Category Archives: ajax-news

Ajax News

Building Mobile Apps with Jo

If, like me, you prefer to build your applications using HTML / JavaScript and CSS, then the Jo HTML5 Mobile App Framework could be your choice in the future.

Jo is a relatively new framework which was first released in June 2010 (version 0.0.1). In November 2010 they released version 0.3.0.

So what is Jo?

Jo is a JavaScript User Interface framework using CSS3 for mobile applications. It’s compatible with PhoneGap (popular framework for building native iOS, Android, Symbian and Blackberry applications using HTML and JavaScript).

Using Jo and PhoneGap, you can create native iPhone/Android/Symbian applications which are both lightweight and responsive as well as pretty. Jo currently supports the follow platforms – webOS, iOS, Android, Symbian, Safari and Chrome.

Once I’ve had a chance to really play with this, I’ll hopefully post up some tutorials. In the meantime, here are some handy references.

I think it looks great, what do you guys think?

Serious Flash Alternative using CSS3?

Sencha Animator

Although Adode Flash has improved performance-wise (arguably) recently and more people are upgrading to more powerful systems (desktops, laptops, notebooks, netbooks, tablets and other mobile web hardware) – still flash cannot offer what the world has been looking for. That is – even better performance cross-platform, more openness and better security (to name a just a few). Obviously the blanket ban flash has been given from some Apple products (think Iphone/Ipad) is not helping.

For the past couple of years, web technology has exploded in terms of what can be achieved using JavaScript. Things have also moved forward with HTML and CSS. The terms used to describe these recent improvements are HTML5.

Apple has mentioned many times that flash is not needed and that “everything that can be done in Flash, can be done using HTML5” (that is – HTML, JavaScript, CSS and perhaps Canvas). They are not the first to say this (Apple usually pick-up on what other already know!).

With the Iphone and Ipad selling like hotcakes, web application providers previously using Flash (or considering using it) need to have a serious think about the user reach. They could do the old-fashion thing – build a Flash web application and an alternative HTML 4 one. Or they could build one in HTML 5. Now that’s a hard one!

There are various JavaScript libraries out there with some great UI. But one of the newest ones using the very latest technologies comes from the team that brought us EXT JS (now run by Sencha). It’s called Sencha Animator. Is Sencha Animator a serious flash alternative?

Sencha Animator comes as a desktop application used to create rich HTML5 animation. It’s currently in its infancy but could have real potential. There is one drawback at this point-in-time however; it requires a Webkit browser to work. This means it will work in Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Iphone, Ipad, Blackberry torch, Google Android and other Webkit based browsers. But it will not fully work in IE, Opera or Firefox. At least not until the CSS3 is fully supported (IE 9 claims support).

At this time, many of the CSS3 techniques used by Sencha Animator are Webkit only (i.e. it has things like: -webkit-text-fill-color and -webkit-transform).

Sooner or later all major browsers should support these… but just not yet.

Basic Ajax usage with X

Over the next several articles I’ll be covering the “Basic Ajax usage with X”, for example “Basic Ajax usage with jQuery”.

The idea is to take the latest stable version of the chosen JavaScript Framework (for example jQuery) and examine what’s required to achieve the most basic Ajax calls.

I’ll be looking at a few things here, notably the ease of use and the minimum required footprint (in regards to download size).

Note that I will not necessary by using Ajax in the traditional sense of the word (i.e. with XML) as the intention of these articles is to strip everything back to the absolute basics.

I’m not 100% certain about all the frameworks I’ll cover now, but I will most certainly be covering jQuery, MooTools, Prototype, dojo, YUI and ExtJS. If I have the time, I may look at some of the newer ones as well.

This post is a living post (I’ll revisit and link up the articles).

Cheers guys!

JavaScript Coding Contests

Hey folks,

I’m in the process of putting together some ideas for our upcoming JavaScript Coding Contests.

Several years ago, I ran some coding contests on a PHP website (PHP Programming Contests)… they were great fun at the time, and ran for a couple of years.

Since JavaScript seems to be the cool language now, I thought – why not run some contests with JavaScript?

I still need to find some suitable sponsors to offer prizes (let me know if you are interested).

Also, if you have any ideas for future contests, let me know.

I expect to have something ready very soon, so don’t wonder too far away!

Cheers,
Stuart

jQuery Autocomplete complete in Visual Studio

Scott Guthrie, from Microsoft, has wrote about the new intellisense support for the jQuery library. jQuery support is now found in both Visual Studio 2008 and Visual Web Developer 2008 Express (free).

There are a few steps involved in getting this new support – just the usually steps you would expect from Microsoft though, nothing major.

jQuery also announced recently that Nokia would soon have jQuery running in their adopted mobile phone browser (WebKit using the Web Run-Time [ link no longer active] ).