Review

jQuery 2.0 Development Cookbook

jQuery 2.0 Development Cookbook The problem with frameworks that have been around for sometime, is you have to be careful of the solutions that might exist for a particular problem you might be having. jQuery is certainly one of those frameworks that has a long legacy. The jQuery 2.0 Development Cookbook aims to solve some of these issue by collection a nice set of solutions to many standard problems using the newer 2.x branch of jQuery.

Leon Revill takes the reader from some of the more basic solutions, such as standard DOM manipulations, through more and more advanced solutions. The later chapters of the book being to touch on the basics of both jQuery UI and jQuery Mobile.

One issue I did have with the book is the author did spend a modest amount of time covering some server side portions. I appreciated the effort to introduce the reader to some more topics, but wish the he had just pointed the solution. I also would have like to have seen more advanced recipes that really show the capabilities of using jQuery

Overall, found the book useful as a traditional reference for working with jQuery 2. New developer to the jQuery framework will find this reference useful, and intermediate developer might pick up a trick or two as well.

(Disclaimer: The publisher supplied a copy for review)

Apache Cordova 3 Programming

Apache Cordova 3 Programming

I recently finished reading Apache Cordova 3 Programming by John M. Wargo. The quick summary is this book is a great introduction to the Cordova/PhoneGap platform for both novice and experienced Cordova developers.

The book’s topics include:

  • How to install and use the Cordova CLI and associated tools
  • How to configure the Android developer tools (ADT) to run, test, and debug your Cordova applications for Android
  • How to use Xcode—Apple’s development tool for iOS development—to run, test, and debug Cordova applications for iOS devices
  • How to use the Safari browser to debug Cordova applications on iOS devices
  • How to use the Microsoft development tools to run, test, and debug Cordova applications for Windows Phone 8
  • How to set up and use the PhoneGap Build service to package Cordova applications and share those applications with others
  • How to create Cordova plugins for both Android and iOS

Filled with lots of examples and code, the book includes includes complete coverage of Android, iOS, BlackBerry 1.0 and Windows Phone development for Cordova.

 

 

Review: Creating Mobile Apps with jQuery Mobile

0069OSAs an instructor of an introductory mobile application development course, I am always on the lookout for materials that can be used as resources for my students. Creating Mobile Apps with jQuery Mobile is just such a resource that I can recommend to my students. Shane Gliser begins the book by introducing the reader to the value of prototyping. I applaud him for reinforcing the idea that we should first spend some time with paper and pencil before we open our favorite editor (either code or design) to create our next mobile masterpiece. From there, the author lays down some foundational information on meta viewports, recent changes to the jQuery event model, and some CSS/media query structure. Then he takes the reader through the process of creating a jQuery Mobile app for a restaurant. Although he does touch on some jQuery Mobile basics, he does assume some working knowledge of jQuery Mobile, and HTML/CSS/JS in general. That might prove to be an issue to some.

What I did like is that he does address some common issues that new users to jQuery mobile might face, such as adding custom icons within jQuery Mobile, working with Google Maps, and form validation. I also enjoyed the fact that he introduces client-side templating to the reader. jQuery Mobile apps can become quite heavy with all the markup that is repeated.

However, I do wish the author had spent more time exploring the use of HTML 5 video with a jQuery Mobile app. He does cover HTML audio nicely, but the coverage of video did not address enough of the challenges of video playback in a non-Flash based world. I also found the section on HTML5 manifests a bit light. Manifest files can be a bit tricky to create and debug, so some guidance for the reader might have proved useful. The section on compiling your project with PhoneGap Build was another section that seemed far too short. Often, jQuery Mobile is part of a workflow that includes using PhoneGap as a solution to create a native application. It would have been helpful to guide a reader to some of the modifications one should make to have a better performing application.

Overall, I think the book is a nice companion to another Packt publication, jQuery Mobile Web Development Essentials written by Ray Camden and Andy Matthews (one of the technical reviewers) and think it will be a useful addition to those seeking to expand their use of jQuery Mobile as a solution to their mobile application toolkit.

Review: Flash Development for Android Cookbook by Joseph Labrecque

The world of mobile development is a new and exciting world for many Flash and Flex programmers.  They are learning about a whole new development platform, that utilizes a variety of technologies like accelerometers, GPS, cameras, microphones, and touch screens, just to name a few. Joseph Labrecque, employed by the University of Denver as senior interactive software engineer specializing in the Adobe Flash Platform, has written a clear and concise collection of recipes on these and other mobile development specific topics.

This book is not an introduction to development on the Flash Platform. Some familiarity with ActionScript is required. Nor is this book designed to have you work through an entire project from cover to cover (like the Classroom in the Book series). It is intended more as a reference guide.

For example, the chapter on using geolocation will walk you through the various class imports that are required, as well as the methods and functions that can be accessed, but it does not place it within context of an actual application. The advantage is the reader can see just the relevant code for using geolocation in their application, without have to create a ‘real-world’ demo, which often confuses the reader in the end.

Joseph does an excellent job in showing each topic for a variety of development environments. If you develop in Flash Professional, Flash Builder, or FDT, you will find this book useful.

“Flash Development fo rAndroid Cookbook” is one of my top recommended resources to anyone starting to develop in the mobile space.