Cappuccino (application development framework)

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Developer(s) 280 North, Inc., and community.
Written in JavaScript/Objective-J
Operating system Cross-platform
License LGPL

Cappuccino is an open source application development framework for developing web applications that look and feel like desktop applications. Cappuccino was developed by Francisco Tolmasky, Tom Robinson and Ross Boucher, who are the three founders of 280 North, Inc.

Cappuccino consists in two distinct components: a programming language called Objective-J and an object oriented library which is the Objective-J port of two of the Cocoa frameworks, Foundation Kit and Application Kit.



Objective-J adds traditional inheritance and Smalltalk/Objective-C message calls to JavaScript. Objective-J shares the same relationship with JavaScript as Objective-C shares with C, so it is a strict superset of JavaScript. Programs written in Objective-J are almost identical to their counterpart written in Objective-C and simple Objective-C programs compile correctly as Objective-J programs. The Objective-J compiler is totally written in JavaScript and programs written in Objective-C do not need any server side compilation, as they are directly compiled on the client side by the Objective-J compiler.


The intended audience of Cappuccino is high end web applications developers, and even though the Cappuccino framework uses standard web technologies for web page rendering, such as JavaScript, the browser Document Object Model, and Cascading Style Sheets, it is not a classical JavaScript widget library such as ExtJs, jQuery or Prototype. Cappuccino developers never need to directly manipulate the DOM or design CSS documents, those tasks are handled by Cappuccino and the application developer can focus on the implementation of application features without being distracted by specifics of the rendering mechanism. Cappuccino being compiled directly in the web browser is agnostic of the server side logic. As such, PHP or Ruby, for instance, may be used to back end an application logic.

280 Slides

The first widely known web application written in Objective-J/Cappuccino was 280 Slides, an online presentation preparation system. 280 Slides features the ability to import existing documents, an autosave recovery, is able to save documents as Microsoft PowerPoint, PDF, and OpenDocument formats, and has a wide range of themes.

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