Friday, 20 November 2009

Developing mobile web apps

I can't believe I haven't already written a post like this but a quick search implies I haven't so here we are.

It's going to be a running post that gets updated over time. Much like all mine at the mo cos things constantly change and I don't have the time to do a complete doc in one go.

The overall them in this article is, why invent the tricks if you can learn them from some one else.

Anyway, I've just got back into fixing a few css bugs for desktop apps. I've got some mobile work coming up. I've got experience on supporting desktop issues and realised my confidence comes from knowing where to go to get help. Isn't that always the way. I don't know all the answers but I know where to go to get them.

So I thought I'd start an article to record some of these reference points for my future use.

My first look lead to a browser compatibility chart for mobile phones which, if anyone has ever used one, helps put all the quirks into context. the underlying issues start to become obvious and you can figure out which browsers will have which kind of problems. It's also useful to pinpoint which browsers are out there and common for mobiles so you can figure out which ones to support.

The search also uncovered a W3C dom compatibility - CSS object model view chart and Mobile compatibility tables.

You might wonder why I've referenced quirks mode. It's because I've always found the site to be very reliable. It cares about standards and creating sites that work well on all major browsers in a standards based way that's maintainable. That's my set of requirements for a good reference.

That's all I have for now. The mobile side of web dev is still relatively young. Hopefully I'll add more as I go along.

edit 20091120
already got something to add. PPK, the guy behind quirks mode, on mobile quirks and practices. Haven't even started using the @media query or looked at w3c widgets. Ok, I'm clearly on a role. Google presentation: the open web goes mobile. haven't viewed the presentation. Just eyeballed the transcript. Noticed the idea of checking via js for a small screen width and implementing appropriate js as a result. Obvious when you think about it.

also found out about phonegap which states it is
an open source development tool for building fast, easy mobile apps with JavaScript.
I'm planning on using GWT to do this, assuming it's possible now or in time, but a framework built for mobile web apps. Bring it on. the video looks fascinating. . They've got tetris like games using gestures built from javascript.

update 20091214
Just came across a useful site for info on css3 and for great web design tips. Just found out that Douglas Bowman who runs stop design has worked for the likes of Google and Twitter among loads of other cools companies and is gerat at tips that provide maximum impact with minimal code that make things discoverable.
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