Friday, November 21st, 2008

iPhone for JavaScript Developers

Category: iPhone, Mobile

John has done a really good job at wrapping up information on the various options for JavaScript developers on the iPhone platform.

He discusses the various approaches:

  • JiggyApp: JiggyApp provides a full API for developing an application – apparently separate from most of the typical APIs. Arguably, though, the code ends up being relatively usable (jailbroken only :(
  • JSCocoa: JSCocoa is a full bridge that maps Cocoa development into JavaScript (instead of the typical Objective-C/Cocoa mapping). The result ends up working in both OS X and on the iPhone.
  • PhoneGap: PhoneGap is an application that exposes a few JavaScript APIs to pages running MobileSafari. Right now this includes Geolocation and access to the Accelerometer.
  • WebTouch: The other day “Dr Nic” wrote up an article on how he had used a WebKit instance (along with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript) to render a portion of his iPhone application.

I was chatting with someone on the PhoneGap team about their Android support. There is a play to be had to enable rich mobile applications all based on the Open Web stack that we know and love :)

Posted by Dion Almaer at 6:23 am

3.6 rating from 14 votes


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Ra-Ajax ( has roughly 100% support for iPhone…
(Of course!)
That’s how it is when one chooses to support standards fanatically… ;)

Comment by ThomasHansen — November 21, 2008

JSCocoa only works on the iPhone simulator for now, it won’t compile on the iPhone because libffi isn’t there. And I’ve read the Python guys are having trouble with getting libffi to create functions at runtime.

Any libffi pointers welcome ! Please mail

Comment by parmanoir — November 21, 2008

@Thomas I am sure ajaxian has some kind of ad space you could buy… trolling the comments seems like a bad marketing strategy.

Comment by jdalton — November 21, 2008

Just a suggestion, Ajaxian, why don’t you just hire John to publish.

Comment by ibolmo — November 21, 2008

Another framework to get native applications using HTML and Javascript:

Comment by perenzo — November 21, 2008

@perenzo: Where have I seen that design before? ( hint: )

Seriously people stop plugging your own libraries/frameworks unless it really is relevant. And even then, it is probably safer to let someone else plug it for you.

Comment by Tr0y — November 21, 2008

@tr0y and jdalton
That’s easier said then done when you’re on “the outside” due to politics (e.g. building on Mono and .Net)
Regarding purchasing place, I don’t think an LGPL licensed free of charge library would ever have that type of pull unless some “rich uncle” would be willing to fix it. (That’s a HINT BTW)
I have sent in *tons* of news to the ajaxians, like when we released this one;
But unfortunately it doesn’t matter even if I bend space and time since I’m on .Net/Mono which seems to be the “wrong political choice” for the CNNs of our sector… :(
@Dion (and crew)
You guys have helped me out earlier, and I am very thankful for that. And I am sorry for “blowing the whistle” like I do here.
Though when you have something which scientifically easily can be *proven* to be the *definitely-by-far* best Ajax library. At least on the .Net stack. Possibly also regardless of language too. And you get *one* article there must be something wrong…
I remember you did an article of ExtJS running on Wii…
Well Ra-Ajax runs on Wii, iPhone, WindowsMobile (Opera), Nokia (Opera), SonyEricson, Linux, FF, Chrome, Safari, IE, “whatever”. In addition Ra-Ajax is less then 20KB of JavaScript while ExtJS spends 1 minute just loading the screen every time I click a link. Ra is *L*GPL Ext is GPL and commercial. Plus the latest focal area of Ext LLC (ExtGWT) is basically xerox-copying my ideas of “no JavaScript Ajax” and still they’ve got like 100s of Articles and Ra-Ajax have like *ONE* that hurts – not to mention that it is probably not in the best interest of the world…
Especially considering that Ra-Ajax is FREE while ExtJS at least have been accused of (not by me though!) actually tricking the world with bait and switch which if is true even beats the FUD and EEE techniques of MSFT…
Now what is so wrong with .Net and Mono that makes it impossible to write about Ra-Ajax? Should .Net developers be forced into choosing Silverlight just because you guys don’t want to promote .Net libraries at all…?
If Ra sucked I wouldn’t mind staying in the “cold”, but it doesn’t! Ra rules BIG TIME!
I’ve sent in news which beats about 70% of every single news article you guys have had here. *Ever*…!
And I know, because I still follow you guys…
Still ZIP…!
Maybe you guys wouldn’t have dropped like 80% at if you didn’t stop writing about Ajax for .Net about a year ago…?
You guys are loosing it, and the reason is because you’re not embracing more than a fraction of the world…! Embrace *everything* (which is Open Web) and help get Open Web out there and see your Alexa ratings soar up again…
Fact is according to Alexa is soon to be bigger than you guys. That’s *weird*…!

Comment by ThomasHansen — November 21, 2008

I’m not here to jump on you again or anything, but I see this site as being primarily focused on JavaScript news and the technologies that affect it (evidence given by the numbers on the top left of this page). You push your Framework with the primary focus on not using JavaScript at all. On that alone I think you stick out like a sore thumb to a number of people.
Also inflammatory claims of being the *best* ajax library is hardly a fact so much as an opinion. Your framework is Domain Specific to the .NET framework as you had said and that probably turns off a few others as well. Not all web developers work in Microsoft shops, nor use Visual Studio as their main IDE, I’ll venture a guess that not even a majority do (in which I may be wrong on this point but I’ve never seen anything close to reliable statistics).
I’ve sent in news which beats about 70% of every single news article you guys have had here. *Ever*…!
If you posted more of that news on your website you may get more traffic. When I peruse your site (which I do once a week), there is nothing sticking out to me saying “Holy sh**, that’s so awesome, I’m going to sell my house and use Ra-Ajax!!!1!!!one!!!”.
Give a better presentation, allow people to offer feedback, and you wouldn’t have a need for Ajaxian and the people here wouldn’t need to derail post after post on the same old argument again and again.

Comment by TNO — November 21, 2008

Brilliant words, need some time to digest them, but will re-read again in a day or two and “re-think”…
Thank you :)
Regarding your “number one” comment there are several metrics you can measure on, codesize, codecomplexity, cross browser workings, speed etc…
I’ve found Ra-Ajax to run in circles around everything else I’ve seen on every single metric I’ve heard of, but I agree “the best” is open to subjective opinions…

Comment by ThomasHansen — November 21, 2008

Hey All,

I hope I’m promoting PhoneGap too much here but the Android version is working in some sort of alpha state. Check out a getting started tutorial here:

Comment by AndreCharland — November 21, 2008

I kinda enjoy it when the super-small guys push their own libraries. A couple big libraries get almost all the attention.

Comment by Nosredna — November 21, 2008

Can’t wait to see more about developing on the Android platform (JavaScript, HTML, CSS)

Comment by gabe — November 23, 2008

ThomasHansen: You should consider a different marketing strategy for your home cooked library. Your shameless plugs in pretty much every ajaxian post are gettting tiresome. If the library was any good it would’ve catched on by now, stop spamming the place.

Comment by lovejs — November 24, 2008

“If the library was any good it would’ve catched on by now”
Remember BetaMax vs. VHS…? ;)
“stop spamming the place”
I am trying to keep my comments relevant, and I think I’m succeeding. Sure I mention Ra a lot, but when I mention it I mention it in a context where I think it makes sense…

Comment by ThomasHansen — November 24, 2008

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