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26 August 2010, 11:53

Google open source Acre, a server-side JavaScript application platform

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Google has released Acre, a server-based JavaScript platform which Google use to power the Freebase Apps platform, as open source. Freebase is an open data entity graph of people, things and data harvested from many sources. Freebase Apps is the hosted application environment that allows Freebase users to create programs which can query the Freebase data in specialised ways. Google acquired MetaWeb, the developers of Freebase, in July.

The Freebase developers, acknowledging that most developers prefer their own tools and editors, say they are working on making Acre work with source code that isn't held in the Freebase database. The open source Acre release is able to use locally stored files for storing its applications, and developers can create their own standalone non-Freebase programs; the server still has Freebase hooks in it so applications are also able to query the Freebase database.

Acre, which stands for "A Crash of Rhinos Evaluating", is based on Mozilla's Java based JavaScript implementation, Rhino. By default it is combined with a Jetty servlet engine as a HTTP server, although it can run in any servlet container. Acre is also able to run on Google's AppEngine; Freebase are migrating their own Acre server to AppEngine. Acre is available under an Apache 2.0 license and can be downloaded from its Google Code project page along with instructions on how to get started with the server.


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