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21 April 2011, 16:16

SproutCore 1.5 web application framework gets new templates

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The new version 1.5 of the HTML5 web application framework SproutCore includes a new TemplateView to make it easier to create the view layer of a model-view-controller application. The developers have produced a video to explain the new functionality. The change is accompanied by a new default theme called "Ace 2.0" and improved flexibility in theming applications; a developer can even include multiple themes in one application.

The SproutCore ethos is to reduce application latency by moving as much application logic as possible into the browser. Originally developed by SproutIt for a mailroom application, it was adopted by Apple in 2008 as the basis for its MobileMe and services. Last year, the creator of SproutCore left Apple to start Strobe Inc, which continues SproutCore development and offers support.

Under the hood, SproutCore has a new CSS parser called Chance that's built on top of SCSS and provides helpers for including data URI representations of images which can be used to reduce the overhead of additionally HTTP requests. Chance also adds support for variables, rules and mixins to CSS.

Zoom Some of the SproutCore controls in action.
Desktop controls in SproutCore 1.5 are now more accessible too as they are WAI-ARIA-enabled; WIA-ARIA is a W3C accessibility initiative to bring a11y to rich internet applications. Other features include modular loading of applications in response to user idleness or events, and a way to use experimental features that are not yet production ready. The developers are looking at moving to a six week release cycle, meaning that users can expect the next stable release, version 1.6, to arrive on 1 June.

SproutCore can be installed as a RubyGem, while the MIT licensed source code can be cloned from GitHub.


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