PhoneGap 3.x Mobile Application Development
“Create useful and exciting real-world apps for iOS and Android devices with 12 fantastic projects”
Book Cover: PhoneGap 3.x Mobile Application Development
October 2012. Published by Packt Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-1-84951-858-1.
Packt asked me to review the book, which I did in PDF format.
About the author: “A regular presenter at national and international conferences, Matt Gifford also contributes articles and tutorials in leading international industry magazines, as well as publishing on his blog (www.mattgifford.co.uk).”
This book functions as a cookbook, so it creates spare apps that do exactly what they set out to do and little else. As a result, there is no disc of complicated code included. The benefit of this approach is that you don’t get lost in the programming of a more fully functioning app. The cookbook format, however, means that you will get only little more explanation of the code than what you’ll see on PhoneGap’s site. So this is not a book for those already comfortable using the code on PG’s site. Continue reading
PhoneGap Beginner’s Guide, by Andrew Lunny
Packt Publishing, https://www.packtpub.com/
I’m reading the PDF version of this book, which displayed very nicely on Adobe Reader.
This book covers a lot of material (emphasis on “a lot”). This review will cover the breadth of this book’s content. It starts you at the beginning, with downloading PhoneGap and the Software Development Kits (SDKs) you’ll need to create and install applications for each of the mobile phone frameworks (Xcode for iPhone, Eclipse for Android, and Blackberry Webworks). We are introduced immediately to Git, ant, and Ruby, so we can start using them in our workflow.
I successfully finished an online tutorial. I had several serious problems, but all of them were my fault – typos. Here’s the result. I took screen grabs of the iPhone Simulator as I took the steps. In step one above left I have a text box at top, directions in the middle (“Enter your name above”), and a “Display” button below. In Step 2, when I “tapped” the text box using the mouse, the keyboard automatically slid up from the bottom. I typed in my name and clicked on the Display button. Step three shows the result: the middle text changed to “Hello Steve!” Continue reading
I entered huge amount of coding when I followed the steps in chapter 8 of the Dummies book. After each time I entered the code for that step, I carefully checked the code. After finishing chapter 9, I compiled the code and it generated 20 errors. It wasn’t simply the amount of code to enter in, but switching back and forth from the header file and the main file that makes it hard to double-check. (These projects generate a lot of pages, and you need to enter the code in the right page and after the right code, usually a header page and a main page.) When you jump around like that, it makes it harder to check your code at a later point. Continue reading
I received the book, iPhone Application Development for Dummies by Neal Gordstein a couple of days ago. I’m nearly halfway through it now. Unlike the Beginning iPhone Development book, it doesn’t have a lot of applications to make (it goes over just one so far). However, it has a LOT of explanations for how things work under the hood, so that is this book’s strength. The author does expect you to have some experience with programming.
Would this book have been a better book to start with? I don’t know. Remember that I already have several docs under my belt – the Beginning book above and the online Apple docs, so all that knowledge is only helping me as I read later works. It is extremely focused on learning what’s under the hood. I think that if I had not had the experience with Beginning, then the explanations in for Dummies would have made less sense than it did. The abstract line drawings would not be as clear as they could be for someone who has not had C or C++ programming experience. Continue reading
I went over the Beginning iPhone Development book, chapter 3, underlining and generally marking up the book. I carefully noted each step with a circled digit in the margin. Where it referred to steps to take in the previous chapter, I noted the page numbers of that chapter in the margin in the appropriate place. This will help me later when I actually do the coding on the Mac. Continue reading
I finished reading the Mobile Human Interface Guide. It was a valuable read because it clarified my project. It went over the specific ways Apple wants us to use its buttons and other design elements. As it went over each element and how they were designed to be used, it opened up many feature possibilities for my book. Here are a few lessons I picked up. Continue reading
Screen Capture of final product
I followed chapter 2 of Beginning iPhone Development. In only a few steps I was able to complete the Hello World! assignment. I did not create the app’s icon because I don’t have any image editing program installed, like Windows does for Paint. There might be one, but I could not find it. Continue reading
I now have it in my head that a book with “Beginning” in its title does not mean “Starting out as a complete novice.” It simply means the start of something. Often, books with this word in its title assume the reader has prior knowledge in something else, whether C++, Cocoa, or Basket Weaving 101. From the appropriate foundation mentioned in the book, you can THEN “begin” this new phase in your learning experience.
So it’s very important that you read the book reviews on Amazon.com before buying a how-to book on programming. Go ahead and read the 5-star reviews. Even better, read the 2-star reviews, for that’s where you’ll find the disgruntled customers complaining that they thought the title meant it was for absolute novices. I bought Beginning iPhone Development knowing it wasn’t for novices. (I’m saving it for later.) Reading the 2-star reviews can give you clues as to which books they thought were better for novices. Then look up those books and read their reviews to see if the book is right for you.