Famo.us Unveils Widgets To Get More Developers On Board, Integrates With Firebase And Others

After two-and-a-half years, Famo.us is (almost) ready to make its JavaScript development platform available to the world, and today it's taking one big step closer to making that a reality. In its effort to create a modern, high-performance replacement for jQuery, the company has integrated with Firebase and will be making available a set of popular widgets for developers to play with. We've previously covered how Famo.us leverages JavaScript to enable developers to super-charge what users can do in a typical web browser, no plugin required. It basically bypasses the HTML and CSS renderers in any web browser and plugs straight into the GPU, which allows you to do a lot of things you typically wouldn't be able to. Earlier this week, I got a demo of some of the applications that Famo.us has built, which you can see in the video above. The short version is that what it enables is pretty damn impressive, even (or especially) to a non-developer. While Famo.us has been courting developers all along, it's finally giving them something to work with. It already has 70,000 developers signed up to test out its platform and hopes to get closer to 300,000 by the time it's ready to enter public beta next spring. To do that, it's releasing more tools that will allow developers to take advantage of the power of the platform. To start, it's copied three of the most commonly used jQuery plug-ins -- Lightbox, Torque, and One to Many -- and will be making them available on Codepen, letting developers play around with them and check out the source code. It's also offering a demo for a high-performance Twitter clone that allows infinite scroll and was built in just over 100 lines of code. Over time, Famo.us will be making more tools available, releasing new demos on a weekly basis. All of that will be made available under the MPL v2 license, which will allow anyone to learn how to develop Famo.us for free. It'll also allow the community to contribute its own widgets, while ensuring that bigger companies will be able to keep their own custom widgets proprietary. To allow developers to build front-end and back-end apps, it's integrated with Firebase, Meteor, and Backbone. It's also integrated with Leap Motion to enable devs to build new apps for the gesture-control devices. Anyway, all of that will be shown off this Thursday at an event in San Francisco that's way oversubscribed. So how will Famo.us make money? While the framework will be free and open source, the company is planning to offer hosting, analytics, monitoring and other services through what it's calling the Famo.us Cloud. It'll be offered under a freemium model, where small-time developers will get some basic capabilities for free, but Famo.us will charge for more premium offerings. Famo.us has raised $5.1 million in funding from investors that include Javelin Venture Partners, Samsung, Greylock Partners, CrunchFund (which is owned by TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington), Naval Ravikant, InterWest Partners, Quest Venture Partners, Barney Pell, Lorenzo Thione, Siqi Chen, Roger Dickey, and Matt Ocko.
Ryan Lawler

Ryan Lawler is a Writer at Gigabuzz, focused on covering early-stage startups, especially those with a technology focus and great perks.

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