[Book Review] jQuery Mobile by Jon Reid

Book cover of jQuery MobileAlthough JQuery Mobile is still in it’s Beta phase (actually Alpha phase when the book was written) you can already start using it. If you don’t want to learn the language for a specific mobile device (iOS, Android, PalmOS etc.) and you want to leverage your webbuilding skills to mobile devices then jQuery Mobile is probably your best bet. You can leave the specifics for every platform to the jQuery team while you can focus on the look and feel of you application. And this book is a pretty good starting point for your first steps doing mobile development.

The book starts with a high-level overview of jQuery Mobile. By following the examples in the first chapter, you will have built your first jQuery Mobile application when you are done with it. Luckily the example code can be downloaded so you don’t have to type all that ;-). Then paging and navigation in jQuery Mobile is covered and after that the UI elements (toolbars, buttons, form elements etc.) are covered. By the time you are done reading chapter 3, which is pretty fast, you can create you own mobile application.

The next part of the book covers the new theme framework. How to use it and of course how to customize it. I have learned that application look and feel requires a whole different level of expertise and most of the time I just stick with the themes provided, but if you feel comfortable enough, don’t hesitate to have a go at customizing your mobile app. After this there is a lot of info on the new events jQuery Mobile creates (Tap, pinch zoom, swiping etc.) , what methods it exposes and how you can customize jQuery Mobile for your own applications.

The final chapter shows how to build an actual mobile application. A tweeting client, built from scratch.

The book assumes you are already familiar with the jQuery Javascript library. If you are not, then I suggest reading "jQuery Pocket Reference" by David Flanagan, also available from O’Reilly. It also assumes familiarity with HTML markup (“Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML” by Elisabeth Robson, Eric T Freeman and CSS 3 (“The Book of CSS3” by Peter Gasston).

Some basic familiarity with mobile web browsers is also assumed. As it says in the book: Though jQuery Mobile aims to provide a cross-platform API, it is still necessary for a mobile web developer to understand mobile browsers and their capabilities.

APEX 4.1 was originally supposed to include the jQuery Mobile framework, but since it is still in the beta phase when APEX is supposed to be released they choose not to include it. Ofcourse you can include the beta code yourself in your current APEX templates, but you should be aware of the fact that you can run into some issues and you shouldn’t build production applications with it. But still, you can learn a lot by playing around with the framework. And this book can definately help you gain more insight on how this framework works and how it can be used.

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