Hello with Bootstrap and Responsive design

Happy new year to all HTMLCenter readers!

HTMLCenter blog meets this year with completely refreshed look & feel and new monthly Newsletter (we will give our best to make ‘monthly’ – regular). In addition to this we have made few other minor changes to overall blog structure.

How and why we did it all?

Site look & feel redesign project was sitting on my to-do list for a while, but somehow it managed skip down in priority order each month.

HTMLCenter runs on WordPress (very good CMS indeed), and the old custom theme we had was becoming much outdated.

Old WordPress theme was build with desktop Internet browser in mind and didn’t look good on mobile device browsers at all. Increasing number of HTMLCenter readers arriving via smart devices was a constant reminder that we had to find the time and do blog redesign.

PhoneGap plugins for mobile application projects

PhoneGap is hybrid HTML5 mobile application framework which has nicely growing user community.

Here on HTMLCenter we have published several tutorials about designing and developing Cordova / PhoneGap based HTML5 mobile applications.
One of the main strengths of PhoneGap undoubtedly is the native plugin functionality. It allows developers to hook the native mobile OS components with HTML5 and JavaScript code. This way you can use JavaScript methods across the app to access functionality provided by native code.

In fact, any other developers using PhoneGap framework can just import your plugin and use the functionality in their own apps. Developer community has created many such plugins. And Cordova contributors have developed plugin manager called plugman in order to make installation of plugins simple.

There are several plugin repositories which collect and archive PhoneGap framework plugins.

While working with iOS and Android applications I have used several PhoneGap plugins and want to share some of them which helped me a lot in mobile app projects. Did I miss any good ones?

What BaaS to choose for HTML5 application

The term backend as a service or BaaS is currently mentioned a lot among mobile application developers.

Multiple storage options exists for HTML5 applications, like the local storage or filesystem. But these will only allow application to store data locally, on the mobile device.

If your mobile app has to store data outside the device, in order to sync across different platforms for example, application creators have to make a decision on how this will be achieved.

One option is to build a simple backend service which could handle requests from mobile application running on multiple mobile clients and provide data storage functionality.

This usually sounds easier then it is to implement, because while building such backend service you have to take many factors into account. Authorisation and authentication, performance and operations support among many others.

Ten Must-Have JS Plugins for Busy Developers

This guest post on HtmlCenter blog is written by Casey Ark who runs Plato Web Design. We are always looking for interesting contributions to our blog which can provide value to our readers, please get in touch.

I run a design firm called Plato, and about a year ago, my team and I had reached an impasse. Like everyone else, we built websites with PHP/Wordpress, and had a great time doing it, but there was one problem: we were slow.

So we analyzed our processes – we watched everything our developers did each day, and tried to find the biggest time-wasting activities. After quite a bit of analysis, we eventually found out that approximately 50% of the time each of our developers spent each day was on repeatable tasks.

In fact, the biggest time-suck of all was in programming and reprogramming simple JavaScript features like lightboxes, form validation, and galleries. And in most cases, we were reinventing the wheel: features like these were already available as free Javascript plugins.

In the end, we spent a few weeks searching out the easiest-to-install, most customisable JS scripts in the world for use in our sites, and we saw an incredible increase in productivity…

Gold passes to Apps World London 2014?

Hello HTMLCenter readers!

We know that many of you are into tech workshops and conferences. Especially if it’s about HTML5, mobile and creating great user app experiences.
If you fall into this category, we have something to give away!

The folks from Apps World have reached out to us and offered couple of gold (full access) passes as a giveaway to HTMLCenter readers.

Apps World is returning to London for the fifth year running and has grown to be the leading global multi-platform event in the app industry.

Node, HTML, JavaScript and Hackathons

These days creating a new piece of web or mobile software feels a lot like combining already made pieces together. Adding some glue so they do not fall apart, releasing version v1 and repeat the loop many times. Until you are satisfied that nobody cares or that you have actually built something useful.

Agile, lean and other tech product methodologies have thought us to use this process. And ever increasing modular nature of web and back end frameworks make it easy to follow these steps. Many hours are already spent by community of smart people while creating all the reusable modules for your future app.

Good example to illustrate this trend is Hackathon Starter project. Its created for people building web and mobile apps with help of Node.js. As the name suggests it was created as reusable prototype for hackathon projects. In hackathons you usually have ~24 hours to create a somewhat working project. As this template is beefed up with main modules it will save lots of time and will let you concentrate on the specific functionality you want to achieve.

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