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  1. #1
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    S40 Web Apps - The Future?

    Hope no one minds me putting this thread up. I am just wondering if any of the Nokia Web Development team (or anyone connected with them) is reading this forum. If so, can anyone answer my questions.

    I've been doing development on this platform for a few months now. While there is a lot to like about it (it's incredibly fast to knock up an app, there's no worries with Java heap spaces, etc.) - there are still a number of areas that really frustrate.

    1. The lack of full Javascript support (hence the lack of full support for JQuery and lots of other popular Javascript libraries). For me, this is the biggie and this is what is really holding back the development platform. Just about every web developer today is using some kind of Javascript library to create attractive UI components, utilise JSON, traverse the DOM, etc. I find it a massive shame that there is all this fantastic technology out there, but yet we're still having to write Javascript like it's 2003. Can anyone tell me if future JQuery support is an impossibility, or whether it's something that can be, or is being looked at?
    2. Lack of offline support, this isn't so big an issue, but it certainly is a concern. A lot of developers seem to forget that non-MWL Javascript is executed on the server-side, hence their web app needs an internet connection, even if they aren't making outbound HTTP connections. Is there a limitation on the Nokia Browser that prevents it from compiling Javascript on the device?
    3. Lack of support for multiple HTML files - this is easy to get around with MWL and switching div's, but as an application grows, div switching becomes incredibly unwieldy and time-consuming. Having the ability to spread your app across multiple HTML files would be a very nice to have feature.

    Judging from the questions on the forum, I would say that these are 3 of the most significant issues facing this platform. Anyone care to comment?

  2. #2
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    Re: S40 Web Apps - The Future?

    Very good points and I would agree that these are the most important issues. I would emphasise on lack of full javascript support. For example I have html5 app ready to deploy on multiple platforms, but not on S40 because I would need to rewrite it almost completely. And it works in S40 browser in browser mode, but not in web app mode.

  3. #3
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    Re: S40 Web Apps - The Future?

    Quote Originally Posted by mikkovtr View Post
    And it works in S40 browser in browser mode, but not in web app mode.
    So it's technically possible to have a full Javascript experience in the Nokia Browser? That's great, surely it's only a matter of the Nokia Web Development team filling in the gap at their end (hopefully!).

  4. #4
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    Re: S40 Web Apps - The Future?

    Quote Originally Posted by grift View Post
    So it's technically possible to have a full Javascript experience in the Nokia Browser? That's great, surely it's only a matter of the Nokia Web Development team filling in the gap at their end (hopefully!).
    Kind of yes, see this thread http://www.developer.nokia.com/Commu...-and-web-pages

    For example Jquery and Jquery mobile works just fine (tm) in normal web pages. Of course javascript is still runs on server side (with some limitations), but it's better than nothing.

  5. #5
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    Re: S40 Web Apps - The Future?

    I think, by the time the Nokia xPress Browser supports full on-device JavaScript, WP9 devices can be build so cheap that there is no need for any new S40 devices.

    But I'm sure that the Browser will continue to evolve. I hope at least for
    1) Local execution of functions containing only mwl commands
    2) Local execution of if/then/else containing only mwl commands

    These two things alone will enable much easier and more responsive development.

  6. #6
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    Re: S40 Web Apps - The Future?

    Some very good points highlighted here. I think in the best interest of the S40 Web App platform, these suggestions should be considered seriously.

    Local cache on the device for storing some immediate preferences can save a round trip and make the user experience better. Also, a large scale web app may be face user identity management issues - since the IMEI is not exposed to the Web App developer.

    Regarding local execution of functions, I think it would be best to allow the developer decide what would execute on client and what would execute on server. Some amazing UI (very well possible with web apps) may be compromised due to the round trips for single javascript statements. May be allow a .js class for locally executable custom functions?

    Something that may also done to refine the user experience is to allow the developer to choose the splash screen, rather than forcing the web apps splash screen. I understand the technical problem behind this, but there should be a smart way out... may be for subsequent launches?

    Lastly, I for one would love to be given the option to sometime make a direct query to my content server... and not be compelled to go through Nokia's proxy server. I've come across situations where the data transfer wouldn't be much... but due to the long time (client->proxy server->content server-> proxy server->client) the app looses users.
    Pankaj Nathani
    www.croozeus.com

  7. #7
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    Re: S40 Web Apps - The Future?

    An update on this.

    In the webinar today about using location data in web apps, we got a very positive response from a member of the web app development team about increased Javascript support in the future. The usual caveats applied and I won't put words into the presenters mouth, but it does look very positive.

  8. #8
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    Re: S40 Web Apps - The Future?

    -we could use the support for flash-lite (great games could be developed in flashlite - I got over 30 apps which wait to be on asha touchscreens)
    -some js APIs would be fine too (I see asha 310 has accelerometer)

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