Tuesday, February 7, 2012

MoDevDC 2/1/2012

I went to MoDevDC meetup last Wednesday night - two subjects were presented and both were (for me) very interesting. http://www.meetup.com/modevdc/events/48923902/?a=ea1_grp&rv=ea1

First was a presentation on PhoneGap by Andrew Glover of App47. 
I had been fooling with PhoneGap for a while now - mostly to see just how easy it would be to create a multi-phone app. I had not moved beyond the "HelloWorld" stage, but had gotten that deployed on both a Droid and a Blackberry. I figure that the iXX wouldn't be any harder. So I was very interested in this presentation. Here were my take-aways:

  1. PhoneGap is a framework for creating multi-platform apps. 
  2. It is designed for creating apps using javascript, HTML5 and CSS3.
  3. It provides a way to create a "shim" (my word) for leveraging a webkit browser on any mobile device. In the iXX world, this happens fairly automajically. In the Droid and other mobile worlds, I still have some file organization and a little coding to do.
  4. PhoneGap provides a seamless javascript API to some of the phone's features, such as the GPS, camera, accelerometer, and so on, so that my app will work across devices without having to change the way I access those phone functions.
  5. In addition to PhoneGap, I need a decent mobile javascript framework for my app. There are several such frameworks:
    • jQueryMobile
    • Sencha Touch
    • Appcelerator

Second was on HTML5 Caching by Ryan McGeary of BusyConf.
This was a very interesting discussion of the caching capabilities of HTML5 and how to use them to create an HTML app that could be downloaded and then used when offline. Most of the discussion was on the contents and syntax of the cache file and some of the "gotchas" that come from that. The material Ryan presented is from http://diveintohtml5.info/