Alex Bosworth's Weblog

developing software, living the expat life in beijing, other fun stuff!

previous projects: alchemy, swik, open source stuff, now adylitica.

Working with JQueryMobile

I’ve been playing with and building small apps in JqueryMobile┬ásince it came out.

I still can’t make up my mind if I like it or not.

On one hand, it is completely against the principles of JQuery: which a simple, non-intrusive, non widget focused library. Jquerymobile on the other hand holds your hand the whole way and is basically an app framework.

However, it is very fast to develop on, and it does try to be un-intrusive.

I really want it to succeed, but there is a lot that worries me about committing to it as a development platform:

  1. It was pushed out as ‘final’, but the performance is still pretty bad in a lot of situations, even on my laptop.
  2. The architecture is very much designed to make static web apps easy, which is really weird since the rest of the design is very helpful for building dynamic apps, and how often do you need a static app? I guarantee that if you are building a dynamic app on jquerymobile you will either have to give up their multi-platform benefits to some degree, or spend a lot of time fighting with their automatic caching stuff.
  3. The overloading of data attributes is an interesting idea, but you start to get a lot of style markup in your page content, and it can be frustrating to write so many data attributes
  4. It doesn’t help you with the difficult offline stuff - it assumes you are building an always online app
  5. Some features are added because they are cool, but don’t actually work very well: fixed position title bars for example.
  6. It’s not designed with targeting tablets or the web in mind - it’s a false premise that anything can automatically handle all screen sizes without you worrying about that.
  7. I would like it to target more modern browsers and aim where the market is going: the jquery ‘A-grade’ experience browser list is really broad

It’s so fast and easy to create apps on jquerymobile though I think it will have some good success, particularly in intranet situations - what is more reassuring is that it seems like an independent, truly open source effort, which should prevent potential lock-in problems in the future.

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