Use Web Skills To Build Mobile Apps

Use Web Skills To Build Mobile Apps

Slides from a talk I presented with coworker Matt Baxter, at the Big (D)esign Conference in Dallas, TX.

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Nathan Smith

June 02, 2012
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Transcript

  1. 1.

    Use Web Skills To Build Mobile Apps with Matt Baxter

    & Nathan Smith SATURDAY — JUNE 2, 2012 — DALLAS, TX http://bigdesignevents.com
  2. 2.

    Put down that pen! (or not) You can get the

    slides here: http://j.mp/web-skills
  3. 4.

    We do mobile/web UX & JavaScript at http://projekt202.com @mbxtr &

    @nathansmith (In case you want to talk smack on Twitter)
  4. 5.

    We’re hiring JavaScript savvy developers to join our team at

    projekt202. (You can talk to us after the presentation) An urgent (not desperate) announcement http://projekt202.com
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    Handset design was quite diverse “way back when.” Industrial designers

    were still (awkwardly) searching for the best form factor…
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    Technology is cyclical. Good ideas are often “borrowed” and make

    their way to products from multiple vendors. http://engadget.com/photos/hp-envy-15-vs-the-macbook-pro
  7. 15.

    The one thing all these phones have in common (besides

    Angry Birds) is they all have decent web browsers. http://paulirish.com/2010/high-res-browser-icons
  8. 18.

    Mobile web trivia time… — PhoneGap on Windows Phone uses

    the IE9 engine (it is pretty good) — WebKit is the dominant rendering engine across most mobile devices — iOS, Android, Blackberry, webOS — Blackberry has one of the best WebKit-based browsers available
  9. 19.

    So, what should I build? [A] Desktop web app [B]

    Mobile web app [C] Mobile native app
  10. 20.

    [D] All of the above Note: We’re not saying you

    have to build all-in-one… But it is possible.
  11. 21.

    http://alistapart.com/articles/responsive-web-design Whither Responsive Web Design? Responsive web design using @media

    queries (with one codebase for all devices) typically works best for web “sites” (not apps). As a general rule of thumb, if your content can be read via RSS and still make sense, it is a good candidate for RWD.
  12. 22.

    Benefits of native development — Default OS look & feel

    (UI conventions) — Performance (“closer to the metal”) — Access to device hardware (GPS, etc) — App store/marketplace distribution — Benefit from latest OS enhancements
  13. 23.

    Drawbacks of native development — Tied to the particular OS

    you built for — Maintaining a multi OS team/skill-set — Dealing with app store approval process — Keeping app in sync with OS updates
  14. 24.

    LinkedIn’s iPad app is 95% HTML5 We did users studies

    in-house, and I don’t think people noticed a big difference. Nobody said, “Oh that’s native,” or “Oh, that’s web.” As long as we can make the experience fast enough, nobody can tell the difference. It still feels right. — Kiran Prasad http://venturebeat.com/2012/05/02/linkedin-ipad-app-engineering
  15. 25.

    Benefits of hybrid development — Common codebase for multiple OS’s

    — Access to device hardware (GPS, etc) — App store/marketplace distribution — Skills you already have (HTML, CSS, JS) — Potential code reuse in web site/app
  16. 26.

    Drawbacks of hybrid development — Build for lowest common denominator

    — 3rd party SDK’s might lag behind OS — Want to use feature X? Wait for an implementation in abstraction layer. — An abstraction layer can have bugs of its own. Have to determine if a bug is in your code, the abstraction layer, or OS.
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    Areas where Titanium shines — Native UI — Great for

    iOS, crapshoot on Android — Build for iOS, Android, and Blackberry — Some code reuse across platforms — Entirely JavaScript based — Uses CommonJS’s AMD approach — Except for WebView (HTML/CSS too)
  19. 31.

    Abstraction layers tend to be harder to debug than “native”

    languages — Objective-C, C#, or Java — whilst using an IDE such as Visual Studio, Xcode, or Eclipse. With “the web,” you have familiar browser-based desktop tools in Chrome, Firebug, or Opera Dragonfly.
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    Areas where PhoneGap shines — It is “the web you

    already know” — Debugging via desktop browser — Access to device API’s (GPS, etc) — Strives to implement W3C specs — Camera API, etc. — Supports Windows Phone 7, too
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    — It embeds a WebView in a native app —

    Native app gives access to OS API’s — All the UI is built via HTML/CSS — JavaScript handles everything else — The app wrapper compiles via… Xcode, Eclipse, Visual Studio, or “the cloud” → build.phonegap.com How PhoneGap works
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    Handlebars template <script type="text/x-handlebars" id="_template-list-item"> {{#each shots}} <li> <p> <b

    class="big"> {{title}} </b> <img alt="{{title}}" class="frame" style="background-image:url({{image_url}})" src="data:image/png;base64, iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAAAQAAAADCAYAAAC09K7GAAAAEklEQVQIHWP8//8/AzJgJCg AAB+ICPuLaDnAAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC" /> </p> <table> <tr> <th> Designer: </th> <td> <b>{{player.name}}</b> </td> </tr> {{#if player.twitter_screen_name}} ... {{/if}} {{#if likes_count}} ... {{/if}} {{#if short_url}} ... {{/if}} </table> </li> {{/each}} </script>
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    <script type="text/x-handlebars" id="_template-list-item"> {{#each shots}} <li> <p> <b class="big"> {{title}}

    </b> <img alt="{{title}}" class="frame" style="background-image:url({{image_url}})" src="data:image/png;base64, iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAAAQAAAADCAYAAAC09K7GAAAAEklEQVQIHWP8//8/AzJgJCg AAB+ICPuLaDnAAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC" /> </p> <table> <tr> <th> Designer: </th> <td> <b>{{player.name}}</b> </td> </tr> {{#if player.twitter_screen_name}} ... {{/if}} {{#if likes_count}} ... {{/if}} {{#if short_url}} ... {{/if}} </table> </li> {{/each}} </script> Handlebars template
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    ... {{#if player.twitter_screen_name}} <tr> <th> Twitter: </th> <td> <a href="http://twitter.com/{{player.twitter_screen_name}}">

    @{{player.twitter_screen_name}} </a> </td> </tr> {{/if}} {{#if likes_count}} <tr> <th> Likes: </th> <td> {{likes_count}} <span class="mute">&hearts;</span> </td> </tr> {{/if}} {{#if short_url}} <tr> <th> URL: </th> <td> <a href="{{short_url}}">{{short_url}}</a> </td> </tr> {{/if}} ... Handlebars template
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    ... {{#if player.twitter_screen_name}} <tr> <th> Twitter: </th> <td> <a href="http://twitter.com/{{player.twitter_screen_name}}">

    @{{player.twitter_screen_name}} </a> </td> </tr> {{/if}} {{#if likes_count}} <tr> <th> Likes: </th> <td> {{likes_count}} <span class="mute">&hearts;</span> </td> </tr> {{/if}} {{#if short_url}} <tr> <th> URL: </th> <td> <a href="{{short_url}}">{{short_url}}</a> </td> </tr> {{/if}} ... Handlebars template
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    @font-face { font-family: 'Open Sans'; // For all good browsers,

    including IE9. src: url('../fonts/OpenSans-Regular-webfont.woff') format('woff'), // For older IE, and Android default browser. url('../fonts/OpenSans-Regular-webfont.ttf') format('truetype'); } @font-face { font-family: 'Open Sans'; font-weight: bold; // For all good browsers, including IE9. src: url('../fonts/OpenSans-Bold-webfont.woff') format('woff'), // For older IE, and Android default browser. url('../fonts/OpenSans-Bold-webfont.ttf') format('truetype'); } All modern browsers support *.woff or *.ttf
  31. 56.

    Text editors and IDE’s that support Sass/SCSS syntax Aptana http://aptana.org

    BBEdit http://barebones.com/bbedit Chocolat http://chocolatapp.com Coda http://panic.com/coda E Text Editor http://e-texteditor.com Eclipse http://eclipse.org Emacs http://gnu.org/software/emacs Espresso http://macrabbit.com/espresso GEdit http://projects.gnome.org/gedit Komodo http://activestate.com/komodo-ide Netbeans http://netbeans.org PhpStorm http://jetbrains.com/phpstorm PyCharm http://jetbrains.com/pycharm RubyMine http://jetbrains.com/ruby SubEthaEdit http://codingmonkeys.de/subethaedit Sublime Text http://sublimetext.com/dev TextMate http://macromates.com Vim http://vim.org Visual Studio http://microsoft.com/visualstudio http://sass-lang.com/editors.html ^ We  recommend
  32. 57.

    IE9 gets jQuery, other browsers get Zepto <!--[if gt IE

    9]><!--> <script src="zepto.js"></script> <!--<![endif]--> <!--[if lte IE 9]> <script src="jquery.js"></script> <![endif]-->
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    // Redefine: $, window, document, undefined. var APP = (function($,

    window, document, undefined) { // Expose contents of APP. return { // APP.go go: function() { // ... }, // APP.init init: { // ... }, // APP.util util: { // ... } } // Parameters: Zepto/jQuery, window, document. })(typeof Zepto === 'function' ? Zepto : jQuery, this, this.document); http://host.sonspring.com/handlebbbars/assets/js/application.js Overview of Handlebbbars’ application.js file
  35. 60.

    markup = $('#_template-list-item') .html() .replace(/\s\s+/g, ''); template = Handlebars.compile(markup); Where

    the magic of Handlebars happens Yes, this looks underwhelming. That’s the point. It’s code you don’t have to write yourself! :) http://host.sonspring.com/handlebbbars/assets/js/application.js
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    Maintaining an app’s state can drive you crazy @MikeTownson dared

    us to use a “lolcat” — Challenge accepted!
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    Underscore.js is a power tool for working with collections of

    objects and arrays… — Collections — sortBy — pluck — uniq — extend — flatten — each — filter — find — Utility functions — throttle — chain — times and  much  more!
  47. 80.

    “Real artists ship” — Steve Jobs Hopefully we have inspired

    you to create more rapidly shippable software today :)
  48. 82.

    Questions? We (might) have answers. @mbxtr & @nathansmith If you

    think of something later, feel free to ask us on Twitter…