You are previewing Programming the Mobile Web.

Programming the Mobile Web

Cover of Programming the Mobile Web by Maximiliano Firtman Published by O'Reilly Media, Inc.
  1. Programming the Mobile Web
    1. SPECIAL OFFER: Upgrade this ebook with O’Reilly
    2. Preface
      1. Who This Book Is For
      2. Who This Book Is Not For
      3. What You’ll Learn
      4. Other Options
      5. If You Like (or Don’t Like) This Book
      6. Conventions Used in This Book
      7. Using Code Examples
      8. How to Contact Us
      9. Safari® Books Online
      10. Acknowledgments
    3. 1. The Mobile Jungle
      1. Myths of the Mobile Web
      2. The Mobile Ecosystem
      3. Mobile Knowledge
      4. Brands, Models, and Platforms
      5. Technical Information
      6. Market Statistics
    4. 2. Mobile Browsing
      1. The Mobile Browsing Experience
      2. Mobile Web Eras
    5. 3. Architecture and Design
      1. Website Architecture
      2. Design and Usability
    6. 4. Setting Up Your Environment
      1. Setting Up a Development Environment
      2. Production Environment
    7. 5. Markups and Standards
      1. First, the Old Ones
      2. Current Standards
      3. XHTML Mobile Profile and Basic
      4. CSS for Mobile
      5. Confusion
    8. 6. Coding Markup
      1. Heading Structure
      2. The Document Body
      3. Plug-ins and Extensions
    9. 7. CSS for Mobile Browsers
      1. Where to Insert the CSS
      2. Selectors
      3. CSS Techniques
      4. Common Patterns
      5. CSS Sprites
      6. WebKit Extensions
    10. 8. JavaScript Mobile
      1. Supported Technologies
      2. Coding JavaScript for Mobile Browsers
    11. 9. Ajax, RIA, and HTML 5
      1. Ajax Support
      2. JavaScript Libraries
      3. WebKit CSS Extensions
      4. Mobile Rich Internet Applications
      5. HTML 5
    12. 10. Server-Side Browser Detection and Content Delivery
      1. Mobile Detection
      2. Content Delivery
      3. Multimedia and Streaming
      4. Content Adaptation
      5. Mobilizing WordPress and Other CMSs
    13. 11. Geolocation and Maps
      1. Location Techniques
      2. Detecting the Location
      3. Showing a Map
    14. 12. Widgets and Offline Webapps
      1. Mobile Widget Platforms
      2. Standards
      3. Platforms
      4. Widget Design Patterns
    15. 13. Testing, Debugging, and Performance
      1. Testing and Debugging
      2. Performance Optimization
    16. 14. Distribution and Social Web 2.0
      1. Mobile SEO
      2. Mobile Web Statistics
      3. Mobile Web Advertising
      4. Mobile Web Social Features
    17. A. MIME Types for Mobile Content
      1. Markup and Script MIME Types
      2. Image MIME Types
      3. Mobile Content MIME Types
      4. Audio and Video MIME Types
      5. Widget and Webapp MIME Types
    18. Index
    19. About the Author
    20. Colophon
    21. SPECIAL OFFER: Upgrade this ebook with O’Reilly

Mobile Rich Internet Applications

We are all comfortable with the RIA (Rich Internet Application) concept in the desktop web and Web 2.0, but we can also create mobile RIAs. Some of the techniques used are the same, and others are not: while all the Ajax pieces (strictly about network requests) are the same, some UI and richness controls need to be redesigned for the mobile world.


A mobile RIA is also called webapp, a term often used to define iPhone web applications that emulate the native UI behavior and can include offline work and home screen icon support.

Problems with the devices, including lack of a big screen and lack of mouse support (and the various kinds of mouse events), have made mobile RIA development more tricky than we might have hoped. However, the richness in services (e.g., autosave mechanisms for large text inputs) can be developed in the same way regardless of whether the application is targeting desktop or mobile users.

Some UI design pattern concepts that work great in mobile RIAs include:

  • Accordion

  • Tab navigation

  • Menu bars

  • In-place editors

For other concepts we need to think twice and ponder alternative solutions. Implementing the following can be more complex:

  • Drop-down calendars for non-touch devices

  • CSS modal pop-ups

  • Flash-based interactions and menus

  • WYSIWYG editors

  • Rich datagrids

JavaScript UI Libraries

There are dozens of JavaScript UI libraries for implementing rich controls. The great question is: do they work on mobile browsers? Table 9-10 show the results ...

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