Welcome!

AJAX & REA Authors: Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Michael Jannery, Plutora Blog

Related Topics: Java, SOA & WOA, .NET, AJAX & REA, Silverlight

Java: Book Review

Building Windows 8 Apps with JavaScript

A must have for any developer building Windows 8 App with JavaScript of any level

Although I started with ColdFusion for application development, I did plenty brochureware sites with HTML. I believe the version was HTML 2.0 for IE 2.0. I lived in the browser world for years doing Cold Fusion, ASP, and HTML sites. When winforms and Smart Client with web services emerged I changed my religion. Since then I have been avoiding the browser whenever possible since.

For the past couple of years my extent of using simple HTML has been limited to writing blogs and book reviews. Simple HTML means no ASP.NET or ASP.NET MVC. I have used HTML/JavaScript/CSS a lot as a byproduct of building ASP.NET and ASP.NET MVC applications for public consumption. Internal enterprise applications I will still push for using WPF and web services over ASP.NET or ASP.NET MVC, but I lose that battle a lot, especially when the developers have never learned WPF (XAML) and have no interest in learning anything new.

When it comes to Windows Store Apps my first choice will always be XAML with C# or C++. The problem is I am going to end up fighting the same battle with the web developers that don't like learning anything new. They are going to turn to HTML/JavaScript/CSS to build their Windows Store Apps.

Microsoft has recreated the same type of migration path as they did for the VB6 developers to move to VB.NET. The problem with that migration was tons of really bad VB.NET being written. After running into a lot of VB.NET projects that performed very badly and were very buggy I refused to allow VB.NET on my projects whenever I could.

The problem was VB6 programmers would not learn OOP and continued to code like they were still in the VB6 world. When I made them switch to C# that seemed to force them to learn more about .NET and that really helped improve their OOP skills. I never had anything against VB.NET coded correctly, the problem was most people didn’t code it correctly.

My fear of web developers moving to a mobile client application development environment with a requirement for natural user interfaces using touch is that we are going to see some atrocious applications being built. Windows Store Apps development is new enough that I have not had to deal with a lot of cleanup of bad HTML/JavaScript/CSS development yet. If I do start running into it, I will be adopting the same line of thought I had for VB.NET on projects. Meaning if it is my call, all development on my projects will be done using XAML with C# or C++. I really hope that does not happen again.

If you are one of those web developers that are planning on using your HTML/JavaScript/CSS, please take the time to read this book and other books on mobile device development and natural user interfaces. You are no longer developing for the browser!

With all that said, this book is a great place to start learning how to use your HTML/JavaScript/CSS to develop Windows Store Apps the right way. Below are the chapters included in the book.

1. Hello, Windows 8!
2. Binding and Controls
3. Layout
4. Typography
5. Media
6. Drawing and Animation
7. App State
8. Networking
9. Shell Contracts
10. Shell Integration
11. Device Interaction
12. Native Extensibility
13. Making Money
A. JavaScript for C-Family Programmers
B. Presentation and Style at a Glance

This book does a great job of covering development on Windows 8 with JavaScript and introducing architectural and design concerns that need to be considered on mobile devices. It does a great job of covering all the controls in and out of the context of touch. It injects thoughts on performance concerns with all the topics that need to worry about it.

The application state coverage is an important topic to understand and a must read chapter for new Windows 8 App developers.

I thought they did a really good job of covering Shell Contracts and Shell Integration. They are one of my favorite features in Windows 8.

The last chapter of the book does an awesome job of showing us how to go through a submission to the Microsoft Windows Store.

The book ends with two appendices. The first is an overview of JavaScript for C-Family programmers. I thought they did a pretty good job of assembling a lot of topics into a format which allowed them to cover a lot in a little space. The second appendix is an overview of HTML5 and CSS. It is all short and concise, but has a lot of good coverage.

I did find a couple of things missing that I would have like to see covered. One was the Windows.UI.Input.Inking APIs. The was no coverage at all. This is one of the main features I am using in the XAML project I am building. Another topic I would have liked to have seen more on in is using SQLite. So far all the books that I have read on Windows 8 Apps tell you that it's available, but they don't explain how to use it. The apps I am working on are going to need a robust local data cache, and App Data and User Data are not going to be able to handle it. Security was also only lightly touched on. There could have more on security.

The code samples are very well organized and usable. The best part about them is they all work. That is not always the case anymore. I recently purchased a book I had been really looking forward to getting my hands on. It had 11 projects included as samples and none of them worked. After going back and forth with the author I threw the book on a shelf and decided to not even bother with it. He fixed three of them by the third round of updates. That gave me very little confidence in the advice he would offer in a book.

All in all I thought this book was a great read. The authors writing style made reading it a pleasure. Not all technical authors can do that. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking at getting into building Windows 8 Apps with JavaScript.

For more book recommendations check out my .NET, iOS, and Java Architecture and Development Book Recommendations for 2013

Building Windows 8 Apps with JavaScript

More Stories By Tad Anderson

Tad Anderson has been doing Software Architecture for 18 years and Enterprise Architecture for the past few.

@CloudExpo Stories
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
You use an agile process; your goal is to make your organization more agile. But what about your data infrastructure? The truth is, today's databases are anything but agile - they are effectively static repositories that are cumbersome to work with, difficult to change, and cannot keep pace with application demands. Performance suffers as a result, and it takes far longer than it should to deliver new features and capabilities needed to make your organization competitive. As your application an...
Things are being built upon cloud foundations to transform organizations. This CEO Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Roger Strukhoff, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo conference chair, addressed the big issues involving these technologies and, more important, the results they will achieve. Rodney Rogers, chairman and CEO of Virtustream; Brendan O'Brien, co-founder of Aria Systems, Bart Copeland, president and CEO of ActiveState Software; Jim Cowie, chief scientist at Dyn; Dave Wagstaff, VP ...
"Application monitoring and intelligence can smooth the path in a DevOps environment. In a DevOps environment you see constant change. If you are trying to monitor things in a constantly changing environment, you're going to spend a lot of your job fixing your monitoring," explained Todd Rader, Solutions Architect at AppDynamics, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Desktop as a Service is emerging as a very big trend. One of the big influencers of this – for Esri – is that we have a large user base that uses virtualization and they are looking at Desktop as a Service right now," explained John Meza, Product Engineer at Esri, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
What do a firewall and a fortress have in common? They are no longer strong enough to protect the valuables housed inside. Like the walls of an old fortress, the cracks in the firewall are allowing the bad guys to slip in - unannounced and unnoticed. By the time these thieves get in, the damage is already done and the network is already compromised. Intellectual property is easily slipped out the back door leaving no trace of forced entry. If we want to reign in on these cybercriminals, it's hig...
More and more file-based and machine generated data is being created every day causing exponential data and content growth, and creating a management nightmare for IT managers. What data centers really need to cope with this growth is a purpose-built tiered archive appliance that enables users to establish a single storage target for all of their applications - an appliance that will intelligently place and move data to and between storage tiers based on user-defined policies. In her session a...
"SAP had made a big transition into the cloud as we believe it has significant value for our customers, drives innovation and is easy to consume. When you look at the SAP portfolio, SAP HANA is the underlying platform and it powers all of our platforms and all of our analytics," explained Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce at SAP, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, discussed how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP HANA...
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, ...
Over the last few years the healthcare ecosystem has revolved around innovations in Electronic Health Record (HER) based systems. This evolution has helped us achieve much desired interoperability. Now the focus is shifting to other equally important aspects - scalability and performance. While applying cloud computing environments to the EHR systems, a special consideration needs to be given to the cloud enablement of Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA), i.e....
Since 2008 and for the first time in history, more than half of humans live in urban areas, urging cities to become “smart.” Today, cities can leverage the wide availability of smartphones combined with new technologies such as Beacons or NFC to connect their urban furniture and environment to create citizen-first services that improve transportation, way-finding and information delivery. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Laetitia Gazel-Anthoine, CEO of Connecthings, will focus on successful use c...
High-performing enterprise Software Quality Assurance (SQA) teams validate systems that are ready for use - getting most actively involved as components integrate and form complete systems. These teams catch and report on defects, making sure the customer gets the best software possible. SQA teams have leveraged automation and virtualization to execute more thorough testing in less time - bringing Dev and Ops together, ensuring production readiness. Does the emergence of DevOps mean the end of E...
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
Docker offers a new, lightweight approach to application portability. Applications are shipped using a common container format and managed with a high-level API. Their processes run within isolated namespaces that abstract the operating environment independently of the distribution, versions, network setup, and other details of this environment. This "containerization" has often been nicknamed "the new virtualization." But containers are more than lightweight virtual machines. Beyond their small...
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series dat...
15th Cloud Expo, which took place Nov. 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, expanded the conference content of @ThingsExpo, Big Data Expo, and DevOps Summit to include two developer events. IBM held a Bluemix Developer Playground on November 5 and ElasticBox held a Hackathon on November 6. Both events took place on the expo floor. The Bluemix Developer Playground, for developers of all levels, highlighted the ease of use of Bluemix, its services and functionalit...
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile ...
In her General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing, at Verizon Enterprise, focused on finding the right mix of renting vs. buying Oracle capacity to scale to meet business demands, and offer validated Oracle database TCO models for Oracle development and testing environments. Anne Plese is a marketing and technology enthusiast/realist with over 19+ years in high tech. At Verizon Enterprise, she focuses on driving growth for the Verizon Cloud platfo...