Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My Review of Mobile JavaScript Application Development

Mobile JavaScript Hybridization

By Piers Hollott from Victoria, BC on 7/10/2012


4out of 5

Pros: Well-written, Easy to understand

Best Uses: Intermediate

Describe Yourself: Developer

I have just finished reading a review copy of Adrian Kosmaczewski's book on Mobile Development using JavaScript, and I highly recommend it, particularly if you are faced with a decision about mobile development frameworks and you have a team which is already familiar with hybridized JavaScript approaches like JQuery or GWT.

After dealing with some basic groundwork, Kosmaczewski devotes a solid chapter to each of the prevailing uses of JavaScript in the mobile arena: HTML5 with JavaScript, JQuery Mobile, Sencha Touch, and PhoneGap. While there are advantages to all of these approaches, the prevailing wind seems to indicate use of JQuery Mobile if you are already invested in JQuery, and Sencha Touch if you are building an enterprise-size solution.

Either of these approaches - actually, all of these approaches - will allow you to deploy to multiple platforms, which is a key component of JavaScript hybridization: ubiquity. The difficulty I have personally encountered is the flip side of the ubiquity coin, flexibility. JavaScript may be everywhere, but can also become everything, and this can lead to paralysis.

An example of this: I have recently been working on some development in with mobile SVG, which is becoming more and better supported on various mobile platforms. SVG is not hard to work with, and rolling your own application to do exciting things is enjoyable if you like that sort of thing; however... do you use HTML with embedded SVG? HTML5? Just SVG with E4X/EcmaScript (which is just JavaScript, really)? or Raphael.js, or Sencha Touch, which encapsulates it?

At some point, you just need to stick your paddle in the water and see which way the current takes you. And Kosmaczewski's book is a good starting point.


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