Less than 30 days after the company’s CEO was fired, Yahoo Inc. launched an HTML5 development toolkit (Cocktails) with support for Node.js, JavaScript and CSS3, and blow-your-socks-off social integration apps for mobile devices including its content-rich digital news app called Livestand for the iPad.

But the turmoil rages on at Yahoo as the second-largest shareholder (Third Point LLC) went public on Friday, with an open letter to Yahoo’s board over “deep concerns” in the fiscal direction of the company, and calling for the resignation of co-founder Jerry Yang. 

Delivering on Dreams Despite Reality

But in spite of this difficult corporate climate, the Yahoo development team remains focused. “We all know what we're doing...There's very little confusion, …we have dreams about what this company can be, " chief product officer Blake Irving said at last week’s annual Product Runway event.

There, the company launched the Cocktails web toolkit and showed its chops as the core technology behind the new Livestand iPad App, which offers more than 100 titles, including ABC News, Forbes, Parenting, Bike, Powder and Surfer, plus video support. Android versions are also on the horizon, (due out in Q1-12), the company said. 

Cocktails makes it easier to build, personalize and modify content for consumer platforms, and to connect audiences with premium content, the company promises.  This includes tablet and smart phones using Mojito and Manhattan, and offers intelligent caching to handle even poor network connections, delivering uninterrupted performance.  Developers can create new apps using one code base across multiple platforms, and Publishers can deliver "a better consumer experience" for their content using Manhattan and Yahoo! CORE. 

“Cocktails” is a mix of HTML5, Node.js, CSS3, JavaScript and a lot of ingenious, creative mind-bending tricks from Yahoo!’s engineers. "Today, we are announcing two Cocktails: Yahoo!’s Mojito, an environment-agnostic JavaScript web application framework, and Yahoo! Manhattan, a hosted platform for Mojito-based applications,” according to Vice President & Architect Fellow Bruno Fernandez-Ruiz. 

Learning Opportunities

Cocktails in Livestand

Mojito powers the web publications in Livestand using a desktop browser running Mojito and Node.js. The group package powers the iPad app by embedding a web runtime including a native shell managing web views, the YUI library and Mojito. 

“The same Livestand Mojito that run on the iPad also run on Yahoo! Manhattan. This allows the Livestand application on the iPad to offload some of the more complex and time-consuming processing to the Cloud, while ensuring a great experience and perceived performance,” Fernandez-Ruiz said. 

The company said Manhattan and YQL demonstrate the “…full range of services and content in Yahoo!’s Platform to the publishers on Livestand.” One example is how publishers on Livestand benefit from Yahoo!’s C.O.R.E. (Content Optimization and Recommendation Engine) for personalization. “With the power of Yahoo! Cocktails, you’ll be able to build that app -- deployable on several platforms -- in the same time it currently takes to build each app individually,” Fernandez-Ruiz said.

Going forward, Mojito and Yahoo! Manhattan will allow developers a “one app” development option with deployment “on several devices.” This will help: 

  • lower cost
  • increase agility
  • keep a uniform design across web, mobile, and tablet platforms