PhoneGap making changes
Written by Ian Elliot   
Saturday, 01 October 2011

PhoneGap's development team is applying to become an Apache project and is looking to change its name to Apache Callback in the process.

PhoneGap is an open source framework that lets HTML5/JavaScript apps make use of the native hardware and services on a range of mobile phones. It really does allow you to create a single app and install it on most of the popular phone platforms.

The proposed move to the Apache Software Foundation, regarded as the home of elite open source projects, seems like a logical step for PhoneGap which is currently sponsored by Nitobi. According to Brian LeRoux, one of the Nitobi developers who are form the core to the team behind PhoneGap:

"We've been looking at different options for a foundation contribution since the beginning. Now is the time. PhoneGap is hugely adopted and the IP belongs in an org aligned w/ our goals, philosophy and the web."

Regarding the name change his post explains that this was partly motivated because of "litigious posturing over the PhoneGap Trademark" and that the project:

wanted to choose something that was in the spirit of PhoneGap, illustrated the move beyond phones, and did not relate us to any companies producing khakis.

Initially Apache DeviceReady was suggested but this was quickly abandoned when the fact that Deviceready is used by an established the Android testing service was pointed out.



The proposal for the free software evolution of PhoneGap to be admitted to the Apache Incubator now has the name Apache Callback with the explanation that Phone Gap evolved from a hack that enabled a FFI (Foreign Function Interface) to an embedded WebView on iOS to a complete suite of tools for tackling parity across many mobile device and desktop platforms and the name is derived from the the event that is fired when the FFI bridge is established.

The proposal currently has a highlighted message pointing out that while Callback is currently the preferred choice of name, Cordova and WebKeg are other possibilities. However, Callback fits naturally as this extract from the proposal demonstrates:

Apache Callback allows web developers to natively target Apple iOS, Google Android, RIM BlackBerry, Microsoft Windows Phone 7, HP webOS, Nokia Symbian and Samsung Bada with a single codebase. The Callback APIs are based on open web standards. The Callback bridge technology enables access to native device capabilities. Utilizing the Callback bridge native plugins allow for any type of native access from the embedded webview.

PhoneGap or whatever it finally ends up being called is too important a framework to not be part of a safe public open source foundation so let's hope it all works out.


Further Reading

Getting started with PhoneGap

PhoneGap for Windows Phone7

PhoneGap 1.0 - the smart way to create apps?


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Last Updated ( Saturday, 01 October 2011 )