SproutCore + Fluid = Wonderful Synergy

The most exciting thing that came out of WWDC wasn’t Snow Leopard or the iPhone 3G; it was SproutCore, an open source JavaScript framework. When Steve Jobs demonstrated Mobile Me during the keynote, he didn’t say how Apple was able to make those web applications look as nice & responsive as desktop apps, but we found out a few days later in a session introducing SproutCore.

I’ve been looking at SproutCore and playing with the demos for the last few days and I’m very impressed. The photo sample looks like a stripped down iPhoto. I think with a bit of tweaking it would make a great online photo gallery.

One thing that takes a bit of getting used to is that SproutCore uses a ruby gem to build your application and serve it during development, but you can build a static version that doesn’t require Ruby and can be deployed to any web server.

While web based applications are starting to look and act more like desktop apps, Fluid lets you bring your favorite web sites or applications to the desktop. With Fluid, you can build a site-specific browser that you can double click to open that web site immediately. Fluid also adds some additional functionality to web apps, such as showing dock menus, badges, and growl notifications. You can even make your web app a menu extra so it’s available anywhere by a single click.

The two pieces work together beautifully as a new way to deploy applications. Write your application in SproutCore, deploy it on your web site, and build a Fluid desktop app that your users can double-click from their desktop to run your web-based application just as if it actually was a desktop app.

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