Thursday, January 10, 2013
In the early days of the UI toolkit "shakeout", it seemed there were new toolkits or frameworks every week. jQuery, with its easy DOM manipulation methods and extension models, caught on in the developer community. Although others were still supported and staunchly touted by their users, jQuery became the overwhelming winner of the popular vote. It was eventually adopted by many other web applications for its quick implementation time, as the UI control framework for many back-end "control panel" systems, further extending it's popularity.
Check out upcoming training from Fig Leaf Software on jQuery at http://training.figleaf.com/
Sencha ExtJS (http://www.sencha.com/
ExtJS was another early UI framework, that eventually was rolled unto the Sencha umbrella. In its latest incarnation, it has shed its former cumbersome structure and become a fully streamlined rich application development framework. Rather than relying on a more DOM-centric development model from a development perspective, it provides an object oriented class system and MVC structure familiar to many programmers.
Fig Leaf Software is an authorized Sencha Training Partner. Find out more about ExtJS classes at http://training.figleaf.
As tablets and mobile devices became more powerful, their browsers became more standards compliant and were able to support more desktop-like functionality. This opened the doors for developers to provide client-side functionality better than just "mobile-compatbile" versions of web sites, but true interactive applications. These mobile frameworks provided not only the capabilities of their desktop counterparts, but also support for the touch interfaces, cameras, GPS, and other hardware devices built into the mobile platforms.
jQuery Mobile (http://jquerymobile.com/)
JQuery was already a dominant technology in the desktop browser world, so it was natural progression to see a mobile version of this system. While it is still DOM-centric, it provides for the needs of a mobile-based system, including support for hardware integration with things like the camera, accelerometer, etc. It also allow for the compilation of an application to a "native" application via Apache Cordova (PhoneGap). If you are used to more design-centric HTML coding, and are fluent in jQuery this is something worth checking out.
Sencha Touch (http://www.sencha.com/
What Sencha has done with ExtJS they have also done with the mobile development environment. Rather than a DOM-centric manipulation model, Sencha Touch is a complete object driven, MVC framework for creating web-based mobile applications. Like jQuery Mobile, it can be compiled to "native" with systems like Apache Cordova (PhoneGap), or it's own compilation system to provide deeper access to hardware functionality.
courses/sencha.cfm for information on upcoming training opportunities from Fig Leaf Software.
One of the more popular frameworks for web applications is Express. It combines several modules (managed with Node Package Manager, or NPM) for handling session management, authentication, routes, etc. into one MVC framework for web app development. Of course as with anything of this nature, there are several competing frameworks, each coming from different background business/technical needs.
Sencha Touch + Leap Motion
As part of an early beta program, Daniel Gallo from Sencha was able to interface the JSON output from the Leap Motion device with a Sencha Touch application to demonstrate touch-free gesture interaction with a mobile application. http://ow.ly/gG5O2