If you’ve been looking at the Corona daily build summaries over the past month, you might have been wondering what this mysterious “Project Gluon” is all about. And for that matter, what is a gluon?

Well it’s all related to what I mentioned in my previous post about offering more 3rd party services.

Integrating 3rd party services has been a huge challenge for us, especially when it comes to maintaining the 3rd party SDKs that are integrated into the core Corona engine. The logistics are a lot more complicated when you dig past the surface. When we integrate just a single 3rd party service, we are implicitly dealing with two development cycles: ours and that of a 3rd party SDK (e.g. an ad network, an analytics provider, a social network, etc).

When a 3rd party service updates their SDK to fix bugs, there’s an inevitable lag between when they release it and when we can integrate it. Often, we’ll catch bugs in the 3rd party SDK, and even more often, you’ll find bugs that turn out to be bugs in the 3rd party SDK. This just further compounds the lag time.

An unfortunate fact of life is that the 3rd party provider will change the API of their SDK, breaking backward compatibility. This further compounds the problem because in order to offer the latest features, we have to throw away the existing integration work if we want to upgrade. A good example is the transition from Facebook Connect 2.x to 3.x.

It’s a lot of work just dealing with these issues for a single service. Now imagine the combinatorics when you are dealing with more than just a handful of services. And then picture what happens when dealing with this once for iOS and once for Android. Yikes!

We quickly realized if we just kept on adding more services, we’d never get more other stuff done. Brute force was not the answer, so we came up with Project Gluon to create the infrastructure for adding more 3rd party services and do it in a way that addresses some of the integration challenges I talked about. This technology will enable more folks to offer plugins to all Corona developers.

We have some pretty ambitious goals longer-term to open this up to more folks, but we want to work out the kinks first. In the immediate future, we’ll offer plugins from existing partners — folks like Amazon, Facebook, inneractive, and others. These plugins will be made available to both SDK and Enterprise developers. We’re also making some major enhancements to CoronaEnterprise so that those developers can create plugins that can be reused across projects.

So why did we call it Project Gluon? Well, in particle physics, there are these fundamental particles called gluons. These particles that hold together other fundamental particles called quarks; they “glue” quarks together. And we needed our own special gluons to connect 3rd party services with the Corona engine.

At least that was the theory behind the code name :)

  1. Sounds very good!

    @Walter:
    I know you won’t give dates but…I would be nice to have an idea when we can expect the first results from project Gluon.
    Maybe the first plugin(s) as a christmas present (this year)? ;-)

  2. Definitely looking forward to this! I’m assuming that the external services will be “normalised” service endpoints provided by CoronaLabs which can be more easily updated and which provide a uniform interface across all their SDK platforms.

  3. The best solution would be to add the possibility to integrate third-party SDKs to the Pro Edition, not only reserve this feature to the overpriced Corona Enterprise.

    That would be a major step for us developers because there are so many great third-party SDKs out there which ad more revenue income.

    This is one of the major flaws of Corona…

    • Plugins will be made available to *all* Corona developers: “These plugins will be made available to both SDK and Enterprise developers.”

      • “This technology will enable more folks to offer plugins to all Corona developers.”

        So it will be dependent on the third-party provider to make a plugin for Corona or not.

        What I was talking about was the technology which is now enabled in Corona Enterprise which allows developers to use any third-party SDK.

        Why don’t you give that to *all* Corona developers ???

  4. So let me get this straight, you lose eric, you lose jon beebe and now peach pellen and still not a single word from you other than project gluton?

    You could at least acknowledge what is going on, techority is locked down so it’s pretty obvious whatever happened wasn’t amicable.

    I think I know why they left, a commander in chief who doesn’t appreciate his employees.

    • It’s sad that a company looses some employees but that part of the life cycle of any company.

      Techority was a nice site for newbies but not really more than that. If it was worth money Peach would have left it up :) it doesn’t.
      And besides her support in the forum I really don’t understand the big deal about Peach Pellen, did she have any success with her apps? I didn’t see one that really succeeded. What is this fuss about her?

      And Regarding this feature, I think it’s the best thing Corona can do. Develop the core engine and leave all these outer shells to be developed by others in the community or 3rd party vendors.

      One thing I did not understand is who will write these plugins? Can a Pro Subscriber write a plugin?

  5. People come, people go – any business has to prepare for the fact that EVERYBODY is replaceable. Besides I expect Jonathan and Peach will be joining up with their friend and former colleague, that’s not exactly too surprising.

    Admitedly loosing somebody of Eric’s calibre is pretty sad news, but I have no doubt that Corona has the resources to bring in similarly talented people.

    Besides, I can’t understand why you’re posting about that here – Project Gluon has the potential to be a revolutionary development for the Corona SDK, so surely that’s great news for developers.

  6. People come, people go – any business has to prepare for the fact that NOBODOY is irreplaceable. Besides I expect Jonathan and Peach will be joining up with their friend and former colleague, that’s not exactly too surprising.

    Admitedly loosing somebody of Eric’s calibre is pretty sad news, but I have no doubt that Corona has the resources to bring in similarly talented people.

    Besides, I can’t understand why you’re posting about that here – Project Gluon has the potential to be a revolutionary development for the Corona SDK, so surely that’s great news for developers.

  7. I find it strange how when John & Peach left, they immediately locked up their resources. John his Github and Peach her site.

    Peach leaving was completely obvious, and I am surprised it actually took this long. But Corona would be smart to focus on keeping more resources created by their employees on their own properties. John locked up a lot of Github tutorials when he left and Peach locked down a lot. Never liked Peach’s site myself, having to tweet every 5 seconds to read a page was ridiculous.

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