use license to deploy WebObjects. However, the release of Snow Leopard Server will end official support for WebObjects deployment on the Mac, leaving shops that use it to build their own Java deployment server.
post #2 of 53
Both of 'em.

(In all seriousness, I used to work with a WO guy about 10 years back... he's retired now.)
post #3 of 53
Just wanted to drop a line to say thanks for your in-depth articles explaining the pedigree of the technologies that are waxing and waning before our eyes: Webobjects, Ogg, Quicktime...

Your articles do a great job of putting the technology in context of the business world: the struggle for video containers and codecs was well explained in terms of the fight for broswer share, and the to and fro between Apple, MS and the open source crowd.

Thanks and keep it up. These articles with background and texture are so much more interesting than soundbites like "today Apple released the 10A390 buld of technology Y"

Cheers

Gareth Richards
post #4 of 53
Excellent article by Prince. I didn't know half of the history of WO before reading this, very interesting!

I agree with Jetlife, the articles on AI are always more informative and well-written, unlike sites like Macrumors where they just regurgitate stuff from AI and other sites.
post #5 of 53
This article is not worth the paper it isn't written on.

If you have a developer account with Apple you can download the following:

WebObjects and Java Developer Support for Snow Leopard build 10A286
Includes WebObjects 5.5 (next version).

so much for your source.
post #6 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlm808 View Post

This article is not worth the paper it isn't written on.

If you have a developer account with Apple you can download the following:

WebObjects and Java Developer Support for Snow Leopard build 10A286
Includes WebObjects 5.5 (next version).

so much for your source.

Is that for Snow Leopard Server?
post #7 of 53
You need to find out what's really going on before writing this drivel. Did you even try to reach someone at the WOCommunity.org? Did you not hear about the WebObjects developers conference being held annually? Nah, easier to be sensationalistic. bah.
post #8 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlm808 View Post

This article is not worth the paper it isn't written on.



Maybe AI has made a mistake about Apple dropping WebObjects deployment server in Snow Leopard. But, did you actually read this article before posting your comment? The majority of it is a history of WebObjects so I fail to see how it "is not worth the paper it isn't written on".
it's = it is / it has, its = belonging to it.
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it's = it is / it has, its = belonging to it.
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post #9 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by invisiblesun View Post

You need to find out what's really going on before writing this drivel. Did you even try to reach someone at the WOCommunity.org? Did you not hear about the WebObjects developers conference being held annually? Nah, easier to be sensationalistic. bah.

Like it was said before, most of the article was actually WebObjects' history. Sensationalistic? Hypocrite.

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iPhone 4S 64GB, Black, soon to be sold in favor of a Nokia Lumia 920
Early 2010 MacBook Pro 2.4GHz, soon to be replaced with a Retina MacBook Pro, or an Asus U500

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post #10 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by invisiblesun View Post

You need to find out what's really going on before writing this drivel. Did you even try to reach someone at the WOCommunity.org? Did you not hear about the WebObjects developers conference being held annually? Nah, easier to be sensationalistic. bah.

What does a third party WO advocacy group or its meetings have to do with the facts presented? Is WOCommunity.org now in charge of determining what technologies Apple will include with Snow Leopard Server?

Sounds like you are flying off the handle. Perhaps you should read the article first.

You can also check Apple's Snow Leopard Server preview site (and compare previous versions from the WayBackMachine):

"Application Servers
- Apache Tomcat
- Java VM (J2SE 1.6)"

No mention of WebObjects (or Apache Axis). No marketing bits. It's gone in Snow Leopard Server. It's not entirely clear if the company will continue to release updates for customers that use it, or will spin the product off as a separate retail package. But it is not part of Snow Leopard Server, and Apple isn't making any effort to conceal that fact.
post #11 of 53
Title of the article is "Apple to drop WebObjects in Snow Leopard Server".

The title of the article is not "Apple to drop WebObjects application server as part of standard installation of Snow Leopard Server".

You mention Apple is using WebObjects followed by a copy and pasting of material from Google. Maybe you should have contacted someone from the "3rd party advocacy group" - you know the guys Apple paid to create the tools Apple uses (WOLips) and asked their opinion on what Apple's direction is with WebObjects and Snow Leopard Server. Maybe you would have gotten a technology preview - like the one Apple gave at the "3rd party advocacy group's" annual summit.
post #12 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlm808 View Post

Title of the article is "Apple to drop WebObjects in Snow Leopard Server".

The title of the article is not "Apple to drop WebObjects application server as part of standard installation of Snow Leopard Server".

Well it's nice to see you've calmed down from "terrible article!" to just splitting hairs in order to make your original position sound correct. If Snow Leopard Server ships without WebObjects, it's because Apple dropped it. Which is what the article is reporting. Apple is dropping WO from SLS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlm808 View Post

You mention Apple is using WebObjects followed by a copy and pasting of material from Google.

There's no need for you to lie to support your position. If you think this article is inaccurate and/or plagiarizing another source, please be an adult and simply point out what offends you. But don't insinuate claims you can't back up. Your comments are irresponsible and rude. And inaccurate, as I pointed out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlm808 View Post

Maybe you should have contacted someone from the "3rd party advocacy group" - you know the guys Apple paid to create the tools Apple uses (WOLips) and asked their opinion on what Apple's direction is with WebObjects and Snow Leopard Server. Maybe you would have gotten a technology preview - like the one Apple gave at the "3rd party advocacy group's" annual summit.

That might be fun to do, but what does third party WO tool development have to do with Apple dropping WebObjects in Snow Leopard Server? If you'd like to contribute new and additional information, please do so, but don't stir up contentious rabble rousing and suggest that the article is wrong or plagiarizing other sources when you know it isn't.
post #13 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlm808 View Post

Title of the article is "Apple to drop WebObjects in Snow Leopard Server", blah blah blah blah blahblahblah blah blah blah...

You sound like a broken hammer. give it a rest. some of us enjoy a little history.
post #14 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlm808 View Post

Title of the article is "Apple to drop WebObjects in Snow Leopard Server".

The title of the article is not "Apple to drop WebObjects application server as part of standard installation of Snow Leopard Server".

You mention Apple is using WebObjects followed by a copy and pasting of material from Google. Maybe you should have contacted someone from the "3rd party advocacy group" - you know the guys Apple paid to create the tools Apple uses (WOLips) and asked their opinion on what Apple's direction is with WebObjects and Snow Leopard Server. Maybe you would have gotten a technology preview - like the one Apple gave at the "3rd party advocacy group's" annual summit.

Nice try but read the first sentence of the article.

Quote:
According to sources familiar with Apple's plans, the company will drop deployment support for its WebObjects web application server in Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server later this year.

Edit: AI should give a Link to the source article. That's common courtesy in journalism.
post #15 of 53
Where's mdriftmeyer? Is he not the major advocate for WebObjects? Would like to hear his take ?
The world belongs to who wants it , now who deserves it.
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The world belongs to who wants it , now who deserves it.
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post #16 of 53
Unfortunately the writing has been on the wall for WO for quite a while now. It was unfortunate that Apple moved it off of Obj-C and over onto Java. WO had an absolutely great architecture, and had extremely powerful set of tools. EOF was the forerunner to today's CoreData, and did an awesome job of abstracting away whatever database solution you were using.

I hope that with the renewed interest in Objective-C and cocoa due to iPhone development we will see Cocoa expanded to fill in the gap left by WO. I'm afraid we won't, but one can always hope!
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uh... it could also signal that my Mom is at the wheel...
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"Slow vehicle speeds with frequent stops would signal traffic congestion, for instance."

uh... it could also signal that my Mom is at the wheel...
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post #17 of 53
What's stopping Apple from selling or just distributing for free WO separately from SLS?
post #18 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post

What's stopping Apple from selling or just distributing for free WO separately from SLS?

That's a good one...

Apple giving something away for free. Made my night.
post #19 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPhone1982 View Post

That's a good one...

Apple giving something away for free. Made my night.

And they don't distribute QuickTime, or iTunes, or Safari, or the numerous server admin and developer tools for free either?
post #20 of 53
Quote:
There's no need for you to lie to support your position. If you think this article is inaccurate and/or plagiarizing another source, please be an adult and simply point out what offends you. But don't insinuate claims you can't back up. Your comments are irresponsible and rude. And inaccurate, as I pointed out.

OK - I must have been hallucinating when I saw that a good portion of your article was a rehash of a decade old Wired article. And I never used the word plagiarism.

Quote:
That might be fun to do, but what does third party WO tool development have to do with Apple dropping WebObjects in Snow Leopard Server? If you'd like to contribute new and additional information, please do so, but don't stir up contentious rabble rousing and suggest that the article is wrong or plagiarizing other sources when you know it isn't.

Because you are missing the point on WebObjects - you are reading it's obituary rather than finding out what the developers are up to. There were similar articles when the WO tools were deprecated - which actually turned out to be a great step forward. I highly doubt that (as you state) if Apple is running a good portion of their business on WebObjects that there is going to be no WebObjects support in Snow Leopard. What's Apple going to do - not upgrade?
post #21 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlm808 View Post

OK - I must have been hallucinating when I saw that a good portion of your article was a rehash of a decade old Wired article. And I never used the word plagiarism.



Because you are missing the point on WebObjects - you are reading it's obituary rather than finding out what the developers are up to. There were similar articles when the WO tools were deprecated - which actually turned out to be a great step forward. I highly doubt that (as you state) if Apple is running a good portion of their business on WebObjects that there is going to be no WebObjects support in Snow Leopard. What's Apple going to do - not upgrade?

I wonder why Apple uses WebObjects so much, when no one else does?

Were the engineers given a choice among all the options, and did they choose WebObjects over the others? Or were they forced to use it because it was an Apple product?

Also, it would seem likely that the number of developers familiar with WebObjects at Apple would be higher than elsewhere.

What exactly does WebObjects offer that Struts or other Java web application stacks don't?

In my own experience, it has had a huge tendency to "forget" open sockets (in CLOSE_WAIT) when placed under heavy loads . I've not seen that with any other application stacks.
post #22 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziljr View Post

I wonder why Apple uses WebObjects so much, when no one else does?

Were the engineers given a choice among all the options, and did they choose WebObjects over the others? Or were they forced to use it because it was an Apple product?

Also, it would seem likely that the number of developers familiar with WebObjects at Apple would be higher than elsewhere.

What exactly does WebObjects offer that Struts or other Java web application stacks don't?

In my own experience, it has had a huge tendency to "forget" open sockets (in CLOSE_WAIT) when placed under heavy loads . I've not seen that with any other application stacks.

Of course Apple employees would have been inclined to use WebObjects considering they created it.

WebObjects scales well as is evidenced by the Apple Online Store and iTunes - so I'm not sure what you mean by open sockets - I've never heard that complaint before.

The crown jewel of WebObjects is the Enterprise Object Framework (EOF) which is, IMHO, the best way to work with a relational database. If you never been interested in WebObjects before you should check out the documentation at Apple dot com.
post #23 of 53
I'm remembering a few eons ago, Steve extolling the virtues of WebObjects during one of his keynotes, talking about how Apple used it for the Apple Store, and saying that at Apple "we eat our own dog food." I may totally lack the technical competence to comment on the value of WebObjects, but I did think at the time that this wasn't one of Steve's more persuasive sales pitches.
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Please don't be insane.
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post #24 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcdent View Post

And they don't distribute QuickTime, or iTunes, or Safari, or the numerous server admin and developer tools for free either?

OK, they do but who uses Safari or when was the last link you hit for Video was QuickTime?

Both failed projects by Apple. 88% Don't use Mac's OS, and FLASH is on 92% of ALL computers world wide.

I'm hoping you see my point. If you don't then "Go APPLE".

They have screwed up more partnerships than I can count in the last 20 years and not one of Apple's standards has been mainstream for more than a couple years.

Flash is the video standard for the web. Apple can't accept this.

APPLE YOU LOSE VIDEO ON THE WEB, QUICKTIME IS A MINORITY JOKE.

Get off your ass and give something I can view on every website I go to INCLUDING MY FRICKING IPHONE.
post #25 of 53
Moving WebObjects from Obj-C to Java was a stupid move.

Of course, then, they were two languages that nobody uses and Java seemed to have more potential

As of now, we still get a lot of Java programmers writing server code, but none of them are interested in Apple technologies. On the other hand, Apple gained 10's of thousands of Obj-C programmers who are developing for iPhone, and they will soon stop when they realize iPhone is not the gold mine. A lot of them would have turned to WebObjects if it is still available for Obj-C.
post #26 of 53
Quote:
Moving WebObjects from Obj-C to Java was a stupid move.

Absolutely correct!

If Apple would not move Obj-C to Java, I personally would use it and not RoR and PHP for web development.
But Java sucks, and will fade away from this world like microsoft is fading.
In spite of Apple I would create a simplified language for web development (I mean scripting lanaguage) based on Obj-C with its syntax etc... and an Apache handler like PHP has and of course an entire set of web development tools based on XCode, then everybody would be happy in Mac OS X development community (at least me)
post #27 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by vito_web View Post

Absolutely correct!

If Apple would not move Obj-C to Java, I personally would use it and not RoR and PHP for web development.
But Java sucks, and will fade away from this world like microsoft is fading.
In spite of Apple I would create a simplified language for web development (I mean scripting lanaguage) based on Obj-C with its syntax etc... and an Apache handler like PHP has and of course an entire set of web development tools based on XCode, then everybody would be happy in Mac OS X development community (at least me)

Agreed
post #28 of 53
My take is that Apple is not abandoning WebObjects and never will. I think Apple wants to make it less available so it can capitalize on it. Like Steve Jobs prophesied; the web is where the money will be made. Apple is already making tons of money from it. And yes, Apple wants to keep this money making machine to itself. That is the plan!
post #29 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPhone1982 View Post

OK, they do but who uses Safari or when was the last link you hit for Video was QuickTime?

Both failed projects by Apple. 88% Don't use Mac's OS, and FLASH is on 92% of ALL computers world wide.

I'm hoping you see my point. If you don't then "Go APPLE".

They have screwed up more partnerships than I can count in the last 20 years and not one of Apple's standards has been mainstream for more than a couple years.

Flash is the video standard for the web. Apple can't accept this.

APPLE YOU LOSE VIDEO ON THE WEB, QUICKTIME IS A MINORITY JOKE.

Get off your ass and give something I can view on every website I go to INCLUDING MY FRICKING IPHONE.

I use Safari.
Most links I hit for video work with QuickTime.

Both Failed projects by Apple? ROTFL. You don't know what you are talking about. Safari - profitable for Apple. Webkit under the hood, very successful. QuickTime, again, profitable for Apple. Used in many devices and software. http://webkit.org/ for some safari guts inf.

LOL, 88% don't use Mac's OS. 88% don't use Window's OS. Logic is in 100% of computers world wide but doesn't mean users gain any.

Don't see your point, and not sure why that means "Go APPLE."

As if Microsoft hasn't screwed up more relationships than I care to count in the last 20 years too.

An Apple standard mainstreamed for man years for you: 1394 / firewire and QuickTime
Apple mainstreamed other standards like USB, CD/DVD drives, UTP RJ45 ethernet
Apple also killed people with Apple standards like all the different Apple Display Connectors thru the years.

Flash is not the video standard for the web. Sorry you can't accept this.

BE CAREFUL, YOU WILL GET YOURSELF IN TROUBLE PICKING ON MINORITIES!

Your last sentence does not make sense. I guess you want flash, to watch your web videos, which you can watch in h.264 if you like. Go look at the history of Flash and Video and how that relates to certain QuickTime codecs, and you might have part of your Flash answer.
post #30 of 53
I'm interested in seeing how this one falls out.
post #31 of 53
WebObjects isn't part of the operating system, and never was.

Apple has long since kicked WebObjects development support out of Xcode, but that's not relevant to Snow Leopard Server, or anything-Server, because as a rule you'd develop on a client machine, and when deploying what you'd built on eg MacOSX Server, you'd need only the runtime support. WebObjects these days is Java, so if you had to you could develop without a GUI. Or you could use the recommended solution, which these days is Eclipse.

Since WebObjects is Java, these days you can deploy anywhere there's a Java 5 VM or better. You just need to install the runtime support, which is Java, if you are not deploying on MacOSX Server. Oh, and maybe you need to build a native API adaptor module for your HTTP daemon, such as Apache 1.3.x, Apache 2.x.y, or Microsoft Internet Information Server. You get given C source code for the native API adaptors for common webservers, so while you need to build one yourself, this is not problematic. The native API adaptor modules project also includes, or included, MacOSX startup items or launch daemon configuration plists. While rc scripts for the likes of Solaris and Linux are not included, there's enough information for you to create your own.

So if WebObjects continues to exist -- and from the story it appears it will, and as far as I know Apple are still recruiting WebObjects developers -- all that's likely to be being removed from a default installation of Snow Leopard Server is the WebObjects deployment support, which around 99.8% of Xserve/MacOSX Server customers never use, making the default OS installation that tiny bit smaller. The remaining 0.2% of customers will presumably be put out by having to spend well over 15 minutes installing the WebObjects runtime support themselves, just like customers deploying on non-MacOSX do, 15 minutes that could have been better spent watching South Park or something.

What a non-story.

"Apple to omit WebObjects runtime support from Snow Leopard Server default installation" might have been a more accurate title, but less catchy. "Apple to drop WebObjects in Snow Leopard Server" on the other hand is pretty good flamebait.
post #32 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by vito_web View Post

But Java sucks, and will fade away from this world like microsoft is fading.

Right. You might have inside information that companies like Google, IBM and Oracle and the many, many others that have businesses that depend on Java and actively support Java development are all about to go out of business overnight, but otherwise I rather doubt it. There are literally millions of Java developers out there, and plenty of people who no more want to be tied in to a closed and proprietary Objective C/Cocoa environment than they do into a Win32/.NET one.
post #33 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeharveyosmond View Post

WebObjects isn't part of the operating system, and never was.

Apple has long since kicked WebObjects development support out of Xcode, but that's not relevant to Snow Leopard Server, or anything-Server, because as a rule you'd develop on a client machine, and when deploying what you'd built on eg MacOSX Server, you'd need only the runtime support. WebObjects these days is Java, so if you had to you could develop without a GUI. Or you could use the recommended solution, which these days is Eclipse.

Since WebObjects is Java, these days you can deploy anywhere there's a Java 5 VM or better. You just need to install the runtime support, which is Java, if you are not deploying on MacOSX Server. Oh, and maybe you need to build a native API adaptor module for your HTTP daemon, such as Apache 1.3.x, Apache 2.x.y, or Microsoft Internet Information Server. You get given C source code for the native API adaptors for common webservers, so while you need to build one yourself, this is not problematic. The native API adaptor modules project also includes, or included, MacOSX startup items or launch daemon configuration plists. While rc scripts for the likes of Solaris and Linux are not included, there's enough information for you to create your own.

So if WebObjects continues to exist -- and from the story it appears it will, and as far as I know Apple are still recruiting WebObjects developers -- all that's likely to be being removed from a default installation of Snow Leopard Server is the WebObjects deployment support, which around 99.8% of Xserve/MacOSX Server customers never use, making the default OS installation that tiny bit smaller. The remaining 0.2% of customers will presumably be put out by having to spend well over 15 minutes installing the WebObjects runtime support themselves, just like customers deploying on non-MacOSX do, 15 minutes that could have been better spent watching South Park or something.

What a non-story.

"Apple to omit WebObjects runtime support from Snow Leopard Server default installation" might have been a more accurate title, but less catchy. "Apple to drop WebObjects in Snow Leopard Server" on the other hand is pretty good flamebait.

It seems that someone read this:

Quote:
Whats New in Web Service
Web service in Mac OS X v10.6 offers major enhancements in several key areas:

Apache Modules: mod_python and mod_xsendfile improve web-based application
support and scripting.

WebObjects: Support for WebObjects is removed with Mac OS X v10.6.

And made their own conclusion.
JLL

95% percent of the boat is owned by Microsoft, but the 5% Apple controls happens to be the rudder!
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JLL

95% percent of the boat is owned by Microsoft, but the 5% Apple controls happens to be the rudder!
Reply
post #34 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Beardsley View Post

Unfortunately the writing has been on the wall for WO for quite a while now. It was unfortunate that Apple moved it off of Obj-C and over onto Java. WO had an absolutely great architecture, and had extremely powerful set of tools. EOF was the forerunner to today's CoreData, and did an awesome job of abstracting away whatever database solution you were using.

I hope that with the renewed interest in Objective-C and cocoa due to iPhone development we will see Cocoa expanded to fill in the gap left by WO. I'm afraid we won't, but one can always hope!

I'm not a developer, but I read pretty extensively about WebObjects when it came out. It seemed like a powerful technology which was far superior in many ways to what was available at the time in terms of scalability and ease of use (once you got over a substantial learning curve, IIRC). Unfortunately, it never caught on - whether due to lack of interest from developers or lack of promotion from Apple, I don't know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iPhone1982 View Post

That's a good one...

Apple giving something away for free. Made my night.

You're really out of touch. Apple gives away a LOT of free stuff. Can you say 'Darwin'? Apple has a large and active group working on open source technologies. Unfortunately, people like you never give them credit for what they do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ziljr View Post

I wonder why Apple uses WebObjects so much, when no one else does?

Were the engineers given a choice among all the options, and did they choose WebObjects over the others? Or were they forced to use it because it was an Apple product?

Also, it would seem likely that the number of developers familiar with WebObjects at Apple would be higher than elsewhere.

What exactly does WebObjects offer that Struts or other Java web application stacks don't?.

My understanding was that it offered better scalability and performance than Java. You wouldn't want to build a store like the Apple Store in Java, but it worked well with WO. I don't know about Struts.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #35 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prince View Post

Well it's nice to see you've calmed down from "terrible article!" to just splitting hairs in order to make your original position sound correct. If Snow Leopard Server ships without WebObjects, it's because Apple dropped it. Which is what the article is reporting. Apple is dropping WO from SLS.

It has to do with your assertion that "WO is disappearing" and "Apple is simply reserving WebObjects for its own use". Neither of which are true unless Apple really is discontinuing WO for external developers.

There is also no indication that "However, the release of Snow Leopard Server will end official support for WebObjects deployment on the Mac" if WO still has a deployment kit for SLS and the only change is that it's not installed by default in SLS.

Given that WO deploys to any web server with a recent rev of Java this seems really unlikely. And you also don't note in your history that WO only started being included in Tiger Server.

Quote:
There's no need for you to lie to support your position. If you think this article is inaccurate and/or plagiarizing another source, please be an adult and simply point out what offends you. But don't insinuate claims you can't back up. Your comments are irresponsible and rude. And inaccurate, as I pointed out.

That might be fun to do, but what does third party WO tool development have to do with Apple dropping WebObjects in Snow Leopard Server?

It's called "research" before you make sensationalistic assertions. That WO deployment is being pulled from SLS is one thing. That WO is disappearing/reserved for internal use is another.

It's called not just using google as your only research tool and calling it a "source". If you had talked with WOCommunity.org, you might have been told they've known since June and discussed it. You might have even talked to Mike Schrag who has a bit of visibility into Apple's WO plans and had a more balanced piece. Nah...too hard I guess.

Heck, there are now two WOWODCs. I guess one for each WO dev. I keed I keed. Actually, from what I heard, quite a few more Apple devs showed up this year.
post #36 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by vito_web View Post

But Java sucks, and will fade away from this world like microsoft is fading.

Java's syntax is getting long in the tooth. Scripting languages like Python and Ruby have adopted some innovative things that make Java look geriatric these days. However, the JVM is very solid. Jython and JRuby let those scripting languages run nicely on the JVM. Groovy brings much of the power and convenience of modern scripting languages to Java in a very Java-programmer friendly way.

On topic:
I think WebObjects got hit with the Apple stigma. Apple's never been taken seriously by the IT crowd that runs corporate infrastructure. Thus WO could be 10 times better that ASP or RoR or whatever, but corporations would never adopt it. I think spinning WO off to a separate company and/or open sourcing it MIGHT help increase its popularity. But the market is fairly crowded these days.

- Jasen.
post #37 of 53
Quote:
Right. You might have inside information that companies like Google, IBM and Oracle and the many, many others that have businesses that depend on Java and actively support Java development are all about to go out of business overnight, but otherwise I rather doubt it. There are literally millions of Java developers out there, and plenty of people who no more want to be tied in to a closed and proprietary Objective C/Cocoa environment than they do into a Win32/.NET one.

I am very informed of Java usage these days, I was developing with java for some years, but all I can tell is "Java SUCKS", and it does not matter what companies use it IBM, whatever, they use it because they built all their business infrastructure on it in old days and now it would cost them billions to move to another language/tech.

Microsoft also is a big company, but as you see it suck, it sucked with Vista, it will such with windows 7.
I don't know who is using windows nowadays for serious work and productivity. I don't belive that Apple could not create a new (may be scripting) language to dominate the Web Development. Take a look back at 2005 when they had just some users with OSX, but now with Leopard, they changed users' mind, the same happened with iPhone, Nokia and Palm was the best known, dominants, but they suck so ..... it does not make difference with java too and how many people (millions or just one) are using technologies we have, everything is changing.
post #38 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasenj1 View Post

I think WebObjects got hit with the Apple stigma. Apple's never been taken seriously by the IT crowd that runs corporate infrastructure. Thus WO could be 10 times better that ASP or RoR or whatever, but corporations would never adopt it. I think spinning WO off to a separate company and/or open sourcing it MIGHT help increase its popularity. But the market is fairly crowded these days.

- Jasen.

WO actually IS better than many competing technologies, and keeps getting better. I agree with the posters who say the title of this article basically is flamebait, and is misleading. However, because of Apple's marketing, it's at least a bit understandable.

Apple could care less if you use WO. THEY use it, and make buckets of cash with all of the advantages it gives them. It underlies virtually everything they do, online and off. iTunes? WO. The app and the store. Apple.com? WO. MobileMe? WO under the surface (you know, the part that worked from the outset, as opposed to the Sproutcore UI that was buggy). Their internal supply and logistics apps? WO. Every dollar they make goes through WO.

The problem with WO of late is that it's development was tied internally to the development of the OS, despite the fact that it is completely independent. This change is simply indicating that WO is no longer tied to the OS and its release schedule. If you install WO by default with every OS X server, then installs of the server may not be getting the latest version of WO. If it's a separate install, they will. WO 5.5 can come out when it's ready, and not have to wait or to hurry for Snow Leopard Server. WO 5.6, or 6 or whatever they decide to call the next major release can come out at Christmas, in the Spring, or whenever else, based on when IT is ready.

WO is actually stronger now than it has been in many years, both inside Apple and outside. Apple doesn't make a major push to sell it, because selling it does not make them money. Selling products through WO apps makes them virtually every dollar they make. So no, WO is not going away. Apple is hiring people to work on WO, and to develop with WO, because it is a major advantage for them. If you develop in WO, then develop in Struts, Hibernate, and even RoR, you will appreciate how big of an advantage WO is.

Yeah, Apple's wording that Snow Leopard Server is "dropping support" is seriously bad PR, but they just don't care about that. You CAN install and run WO apps on Snow Leopard Server, and on Windows, and Linux, and anything else that has an up to date JVM. You can develop on all those platforms as well. That of course why they went to Java.

I, myself, prefer Obj-C, but for this, Java makes more sense. Many non-Apple apps use WO, and will continue to do so, and many of these would not be up and running if it required an Apple-branded server. Then of course, Apple would have to spend money developing the tools, and the support apps for the server, when there are already existing Java servers out there and deployed that a WO app can just drop onto.

The WO community is bigger and stronger than ever before, and they are in general WILDLY HAPPY that WO will be developed based on it's own schedule. So Apple wants to keep developing WO, let the robust WOCommunity continue to develop the tools and provide support for those tools. Unlike RoR, .NET and most other technologies, and the WO dev lists, and the WOnder list, etc are ridiculously helpful, immediately.
post #39 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPhone1982 View Post

That's a good one...

Apple giving something away for free. Made my night.

They do distribute WO for free outside of SLS.
post #40 of 53
Well, you must mean a PAID developer account, as the free account has no 5.5 tools available...


Quote:
Originally Posted by jlm808 View Post

This article is not worth the paper it isn't written on.

If you have a developer account with Apple you can download the following:

WebObjects and Java Developer Support for Snow Leopard build 10A286
Includes WebObjects 5.5 (next version).

so much for your source.
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