Apple developer launches HTML5 coding start-up

Charles Jolley will continue to pursue his SproutCore programming tools for rich Web applications at a start-up called Strobe.

Stephen Shankland principal writer
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Charles Jolley, one of the primary creators of the SproutCore programming tools for building rich Web applications, has left Apple and struck off on his own to start a new company based on the technology.

Jolley announced the new start-up, Strobe Digital Publishing, in a blog post last week, saying the new company will continue to develop SproutCore, offer SproutCore training, and focus on publishing.

"Every so often a few technology trends converge that yield results much greater than their individual parts. I think we have reached one of those moments with mobile devices (like the iPad) and HTML5," Jolley said. "For this reason I decided about a month ago to leave Apple and form a new company centered around helping companies bring great native-style app experiences to mobile device[s]...We are currently focused on the digital publishing vertical."

SproutCore, which is used in Apple's MobileMe products, will remain open-source software, he added. "SproutCore is now and will always be totally free and open-source," he said.

SproutCore provides a library of code that browsers' ever-faster JavaScript engines can run to provide a slick user interface. The project also includes tools to build such Web applications out of JavaScript, HTML (Hypertext Markup Language, out of which Web pages are built), and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets, used for formatting).

The tools are at the heart of a revolution under way in the programming world: the shift to browser-based software, best exemplified by cloud-computing applications such as Google Docs.