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From David Avendasora <>
Subject Re: Coexisting with WebObjects
Date Wed, 10 Aug 2011 00:53:05 GMT
Hi Joe,

On Aug 10, 2011, at 8:19 AM, Joe Baldwin wrote:

> Tim,
>> advantage for them. I don't think I'd be going out on a limb to suggest that Apple
is a more nimble market force in part because of WebObjects. It is a weapon. Is there another
technology that would be as nimble? So far not. 
> Good point.  Look, I was one of the first programmers to be working full time on WO projects
when it was actually making money for Apple.  I think the architects who developed WO are
literal geniuses because nobody was thinking like that back then.   Now that the concept is
proven projects like Cayenne can take it a step further (like with EOF).
> I don't know what prompted Apple to decide to use WO for iTunes, but I have a *very*
good idea.   Steven Jobs, if nothing else, is very skilled at recognizing talent, and the
NeXT computer was not just a computer, it was the whole advanced Objective-C serious Object
Oriented software pattern, and WO follow with the first OO dev library for the web.  The market
however chose Java over WO and Objective-C so that was that for WO.  But my guess is that
Jobs wanted to prove that it was a powerhouse library and he did it with the iTunes &
Apple Store success stories. Along with this to prove my point, the current Apple OSX is really
the NeXT computer underneath all of the Apple logos.  You can prove this by inspecting the
core libraries and they are all written in NeXT Objective-C.  I think Jobs' goal is simply
to make new ideas work - I think he gets jazzed on it.
> As far as the rest of the world, WO and Objective-C are invisible next to Java.

You do realize that WebObjects was rewritten in Java about 10 years ago, right? It's 100%
pure Java. All of iTunes, the Apple Store, the App Store, etc. are Java WebObjects applications,
not Objective-C.

You are right that Obj-C on the server is long dead. Objective-C (on the client) via Cocoa
is alive and well in iOS. Cocoa shares a huge amount of design philosophy (if not API) with
WebObjects and EOF (MVC, Delegates, etc.). Different children of the same parents, really.
This actually makes WebObjects a natural server-side backend to enterprise iOS applications
since the philosophy, concepts and class names are very similar.

With all this said, Apple's focus is on the client. All of its server-side solutions have
faded into the background. WO is still around because, like you said, the architects that
developed it were geniuses and it's in heavy use every day in proven solutions.

None of this is to take away from Cayenne, and please don't take it that way. From the developers
that I've talked to that use it regularly it is a really great tool as well, and I wish I
had more time to spend digging into it so I don't end up seeing everything as a WONail to
be driven by a WOHammer. :-)


> Joe 
> On Aug 9, 2011, at 6:27 PM, Tim Worman wrote:
>> I'd take it a step further. I bet almost every dollar Apple makes passes through
WebObjects and the technology represents a significant business advantage for them. I don't
think I'd be going out on a limb to suggest that Apple is a more nimble market force in part
because of WebObjects. It is a weapon. Is there another technology that would be as nimble?
So far not. 
>> WebObjects simply is not a money maker for Apple to maintain externally as a dev
tool - they're a consumer focused company and it doesn't fit their plans. But Apple does contribute
and the technology is easily available for anyone that wants to (and can) use it.
>> On Aug 9, 2011, at 2:38 PM, Joe Baldwin wrote:
>>> Yes well I think there is still an Amiga community so the community bit is sort
of as important as a bake sale.
>>> However, wikipedia cites that it is used in iTunes and the apple store.  These
are not bad projects to have on your resume.
>>> It is sort of a shock because NeXT was selling WebObjects for between $20-50K
when I was working with it.
>>> On Aug 9, 2011, at 5:26 PM, David Avendasora wrote:
>>>> On Aug 9, 2011, at 9:06 PM, Michael Gentry wrote:
>>>>> We were all sad to see WO (and EOF)
>>>>> wither and die, but at least T5+Cayenne seems to work rather well
>>>>> together.
>>>> The news of WO's death are greatly exaggerated. There's still a thriving,
active developer community (, the WebObjects binaries are still available
from Apple ( and there's a yearly developer's conference
( - next year's is planned for June 29th-July 1st in Montreal and there
are plans for a WO Boot-Camp for new developers in the days just prior.
>>>> Apple itself has stopped formally releasing new versions to the public, but
they participate in the community by contributing improvements and even entire frameworks
to Project Wonder, which is where all new development
is at externally. Wonder is quite active with almost daily commits.
>>>> Just some of the most recent improvements include:
>>>> - ERRest - a framework that provides easy-to-implement REST services in json,
xml, .plist, binary .plist, etc.
>>>> - ERModernD2W - a CSS/AJAX-based DirectToWeb framework that allows you to
create great looking web sites incredibly quickly by removing much of the UI programming
>>>> - ERSolr framework (in beta:
that makes Solr just another data source (EOAdaptor) with arbitrarily complex queries using
standard EOQualifiers.
>>>> - WOUnit framework for simplifying unit
testing with EOF
>>>> The development tools are now all Eclipse-based using the WOLips plugin,
which is a much better java development environment than Xcode ever was (shudder).
>>>> The biggest problem is that the current state of documentation is horrible.
It's a mix of old Apple documentation (which is completely obsolete for the developer tools)
and community-created documentation which may or may not reflect the current state of how
to do things. The developer list is quite active though with lots of people with 5-10 years
of WO/EOF experience.
>>>> David Avendasora

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