Mobile App development with PhoneGap

A few years ago, I had an idea for an App. At the time, I did some research and felt that Appcelerator was the right way to go.

I coded the core parts of the system but began to bog down in Graphics, scaling, screen resolution etc. Then other commitments took me away from my effort.

Back in March, I developed some free time and took another look at the app. After some thinking, I decided to move my development to PhoneGap.

It’s been lots of fun and a fair amount of learning. I had basic experience before with jQuery, jQuery Mobile and UI, but a deeper dive began.

The App has a fiar amount of graphical manipulation and I was hoping that CSS and relative positioning would work out, but I got into so many push-pulls that I eventually abandoned the relative positioning. I then moved to scaling and positioning everything manually. So I resize my images, my dive and manually place the divs and images based on the current screen size and orientation. This works much better although it was more work.

The app works great with a few small bugs still within Chrome.  Now the tricky part.

Infrastructure – UGH

I installed all of the required supporting applications like node.js, git pretty smoothly. Then the SDK’s for android went into my PC fairly easy. Apple being apple does not work with anything that is not apple, so I’ll have to redo the installs on my MAC when I’m ready to publish.

The big infrastructure pain is in getting phonegap to build and emulate. The docs are fairly deficient and there are gaps in what one needs to do in order to get the application to actually execute on the emulator.

The tutorial walks through the various steps, but I’m still at the emulator loading but not showing my app. It took a while and with no docs to realize that the emulator version has an implied supported SDK, but there is no UI defense against picking the wrong one. I eventually realized this by guessing as google came up with noting.