Posts Tagged 'JavaScript'

QuickConnect: JavaScript native apps

Now here’s something a little different: QuickConnect iPhone is a scheme to let Web programmers write kinda-sorta native iPhone apps using JavaScript!

The theory behind QuickConnect is simple enough: you take your Web app, drop it into a UIWebView shell, and hey presto, a native-ish app. Not completely dissimilar to Adobe AIR. Actually, pretty much the same thing, since they both are based on WebKit! However, this development process is much easier: 

The QuickConnect iPhone framework is designed to make iPhone hybrid applications easy to create and yet use as little processing power and memory as possible. The framework is distributed as Xcode and Dashcode projects that you can drop into each of those applications. When you do they become available in the gallery of project types.

These two new project types allow you to create and test your application from within Dashcode and then move it into Xcode, compile it, run it, and install it directly onto your device. No internet connection is then required to use your application.

Well hey, if you’ve got mad web ski11z but are put off by that whole Objective-C thing, or if you want to leverage your Web-tech interface across multiple platforms, looks like this might be right up your alley. The project is on SourceForge and the blog covering its development is here, check it out!

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Apple buys Coherent

I’m sure you all remember back on May 1st we posted here about Coherent, a JavaScript effort to bring Cocoa Bindings to the web? In a post that Coherent’s author showed up to comment on no less? And no doubt you headed over to check it out immediately?

Well, if you didn’t … now it’s too late.

If you go to the Coherent site now, you will see:

I’ve long felt Apple would provide the best environment for Coherent, and since I joined the company last year, I’ve been thrilled that we’ve been able to use Coherent in a number of projects.

Today, I am delighted to announce that I have assigned ownership of the Coherent library to Apple. Naturally, I can’t speak for my employer regarding what future products might include this library, but I can say my hope is that this will ultimately make Coherent a better tool for Web developers.

Or, is it not too late at all, perhaps? There’s some speculation over on Ajaxian that this is something deeper than Apple simply picking up a piece of useful code for themselves:

I heard from a little birdy that Apple is going to be doing some interesting things with respect to JavaScript libraries.

Recently there has been a lot of buzz around SproutCore / Mobile Me, Objective-J / 280 Slides and remember the Coherent Cocoa Databinding framework?

I think that Apple took note of the recent buzz, and it was at that point (not before) that execs suddenly saw that they really had. They have taken control of Coherent where “it could become the Cocoa library for JavaScript and is made available under a similar license to Cocoa and Cocoa-Touch…”

Interesting, no?

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What is a “squirrelfish”? Why, this is a squirrelfish!

I’m sure there must be an interesting story as to where that came from, but “SquirrelFish” is the code name of the new WebKit JavaScript interpreter that was just announced. A 1.6 performance improvement over WebKit 3.1, they claim, and over four-fold from WebKit 3.0. And, no doubt, whatever performance improvements are in the WebKit nightlies now will make it to the iPhone sooner or later … and probably sooner.

There’s a good bit of background info in the announcement post which is probably worth reading if you’re the sort that has any more interest in interpreter implementation than the absolute minimum you could squeeze through your required degree courses without avoiding. And even if you are one of those sorts, there’s some pointers to contemporary introductory material that’s probably worth a gander just for general breadth of knowledge. So here’s the money quotes there:

SquirrelFish is a register-based, direct-threaded, high-level bytecode engine, with a sliding register window calling convention. It lazily generates bytecodes from a syntax tree, using a simple one-pass compiler with built-in copy propagation.

SquirrelFish owes a lot of its design to some of the latest research in the field of efficient virtual machines, including research done by Professor M. Anton Ertl, et al, Professor David Gregg, et al, and the developers of the Lua programming language.

Some great introductory reading on these topics includes:

Read and enjoy!

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Google DocType

Here’s a new resource for web developers of all flavours: Google DocType:

Google Doctype is an open encyclopedia and reference library. Written by web developers, for web developers. It includes articles on web security, JavaScript DOM manipulation, CSS tips and tricks, and more. The reference section includes a growing library of test cases for checking cross-browser and cross-platform compatibility.

h/t: Google Code Blog!

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Which JavaScript library?

Question for those of you out there that have actually done any iPhone web apps so far — what JavaScript libraries, if any, are you using? I seem to see jQuery is generally popular; the righteous dudes over at BraveNewCode used Prototype/Scriptaculous for WPtouch and are looking into MooTools; any of you have feedback on those choices or have other recommendations for best iPhone web development practices?

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Coherent: Ajax Cocoa Bindings

Here’s another interesting tool for you JavaScript programmers; a library that implements Cocoa Bindings for your next game changing AJAX app. As they state at their Flickr browsing demo:

“Flickr Browser is a demo of the Coherent library, which is a blatant rip off, er, loving copy of Apple’s Cocoa Bindings technology for the Web.”

Heh. Well, if you design using MVC, even if you’ve never heard of Cocoa Bindings, you’ll probably find the library interesting at the least, check it out!

Project page is here.

h/t: ajaxian!
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jQuery iPhone Plugin

This looks like it’ll be of interest to you JavaScript programmers targeting the iPhone: There’s a new plugin for what I gather is the generally well-regarded jQuery JavaScript library (dual licensed under MIT/GPL, which equates to “do absolutely anything at all you can conceive of with it”) for iPhone-related functionality, which is eponymously named the jQuery iPhone Plugin. Here’s the initial features mentioned in the announcement post:

  • Hide the URL bar, regardless of the height of your page or if you have a stylesheet present.
  • Disable and reenable the automatic text size adjustments when rotating your iPhone.
  • Automatically detect and launch functions based on whenever the iPhone makes a rotation change.

Which looks like pretty useful functionality. I’m not much of a JavaScript person … yet … but if any of you are and want to get into jQuery, how about you shop for these jQuery books, and let me know if they’re worthwhile enough to create a page in the Under The Bridge Store to recommend Web programming books?




h/t: iPhoneWebDev!

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The iPhone Debug Console

Here’s a new tool release which will no doubt be of interest to all you online application developers: a remote console debugger for querying and manipulating your iPhone pages remotely.

As announced by author Jon Brisbin,

I grew frustrated with trying to debug my iPhone Ajax apps and wanted a way to interrogate the DOM and JavaScript stack while my page was running. Joe Hewitt had written a tie-in to firebug that gave me the idea to take that to the next logical step: a COMET-based JavaScript debugger and console. It allows you to log to a remote desktop console from your JavaScript code, but most importantly, it lets you send commands to the iPhone to be executed there. You can inspect style properties of your elements, set new ones, call JavaScript functions, etc… Anything that can be eval’d can be sent via the command line.

Sounds pretty sweet!

The code is GPLv3, posted on Google Code as the iphonedebug project.

Screenshots of remote iPhone debugging in action can be seen here.

h/t: iPhoneWebDev!

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