This Could be Better Than Jquery Mobile For Blackberry Webworks App Development

So after my memory and performance woes with Jquery mobile on BB5 phones, I humbly decided to find a lightweight alternative CSS framework.

It happens that most of these frameworks come integrated with Javascript and the performance issues stem from the transitions and CSS 3 selectors.

Recently, I stumbled on iUI which was built for the iOS devices. Eager to test it out on the BB5 device, I loaded one of the sample pages on my device and then I realised it wasn’t even loading.

Back to Google, I found this thread about how to support BB5 using iUI. If there was a similar thread for Jquery Mobile I just might never have realised there was iUI.

We do support Blackberry OS6, 7 & Playbook (aka coming BB X), since they have a webkit based browser. Since OS6 doesn’ have hardware acceleration, it is a bit slow to perform transitions btw…

We might have to clarify that.

if you want to support OS5, you have to:

– replace the querySelector part

– forget about all css3 definitions / styles

– use JS transitions (aka slide1, you’ll understand when you’ll get to this point)

– test on the device

– submit your working solution to a clone on Git so we can integrate that to iUI 🙂

i honnestly wish you good luck! if you have some JS skills, then it might not be too long/complicated. if not, contact any JS freelancer, shouldn’t be more than 2 days’ job.

in Google Groups.

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How Not To Debug A JQuery Mobile App

Here I was thinking I had got a good grasp of JQuery Mobile enough to go ahead and integrate it with CakePHP.

I admit it was a fun thing to see a desktop version automatically scale into a mobile version with only a few lines of code from my previous post.

My mobile development had taken a bold leap forward in terms I couldn’t be less than happy for.

So after getting my hands and head wrapped up around the structure of JQuery mobile, I felt I was in the “common yeah, let’s do this” moment – speaking in the Tony Robins tone here :)…

I loaded up the site in my mobile emulator and straight up it was looking sharp and tidy :).

But then I wanted to be sure it was alright so I loaded in my Samsung Galaxy phone. Okay it still was looking cool and I was about super excited about this.

Finally, I remembered my old Blackberry phone exists. And knowing that most young people around here have the older Blackberry OS5 phones, I decided to give it a shot.

The result was nerve-rending. My wonderful new mobile site loaded alright. Yes, up to only the preloader gif image!

I tweaked headers and disabled all custom scripts. Once it would work and at another try it would just hang up at the preloader.gif image.

 

After almost 6 combined hours of nerve-wrecking pondering, hair-pulling, and knocking my head against the wall I finally decided to try offloading some content from the page.

I removed a bit of this and a bit of that. Each time uploading the new changes, and refreshing my Blackberry phone’s browser. (Yes, I was a bit too lazy to set up a local DNS server that would allow me access my local site from my Blackberry phone…)

Finally, I found it. A simple search form. Eureka!

After removing the form and returning I discovered that without the form the site loaded up pretty good.

To cut the chase, I reduced the size of the form and transferred it to another page. The original form still won’t load properly so I’m yet to find out what part of that form is responsible for giving JQuery mobile  such terrible hiccups.

 

Mobile browser detection and optimization in CakePHP Made Simple

Here is a helpful guide I found while learning to work with JQuery mobile and CakePHP together to create a mobile version of one of my websites.

Hope the line below make sense to you, if not feel free to ask questions in your comments. Here we go …

I needed to do two things:

Detect webkit-based mobile browsers

Automatically serve those browsers a mobile optimized page if one was available for the requested action.

Here’s how I did it, and how you might, too.

Step 1: Update Cake’s browser detection to include Android devices

Cake’s RequestHandler component includes a nifty method for detecting mobile browsers — $this->RequestHandler->isMobile() — but the default list of devices detected by Cake 1.2 is a bit dated.

Fortunately, it’s easy to update. The default list of device names is found in the RequestHandler component’s core file, cake/libs/controller/components/request_handler.php:

if (!defined(‘REQUEST_MOBILE_UA’)) {

define(‘REQUEST_MOBILE_UA’, ‘(iPhone|MIDP|AvantGo|BlackBerry|J2ME|Opera Mini|DoCoMo|NetFront|Nokia|PalmOS|PalmSource|portalmmm|Plucker|ReqwirelessWeb|SonyEricsson|Symbian|UP\.Browser|Windows CE|Xiino)’);

}

Update this by copying it to your core configuration file — /app/config/core.php — and adding the device names of your choice. I simply added Android to snag all those new Google-happy devices using webkit browsers. To wit:

define(‘REQUEST_MOBILE_UA’, ‘(Android|iPhone|MIDP|AvantGo|BlackBerry|J2ME|Opera Mini|DoCoMo|NetFront|Nokia|PalmOS|PalmSource|portalmmm|Plucker|ReqwirelessWeb|SonyEricsson|Symbian|UP\.Browser|Windows CE|Xiino)’);

Step 2. Decide where to put your mobile views

There are several places you could put mobile view files — app/views/elements or app/views/themed come to mind — but I decided on something slightly different. Cake automatically looks for an action’s view files inside a view folder named after the action’s controller. For instance, a page request for users/login expects to find a view file at /app/views/users/login.ctp. Given that, I extended the convention by creating a subfolder named mobile inside each controller’s existing view folder. So, my mobile view for users/login is located at /app/views/users/mobile/login.ctp.

Step 3. Create a mobile layout file

Mobile-optimized pages will need a different layout than standard pages. Create a file named mobile.ctp and save it inside /app/views/layouts.

Step 4. Create the logic for detection and view setting

Here’s where Cake really shines. All we need to do in order to send all mobile devices to any mobile-optimized pages is create the following logic inside the beforeFilter() of /app/app_controller.php.

// check for mobile devices

if ($this->RequestHandler->isMobile()) {

// if device is mobile, change layout to mobile

$this->layout = ‘mobile’;

// and if a mobile view file has been created for the action, serve it instead of the default view file

$mobileViewFile = VIEWS . strtolower($this->params[‘controller’]) . ‘/mobile/’ . $this->params[‘action’] . ‘.ctp’;

if (file_exists($mobileViewFile)) {

$mobileView = strtolower($this->params[‘controller’]) . ‘/mobile/’;

$this->viewPath = $mobileView;

}

}

This code does the following:

Detects mobile browsers using our updated device list

Changes the layout to our new mobile layout

Checks to see if a mobile view file exists inside the mobile subfolder described above.

If the file exists, the logic changes to the mobile view before displaying the page.

One thing to keep in mind about this approach is that it doesn’t allow mobile viewers to switch back to the standard browser view, assuming instead that you’ll take care to retain all essential functions in your mobile views. It does, however, preserve your original URLs across all platforms, with none of that ganky mobile redirection that lesser sites use.

via Mobile browser detection and optimization in CakePHP 1.2 • Made Thing.

What Exactly is this JQuery Mobile that they use for Mobile Application Development?

I have been doing normal html, and interactive websites/ web apps using PHP/MySql for quite some time now, and now I was getting curious as to the new trend of mobile application development.

In my earlier post I talked about how I went in search of the best tools for mobile development.

I finally found my way to JQuery Mobile (JQM). And after all the talk and buzz around the tech space about developing mobile sites with JQuery mobile, I discovered that it isn’t as dreadful and uphill as people make you think.

The first thing you need to know is that JQuery mobile or JQM as it is often referred to as, is only just JQuery with an added css file for mobile rendering and a juery mobile javascript file.

So all you need to set up a mobile friendly page is add these 3 files to your header.

jquery.mobile-1.1.0.min.css,

jquery-1.7.1.min.js,

jquery.mobile-1.1.0.min.js

You will have to forget about XHTML validation in this case. Below is the typical structure of the head of a mobile page. You don’t have to start by creating a theme in themeroller as the default JQM theme is just good enough for you to start practicing with right away.

<!DOCTYPE html>

<html>

<head>

<meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width, initial-scale=1″ />

<link rel=”stylesheet” href=”css/jquery.mobile-1.1.0.min.css” />

<script type=”text/javascript” src=”js/jquery-1.7.1.min.js”></script>

<script type=”text/javascript” src=”js/jquery.mobile-1.1.0.min.js”></script>

</head>

<body>


Once you have these files in your header you are ready to start using JQM to perform all the mobile magic wonders that you see the so-called “mobile-experts” performing.

You can create lists that look like a phone’s native application navigation list and those fancy rounded buttons that slide into different pages when you click them, all simply using very basic html tag properties called the data-role.

For a detailed guide on the different features and properties in JQM, you may visit the JQuery mobile introduction page here.

After you are done with learning the HTML tag structures and properties in JQM, you can then add PHP into the mix to generate valid JQM tags that will render perfectly in mobile browsers.

The built-in Ajax functionality in JQM means you don’t have to worry about how to communicate with your scripts on the server, just return the results in a suitable format.

Finally, if you need to convert your mobile site into a native phone application, there are several tools that will take your pages and compile them into any platform of your choice.

A good example is PhoneGap.

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