Project Wonder is the largest open source collection of reusable WebObjects frameworks, applications and extensions. Also included in Project Wonder are deployment software and web server adaptors. Project Wonder development is done within the Eclipse IDE with the WOLips plug-in tools.
WebObjects was initially created at NeXT. There was a framework called DBKit, which provided a way to abstract legacy databases to an object-relational graph. This framework later became the Enterprise Objects Framework (EOF). EOF was used to build nibware, runnable applications for NeXTStep/OpenStep that were built with Project Builder and which used interfaces that were designed in Interface Builder. If this sounds familiar, it is because the ideas from that time have only been refined, and not fundamentally changed, to become the Cocoa frameworks for applications running on Mac OS X and iOS today.
WebObjects was built on top of DBKit/EOF to provide a way to create dynamic applications for the web. The first versions of WebObjects were created at NeXT around the latter half of 1992.
Nearly 20 years later, Project Wonder and the WebObjects Community Association actively support the development of WebObjects based applications.
Project Wonder started its life as a collection of open source frameworks build on top of Apple's WebObjects. Over time, Wonder became as large as WebObjects and not only provided complimentary frameworks but also provided fixes for WebObjects bugs, and development and deployment tools. Starting with Snow Leopard, Apple stopped providing releases of WebObjects outside Apple, but the community love WebObjects so much that we decided to continue development with Project Wonder.
It provides a powerful and mature set of Object-Oriented frameworks for managing Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) to any JDBC-compliant database, Session Management, Undo/Redo/Revert, Ajax, Web Services, full Java Client applications, Rapid Application Development, file upload/download and many other popular internet and enterprise application technologies.
Enjoy working in a clean and elegantly designed set of coherent, consistent frameworks. Delight in spending your time implementing features instead of fussing with infrastructure. You don't have to deal with EJB, J2EE containers, Struts and the like. There is no need to hand edit XML and use dependancy injection to get the pieces to co-operate. Of course, WebObjects has full access to the universe of Java libraries (JavaMail, Apache projects, etc.) and the cross platform portability that Java developers depend on.
You can develop and deploy on any OS that can run Java (the WebObjects license does says that you have to develop on Apple hardware, so developing in Windows or Linux on a Mac is ok). This allow you to use other Java libraries with Project Wonder, many in the community use libraries and tools like Apache Commons inside their WebObjects apps.
Since WebObjects was in Objective-C in the past, it shares some design patterns with Cocoa. You use Cocoa because you like clean APIs, good tools, faster development process and turnaround, and KVC ? WebObjects, because of its NeXT foundation, shares a lot of concepts coming from Cocoa (especially Foundation). You don't use java.util.Vector, you use com.webobjects.foundation.NSArray, which should be familiar to you. You can also use Project Wonder as a back-end for your Cocoa (and Cocoa touch) application, in fact many members of the community use Project Wonder as the back-end of their iOS applications.
You might have notice that Project Wonder is not used on many "public" Web sites, and the main reason to that is that Project Wonder was made to build Web applications, not Web sites. If you only want to have a contact form or make a read-only Web site, Project Wonder is not a tool for that. But if you need to build a Web app that needs to fetch and update content, WebObjects is your friend. It's funny to see people go crazy over some Web frameworks to create Web apps, because WebObjects was doing that since day one.
Well, you use Cocoa because you like clean APIs, good tools, faster development process and turnaround, and KVC ? WebObjects, because of its NeXT foundation, shares a lot of concepts coming from Cocoa (especially Foundation). You don’t use java.util.Vector, you use NSArray, which should be familiar to you. You can also use Project Wonder as a back-end for your Cocoa (and Cocoa touch) application.
If you are a J2EE developer, forget what you learned about EJB and Struts, you will be glad to use EOF and components instead. But the fun part is that you don't need to learn a new language. You can reuse some of the code of your J2EE apps, and the official Project Wonder IDE is based on Eclipse. If you ever used Apache Cayenne or Tapestry, you will feel even more at home.
WebObjects 5.4 was released with the source code for JavaMonitor and wotaskd as Example Source. If you have WO 5.4 installed, these should be on your file system at /Developer/Examples/JavaWebObjects. These projects were imported into Wonder, bug fixed and enhanced.
Nightly build JavaDoc API on WOCommunity.org.
And there is JavaDoc API generated by doxygen.