Been a while since I posted anything been very busy and had to put some of the Android Project to the side for now, my test app still on the Android market but it has served its purpose and its days are very much numbered.
More recently I have been looking into the prospect of try to create a rich web application with the look and feel of a desktop style app but is cross platform compatible. I have been mixing an matching many different libraries and after settling on HTML5 and JS as my technology stack I have opened up a Pandora’s Box of possibilities. While HTML5 is excellent and ticks the cross platform box their are so many libraries out their its hard to choose what to use, So I put together a little guide of my experiences.
Choosing UI Framework
- JQuery Mobile – It is very possible to build a web app for the browser using JQuery Mobile, as shown by their documentation. It is very simple and easy to pick up however I wanted a more sophisticated dashboard style UI and I didnt think JQMobile would offer me this straight out the box. However if I was looking to build a mobile client I would probably use JQMobile as it was extremely straight forward to pick up and use and would reccomend using for a Mobile version of a web app you might want to create.
- GWT – I have been developing with GWT for a few years now and loved its simplicity however during this time I have found its core components fairly basic and using SmartGWT helps to upgrade your application. All the apps I have created with GWT just don’t have that cutting edge that many modern web apps today can offer and so GWT was my least likely contender.
- JQuery UI – I liked the components they offer and how I could easily style them using theme roller JQuery’s own tool for creating nice looking themes for web apps. Again the implementation was standard and easy to pick up nothing nasty. Good framework for a web application with plenty of documentation and as with any JQuery Library a huge community following.
- Twitter bootstrap – I had not came across this until someone pointed me in the right direction and instantly I loved it, quickly and effortlessly I was able to modify the template from initializr and get a Rich UI up and running fully HTML5 and fully beautiful. The core components look great the set of components offered isn’t huge but has most that you require, it’s easy to add custom components and style the way you like. Documentation on the site is great and provide a excellent start point.
Winner = Twitter Bootstrap
The important thing when choosing what framework you will use is to have a play around and see what you are comfortable with, for me coming fresh to HTML5 and especially JS development of UI’s. Something that I could pick up and play with was key and both JQuery UI/Mobile and Bootstrap offered this. Bootstrap fitted my need as the template provided me the basis I had imagined for my application and was super quick to create using the initializr template, which I recommend using.
These are my experiences with the above technology stacks and please post if you have faced anything different. Next post I will be choosing my MVC framework which I can tell you hasn’t been as straightforward as you may expect.