Apache Cordova in Action - PDF
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I’ve been fortunate to have been a web developer for approximately 20 years. I can remember using NCSA Mosaic to browse the web and picking up HTML books to help me build my first web page. (Yes, I used a rainbow gradient back then.) Things were rough in those days. I can remember playing with LiveScript, the initial release of jаvascript, and having to reboot my entire machine at times to get my browser to work. I spent a good deal of my first decade or so as a developer focused on the server side, first with Perl and then with ColdFusion. I ignored the front-end due to the numerous issues with browsers and, pretty much, just the browsers themselves.
Approximately 10 years ago, I turned my attention back to the client side. I was surprised to find that this Web 2.0/AJAX thing was actually kind of cool, and that, for the most part, it actually worked. I began to spend most of my time learning jаvascript (again) and reacquainting myself with HTML. That may sound like a surprising statement. I certainly knew HTML and used it in my server-side applications, but I discovered that when I looked closely, there was quite a bit I didn’t know and didn’t appreciate.
At the same time, mobile was slowly inching along toward being a big deal. I kept hearing about how big it was in Europe and Asia, but my experience with it was disappointing. I loved my Motorola RAZR, but the first time I sent an SMS message with it was also the last time I sent an SMS message with it. Browsing the web on it was also an exercise in frustration.
And then one day … everything changed. The iPhone was a game changer—it made using the mobile web useful. And when the app market was launched, and folks made millions with fart apps, a whole new breed of developer was born. I began focusing on working on the mobile platform, specifically building mobile-friendly websites. Then one day I discovered PhoneGap (the originator of Apache Cordova—don’t worry, we’ll discuss the differences in chapter 1). It was rough too—it took me a good 10 minutes or so to get the “Hello World” project set up. But when I first saw my HTML running as an app on my phone, it was incredible. Everything I had learned about web development was now enabling me to create applications on mobile devices—and not just one, but many.
PhoneGap, and Cordova, have come a long way since I began working with them. The platform is simpler to use, but still requires careful consideration and planning, and this is where I think this book will really help. I tried to take information found in multiple sources and bring it together in a concise, easy-to-follow format. I’m not terribly smart. In fact, I struggle a lot. But I’ve made a career out of taking my struggle and turning that into writing and presentations that will—I hope—help others with their struggles as well.