Posts Tagged 'Yellow Box'

Sproutcore Grows!

So, if you’ve been following the last few posts, you’ve no doubt got the idea that SproutCore is intended to fulfill the destiny of the YellowBox APIs in bringing Mac development to the rest of the world. Here’s a supporting link to demonstrate that emerging realization:

Apple formally adopted a new web design framework at the end of last week’s WWDC conference, accounts say … The technology is in fact said to form a key component of its MobileMe service, allowing basic online apps that function across multiple platforms. This may eventually expand to more complex programs, however, including iWork software that would substitute for local copies. It is speculated that third-party companies may be invited to build their own MobileMe apps, whether as a default part of the service, or for a separate fee.

Interesting, no?

h/t: MacNN!

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WWDC Reflections

So, after going through WWDC this year, it’s quite clear that my wild speculations that “Snow Leopard” might actually refer to the return of Yellow Box for Windows were completely wrong. Moreover, it’s pretty much certain that there will never ever be a Yellow Box in its historical form as a Windows-hosted runtime, for a variety of reasons.

However, we weren’t completely nonsensical in our thinking; it looks like we did, in our fumbling way, correctly identify Apple’s interests and goals — we just weren’t thinking outside the box enough in figuring that the resurrection of Yellow Box was the way Apple would choose to achieve them.

Unfortunately, the direct evidence that we have to support this new thinking is all under NDA, although most of it can be pieced together from publicly available tidbits; however, the basic reasoning can all be found in the latest piece up at the always-invaluable RoughlyDrafted Magazine. Money quotes:

Instead, Apple is refining Cocoa for deployment within the web browser to enable developers to build those so called “Rich Internet Applications” that Adobe wants users to build in Flash/Flex/AIR, Microsoft in Silverlight, Sun in Java, and so on…

If you were waiting for the resurrection of Yellow Box or Cocoa for Windows, stop waiting and start coding. SproutCore brings the values of Leopard’s Cocoa to the web, domesticating JavaScript into a functional application platform with lots of free built-in support for desktop features…

Yep … I think Messr. Dilger is pretty much spot on with his various prognostications and recommendations in this article, and when I casually dismissed the idea that MobileMe was the Big Unexpected Thing™ I’d heard hints would be announced, I was completely overlooking the possibility (and most people still are!) that it wasn’t just a rebranding of the .mac web services, it actually does presage a fundamental shift in the capabilities of cloud computing paired with a blurring of the line between native and web applications.

The next couple of years are going to be very interesting indeed!

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Yellow Box Redux?

So we’re just starting to pack for WWDC now, and as our last post for a while probably (since anything that’s actually got us excited next week will probably be under heavy NDA) we’ll just go out on a limb with a rather out there but we think logical prediction for Monday’s keynote. 

See, our Impeccable Sources™ in the Apple world have been dropping hints that there’s something Big And Unexpected up for announcement, which is not directly related to the iPhone in particular nor hardware of any kind in general. If they’re not just teasing to wind up our curiosity to fever pitch — which is hardly inconceivable, we grant you, in which case after the keynote feel free to laugh your head off at how well that worked for them — what could it be? This .mac to .me reworking thing? Naah, we don’t see that qualifying as either particularly Big or in the slightest Unexpected.

Well, after pondering it, we think we just might have an idea. You’ve all heard about this “Snow Leopard” thing, no doubt. Well, we believe there actually is a “Snow Leopard” project, which quite likely will be revealed on Monday, but it’s not going to be 10.6 like most everyone is assuming, because that would be a different cat — there’s no way Apple would not rebrand the OS name for a full point release. For the same marketing-related reasons, we’ll proceed to assume that this code name is not disinformation of any kind. So there’s something bubbling and simmering in Apple’s labs that’s recognizably “Leopard”, but distinctly different enough from the shipping Mac OS X 10.5 to merit a separate yet connected brand.

Right then, the next wide assumption is that the dropping of “Mac” from the “OS X Leopard” posters in Moscone implies that there’s going to be a non-Mac OS X Leopard for generic PCs, and that would be Snow Leopard. We’re pretty sure we can dismiss that one as well. Apple’s revenue numbers just don’t make that idea work, however you slice it. And when even all the PC magazines universally agree that Mac laptops are the best for running Vista, there appears to be no reason to defocus from shipping machines.

So what, then, is “Snow Leopard”? Well, to answer that, let us put on our thinking caps. What is the one feature that developers were most upset about losing in OS X — before it was actually named OS X, in fact? The feature that Apple has a clear and compelling reason to bring back now, in order to further increase the pool of developers familiar with Mac and iPhone programming concepts? The feature that did, indeed, actually ship from Apple on the Rhapsody DR1/Intel Developer CDs? The feature which if released on Monday would be a perfect fit for the “Snow Leopard” moniker? Well, here’s what we say it is:

Apple Rhapsody Yellow Box for Windows

Yep, that’s our call: “Snow Leopard” is the return of Yellow Box. Except that the point of it this time around is not only, or even mostly, to allow Mac Cocoa programmers to deliver Windows applications — although it’s pretty likely that will be supported — but to let Windows users who for whatever reason can’t get a Mac of their own to develop iPhone programs using the same Cocoa-written toolchain that supports iPhone development on real Macs.

You heard it here first, folks!

POST-KEYNOTE UPDATE:

Hmmmmm. It appears that the only non-NDA’d information y’all who aren’t here is gettin’ is that yes, there actually is a “Snow Leopard” project, His Jobness stated, and us here is gonna hear all about it after lunch, in an NDA’d session. So it’s not completely impossible yet that we’re on to something here — but the smart money is that probably, contrary to all previous practice, the rumours about “Snow Leopard” being simply a rather boring 10.6 version are indeed correct, and the Big Important Thing that had been hinted at was indeed Mobile Me, aka “Exchange that doesn’t suck”. Ah well.

We’re quite sure there’ll be no shortage of people willing to violate their NDAs so you won’t have to wait until tomorrow even to find out the exact specs of “Snow Leopard” somewhere else — but as far as this particular legally correct NDA-respecting space goes, we’ll just have to leave the discussion at “probably a bad guess but we’ll know for sure in an hour.” Ah well. Can’t always have everything you want, and we’re pretty happy with how the iPhone 3G turned out!

POST-WWDC UPDATE:

Well, although this speculation turned out to be completely wrong, we actually were not completely off-base in identifying Apple’s interests and goals we figure; we just weren’t thinking outside the box enough in figuring that resurrecting Yellow Box was how to go about it. See this post for what we’re thinking now!

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