FoulWeather Apps

Bracket Trackit - Development Trivia

A bit of behind the scenes information about Bracket Trackit for my developer friends out there. This is my first app written with the Jo HTML5 framework designed for mobile applications.

Having worked mostly with Enyo last year (Alert Siren HD and TrendStalker are Enyo apps) and with support in flux when Bracket Trackit development started (thanks Leo), the search for viable frameworks was on. Jo fit the bill best - simple enough to get started quickly and it had enough UI elements to cover most of my needs. Not to mention it worked well and looks good with the TouchPad which is a big plus since that is my current tablet of choice.

Using Jo and packaging the app with whatever they are calling PhoneGap these days (callback? cordova?) made it easy to put together an Enyo/Mojo-free TouchPad compatible application. It should be fairly easy to deploy on other platforms as well should I choose to step into that minefield.

Here are a few Jo development pointers based on my experience thus far.

  • Use the Jo development branch - the current 0.4.1 release was about a year ago and the development branch was plenty stable for me and has some bug fixes you will want.
  • Read through the Jo forums - lots of good stuff there.
  • Use LESS stylesheets. Jo relies heavily on CSS 3 and includes a LESS template in Github repository - I just tweaked that for Bracket Trackit.
  • Reference the Jo source code. Don’t be afraid to study the source code, the API docs are nice but the source is easy to wade through and you learn a lot. Get to know the CSS, too, much of the magic happens there.

The mobile app HTML5/Javascript framework space is becoming more crowded, there are some impressive offerings available. I’m looking forward to seeing what the Enyo team does with version 2 now that it is open source. I have also toyed around with Sencha Touch and will be taking a closer look at their latest version soon.

Jo is on the lighter end of the scale and a bit more raw than a Sencha Touch, for instance, but it is worth a look. I’m not sure what I’ll use as my framework of choice going forward, most likely it will be the one that best supports what my particular app needs to do.

Ping me on Twitter @FoulWeatherApps if you have any comments or questions.