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2/26/2009
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Appcelerator Updates Open Source Alternative To Adobe Air

The latest version of Titanium features built-in support for Linux as well as social media and communications tools such as Twitter and FriendFeed.

Open source software vendor Appcelerator has delivered the second preview release (PR2) of its rich Internet application platform for developers, called Titanium.

New features include built-in support for Linux and programming languages such as Python, Ruby, and JavaScript.

As a way to help groups of developers collaborate more efficiently, the company has also thrown into PR2 Titanium Developer, social media and communications tools such as Twitter, FriendFeed, and a chat capability.

The new version also sports two demo applications developers can experiment with to see if they fit in with the development methodology. They are Tweetanium, a desktop Twitter client, and Playtanium, a desktop-based YouTube video player. Both demo applications work with Linux and Microsoft's Windows Vista.

Appcelerator figures to have its hands full competitively, as it will be knocking heads with the market leader, Adobe's Air runtime 1.5.1. Appcelerator officials believe, however, that their open source offering, by breaking down the barriers of developing applications that can be deployed on desktops, mobile devices, and the Web, has a strong advantage.

The company should be well armed financially for that competition. It announced recently it has raised $4.1 million in Series A venture capital, with Storm Ventures as the leading contributor.

Developers like what they see with the preview releases of Titanium, with some saying it delivers a complete package for cross-platform development.

"Titanium, which is based on WebKit, delivers all of the APIs and services you expect, things like file system, notifications, menuing, custom chromed Windows, and the integration with popular languages," said developer Marshall Culpepper.

At its core, Culpepper said, Titanium is a microkernel that exposes a pluggable module and binding system that allows third-party developers to introduce their own functionality using C++.

Appcelerator, which plans to release versions for Linux, Windows, and Macintosh, will sell PR2 under version 2 of the Apache Public License.


Want to hear more about security for rich Internet applications? Black Hat is hosting a Webcast on this topic on Thursday. Find out more (registration required).

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