Ten Must-Have JS Plugins for Busy Developers

top must have js plugins

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.

Ten Must-Have JS Plugins for Busy Developers

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…

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Gold passes to Apps World London 2014?

get clear vision apps world

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.

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Node, HTML, JavaScript and Hackathons

hackathon starter project

 

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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When HTML5 goes up

html5 up designs

I have recently found a great online gallery of HTML5 web app designs. It has 19 (at the time of this post writing) well designed and free to use web app templates.
They are all responsive, look beautiful on desktop and mobile browsers and do support multiple screen resolutions.

What I most like about this web gallery is that the author has started in 2012 and has grown a lot with every new design he posted! He has also created a www front end framework skelJS which is the powering engine for all these HTML5 designs.

The most recent templates are really worth taking a look at and will for sure give you some inspirations on how to use HTML5 in web projects.

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PhoneGap and WordPress for building mobile applications

Developing HTML5 mobile applications with WordPress

These days many developers are exploring ways to speed up and to simplify mobile application development process. And I see more an more tools created for this reason.

Today I noticed one such tool which takes slightly different approach. It allows you to build mobile applications by using WordPress CMS. Its called Apppreser.
They help you to convert WordPress based HTML sites to a native mobile applications by wrapping them to PhoneGap framework.

The idea is to use WordPress plugins to talk to PhoneGap APIs and this way connect to mobile hardware.

Even if folks from Apppress are charging quite a few bucks for their plugins and implementation the use case is promising. There are plenty of websites powered by WordPress and theoretically it should be possible to make HTML5 mobile applications from them with a little bit of effort.

As for the high price for the service, I’m sure there will soon be open source versions of such plugins available. WordPress developer community is known for creating great open source plugins.

What do you think about such way of creating HTML based mobile apps?

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Great OAuth tutorials for HTML5 applications

OAuth APIs and HTML5

Applications we build are more and more dependent on 3rd party data sources. And as Internet of things continues to grow, this fact becomes even more stronger.

It allows us to create great experiences for the app end users by presenting them data gathered from across the Internets. But at the same time we have to spend more time ensuring that our applications are consuming all this data securely and they only get access to the data they need. OAuth protocol was designed and developed for this exact reason.

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Building AngularJS based native mobile application. Part 2

This is the second part of tutorial for building native mobile application based on AngularJS, HTML5 markup and CSS styles. In the first part you will find how to setup the new project, add routes, controllers, HTML5 views and do simple testing in a standard web browser.

What we are doing in this tutorial?

In this tutorial part we are going to take previously created application and add back navigation button, sliding animations between the views and functionality to retrieve data from web services by using asynchronous HTTP communication. Finally I’ll give some hints how to wrap this application into PhoneGap framework in order to create installable version. Lets get started.

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How to build AngularJS based native mobile application

This is the first part of the tutorial for building native mobile application based on AngularJS framework, HTML5 markup and CSS styles. The second tutorial part can be found by following the link.

I have recently started using AngularJS a JavaScript tool set for building HTML5 applications. As we are covering cross platform mobile application development here on htmlcenter, I decided to write a tutorial and share my experiences while using powerful and quite easy to understand AngularJS MVC structure for developing cross platform mobile applications.

This tutorial is about how to build Angular powered HTML5 mobile application, wrap it up with PhoneGap and distribute as a native mobile app (on several mobile platforms if you wish so). We have split tutorial into 2 parts, just to make it easier for information to sink in. As always, links to the example source code can be found at the end of the tutorial posts.

What we are going to cover?

First, we will briefly explore what is AngularJS (however, this tutorial is not about learning the basics),  we are going to pick Ratchet as a front end framework for our HTML5 mobile application and create MVC structure. Second tutorial part covers how to make our view transitions animated, how AngularJS communicates with web services  and how to wrap up AngularJS application with PhoneGap. Sounds like we have some ground to cover. Lets get started.

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Crossing platforms between iOS and Android. Extending PhoneGap project

One of the main reasons to use hybrid mobile application framework like PhoneGap for development is to maintain you project code base in one programming language, while deploying mobile applications across many mobile platforms. PhoneGap is the wrapper for HTML5 applications to make them run on multiple mobile operating systems as native apps. Applications are written in JavaScript and framework provides API’s to access native mobile device functionality. Developers can even write their own plugins to get any specific native OS functionality they want.

I have recently published 4 piece tutorial about developing PhoneGap based mobile application for Apple iOS platform. In the beginning of that tutorial I promised to use the same application JavaScript code for another mobile app which is created to run on Android powered mobile devices. This post is about doing exactly that. I will share my experience of taking PhoneGap application code from iOS based app and moving it over to the Android platform. Some native elements will have to be changed but we will talk about them once we get there. Now, lets do some work.

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Developing PhoneGap mobile project. Final part

This is the final tutorial part for developing simple PhoneGap based mobile application from the ground up. Earlier in tutorial parts one, two and three we took a closer look at what role PhoneGap hybrid mobile development framework plays in mobile development and how it works. We have created a new project and added several elements of functionality, similar to what most mobile applications out there would have – user interface, HTTP communication, data storage, native controls etc. In this final part I’m going to show you Geolocation API implementation, how to prepare and delay application splash screen and finalize everything with application icon. We’ll be working with the code from the last tutorial part (you can find at the bottom of tutorial part 3). Source code for overall finished PhoneGap application example (including today’s changes) can be found at the bottom of this post. Lets get started!

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