The Growing List of Higher Ed Mobile Web Frameworks

The list of open source mobile web frameworks targeting higher education continues to grow. By my count we're up to five that I'm aware of with yet another project in the process of starting up. If you're starting to think about going down the mobile web path as part of the mobile strategy for your institution and you're interested in an open source solution here are your options:

  • Kurogo Mobile FrameworkKurogo is the latest higher ed mobile web framework to drop. It was developed by the folks who brought you the original MIT framework. They've done a great job of learning from the original project and pushing a revolutionary release as opposed to something more evolutionary like Mobile Web OSP. Looks good graphically, has a comprehensive set of docs and a great team supporting it.
  • Molly – If you're interested in a quality framework but want something that uses Django & Python then check out Molly. Under very active development by the folks at the University of Oxford it has some really cool features like integration with Sakai.
  • UCLA Mobile Web Framework – I haven't tried the UCLA Mobile Web Framework out at all so there's not much I can say about it from personal experience. It does power the UCLA mobile site so you can check that out. It's PHP based and has a fair bit of documentation. You need to contact the folks at UCLA to get access to the code though.
  • MIT Mobile Web – The original MIT Mobile Web framework is still out there if you're interested in using that. Frankly, I think it'd be best to skip this framework and just go to Kurogo if the MIT style interests you.
  • Mobile Web OSP – And obviously there is the mobile web framework that I support, Mobile Web OSP. It hasn't been under active development for a little bit as I've been tied up in other projects but I think it does provide a decent base to start from as you develop your mobile website.
  • And the latest project getting started comes from Jasig with their uMobile initiative. I'm unfamiliar with Jasig but they're the community behind uP0rtal. I assume this would be a Java-based framework that has hooks into uPortal but that's just a guess. It's just getting started so now is the time to get in on the ground floor for that project.

    To sum up, there are a lot of great options out there. The time is perfect to try out a framework and see if it works for your institution ahead of the start of school in the fall.

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