Aaron Sumner


jQuery Mobile by Jon Reid: A Book Report

cover Last August, the cover of Wired magazine famously proclaimed that “the Web is dead” and that native apps have taken over how we interact with the Internet. Whether that bold statement is accurate or not is a discussion outside the scope of this review, but what do you do if (a) you have solid web design skills, (b) you’d like to use those skills to develop great-looking mobile applications, and © you don’t have a large development team (or a lot of time)? Or maybe you would just prefer to avoid app stores and fragmentation and just give your customers a solid mobile experience. jQuery Mobile (the Javascript framework) may be your answer—and jQuery Mobile (the book) from O’Reilly Media is a great way to get started using this framework.

In jQuery Mobile, author Jon Reid does a top-notch job of introducing readers to the jQuery Mobile framework—first through some basic examples of page creation and navigation, then on to solid documentation on the framework itself, and finally by walking readers through a basic, though functional, jQuery Mobile-based Twitter client that incorporates multiple pages and UI components. The book is a quick read and easy to walk through—Reid’s style is well-suited for this style of tutorial/documentation combo.

Two words of caution: If you don’t already know jQuery (or, for that matter, Javascript), this book might be a little out-of-reach once Reid’s tutorials get more in-depth. If you’re already familiar with jQuery, you should have no problem working through the Twitter client tutorial and then on your own jQuery Mobile projects. Second, if you’re looking for a reference to help you integrate jQuery Mobile with your application’s server-side technology, this book will not help you—jQuery Mobile focuses strictly on client-side technology and does not provide detail on any back-end language (nor does it cover HTML5 concepts like offline caching). A few quick online searches should help you find more information in that regard.

All in all, jQuery Mobile (the book) is a solid introduction and reference to using modern web technologies to develop your next mobile-optimized web app—and jQuery Mobile (the framework) is an excellent combination of these technologies to help put mobile app development within the reach of developers who aren’t quite ready to write the Web off just yet.

More information about jQuery Mobile is available from O’Reilly.

Note: I wrote this review for O’Reilly’s Blogger Review Program. It’s a pretty nice deal: Get a free e-book to read, share a review in your blog, get another free book to read. Sign up for yourself to take advantage of this deal, and watch for more book reports in my blog.

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