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Apple introduced Gianduia last summer at WOWODC (World of WebObjects Developer Conference), an independent event scheduled near the company's own WWDC event in June. It is likely that more information will surface at this year's WOWODC and WWDC events.
A variety of frameworks for building rich apps using web standards
Like Cappuccino, Gianduia takes a Cocoa-inspired name (Cocoa is itself a Java-inspired name) to describe its role as a way for Cocoa developers to bring their skills to rich online applications built using web standards, with no need for a proprietary web plugin like Flash or Silverlight.
While the emerging new support for Rich Internet App features in HTML5 is often pitted competitively against Flash, Gianduia, SproutCore and related frameworks demonstrate that sophisticated web apps are already possible using existing web standards and without web plugins.
Apple Retail has actually already been using Gianduia to create web app clients (which plug into the company's WebObjects-based services), for a variety of popular programs over the last several months, including its One-to-One program, iPhone reservation system, and its Concierge service for Genius Bar reservations and Personal Shopping (shown below) programs.
On page 2 of 2: Adobe running out of AIR.
While Adobe's Flash was once considered an essential tool for supporting animation, interactivity, video playback, and rich app development on the web, a variety of advances are chipping away at every corner of the plugin's platform, delivering the potential for better performance and security while jettisoning reliance upon Adobe to deliver cross-platform playback tools and singlehandedly advance the web's future capabilities.
Video: Three years ago, Apple prompted Google's YouTube service to support the new iPhone and Apple TV using direct downloads of H.264 videos, rather than only serving H.263/Sorenson Spark files wrapped in Flash, a standard that Google had adopted toward the end of 2005. A flood of mass migrations toward H.264 video encoding have resulted, enabling Flash-free devices to play videos from an increasing number of sources including Brighcove, Vimeo, ABC, CBS, and Ooyala.
Animation and interactivity: While plugins like Flash and Silverlight excel at drawing graphics within an embedded zone of a webpage in ways that are far more difficult to do in standard HTML, HTML5 now offers a sophisticated Canvas element that can be used to support web games and other sophisticated graphics directly within the HTML itself. That means videos and graphics are part of the web pages' Document Object Model (DOM), and can be animated, manipulated and styled with Cascading Style Sheet transforms that can scale, rotate and move objects around the page or warp them into 3D planes. Flash objects are stuck in their own context, and can't easily integrate with the rest of the web page nor other embedded Flash objects on the page.