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Web and WebWorks Development

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Developer
yllus
Posts: 57
Registered: ‎06-15-2011
My Device: PlayBook
My Carrier: Rogers

Best web framework for PlayBook development?

[ Edited ]

I've been looking to put together an app for my PlayBook, and as a web developer by day simply reusing what I know to build in WebWorks seems like a terrific way to go.

 

So far I've gotten pretty far in putting together an app using jQuery Mobile, but the performance of the app simply isn't nearly as snappy as I think is needed to make an app viable for commercial sale. Despite being easy to use and full featured, I think this is out.

 

I'm now considering using iScroll 4 and zepto.js together to do 80% of what I want to do. The remaining 20% consists of opening dialog windows when the user selects an item for viewing in greater detail. What are you folks using for this?

 

Other web framework suggestions would also be appreciated. Thanks!

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Contributor
kam1loherrera
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎06-14-2011
My Device: 9300
My Carrier: Comcel

Re: Best web framework for PlayBook development?

yllus, JQuery mobile is good enough, but it has too much effects, transitions and such that personally I think is a waste of resources and render navigation painfully slow. Try the following and let me know if the overall performance improves:

 

http://forum.jquery.com/topic/slow-navigation-in-blackberry

 

you will have to get down and dirty with the jquery mobile CSS file and some effects on the .js file too. Hope it helps!

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Developer
yllus
Posts: 57
Registered: ‎06-15-2011
My Device: PlayBook
My Carrier: Rogers

Re: Best web framework for PlayBook development?

Yeah, I turned off all of the transitions and it was still a little too laggy for my tastes. :smileyhappy: I'm now looking at ChocolateChip-UI, though I really should just use Sencha and be done with it.

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Developer
interfaSys
Posts: 817
Registered: ‎11-19-2009
My Device: Z10, Q10, 9900, 9790, PlayBook,
My Carrier: T-Mobile UK, Three, O2, Orange, Sunrise, Swisscom

Re: Best web framework for PlayBook development?

Try Sencha Touch, it works pretty well and will let you build apps fast (once you've documented all the traps and workarounds)

--
Olivier - interfaSys ltd
Developing for BlackBerry 10 devices using the Sencha Touch framework.
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Developer
bert2002
Posts: 172
Registered: ‎05-01-2010
My Device: Z10
My Carrier: O2

Re: Best web framework for PlayBook development?

Is Sencha Touch much faster then jQuery (may be also for the handset)?



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Developer
interfaSys
Posts: 817
Registered: ‎11-19-2009
My Device: Z10, Q10, 9900, 9790, PlayBook,
My Carrier: T-Mobile UK, Three, O2, Orange, Sunrise, Swisscom

Re: Best web framework for PlayBook development?

The past: JQuery Mobile was still in beta and didn't work very well in our tests. Sencha Touch had lots of bugs, but performed better.

 

The present: New betas of Jquery Mobile have been released, but on the surface, nothing seemed to have changed. Sencha Touch hasn't moved apart from a boat load of community patches, but they did release a chart extension that looks good, but that is just too slow imho.

 

The Future: JQuery will probably be as good as Sencha Touch and if you already use the desktop lib, then you'll probably feel more at home with the mobile version. The only question is when is it going to be usable? Sencha Touch 2 is just around the corner and is going to be very good for easy cross-platform development (useful if you intend of making money with the tablet market), so if you can wait a bit, I would go with that.

 

If you want to release something next week, you should test the kitchen sync demos that both frameworks provide.

--
Olivier - interfaSys ltd
Developing for BlackBerry 10 devices using the Sencha Touch framework.
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Developer
bert2002
Posts: 172
Registered: ‎05-01-2010
My Device: Z10
My Carrier: O2

Re: Best web framework for PlayBook development?

Wow. Thanks for summing up. Will defiantly have a eye on Sencha Touch . 



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Developer
interfaSys
Posts: 817
Registered: ‎11-19-2009
My Device: Z10, Q10, 9900, 9790, PlayBook,
My Carrier: T-Mobile UK, Three, O2, Orange, Sunrise, Swisscom

Re: Best web framework for PlayBook development?

Keep in mind that it's just one opinion :smileyhappy:, other people with more experience with JQuery Mobile may see things differently :smileywink:

--
Olivier - interfaSys ltd
Developing for BlackBerry 10 devices using the Sencha Touch framework.
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BlackBerry Development Advisor
tneil
Posts: 3,708
Registered: ‎10-16-2008
My Device: Z10
My Carrier: Rogers

Re: Best web framework for PlayBook development?

Also if you're looking to do some different animations check out our open source Alice.js toolkit which works just plain AWESOME on the PlayBook and on BB7.

 

http://blackberry.github.com/Alice/

 

Other things to take into consideration... a lot of the toolkits out there are designed to address shortcomings in other browsers.  For example no inertial scrolling on iOS & Android and no support for true fixed positioned <div>'s.  The PlayBook has full support for both of these as well as inertial scrolling of div's with overflow.

 

So using some of these toolkits fight the natural abilities of the PlayBook and cause performance degredations instead of just using the PlayBook's built in capabilities.  Some try to mimic these with CSS and others try to do the same thing using JavaScript  to manipulate the DOM and use setTimeout() to not block the UI thread.

 

Which means, that in some cases, you may be searching for a toolkit solution to a problem that doesn't exist... However the tricky part is that these are typically intertwined with a lot of really great functionality in these toolkits.

 

Also watch for toolkits that perform heavy DOM manipulation.  DOM manipulation is probably the most expensive thing you can do on mobile.  Some toolkits do line after line of manipulating DOM elements property by property.  The problem with this is that with each DOM property change WebKit needs to re-compute the layout of the screen.  And it has to do this re-compute before it runs the next line of JavaScript because that next line of JavaScript may be asking for the dimensions of the DOM element.

 

When working on mobile you are best to use document fragments and manipulate DOM elements that are disconnected from the live DOM.  This way you can make multiple changes at once and the re-compute of the layout only happens when you re-insert the DOM element.

 

Same goes with CSS changes, if you can batch them by changing the "class" of the element instead of individually setting the DOM properties, you get performance increases.

 

Also with CSS, if you are using webkit animations, make sure you do a translate3d so that the animation drops down onto hardware acceleration.  The Alice.js framework does this extensively, and when you run the demos on the PlayBook you will see the fantastic results.

Tim Neil
Director, Application Platform & Tools Product Management
Follow me on Twitter
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Developer
bert2002
Posts: 172
Registered: ‎05-01-2010
My Device: Z10
My Carrier: O2

Re: Best web framework for PlayBook development?

Seems to be that I will need to test a couple of toolkits to see how they perform. Alice.js has some really nice animations. Great work.



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