Welcome!

Silverlight Authors: Steven Mandel, Gerardo A Dada, Srinivasan Sundara Rajan, Yeshim Deniz, Greg O'Connor

Blog Feed Post

Building Windows 8 Apps with JavaScript Book Review

Although I started with Cold Fusion 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

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Tad Anderson

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

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pulzze Systems will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Pulzze Systems, Inc. provides infrastructure products for the Internet of Things to enable any connected device and system to carry out matched operations without programming. For more information, visit http://www.pulzzesystems.com.
If you’re responsible for an application that depends on the data or functionality of various IoT endpoints – either sensors or devices – your brand reputation depends on the security, reliability, and compliance of its many integrated parts. If your application fails to deliver the expected business results, your customers and partners won't care if that failure stems from the code you developed or from a component that you integrated. What can you do to ensure that the endpoints work as expect...
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, will discuss the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports. The session will include a working demo and a technical d...
WebRTC adoption has generated a wave of creative uses of communications and collaboration through websites, sales apps, customer care and business applications. As WebRTC has become more mainstream it has evolved to use cases beyond the original peer-to-peer case, which has led to a repeating requirement for interoperability with existing infrastructures. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Graham Holt, Executive Vice President of Daitan Group, will cover implementation examples that have enabled ea...
Almost two-thirds of companies either have or soon will have IoT as the backbone of their business in 2016. However, IoT is far more complex than most firms expected. How can you not get trapped in the pitfalls? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will introduce a holistic method of IoTification, which is the process of IoTifying the existing technology and business models to adopt and leverage IoT. He will drill down to the components in this fra...
SYS-CON Events announced today the Enterprise IoT Bootcamp, being held November 1-2, 2016, in conjunction with 19th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Enterprise IoT Bootcamp is not just based on presentations but with hands-on demos and detailed walkthroughs. We will introduce you to a variety of real world use cases prototyped using Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, Spark, and Intel Edison. Y...
Technology vendors and analysts are eager to paint a rosy picture of how wonderful IoT is and why your deployment will be great with the use of their products and services. While it is easy to showcase successful IoT solutions, identifying IoT systems that missed the mark or failed can often provide more in the way of key lessons learned. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Peter Vanderminden, Principal Industry Analyst for IoT & Digital Supply Chain to Flatiron Strategies, will focus on how IoT de...
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
SYS-CON Events announced today that China Unicom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. China United Network Communications Group Co. Ltd ("China Unicom") was officially established in 2009 on the basis of the merger of former China Netcom and former China Unicom. China Unicom mainly operates a full range of telecommunications services including mobile broadband (GSM, WCDMA, LTE F...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Roundee / LinearHub will exhibit at the WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LinearHub provides Roundee Service, a smart platform for enterprise video conferencing with enhanced features such as automatic recording and transcription service. Slack users can integrate Roundee to their team via Slack’s App Directory, and '/roundee' command lets your video conference ...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
There is growing need for data-driven applications and the need for digital platforms to build these apps. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Muddu Sudhakar, VP and GM of Security & IoT at Splunk, will cover different PaaS solutions and Big Data platforms that are available to build applications. In addition, AI and machine learning are creating new requirements that developers need in the building of next-gen apps. The next-generation digital platforms have some of the past platform needs a...
I'm a lonely sensor. I spend all day telling the world how I'm feeling, but none of the other sensors seem to care. I want to be connected. I want to build relationships with other sensors to be more useful for my human. I want my human to understand that when my friends next door are too hot for a while, I'll soon be flaming. And when all my friends go outside without me, I may be left behind. Don't just log my data; use the relationship graph. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Boyd, Engi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Numerex Corp, a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT), will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Numerex Corp. (NASDAQ:NMRX) is a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT). The Company's solutions produce new revenue streams or create operating...
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at EMC, will introduce a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organizati...
The vision of a connected smart home is becoming reality with the application of integrated wireless technologies in devices and appliances. The use of standardized and TCP/IP networked wireless technologies in line-powered and battery operated sensors and controls has led to the adoption of radios in the 2.4GHz band, including Wi-Fi, BT/BLE and 802.15.4 applied ZigBee and Thread. This is driving the need for robust wireless coexistence for multiple radios to ensure throughput performance and th...
Enterprise IT has been in the era of Hybrid Cloud for some time now. But it seems most conversations about Hybrid are focused on integrating AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google ECM into existing on-premises systems. Where is all the Private Cloud? What do technology providers need to do to make their offerings more compelling? How should enterprise IT executives and buyers define their focus, needs, and roadmap, and communicate that clearly to the providers?
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.