Saturday, February 18, 2012

2 new Page Transitions in jQuery Mobile v1.1

In my earlier post I had written a simple demo to show the various transitions that are available with jQuery Mobile. The official documentation v1.0.1 for page transitions is available here.

But with jQuery Mobile v1.1, the official documentation has been updated and is much better compared to the older version. You will also see the page looks much simpler and showcases how the transitions would look for pages and also dialogs. Just click on the buttons and you can see the live demo. Excellent work on updating the documentation.

Also very exciting to see that two new transitions have been added, the Turn and the Flow. So now we have a total of 8 transitions that are available by default. Pretty cool.

Of course the brave can extend the framework and try to create their own custom transitions using CSS3 and JS.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

TV apps using jQuery Mobile

The idiot box finally graduates to an internet box!

Internet on TV is catching on quite fast. I've been reading reports that predict a billion(s) dollar market that will open up for TV apps. Ah the hype .. these things are always in billions. But anyways, considering the number of people who have a TV and the number who watch it (almost everyone?), I guess this could be quite realistic.

Many advantages I guess, lesser strain on the eyes, no burnt laps and no lost fertility with laptops on top of laps. I'm online 100% of the time. Definitely I stand to gain. My 6 year old kid too. I'd rather have him play Angry birds and all those HD games on TV compared to him holding my super heated mobile and straining his eyes watching the small screen.

So now that I've made my point beyond all doubt, it is agreed that TV apps is the next big thing!
So where do I start? I do not have an Internet TV yet! Not to despair, one could install the recently launched Opera TV Emulator and have the next best thing.

The steps are detailed here and are very easy to follow. You have to get the Virtual Box and install it. Then get the Opera TV Emulator, unzip it and you are ready to go. On launching the emulator virtual machine, the Opera TV browser comes up and you will also be given a link to install the H.264 codec, this is to play the MP4 videos.

You can now directly start browsing. Now lets get bolder. How about our first TV app. Fairly simple I would say.

Just point the TV browser to your jQuery Mobile app and bingo! It just works. Isn't that amazing! You code once in jQuery Mobile and the code runs on a wide variety of mobile devices, tablets, desktops and now even on TV! This is true cross platform development. There are other emulators, but from first looks, I feel Opera TV emulator is the simplest to install and use.

Though not officially supported by jQuery Mobile, my few basic apps seemed to work fine. I even tried audio and video and they work fine. The full list of current jQuery Mobile supported browsers is available here. No mention of any TV browsers. TV browsers need to be tested in detail with jQuery Mobile. But I find this totally exciting !

http://www.html5test.com/results-tv.html lists the current state of affairs in the TV browser world when it comes to HTML5 support. It sure is promising. The coming days will see these scores improve and probably match or exceed the desktop browser scores. Who wants those old computers anyways. Its the era of the mobiles and the tablets. When I pointed the Opera TV browser to html5test.com, the score was 330+6 bonus points. This score is among the top 3 after Chrome and Firefox.

Finally, one conclusion from all this - it sure is high time I replace my old TV with an Internet TV. Suggestions ?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

It pays to blog

"See one, Make one, Teach one!" - [video: Charles McCathieNevile (Opera), see @00:19:00]

Working on a pet project, I stumbled upon jQuery Mobile a few months ago and have been hooked on to it since then. There were quite a few things that I learnt and few more things that I discovered. I started to blog a few posts on the topic and boy does it pay to blog!

One morning I log on to my blog and find that the traffic had jumped by a few hundred page views within a single night. I used to have just a handful of daily visits earlier. Initial thought was that some bot had tried to wreck havoc on my blog. Eventually I found the true reason. My post on prefetching pages using jQuery Mobile, had been retweeted by @jquerymobile. Traffic hasn't looked down since. Even today the number of pageviews on a daily basis, is tenfold more than the earlier days. Its been two months now.

Within a week of this, I got an email by a leading international publisher asking if I were interested to write a book on jQuery Mobile. I almost fell off my seat. Mostly a new version of the famous Nigerian scam mail. I was skeptical. But a quick cross check proved otherwise. This was for real!

Govind my friend urged me on, "Chetan, this is once in a life time opportunity. Just take it!"

I had to submit a proposal over the new year weekend. One of these days I'll make it up to my wife and kid for me sitting with my laptop all through the new year's eve. Couldn't have done it without their support and understanding.

The proposal got reviewed and also got selected over two other proposals. I eventually signed the contract last month. The book will take a few months to roll out. I expect it to be available by Q4 of 2012 (if all things go well). This will be an interesting experience and I am quite excited about the same.

This also means that I have a few contractual obligations with my publisher and have to pick and choose what I blog about going forward. But there are enough topics in jQueryMobile and the HTML5 world in general and I will surely be posting more frequently now.