At the end of last week a really interesting new PhoneGap tool was launched - the PhoneGap Developer App. The PG Developer App is a "shell" application that you can install on a real device (both Android and iOS with Windows Phone coming soon) and test with a local copy of your code. You can skip the SDK. You can test iOS on Windows. All you need is the core PhoneGap CLI and you are good to go. Let's take a quick look.
First - ensure you have installed the phonegap CLI via npm. Ensure you have the latest version (see my guide if you are new to npm) and then create a new project.
At this point you do not have to add a platform. Next - fire up the server:
Make note of the IP address. It should be obvious, but this tool requires that your mobile device be able to "see" your development machine. If you aren't on the same network (or on one of those cluttered free WiFi networks) you may have an issue. Ok, now, run the PhoneGap you downloaded to your device. Here's mine running on my iPhone.
Simply enter your IP address and hit connect. What you're seeing now in the app is the code from your project. If you switch back to your command prompt, you can see a butt load of messages - essentially an access log of requests. Fire up your favorite editor, make a change, and just click save.
It should update automatically, but if it doesn't, try a four finger tap. But to be clear, you do not have to go to the command line and run anything. It just - plain - happens.
Another interesting feature of the Dev App is that will automatically load all the core plugins. So if you want to test the Camera API, you just do it. No need to install the plugin manually. This is cool... but I kinda worry it may trip people up when they stop using the Dev App. I tend to be a worry wart though.
Another issue is that you cannot use remote debugging with it. By that I mean Safari Remote Debugging or Chrome Remote Debugging. Weinre works fine with it though.
So - thoughts? I've said before that I tend to focus on the Cordova CLI, especially when I teach, but I definitely see me demonstrating this next time I present on PhoneGap/Cordova.
Thank you to everyone who attended (not sure how many - 20+ I think?) my Google Hangout presentation today. I think I'm getting used to the platform but as always, if anyone has any tips for how I could do these better, I'll gladly listen to your advice. You can watch the recording below. I'm not attaching the slide deck as there aren't any 'real' demo files for you to play with, but if anyone really wants it, I will.
Very happy to announce the first publication of an article of mine on the Mozilla Hacks blog. This article is a bit of a departure for me. Less techy and more touchy-feely. Broadly, the article is a look at how HTML (well, web standards in general) are branching out of the browser. Probably some (or most) of this is known to my readers, but I felt like a look at this phenomenon was worthwhile. I hope you enjoy it as well.
HTML out of the Browser
One of the more cooler updates to Brackets recently was the linting API. This came out back in October and I wrote up a review of the API for the Brackets blog. It basically took 90% of the boiler plate code for linters and made it a heck of a lot simpler.
This Friday at 1PM CST, I'll be hosting an online Google Hangout about debugging mobile web/Cordova applications. This is a repeat of what I did at this years FluentConf, so if you couldn't make it, this is your chance. Note that I've set the meeting length to 1.5 hours. It will be much shorter than that. The original presentation was 30 minutes and I anticipate it taking about the same. I'm not sure what Google Hangouts will do if I go past the end of a meeting so I wanted to ensure we didn't get cut off. For folks who can't make it, it will be posted to YouTube about an hour later.
Debugging Mobile Web/Cordova Apps - A Quick Review
So after raving about Dash yesterday, I thought I'd whip up a quick Brackets integration extension for it. Brackets recently made Node integration a bit easier, and Dash has a simple CLI interface for searching, so it didn't take long to write an extension that lets you make a selection, hit a key combo, and then open the doc in Dash automatically.
While at iOS training a few weeks ago one of the instructors mentioned an OSX program called Dash. Dash is an offline documentation viewer, which sounds kinda boring, but I'm incredibly pleased with it.
It's Saturday morning and I'm slowly decompressing from spending the last seven days in what is easily the most intense training I've experienced in my life. I've just returned from Big Nerd Ranch's "Beginning iOS" class and I'd like to share my thoughts on it. This post is separated into two sections. I'll begin by talking about the class itself and then share my thoughts on Objective-C and iOS in general.
A few days ago I blogged about how I was unhappy with the stability of my blog. I discussed how I was looking to simplify and reduce the "moving parts" here and that as part of that plan, I was going to switch to a static site.
Today Brackets Sprint 37 was released. You can download it via the usual place. Release notes may be found here: https://github.com/adobe/brackets/wiki/Release-Notes:-Sprint-37. My favorite updates here are the ability to finally disable automatic tabbing and closing tag insertion. I'm probably the minority here but those features don't help - they get in the way of my natural typing. You can see more details about that update here.
Finally, if you are in the San Francisco area next Wednesday, consider coming to a public Hackathon: San Francisco Brackets Meetup and Hackathon. This is a great way to meet the team and learn more about how the sausage is made.