SproutCore is Apple's Flash, Silverlight killer

Apple's JavaScript framework is designed to make Web applications that work a lot like desktop apps

Apple's quietly deploying  a new Web technology that could help it combat Silverlight and Flash: SproutCore.

SproutCore is a JavaScript framework designed to make Web applications that work a lot like desktop apps. The solution was developed outside Apple by Charles Jolley, but Apple soon hired the developer to its .Mac (now MobileMe) team.

It's this use of SproutCore that makes the apps demoed for MobileMe last week appear so similar -- in looks and behavior -- to their desktop equivalents.

[ To learn more about MobileMe, read the related story: "MobileMe replaces .Mac" ]

What's key is that the system doesn't demand developers remain locked into using one standard, such as Flash. That's because SproutCore is based on open JavaScript standards, which makes it widely compatible with browsers and platforms.

This also speeds up development and offers a variety of other usage and server-side improvements in comparison to some other rich Internet creation apps.

And it lets the application run inside the browser, rather than requiring a plug-in: "A SproutCore application is a JavaScript application that runs entirely in the web browser. It can often run on its own, without even needing support for a web server except when it makes sense for the application. This frees the server developer to focus on the things the server can do very well such as saving, restoring and aggregating data and performing expensive operations. Meanwhile the 'thick' client running in the web browser can handle the task of presenting the user with a friendly interface that is fast and intuitive," the SproutCore Web site explains.

SproutCore was demonstrated to 600 developers at WWDC last week.

Macworld UK is an InfoWorld affiliate.

This story, "SproutCore is Apple's Flash, Silverlight killer" was originally published by Macworld U.K..