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Rhodes 1.0 Coming up, RhoHub beta

by Werner Schuster on Mar 19, 2009 |

Rhodes allows to program using Ruby on a list of smartphones. Rhomobile, the company behind Rhodes, is working on the 1.0 release. We talked to Adam Blum of Rhomobile to see what's new and what other services Rhomobile offers.
Developers can sign up for a beta run of Rhomobile's new RhoHub service. Adam explains what RhoHub does:

We have a site called RhoHub that we will release soon. RhoHub allows developers to generate, edit and build their mobile apps from a hosted web page (similar to the idea of Heroku). We also host the sync server used to connect to their backend applications. Finally we give them a provisioning server that allows them to provide a single URL to users to download their mobile app via their mobile device browser.

All of this enables developers to successfully develop, build and host their mobile apps without installing any software or SDKs from us or third parties. People seem pretty excited about it. They can register for the private beta at http://rhohub.com

For Java-based smartphones like the BlackBerry and Android, Rhomobile uses a Ruby built on XRuby, which, unlike the other Ruby versions Rhomobile uses, is not based on 1.9:

Well its really no longer Xruby - its our own thing. It is based on 1.8. [..]We wouldn't support things like Fibers as it doesn't really fit the intent of our framework.
We're excited about [the Android support]. But the development model is no different for Android than for other phones.

Rhodes uses a application model rather similar to the Palm Pre's; we asked Adam how the two platforms compare:

From the standpoint of using the web development paradigm to build native apps we see the Palm Pre and Nokia's web runtime as validation of our basic approach. Our framework is more full MVC and has many other capabilities. But I look at both of those developments as very good things that will help pique interest in our approach to native mobile app development.

Finally, when asked about real world applications using Rhomobile, Adam points out TrailGuide as one of a few examples. Another upcoming application is a port of Hampton Catlin's Wikipedia iPhone application.

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