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Monday, July 26, 2010, 07:20 pm PT (10:20 pm ET)

Apple's new Xcode 4 could portend new HTML5 development tools


Xcode for web content

Xcode 4 borrows from iTunes as well, from its content listings down to its faux-LCD display that presents status updates and progress feedback. The new development tool also presents some novel new elements, such as directly actionable path listings called the Jump Bar, which will likely find its way into other apps, including a future Finder.

Other integrated features, including support for browsing documents in Time Machine-like version control or the ability to compare the content of two documents, would also make sense to add to the Finder or to a new, standalone rich editing environment. And the most likely business model to target such an integrated document management tool at is the web.

Xcode 4 also integrates the graphical layout features of Interface Builder with its text-oriented programming tools. Apple already ships Dashcode (below), a tool intended for graphically creating Dashboard widgets and simple web applications targeted at Safari or the iPhone or iPad.

Leopard Dashcode


By similarly integrating this graphical tool into an Xcode 4-like environment (below) for building web content, the company could offer a strong rival to Flash Professional intended to build standards-based web content, without having to undertake a massive investment in building such a tool from scratch.

Xcode 4