Posts Tagged: javascript

Javascript, I am just not that in to you

I like Javascript enough to work with it, write in it, and meet up for coffee/tea to hear how its life is going. But I don’t want to move in with it and have its babies.
I realize that in contemporary web development I am completely out of sync as everyone who is anyone claims that they want to move in with and have Javascript’s babies, be they JS babies of the web variety, bouncing server side nodes, or cute little mobile frameworks.
But maybe, many of the everyone who is anyone are feigning their deep, abiding love of Javascript, and maybe like me they would rather catch up with JS over a drink and occasionally write in it, all the while they are actually thinking about Python, or HTML, or Ruby, or CSS, Photoshop vs. Lightroom, or ObjC/C#/C++ or maybe even some chocolate or a beer. Maybe.
It is not just Javascript that I am not that in to, I feel the same way about Illustrator and PHP. With the latter, it is much easy to be honest with one’s technology peers and contemporary’s and say, “I know I have to occasionally use them to get the task done, but, wow, I really don’t like them.”, as most folks have critiques of PHP and they probably don’t really like Illustrator either. The the person will snicker and admit much the same or they will go into how if you just did it like this, you would like it better.
Javascript has gone through a curious arch of being cobbled together for the web, critiqued for being a toy scripting language, and then somewhere in the last few years it went to the gym, started doing supplements, got a bit of work done, and became the be all and end all amongst many contemporary developers right now. Javascript got its act together and even the previous critics are a bit entranced with it right now.
To admit that yes, I can write it, yes, I can tweak a framework, yes, I can… but no I am not using it in any advanced capacity because the truth is I would rather not, is quite a bit more risky right now.
Javascript, can we just meet up for tea or coffee?
How about you? Do you have a technology that is a common or currently trendy part of your design or development workflow that you cringe or have a big sign over every time you use it?

DIY Mobile Programming: Get Started with HTML, CSS, and Javascript

“If you can build your app with HTML, CSS & JavaScript, then you probably should.” – @jonathanstark #wdx (via @garazi)

Some friends recently asked on Twitter what was the best way to start programming mobile apps with Nokia’s Qt, as they found that it was not as easy as the publicity from Nokia had purported Qt to be.

I replied: “When devs say a ‘framework’ is “easy” it is code for “It won’t take 15 months of 10 hour days & make you want to KILL yourself.”

Anyone who has developed an application, be it for the desktop or mobile, can tell you that framework makes it so much easier, but easy is a relative term. What easy may mean is that development time is reduced from 6 months to 6 weeks or less. Still not that easy, but easier and a big relief.
For folks who want to learn to create and develop their own mobile apps, but don’t have much programming experience or little at all, I would like to suggest starting with developing a simple app in HTML, CSS, and Javascript to get your feet wet and see if you can get your idea up and running either as a mobile web app or as a native mobile app that is coded in HTML, CSS, and Javascript.
As I wrote in DIY Dev: Program or be Programmed a couple of weeks back, there comes a time when your own natural diy urge or curiosity or frustration with a lack of an app drives one to learn how to program a computer, server, or mobile phone so that the itch has been scratched.
Rather than get bogged down in the debate between mobile web apps and native apps, let me give a few links to resources out there to help get you started on creating your own mobile HTML, CSS, Javascript app be it for the mobile web or a native app:
Cross Platform HTML, CSS, Javascript Mobile Development Frameworks:
PhoneGap – http://www.phonegap.com/
Sencha – http://www.sencha.com/
JQuery Mobile – http://jquerymobile.com/
Qt Quick – http://qt.nokia.com/products/qt-quick/
Tutorials and Presentations:
Building Mobile Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
HOWTO: Create native-looking iPhone/iPad applications from HTML, CSS and JavaScript
Forum Nokia on Developing for the Mobile Web
Tips and Tricks for developing Mobile Widgets
Books:
Programming the Mobile Web
Beginning Smartphone Web Development: Building Javascript, CSS, HTML and Ajax-Based Applications
Building Android Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
Have fun, get coding, and send us/ let’s us know what you have created.
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Ms. Jen’s DIY Programming Series:
DIY Dev: Program or be Programmed
DIY Mobile Programming: Get Started with HTML, CSS, and Javascript
DIY Programming: Should HTML be Required for Literacy in the 21st Century?

Nokia N900 : The Gold Standard Test

Mundane photo of the Nokia N97 to test the N900's moblogging ability
Photo of a local Nokia N97 as was the closest thing around to take a photo of by Ms. Jen with a Nokia N900.

Fri 11.27.09 – Is the Nokia N900’s native web browswer’s support of javascript and AJAX good enough to blog directly in the mobile browser to my Moveable Type install that uses Better File Uploader? Every other mobile browser, including the iPhone has failed at the first or second screen.
10 minutes later, of course I didn’t read the manual, so after searching on how to zoom out (the volume/photo zoom physical key) and zooming all the way out so the whole page fit in the screen, I was able to go through all four Better Uploader’s AJAX powered screens and upload the photo from the device’s memory to my own server using my own blog with no third party app or server!
The Nokia N900 wins the Moblogging and Best Mobile Browser Gold Medal!!!
(Typing all of this is giving my hands cramps, but YAY!!!!!)
Dear Santa, Please, pretty please, with sugar on top… a Nokia N900 of my own for Christmas…
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Related N900 Posts:
Nokia N900 : The Artist Phone
Nokia N900 : The Gold Standard Test
Nokia N900 – Views from the Pundit Analysts, Maemo & Python
The Nokia Flagship Face Off : Nokia N900 vs. Nokia N97 : Part I, Night Video

Can the N900 Handle Movable Type’s AJAX?

[Update a few hours later from a laptop: No, it crashed. The pre-release demo that was available for Ovi Dev event attendees to try out was half charged, the Vodafone connection was poor, and when I went to save this entry after writing the above title using the N900’s web browser, the whole device crashed and had to be rebooted. After that I could not get it to browse blackphoebe.com at all. Please remember that the N900 has not been released yet.
p.s. What I was trying to get the N900 to do was to go on the full, non-mobile, version of my blog’s Movable Type install and use Better File Uploader to upload a photo and blog it here straight up, not using any other app or service. To date, I have not been able to get a Nokia, or iPhone, or Android phone to correctly render and upload a photo using BFU’s lightbox upload. The first mobile browser to render the AJAX correctly wins in my book.]

Can I Post to MT4 from my Nokia N95’s Browser?

No. I keep trying, but no, I can’t.
Why? I can only get as far as the above title before Movable Type’s AJAX conspires against my Nokia N95’s browser. I have tried to use the file uploader, which I was able to use from my phone’s browser with MT 3.4, but in MT 4 the file uploader uses Lightbox and I can’t toggle around in it enough to press “upload” on my phone. And for whatever reason, in the mobile browser, I am unable to fill any text into the “body” of the post. Frustrating. I could do all of this from my Nokia N80 and the N95 with MT 3.4, but not with Movable Type 4.0.
Bah. Desktop/Laptop-centric blogging software. Bah.
What ever happened to Progressive Enhancement and Unobtrusive AJAX? Have Steve, Jeremy, and other standardistas been preaching to the wind? I should hope not. Web based software and applications should be device agnostic and the site should work whether the device has javascript or not.
Why try and why care? In less than 5 days, I get on a plane for Europe for the great “Ditch Thanksgiving 2007 Tour” or the “Let’s cash in frequent flyer miles go to London, Ireland, and Spain for 3 weeks Tour”. Whilst I am gone, I don’t want to pay AT&T my arm and Scruffy’s leg for international data fees to post photos and text to this blog, so I will be using my UK Vodafone sim chip with Pay As You Go that I have overly topped up. Only problem is that sometime in the last year, since I was last last ( previous to the last time) in the UK, Vodafone changed their PAYG plan and it is really really hard to mobile blog with the non-contract PAYG.
When I was in the UK for various events in 2006, I was able to to use about £20 per week on PAYG to send my photos as MMS’s to my Flickr account, Flickr would then send them on to my blog. At the beginning of Ocober, when I was in London for FOWA 2007, I found that it appeared that I sent photos to Flickr via MMS, my N95 confirmed the photo was sent, and later when I would check there would be no photo on Flickr. Vodafone UK’s MMS was not interacting with Flickr.
When I attempted to use Lifeblog, it was a no go as Lifeblog uses email/ISP data to send and with a PAYG account one does not get email/ISP data. I then tried to use Flickr’s mobile uploader, but that did not work as it wanted to go through the MMS to send the photo. ShoZu was not working for me at all while in London and upon reading ShoZu’s forum’s it is not enough to change your Access Point, you have to reactivate for each APN.
The best part is that Vodafone PAYG’s data plans, both 3G & WAP, have Flickr blocked as adult / unappropriate content. The whole week I was in the UK this Oct, I tried to get Vodafone to unblock it to no avail.
Vodafone, you may have the best 3G connections in the UK and Ireland, but you live in the dark ages. Flickr should not be blocked, nor should my MMS. If I pay you for a sim chip and top up, let me use the PAYG £s however I want. Don’t trottle me. Give me 3G unblocked, give me MMS, give me email/ISP. I will pay for it, give it to me.
I want to be able to use my Nokia to blog as I go, not wait until I get back to my computer to bluetooth the photos to my MacBook Pro and then load them up to Movable Type 4, if I have a wifi connection (the UK yes, Ireland & Spain most likely no). Thus, my experiments this week with trying to post directly from my phone’s browser to my MT4 installation. If it works here, it should work in the UK, Ireland, and Spain. Except it isn’t working here due to the MT4 obtrusive, non-progressive javascript.