Cocoa is the product of many years of research conducted by Apple's Advanced Technology Group, and was formerly known as KidSim. Over 75 schools and institutions in North America and Europe were involved in extensive user testing with hundreds of children. Most of the testers have learned to use the basic features of Cocoa in less than 20 minutes. Cocoa is offered as a visual alternative to other user programming tools. Cocoa allows children to build simulations, games, and interactive worlds, and share them on the Internet, quickly and easily. Cocoa teaches logical reasoning similar to that needed for programming, without requiring children to learn a complicated programming language.
Cocoa offers a friendly, familiar Macintosh interface, incorporating drag and drop functionality and a built-in painting tool. The programming is accomplished by simply demonstrating an object's desired reactions. The system then writes all the code automatically and transparent to the user. An element of randomness can be added to the simulations, making them run differently every time. When these worlds are embedded in web pages, every time the web page is visited, a completely novel experience can be generated.
Using this technology, children can leverage the World Wide Web to build a huge, ever-evolving interactive story, completely designed and implemented by kids telling the story differently every time through. By sharing Cocoa worlds they have developed across the Internet, authors can build a library of characters and rules from which increasingly sophisticated simulations can be built.
The "Cocoa" trademark was re-used by Apple as a development API after the original Cocoa project was cancelled by Steve Jobs.