Monday, July 15, 2013

JavaScript: The Cake and Eating it Too

In my previous post, I started to talk about some of the things I appreciate about Angular, and many of these things, I also like about technologies like Thymeleaf as a JSP replacement, Scala as a Java/Spring replacement, PhoneGap as a native mobile replacement... the list goes on, but what all of these have in common is that (with the exception of Scala, and I will get to that eventually) they leverage and enable the potential of HTML5 by using HTML5 as template and view, a purpose for which it is well suited. In short, these technologies are all  replacements for approaches that are harder to work with, and all come with a self awareness that their purpose is to make themselves obsolete as more standardized functionality comes built in the browser and server alike.

This makes me very happy, of course, because I am excited about the lightweight native mobile web approach promised by Firefox OS and other browser based platforms for the web and mobile. Why is this exciting? Because the developer community for native apps built in HTML5, CSS and JavaScript with a decent framework is huge. I would hazard a guess that Angular JavaScript could be taught in schools very easily, and deployed onto mobile devices, shared with other students using github... it's a good time to be exploring new technologies.

My own personal preference is a sort of best of breed client layer formed by layering Angular JS and then Saxon CE over Cordova (PhoneGap), which I have been referring to as "SaxonCord", although the more I use the functionality built into Angular, the less I rely on Saxon CE as a client layer. For some things, like SVG manipulation or working with XML messaging standards like HL7 CDA or NIEM, Saxon CE is a rockstar; however, these standards are becoming more open, and in doing so, have started to embrace JSON, at which point the autowired data binding Angular provides is really all you need to inject data into a page. I have used client-side Inversion of Control frameworks in Adobe Flex; Angular is just plain easier.

No comments: