A quick option for building Web and iOS apps is on the horizon from a group of developers in Europe. Hoodie is an open source tool for building Web applications in days via an open source library described as being easier to use than JQuery.
"Hoodie is a software platform that abstracts all important back-end operations, like handling payments, sending emails, security and permissions, synchronizing data, etc, into a simple API and is extensible via plug-ins," said Jan Lehnardt, co-inventor of Hoodie and CEO of The Neighborhoodie Software, which is overseeing the technology.
The eventual target audiences are user experience and visual designers, front end developers, and people with few development skills who can produce user experiences in HTML, CSS, and jQuery.
"Ultimately, we want to empower people to solve their personal and professional problems. Much like Excel, Access, or Lotus Notes enable billions of regular people to be productive in their businesses and at home, Hoodie wants to make sure people can use computers and the Web creatively," Lehnardt said.
Hoodie is not akin to codeless development environments such as Mendix or Outsystems -- at least not for now. "There might be a fully integrated UI builder with little or no code based on Hoodie, and it might come from us -- or someone else -- but this is out of scope for now and for a while. We'd love to see this, though," Lehnardt said.
The technology's website positions Hoodie as having an "Offline First" and "noBackend" architecture for front-end-only apps on the Web and on iOS, with one Hoodie port featuring front-end bits for iOS in Objective-C code. With the noBackend architecture, application builders build full-stack applications without thinking about the back end. Offline First, meanwhile, is "an invitation for a dialogue and a public research project to establish a language, design patterns, and technological solutions to survive in the sometimes-connected world of today," Lehnardt said. Applications are offline by default. Interactions in Hoodie feature client software on either a browser or device with back-end operations occurring in the cloud. CouchDB is leveraged for document storage.
Lehnardt described Hoodie's current development stage as "probably around beta." But a Hoodie-based application already is in production with about 10,000 users. Still planned for Hoodie are comprehensive documentation, a tryout platform, and a hosting solution. The company is inviting Node.js developers to extend Hoodie with plug-ins.
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