SproutCore founder leaving Apple to pursue new HTML5 apps

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
Charles Jolley, the developer behind SproutCore, has left Apple to start Strobe Inc., a new business targeting touch-driven web applications. Both Apple and Strobe will continue to advance SproutCore as a core asset.



SproutCore is an open source, platform-independent, Cocoa-inspired JavaScript framework for creating web applications that look and feel like Desktop applications.



Apple discovered Jolley's SproutCore startup and hired him to create the MobileMe suite of web apps, beginning with a new Gallery web app for .Mac in the fall of 2007. In 2008, Apple relaunched .Mac as MobileMe, and introduced a full suite of web apps built using SproutCore.



The following year, Apple released iWork.com, which also uses SproutCore. This year, the company began introducing refreshed "V2" versions of the MobileMe components apps, starting with the iPad-inspired new look of Mail, and continuing with the latest announcement of a new MobileMe Calendar app, now in beta.



The MobileMe Calendar app (below) will be Jolley's final project at Apple. While Apple's MobileMe team continues to enhance its online offerings, Jolley's new Strobe startup will focus on the emerging market for web apps.



"Strobe Inc. is about building marrying the web and touch, where you get the best of both worlds: easy access to your data from any device (like the web), with a rich immersive interface (like native touch)," Jolley wrote in an email interview with AppleInsider.







"SproutCore is very good at supporting just these types of apps; it will be at the center of everything we do. Strobe will be investing quite heavily in it," Jolley said.



The SproutCore development community



Asked about the kind of support SproutCore is seeing as an open software project, Jolly wrote, "the SproutCore open source community is very healthy. We have about 1,500 people on our mailing list and a very active IRC channel. We also have 33 regular contributors to SproutCore, 75% not from Apple.



"I've always been more interested in influence over numbers with SproutCore. We tend to have key teams working on high profile projects at well known companies vs having a lot of tinkerers. Mozilla, for example, uses parts of it for their Bespin project. Gomez based parts of their products on it. There are a few other well known enterprise companies that are literally rewriting their entire product based on it. Total bet-the-company type of moves.



"All of the customers interested in Strobe's SproutCore-based solution are household names in publishing. We are going to have even more big name support going forward," Jolley said.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    noogenooge Posts: 7member
    Quote:

    "All of the customers interested in Strobe's SproutCore-based solution are household names in publishing. We are going to have even more big name support going forward," Jolley said.



    So sounds like he's making software to make it easier for companies to make touch-centric web apps? Probably so they can develop one set of code for all platforms (Android, iOS, etc). I think this is the way many companies will go, instead of or in addition to native apps.
  • Reply 2 of 33
    serkolserkol Posts: 39member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Nooge View Post


    So sounds like he's making software to make it easier for companies to make touch-centric web apps? Probably so they can develop one set of code for all platforms (Android, iOS, etc). I think this is the way many companies will go, instead of or in addition to native apps.



    Right. They would prefer Flash (because they already have lots of stuff coded with flash), but they will have to use something like SproutCode.
  • Reply 3 of 33
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member
    Sounds like he contributed what he could to Apple and is leaving them better off. His department isn't a negative at all for Apple, on the contrary he'll propell sproutcore and HTML5 to new heights. It's a win-win.
  • Reply 4 of 33
    delinkadelinka Posts: 1member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Mozilla, for example, uses parts of it for their Bespin project



    Just a bit of fact checking, if that's OK. From bespin-core on Google Groups dated May 24, 2010:



    Quote:

    We have downsized Bespin, trading SproutCore for jQuery.



  • Reply 5 of 33
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by delinka View Post


    Just a bit of fact checking, if that's OK. From bespin-core on Google Groups dated May 24, 2010:



    Nice thing about jquery is that google serves it for you. Although that is a double edged sword.
  • Reply 6 of 33
    gregoriusmgregoriusm Posts: 366member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTel View Post


    Sounds like he contributed what he could to Apple and is leaving them better off. His department isn't a negative at all for Apple, on the contrary he'll propell sproutcore and HTML5 to new heights. It's a win-win.



    Agree.
  • Reply 7 of 33
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,746member
    Ok.



    ..
  • Reply 8 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTel View Post


    Sounds like he contributed what he could to Apple and is leaving them better off. His department isn't a negative at all for Apple...



    His.. DEPARTMENT?? Seriously?!
  • Reply 9 of 33
    elliots11elliots11 Posts: 270member
    I'm really impressed with MobileMe. You can get the same stuff from Google and others, but I feel it's a lot more straightforward with MobileMe. Except my email which I don't want to pay to keep.



    It's got cool little perks like the MobileMe Gallery iPhone app which is pretty awesome and automatically adds a cool scroll effect made from your photos at the top of the app. I digs it. This guy did well.
  • Reply 10 of 33
    bartfatbartfat Posts: 432member
    So Apple revolutionized computers, its revolutionized iPods and iPhones (shaking up music and cell phone industries), Steve Jobs revolutionized animated movies w/ Pixar, next up the list is revolutionizing the web?



    I guess judgment will have to wait a few years on the iPad It's too early to tell whether it's just early adopters or it's hit mainstream and gone ballistic on its competitors (of which there aren't any right now).
  • Reply 11 of 33
    firefly7475firefly7475 Posts: 1,502member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Nooge View Post


    So sounds like he's making software to make it easier for companies to make touch-centric web apps? Probably so they can develop one set of code for all platforms (Android, iOS, etc). I think this is the way many companies will go, instead of or in addition to native apps.



    I've been thinking the same thing. The YouTube web app could very much be a sign of things to come.



    With client-side storage, caching, and extensions for some of the extra phone functions (i.e. accelerometer, GPS, camera) there are a lot of apps that are currently native that could be (and should be) web apps.



    Apple threw down the gauntlet with iAds and iOS4, essentially signalling that Google will be cut out of advertising from native applications. So now Google's future in mobile advertising relies on either swamping the world with Android devices and\\or getting people off native apps on on to web apps where they control the advertising.



    One wonders if Apple will embrace the change (i.e. by having web apps in iTunes) or fight it.



    I actually wouldn't be surprised to see a Google web app store appear at some point. i.e. you write an application using some kind of Google HTML5 mobile framework which includes Google Ads, and then Google host the app for you. They could even use your standard Google login for paid apps.



    Interesting times ahead!
  • Reply 12 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTel View Post


    Sounds like he contributed what he could to Apple and is leaving them better off. His department isn't a negative at all for Apple, on the contrary he'll propell sproutcore and HTML5 to new heights. It's a win-win.



    Agree. His departure probably fits in to a long-term Apple strategy to seed the 'Web with open, platform-independent technologies to nullify all the 'Web's proprietary content in the future.



    Watch out, Adobe et al...
  • Reply 13 of 33
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,582member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post


    One wonders if Apple will embrace the change (i.e. by having web apps in iTunes) or fight it.



    Apple already has a website that lists web apps, and there's really no point in having people access them through iTunes, nor, I think, does Apple wish to get involved in reviewing web apps.



    However, as much as Google would like everyone to use web apps, particularly web apps they control, I think native apps will continue to dominate for at least the near-term future, for two simple reasons. First, people simply prefer native apps and native apps will always be able to offer superior functionality and user experience than web apps. Secondly, people are becoming increasingly suspicious of Google, and will become increasingly unwilling to allow Google to know everything about them and control their data.



    As a result, Google will likely become more aggressive about trying to force people to use their services by attempting to control more and more information directly -- such as is the case with the planned ITA acquisition -- rather than simply being a portal to information.
  • Reply 14 of 33
    jasonxjasonx Posts: 17member
    Just look at the Google Voice, Gmail, and Youtube web apps, they are really nice. Problem is, these are all free apps. Small ISVs who want to make money will stick to native apps for the time being. Monetizing web apps is possible, but requires a lot more hassle and infrastructure.
  • Reply 15 of 33
    firefly7475firefly7475 Posts: 1,502member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    Apple already has a website that lists web apps, and there's really no point in having people access them through iTunes, nor, I think, does Apple wish to get involved in reviewing web apps.



    However, as much as Google would like everyone to use web apps, particularly web apps they control, I think native apps will continue to dominate for at least the near-term future, for two simple reasons. First, people simply prefer native apps and native apps will always be able to offer superior functionality and user experience than web apps. Secondly, people are becoming increasingly suspicious of Google, and will become increasingly unwilling to allow Google to know everything about them and control their data.



    I understand where you're coming from and somewhat agree however http://m.youtube.com means the statements in bold are questionable.
  • Reply 16 of 33
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,322member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Nooge View Post


    So sounds like he's making software to make it easier for companies to make touch-centric web apps? Probably so they can develop one set of code for all platforms (Android, iOS, etc). I think this is the way many companies will go, instead of or in addition to native apps.



    Sorry, but SproutCore apps will ever replace native apps. Your dream of a panacea across all platforms is naive, at best.
  • Reply 17 of 33
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,582member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post


    I understand where you're coming from and somewhat agree however http://m.youtube.com means the statements in bold are questionable.



    I don't really see how the existence of a mobile youtube site means that peoples preference for native apps is questionable or that Native apps don't in general provide better user experiences.



    What it means is that Google wants the ad revenue they can maybe get from a mobile website, but don't from Apple's app. So, it says something about Google, and it may say something about the relationship between Google and Apple, but it doesn't say anything about people's preferences.



    Even if we assume for the sake of argument that the web app is a better user experience (which I don't actually agree with), that only says something about this particular example, not the situation in general.



    Some large leaps of logic there, but you don't quite make it to the other side.
  • Reply 18 of 33
    orlandoorlando Posts: 601member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    Sorry, but SproutCore apps will ever replace native apps. Your dream of a panacea across all platforms is naive, at best.



    Naive apps will slowly disappear. Just think how many people have given up on native email clients and use web based email instead? Web apps are getting ever more complex and with technologies like html5, WebGL, native client, etc we will see even more powerful and fully featured web apps in the future. Web based office suites are rapidly getting better and could soon replace native apps for the average business user. We already have games like Tiger Woods (ie proper 3D games) running in browsers and we can expect to see more. Power users will continue to need native apps for quite sometime, but for many other people web apps will soon be able to satisfy all their needs.



    And when this happens, it will be the end of Apples's computer business. If you are spending all your time in a browser the OS becomes less important; the advantage of an Apple computer with OS-X over some generic computer disappears.
  • Reply 19 of 33
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,582member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Orlando View Post


    Naive apps will slowly disappear. Just think how many people have given up on native email clients and use web based email instead? Web apps are getting ever more complex and with technologies like html5, WebGL, native client, etc we will see even more powerful and fully featured web apps in the future. ...



    Just think how many people haven't given up native email clients and don't use web based email. Just think of how developers and users have embraced native iPhone apps in a way that web based apps can't compare to. Just think how you haven't really made a persuasive argument.
  • Reply 20 of 33
    timgriff84timgriff84 Posts: 912member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    Nice thing about jquery is that google serves it for you. Although that is a double edged sword.



    Nice thing about jQuery is it seems to have the most support. Microsoft include it in Visual Studio and have basically said, we're going to do all our asp.net ajax stuff with it, Google and Microsoft both host it. There's thousands of code samples using it. When does anyone really hear about Sprout Core except in relation to Apple. That's not to say it's bad, but when your picking a technology for your company to use, pick the one with the most available developers, not one that's going to leave you with recruitment issues or a lot of training costs.
Sign In or Register to comment.