Open Source Development For iPhone Takes Shape

At AjaxWorld, companies demonstrate Web applications to run on the iPhone.

UPDATED: NEW YORK -- There is no shortage of hype around developing for the Apple iPhone. Moving beyond the hype there are also real tools, among them an open source tool from Ajax vendor Aptana.

In a standing-room-only session at the iPhone Summit segment of the AjaxWorld conference, Kevin Hakman, director of product marketing at Aptana, captivated the audience with his demonstration of how easy it is to develop Ajax applications for the iPhone.

Aptana has a few projects that can help iPhone developers, among them is the open source Aptana Studio IDE (define), which is licensed under the GPL. Studio is a full Ajax development environment and is available as a stand-alone as well as an Eclipse plug-in that can integrate with Eclipse-based IDEs.*

The new Apple iPhone Development Plugin, currently in beta, works with Aptana's Studio and provides developers with an interactive console as well as preview support for iPhone applications.

The preview support included with the Beta plugin comes by way of Aptana's iPhone preview, which shows users what the application will look like and how it will behave on an iPhone.

Hakman also noted that the plugin now works with Apple's iPhone emulator, released as part of the iPhone SDK release. Apple's iPhone emulator is essentially a full iPhone running in software.

Hakman cautioned the audience that Apple's emulator currently is available only for the Mac, while the Aptana Studio with iPhone plugin will work on Windows, Linux and Mac.

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