Discontent with the browser's native rendering ability, the team designed Famo.us to completely replace the browser's rendering engine "using such sophisticated mathematics and physics that you would not ever want to look at it. Your eyes would go cross," says founder Steve Newcomb. Such low-level complexity is required to forego the browser's native rendering, but it is not the place where 98% of developers will plug into, says Newcomb. "We've spent the last years just building a syntactical sugar layer that should replace jQuery in total." Thereby, Newcomb and company are ensuring all modern browsers -- Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and IE10+ -- will prove compatible.
Therein lies the ambition of the Famo.us team: they're offering a new approach to application development, away from the world of jQuery-based DOM traversal and manipulation to a platform that expects coders to manipulate surfaces and enliven their physics engine. Famo.us will render as HTML, webGL, and canvas. Starting December 5th, the team intends on rolling out weekly additions to its growing library of widgets, templates, and apps.
Famo.us has announced official partnerships with Meteor, Firebase, LeapMotion, and the backbone js library. Currently, the code is in private alpha, and they plan on releasing a public beta late February 2014. Once released, the entire platform will be available under the Mozilla Public License MPL v2, enabling free access to the code, while still allowing companies to develop proprietary widgets and templates. Dave Fetterman, Famo.us VP of Engineering, who founded the Facebook Developer Platform and launched the F8 conferences, will be guiding Famo.us through its beta launch.
To that end, the Famo.us team will release three widgets and one application on December 5th. By leveraging Codepen as a partner for displaying these releases, the Famo.us team is providing an interactive experience for each of these newly released widgets: