280 Slides Blog

An interview with 280 Slides on Objective-J and Cappuccino

  • As I say in this podcast interview, I got an early look at 280 Slides the application that launched yesterday to much acclaim. People are calling it “Keynote on the Web”, which the team finds very humbling, and hope that one day they have all of the great features (and more!).
  • As you can hear from the interview I sit down with Ross Boucher, Tom Robinson and Francisco Tolmasky to discuss their new application and how they built it.
  • I really like these guys. A couple of them worked on cool products at Apple, and it turns out that they started the language and runtime work back at school.
  • Objective-J is the language that takes JavaScript and makes it Objective (as Obj-C did to C). Lots of square brackets. When the browser gets served .j files, it preprocesses them on the fly. This means that you can do things like, use standard JavaScript in places.
  • Cappuccino is the port of the Cocoa framework.
  • The guys talk a little about the toolchain an why they did this, and even how it enables future cool things such as generating a native Mac application from the same code.
  • We also get into the fun cross browser issues that they work around, and how they are abstracting developers high up, so you don’t have to deal with these issues.
  • Finally, I was excited to hear that they will be open sourcing the code at objective-j.org shortly (may not be there yet). They are going through the usual issues of choosing a license (Apache2 please?), a source control system (Subversion vs. Git), and documenting the thing ;)
  • We have the audio directly available, or you can subscribe to the podcast.
  • The team was very interested in learning what JavaScript developers think (They have heard from Objective-C folk who love it), so let them know in the comments!

Heard On Twitter

  • "280 Slides is the coolest web app I've ever come across. https://280slides.com" @erbmicha
  • "280 Slides is a dream come true. I especially like the picture/video feature, the Kuler color palettes and the export/share options." @skddc
  • "It appears that MS PowerPoint was produced with the sole intention of making me angry and unproductive. Thank goodness for 280slides.com" @dejong