Mobile Apps Building and Deployments at jsugfra
There were only around 12 attendees there, although signups ranged around 20 – so shame on you if you didn’t show up! ;)
But it’s your loss, because aside from Evgenij‘s talk you missed my “little” (1hr) hands-on session showing how you can deploy the same JS-based app – build upon Unify – to several platforms, namely those:
- the browser,
- homescreen (appcache on iOS) – this is different from the browser,
- iOS (iPhone and iPad with PhoneGap),
- Android (PhoneGap too),
- BlackBerry PlayBook (WebWorks on TabletOS),
- Samsung Bada (JS-App-Package),
- WAC (sort of),
- and Samsung Internet@TV
Unify makes this easy in many regards (JS-build process, appcache context detection etc.). My goal was to show the difficulties and differences in SDKs and build/deployment tools – this became pretty clear I think, especially talking about the difficulties. The main message I wanted to bring across this evening was:
If you want people to write apps for your platform, then given them some decent development tools!
This means preferably CLI build/deploy tools (helps with automating builds) and a well working Simulator/Emulator plus simple device deployments. If you consider these points and look at the app numbers in different stores you see what I mean:
- Apple got this one right (Xcode and iOS Simulator just work, simple device deployments),
- Android is behind in this (Eclipse and especially the Emulator is unusably slow, device deployment easy),
- Blackberry is not bad (CLI tools, fast Emulator, simple deployment to devices),
- Samsung does a separate thing for different platforms and both are Eclipse-based (only Windows! WTF?, Emulators work well tho)
- WAC uses the Android Emulator (cf. above) with a Widget Runtime on it and an Eclipse-based SDK (translation: slow)
Bottom line is: Many Edit->Build->Deployment chains are just so unbearably slow and/or unusable that it takes all the fun out of coding for these platforms. If you add the Appstore(tm)-submission overhead to the calculation, pure development work becomes a much smaller part in the total effort.
Sebastian also wrote in detail about the JSUG meeting itself – thanks for that!
Looking forward to jsugfra