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Devs tempted to hit the source at appMobi's free bar

Celebration or desperation from cloudy crowd?

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Mobile developers with an AJAX leaning can now get free access to the source for appMobi's development toolkit, allowing them to incorporate bits of appMobi tech into their own apps.

AppMobi provides wrappers around the already open-source PhoneGap toolkit, enabling AJAX apps to access native APIs. The cloudy mobile tools vendor is also opening up its enhanced version of the HTML 5 Canvas for web-based gaming, but it is the open-sourcing of the mobiUs browser – which provides access to those APIs on iOS – which will likely attract most interest.

The code is all being shared under the "MIT X11" licence, and the company suggests that an iOS developer might, for example, drop the social sharing capability of mobiUs into an existing application to provide instant Facebook integration.

As well as the browser iOS developers can get hold of the source code for the company's HTML 5 Game Acceleration pack, featuring faster canvas rendering and improved sound APIs for 2D games development in JavaScript.

The idea is that one develops games, or other applications, using JavaScript and associated technologies, and then bundles them together into a what looks (to Apple) like a native application. Such applications are already populating the iTunes store, and provide the promise of cross-platform development.

For the moment Android fans will have to content themselves with the source code to the PhoneGap wrapper (called "Bridge"); the other components won't be available for Google's platform until next year.

AppMobi doesn't charge for access to its tools, in source or binary form, as it makes money offering a cloud-based service with which users then integrate. Such integration isn't mandatory, and appMobi is betting that once you've used it you'll want to pay, so the tools themselves aren't considered an important revenue stream.

The source is available under the "MIT X11" licence, which permits the downloader to "use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sub-license, and/or sell copies of the software" as long as the licence is distributed, but even if the code itself isn't lifted for inclusion, it's probably worth looking at to see how they do what they do. ®

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