San Francisco startup Flotype this week released NowJS, a web framework that makes developing real-time apps easier.
The framework essentially allows real-time communication between server-side and client-side code so that they behave like a single program. This simplifies the process of developing complicated real-time applications, such as chatrooms, news web apps and notification systems.
In true startup style, the company was founded by a group of Berkeley drop-outs — Darshan Shankar, Eric Zhang and Sridatta Thatipamala.
Large companies like Quora and Facebook, leaders in the area of real-time Internet, have built proprietary frameworks of this kind, but they aren’t available to the public. Projects like NowJS that make this technology available to all developers could represent a turning point in the next evolution of the web.
Shankar believes we’re at that crossroad now. “I believe that Web 3.0 will be real-time, and we will lead the charge,” he said in an email.
NowJS offers a high level of abstraction that can be seen in NowJS’s impressive claim to fame — the ability to write a chatroom app in 12 lines of code. You can check out the tutorial here, and a screencast showing you how to do it right here:
So how does Flotype plan to profit from NowJS? Shankar says it’s too early to look at monetization, but there are some plans.
“Our speculated business model is a platform-as-a-service. The issues with hosting real-time applications are different from traditional apps. Thus, we would offer an easy, scalable hosting platform for developers similar to Heroku.”