Category Archives: Mobile

Develop for one, deploy to all – HTML5 and your mobile apps

I had the great pleasure of returning to my native California to attend the DevCon5 conference in Silicon Valley last week.  The primary focus was HTML5.  If you don’t know what HTML5 is, have a look at Wikipedia’s definition.  I’m going to give you a paraphrased definition that Paul Trani of Adobe provided:

HTML5 is not just markup.  HTML5 encompasses the new HTML doctype and associated HTML markup, CSS3 and JavaScript.

The conference was really like most others that I had been to, where it was hit or miss depending on which sessions you chose to go to.  The main takeaway was in the mobile development arena.  What the speakers generally were proposing was that you should develop your mobile applications using HTML5 using device native web views or use a wrapper like PhoneGap.  The benefit here really is develop for one, deploy to all.

It just so happens that on the plane ride back to Minneapolis, the traveler sitting next to me was Marc Grabanski of jQueryUI datepicker fame.  We talked about imperative vs. declarative js and his new company MJG International where he is doing exciting things with video training at Frontend Masters.  I took the opportunity of this chance meeting to share my experiences of the last few days regarding HTML5.

Here are a few points that I garnered:

  • His general feeling was that if you are going to wrap your mobile apps, don’t use PhoneGap… use Titanium.  Titanium provides a much deeper hook into a device’s built-in features.
  • Don’t use Sencha Touch.  Instead, use jQuery.mobile for your phone development.  While Marc seemed to be a jQuery.mobile evangelist, I think he has a good point.  Sencha was built for a desktop application developer in mind, NOT a web developer.
  • If you want to succeed, you must believe through and through in what you are doing. (while this is not developer related, I though it must be shared)  Personally, I would emphasize this point and say “let your passion run wild”.
  • Develop Mobile First.  Or even, Mobile For All.  Marc was showing me how he was using jQuery Mobile to develop an entire web site, basically using it as a templated website that scaled depending on device size.

I was also happy to discuss my recent blog post about jQuery UI unobtrusive with ajax support.  Based on that conversation, I’m probably going to do a re-write based on how Keith Wood’s Clean Calendar was doing the wiring up of the options.

All in all it was a great trip.  What I really want to do now however, is code…