I stumbled upon PhoneGap while exploring twitter this weekend.  PhoneGap is a device independent framework that allows web developers to take advantage of native features (e.g. GPS, accelerometer, sound, vibration) of the iPhone, Android-based devices, and Blackberry devices simply by using JavaScript.  The framework allows web developers to write cross-device applications without having to learn new languages, such as Objective C or Java.

PhoneGap is the brainchild of folks over at Nitobi, a Canadian software firm known for its “Complete UI” platform for building Ajax-powered Web user interfaces.  PhoneGap is an open source project licensed under the MIT license.  The project is looking for help to help mature PhoneGap quickly.

If I worked at RIM, I’d take a trip out to Vancouver to talk to the Nitobi dudes.  This framework is exactly what RIM needs to counter the trend of developers targeting the iPhone/iPod as the premier environment for mobile device applications.  RIM has the brand and market share to persuade developers that writing once and targeting three key mobile platforms is the best use of a mobile developer’s effort. RIM would need to adopt WebKit as the rendering engine for their browser, but that is going to happen anyway ;-)