Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Silverlight Authors: Srinivasan Sundara Rajan, Yeshim Deniz, Greg O'Connor, Trevor Parsons, AppDynamics Blog

Related Topics: Java, Microservices Journal, .NET, AJAX & REA, Silverlight

Java: Book Review

Building Windows 8 Apps with JavaScript

A must have for any developer building Windows 8 App with JavaScript of any level

Although I started with ColdFusion for application development, I did plenty brochureware sites with HTML. I believe the version was HTML 2.0 for IE 2.0. I lived in the browser world for years doing Cold Fusion, ASP, and HTML sites. When winforms and Smart Client with web services emerged I changed my religion. Since then I have been avoiding the browser whenever possible since.

For the past couple of years my extent of using simple HTML has been limited to writing blogs and book reviews. Simple HTML means no ASP.NET or ASP.NET MVC. I have used HTML/JavaScript/CSS a lot as a byproduct of building ASP.NET and ASP.NET MVC applications for public consumption. Internal enterprise applications I will still push for using WPF and web services over ASP.NET or ASP.NET MVC, but I lose that battle a lot, especially when the developers have never learned WPF (XAML) and have no interest in learning anything new.

When it comes to Windows Store Apps my first choice will always be XAML with C# or C++. The problem is I am going to end up fighting the same battle with the web developers that don't like learning anything new. They are going to turn to HTML/JavaScript/CSS to build their Windows Store Apps.

Microsoft has recreated the same type of migration path as they did for the VB6 developers to move to VB.NET. The problem with that migration was tons of really bad VB.NET being written. After running into a lot of VB.NET projects that performed very badly and were very buggy I refused to allow VB.NET on my projects whenever I could.

The problem was VB6 programmers would not learn OOP and continued to code like they were still in the VB6 world. When I made them switch to C# that seemed to force them to learn more about .NET and that really helped improve their OOP skills. I never had anything against VB.NET coded correctly, the problem was most people didn’t code it correctly.

My fear of web developers moving to a mobile client application development environment with a requirement for natural user interfaces using touch is that we are going to see some atrocious applications being built. Windows Store Apps development is new enough that I have not had to deal with a lot of cleanup of bad HTML/JavaScript/CSS development yet. If I do start running into it, I will be adopting the same line of thought I had for VB.NET on projects. Meaning if it is my call, all development on my projects will be done using XAML with C# or C++. I really hope that does not happen again.

If you are one of those web developers that are planning on using your HTML/JavaScript/CSS, please take the time to read this book and other books on mobile device development and natural user interfaces. You are no longer developing for the browser!

With all that said, this book is a great place to start learning how to use your HTML/JavaScript/CSS to develop Windows Store Apps the right way. Below are the chapters included in the book.

1. Hello, Windows 8!
2. Binding and Controls
3. Layout
4. Typography
5. Media
6. Drawing and Animation
7. App State
8. Networking
9. Shell Contracts
10. Shell Integration
11. Device Interaction
12. Native Extensibility
13. Making Money
A. JavaScript for C-Family Programmers
B. Presentation and Style at a Glance

This book does a great job of covering development on Windows 8 with JavaScript and introducing architectural and design concerns that need to be considered on mobile devices. It does a great job of covering all the controls in and out of the context of touch. It injects thoughts on performance concerns with all the topics that need to worry about it.

The application state coverage is an important topic to understand and a must read chapter for new Windows 8 App developers.

I thought they did a really good job of covering Shell Contracts and Shell Integration. They are one of my favorite features in Windows 8.

The last chapter of the book does an awesome job of showing us how to go through a submission to the Microsoft Windows Store.

The book ends with two appendices. The first is an overview of JavaScript for C-Family programmers. I thought they did a pretty good job of assembling a lot of topics into a format which allowed them to cover a lot in a little space. The second appendix is an overview of HTML5 and CSS. It is all short and concise, but has a lot of good coverage.

I did find a couple of things missing that I would have like to see covered. One was the Windows.UI.Input.Inking APIs. The was no coverage at all. This is one of the main features I am using in the XAML project I am building. Another topic I would have liked to have seen more on in is using SQLite. So far all the books that I have read on Windows 8 Apps tell you that it's available, but they don't explain how to use it. The apps I am working on are going to need a robust local data cache, and App Data and User Data are not going to be able to handle it. Security was also only lightly touched on. There could have more on security.

The code samples are very well organized and usable. The best part about them is they all work. That is not always the case anymore. I recently purchased a book I had been really looking forward to getting my hands on. It had 11 projects included as samples and none of them worked. After going back and forth with the author I threw the book on a shelf and decided to not even bother with it. He fixed three of them by the third round of updates. That gave me very little confidence in the advice he would offer in a book.

All in all I thought this book was a great read. The authors writing style made reading it a pleasure. Not all technical authors can do that. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking at getting into building Windows 8 Apps with JavaScript.

For more book recommendations check out my .NET, iOS, and Java Architecture and Development Book Recommendations for 2013

Building Windows 8 Apps with JavaScript

More Stories By Tad Anderson

Tad Anderson has been doing Software Architecture for 18 years and Enterprise Architecture for the past few.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Hadoop as a Service (as offered by handful of niche vendors now) is a cloud computing solution that makes medium and large-scale data processing accessible, easy, fast and inexpensive. In his session at Big Data Expo, Kumar Ramamurthy, Vice President and Chief Technologist, EIM & Big Data, at Virtusa, will discuss how this is achieved by eliminating the operational challenges of running Hadoop, so one can focus on business growth. The fragmented Hadoop distribution world and various PaaS solutions that provide a Hadoop flavor either make choices for customers very flexible in the name of opti...
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
Can call centers hang up the phones for good? Intuitive Solutions did. WebRTC enabled this contact center provider to eliminate antiquated telephony and desktop phone infrastructure with a pure web-based solution, allowing them to expand beyond brick-and-mortar confines to a home-based agent model. It also ensured scalability and better service for customers, including MUY! Companies, one of the country's largest franchise restaurant companies with 232 Pizza Hut locations. This is one example of WebRTC adoption today, but the potential is limitless when powered by IoT.
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
The 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - announces that its Call for Papers is open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Wearable devices have come of age. The primary applications of wearables so far have been "the Quantified Self" or the tracking of one's fitness and health status. We propose the evolution of wearables into social and emotional communication devices. Our BE(tm) sensor uses light to visualize the skin conductance response. Our sensors are very inexpensive and can be massively distributed to audiences or groups of any size, in order to gauge reactions to performances, video, or any kind of presentation. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Jocelyn Scheirer, CEO & Founder of Bionolux, will discuss ho...
The true value of the Internet of Things (IoT) lies not just in the data, but through the services that protect the data, perform the analysis and present findings in a usable way. With many IoT elements rooted in traditional IT components, Big Data and IoT isn’t just a play for enterprise. In fact, the IoT presents SMBs with the prospect of launching entirely new activities and exploring innovative areas. CompTIA research identifies several areas where IoT is expected to have the greatest impact.
Every day we read jaw-dropping stats on the explosion of data. We allocate significant resources to harness and better understand it. We build businesses around it. But we’ve only just begun. For big payoffs in Big Data, CIOs are turning to cognitive computing. Cognitive computing’s ability to securely extract insights, understand natural language, and get smarter each time it’s used is the next, logical step for Big Data.
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
SYS-CON Events announced today that MetraTech, now part of Ericsson, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Ericsson is the driving force behind the Networked Society- a world leader in communications infrastructure, software and services. Some 40% of the world’s mobile traffic runs through networks Ericsson has supplied, serving more than 2.5 billion subscribers.
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal an...
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo, June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be
Container frameworks, such as Docker, provide a variety of benefits, including density of deployment across infrastructure, convenience for application developers to push updates with low operational hand-holding, and a fairly well-defined deployment workflow that can be orchestrated. Container frameworks also enable a DevOps approach to application development by cleanly separating concerns between operations and development teams. But running multi-container, multi-server apps with containers is very hard. You have to learn five new and different technologies and best practices (libswarm, sy...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DragonGlass, an enterprise search platform, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. After eleven years of designing and building custom applications, OpenCrowd has launched DragonGlass, a cloud-based platform that enables the development of search-based applications. These are a new breed of applications that utilize a search index as their backbone for data retrieval. They can easily adapt to new data sets and provide access to both structured and unstruc...
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, discussed how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, sensors, social, and ...
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.