For those of you who have been wondering about what Apple’s mystery WWDC Science Coding Project will be, I am now able to spill the beans. I’m sure some have already connected the dots, but for those who haven’t figured it out yet, Apple’s WWDC code-a-thon is centered around the new open source Core Plot framework.

The Core Plot project began back in January afterpost I made here on MacResearch as a ‘call to arms’ to build a decent open source plotting alternative for Apple systems. There are some options already available, such as SM2DGraphView and my own Narrative framework, but these are getting long in the tooth and are reasonably basic. There is also the very capable DataGraph framework, which is a commercial offering, but one drawback of all of these solutions is that they were developed before the iPhone, and do not support what has become a very important platform for developers.

The response to the article was overwhelming, and the Core Plot project was born. The goal was to develop an open source (BSD license) framework that could be used on both the Mac and iPhone. The whole framework was to be built on top of the latest Apple graphics technologies, in particular, Core Animation. This not only allows the framework to run on the iPhone, it also opens a whole world of possibilities for animating plots.

The Core Plot project is still very young, and is not yet at a point where it can be used in real applications. The plan for the WWDC code-a-thon is to try to get at least the most basic graphs working, so the framework can start to be used. This will hopefully further drive development.

If you’re going to WWDC, and want to give something back to the Apple Developer community, and get a plotting framework in return for use in your own projects, come along and contribute to the Core Plot code-a-thon. You don’t need to have any involvement in Core Plot to take part; we have all sorts of projects, big and small, that you can contribute to. Even if you don’t want to code, come and join in the design discussions, or just hang out and encourage other developers from the sidelines. The more the merrier.