Book Review - jQuery Mobile Web Development Essentials

jQuery Mobile is a tool for mobile sites and which provides a way to turn regular HTML (and CSS) into mobile friendly sites. jQuery Mobile is focused on HTML. It's a powerful, practical way of creating mobile websites that any existing HTML developer can pick up and adapt within a few hours. jQuery Mobile has some very big sponsors - Nokia, Blackberry, Adobe,and other large companies but it is completely free to use for any purpose and completely open source.Along with not paying a dime to get, and work with, jQuery Mobile, the best thing is that as web developer you probably already
have all the skills necessary to work with the framework. If you know HTML, even just simple HTML, you can use the jQuery Mobile framework. Knowledge of CSS and JavaScript is a plus, but not entirely required.

However, against misconceptions ,jQuery Mobile does not by itself create native phone applications. It may however be combined with wrapper technologies such as PhoneGap to create native apps. In general, jQuery Mobile is for building websites. The book jQuery Mobile Web Development Essentials by Raymond Camden and Andy Matthews (Packt Publishing Ltd ISBN 978-1-84951-726-3) shows how to create applications with jQuery Mobile. In 13 simple to read chapters, it shows how to create mobile-optimized sites with jQuery and also to leverage the knowledge to create native apps for mobile devices.

Chapter 1, shows how to build your first jQuery Mobile website - how to create a simple HTML page , add jQuery Mobile to the page ,make use of custom data attributes (data-*) ,update the HTML to make use of the data attributes.

Chapter 2, shows how to add multiple pages to one jQuery Mobile file , how links are modified by jQuery Mobile (and how to disable it), how additional files can be linked to and added to a jQuery Mobile site and how jQuery Mobile automatically handles URLs to allow for easy bookmarking. This chapter fleshes out the concept of jQuery Mobile pages and how to work with multiple pages.

In Chapter 3 the reader will learn how add headers, footers, and navigation bars (NavBars) to their jQuery Mobile pages. It shows how the proper div tags will create nicely formatted headers and footers on your page and how to make these headers and footers persist over a long page.

Chapter 4, discusses how to work with list views in jQuery Mobile. It shows how to turn a regular HTML list into a mobile optimized list and demonstrates the numerous types of list features available with the framework- from simple lists to lists with custom thumbnails and multiple user actions.

In Chapter 5, the reader may at last begin to get practical with a real world application by building a simple hotel mobile site. This chapter, demonstrates how to build a very simple, but effective, website for a fake hotel. This website will share essential information for folks needing to learn about the hotel while on a mobile device, makes use of Google's Static Maps API to create a simple map showing the hotel's location, and demonstrates the use of tel and mail to URL schemes for automatic phone dialing and e-mailing.

Chapter 6, discusses forms and how they are rendered in a jQuery Mobile application. It discusses how jQuery Mobile automatically turns all form submissions into Ajax based calls and updates form fields to work better on mobile devices. By this, not only are all your form fields automatically updated, but they can also make use of new controls like the toggle, slider, and search inputs.

In Chapter 7, the reader will look at dialogs, grids, and collapsible blocks. The reader will learn more about how jQuery Mobile enhances basic HTML to provide additional layout controls to mobile pages. With dialogs, the reader will learn how to provide a basic, quick, modal message to users ; with grids,new way to easily layout content in columns. Finally, with the collapsible content blocks, the user will learn a cool way to share additional content without taking up as much screen space.

Chapter 8, finally brings in the JavaScript. It looks at how you can configure various jQuery Mobile settings, what utilities exist, and how to handle post-rendered updates to enhanced controls.This chapter explains how jQuery Mobile sites can be configured via JavaScript , discusses the various JavaScript utilities that ship with jQuery Mobile and how they can be used and explain the APIs used to work with the enhanced jQuery Mobile form and widget controls

Chapter 9, looks into events that jQuery Mobile application can listen and respond to. These events include physical types (scrolling, orientation, touching) and page based ones as well.It discusses touch, swipe, scroll, and other physical events ; it also discusses page events.

In Chapter 10, the reader can extend their skill by building a Notepad - a living, breathing mobile application with jQuery Mobile.It will walk the reader through the process of listing the requirements for the app, building the wireframes, and writing the HTML. The reader will learn about HTML 5's local Storage, using templates for text replacement, and some of the cooler features of jQuery Mobile including dynamically adding and refreshing elements on the page.

Chapter 11, teaches advanced CSS techniques that are central to the jQuery Mobile experience, and how jQuery Mobile uses them to provide a rich interface to the end user. It takes a deep dive into the basics of jQuery Mobile theming and how it works. The reader is taught how to build a custom theme using the ThemeRoller tool, a custom icon with their very own hands, and how to tie all those things together and implement them in their own application.

Chapter 12, looks into the PhoneGap open source project and how it allows you to take your HTML, JavaScript, and CSS, and create native applications for a multitude of different devices. It plays with the Build service and uses it to upload code and download compiled native applications. While jQuery Mobile isn't required with PhoneGap, the two make an incredibly powerful team.

Chapter 13, finally shows how to become a jQuery expert by building an RSS Reader application. It discusses the RSS Reader application and its features , how to create the application and also what could be added to the application.

Creative mobile applications with jQuery could be more than fun ; it makes good sense too. With average access device use for internet running as hog as 70% worldwide it should not be pushed aside . This book gets you up and running in no time.