Creating Mobile Apps with Sencha Touch

Jay Garcia is speaking at DevIgnition at Oracle HQ on Creating Mobile Apps with Sencha Touch. He is the author of ExtJS in Action (which he says is finally in print!). He is not a Sencha employee, but he is a contributor.

[Liveblogging during the presentation]

If you aren't familiar with Sencha, you may know them better as ExtJS. Their offerings have expanded, and their name has changed. ExtJS was born out of YUI.

"JavaScript is the most misunderstood, yet most important languages on the web"

There is real money being spent here:

  • Google: V8
  • Mozilla: Jaegermonkey
  • Webkit: JavaScriptCore
  • Microsoft: IE9 JavaScfipt engine
  • HP/Palm: WebOS
  • ....

How did JavaScript go from a Toy Language to something to build robust applications with?

2005 - Google maps flexes Ajax muscle, modern JS
2006 - Ajax on the web explodes with frameworks
2007 - ExtJS is launched, iPhone launched

* Demo of Sencha Touch "Kitchen Sink"

Essentially, what you are familiar with from your iPhone. "All HTML5 and CSS3"


Sencha Touch Components

  • Touch Events
  • Custom Scroller
  • UI Components
  • HTML 5 Audio/Video support
  • Data Package
  • Theming - uses SASS & Compass

How does this all work?

  • Elaborate class inheritance model
  • Observable event model
  • Component model
  • Layout managers

The muscle behind this is WebKit

Sencha Touch supports iOs and Android devices and will soon support WebOS2, Blackberry 6, and Meego.

"If your application isn't going to use crazy animations, or crazy amounts of data then Sencha Touch may be the way to go"

Hopefully we will get some clarity on what crazy is!

Free for both commercial and GPL uses

Learning Resources

  • Sencha Touch Website
  • Kiva
  • API has screenshots
  • - Screencasts and Forums

He is also developing the book Sencha Touch in Action.

He is now showing us JavaScript books, and explaining that JavaScript and Java are different. I think he missed the mark a bit on who the audience is in the room....he also has lots of generalizations for developers who aren't him.

Does it have support for Canvas events? Not right now, but it is in HTML5 (of course)

Showing examples:

How doe it look in IE? It isn't going to work in IE, but he thinks that the Windows phone does have some support.

There is some discussions in the room now on how they changed licensing terms in the passed and pissed off some developers and caused certain projects to be shut down by the changes. Things to consider....

Other products that do something similar? JQ Touch (built off of JQuery), JQ Mobile (essentially the same thing), talk about 37 Signals also putting something out there.

Does Sencha Touch have support for offline? Yes - it can use cache in offline mode. "The problem is managing the cache manifest. It is a pain in the butt right now"\

twitter: @_jdg, @tdgi

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