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InfoQ Homepage News WebObjects to be Open Sourced; Apple to focus on WO Runtime

WebObjects to be Open Sourced; Apple to focus on WO Runtime

Apple has announced it's new strategy for Web Objects on the webobjects-dev list last week, saying that the company will be be open sourcing the Web Objects framework and focus it's own engineering resources instead on the the Web Objects runtime environment [on the Mac]. It's areas of focus will be:
  • Improving performance, manageability, and standards compliance
  • Making WO work well with ANT and the most popular IDEs, including Xcode and Eclipse
  • Opening and making public all standards and formats that WO depends upon
ThinkSecret is also reporting the Apple will be open sourcing most of WebObjects 5.4 next year and says that the new version will include use Apache WebServer instead of it's own, implement Java NIO and JMX.

Web Objects was the worlds first object oriented appserver, released by NeXT Software in 1996 (for building rich client apps on the NeXT OS), and acquired by Apple and ported to Java as a web application server in mid 2001with the capability to deploy Web Objects apps as .WAR files to any appserver and support for Servlets, JSP, and EJB in 2002.   WebObjects went free for development and deployment as of version 5.3 with other platforms no longer supported.

WebObjects was known for being years ahead of it's time with it's Enterprise Object Framework - a mature o/r mapping solution as well as it's web application and control framework (WOF) which was supposedly the inspiration behind Tapestry - the first popular component-oriented Java web framework.  Both the EOF and WOF came with WYSIWYG builder tools which were also among the first in the industry. WebObjects supports RAD development as Swing or HTML apps.  Apple uses WebObjects behind Apple Store, .Mac online services and the iTunes Music Store.  An Eclipse plugin for WO development called WO Lips has also been in development independently for some time.

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