Html5 is like pajamas; and native app is like an Armani suit


I was doing some introspection on the work I have been doing last year and realized that I have some really strong opinion on stuff which wasn’t there a year back. These opinion are mainly influenced by mobile technologies I have been working on including iOS, Android, Windows Phone and HTML5.

First things first, a year back, as a developer who have worked on enterprise projects; everything was a program. It has to be workable, secure and rock-solid. Mobile world thought me a very important missing ingredient – The HUMAN TOUCH. Well, quite literally.  Smartphone( and tabs) are the new workstations; I reckon people do more useful / productive work on their phones than the laptops. 

Now, the important thing to take note is a smartphone is too personal a device. Its almost an extension of one’s personality. People love their phone; and if they get some useful stuff going on the phone as app; trust me; that’s it.

So, back to where I started; we wanted to build a platform which can be used to quickly build / deploy apps on devices. It was a long hard discussion on HTML5 v/s native. We decided on BOTH. Open-mouthed smile 

APPROACH 1 – Html5 hybrid apps

We decided to build a comprehensive set of learning aid app on HTML5. The premise was great; Write once, Run everywhere. HTML5 seemed quite capable of “The Silver Bullet”. I was deeply involved in coding and deployment of the apps and though the coding language was familiar the deployment wasn’t.

So here is the caveat. Hybrid application do need compilation process of native. And if the app uses some native APIs; a great deal of understanding is required on each mobile platform. But the biggest hurdle comes in form of two things (in that order)

1. Performance. An Html5 app is apparently slow. And as I mentioned; people use their smartphone so intimately that even microseconds matter. trust me. And getting the right UI is al together a different story. Imagine a round cornered button on Windows Phone!!! it can be disaster.

2. iStore / marketplace / Google play approval. After all the hard work and tweaks you may receive a feed back like this app may well be an HTML5 website !!!

This approach fitted well in my enterprise mindset of reusability, quick response and same look and feel everywhere. If something look same in iOS, Android and Windows Phone, it should be easy to use. Same training required and it works exactly the same on any smartphone.

Alas, reality thought me otherwise. The Human Touch was missing.

APPROACH 2 – Go Native

Around the same time; on an another project, we decided to build a framework which can build NATIVE APPS ON THE FLY. This way, we can get best of native apps (performance, look and feel, etc)  and simultaneously  use the framework to churn out apps.

We have this framework in a pretty stable and evolved state now with lots of customization options to boot.

Below is the link of an app in native iOS build using the framework

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-epstein-school/id577058470?mt=8

image

and native Android app

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.epstein.ui&hl=en

image

and Windows Phone app

http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/epstein/2ce8b31f-179d-44e2-a719-6a87b7f9417d

image

Note that all the smartphone UI aesthetics remain true to native UI with performance users love… So a table view showing menu in iOS becomes android navigation bar; while the same becomes a Tile in WP.. All of that “on the fly”…

So, as I was said, THE HUMAN TOUCH is important and imperative in todays scenario. People are used to a certain way of using the phone. The app should be an extension of the device; it should just mix well with it.

Html5 is like pajamas; and native app is like an Armani suit. A pajama may fit all but it may not make you look crisp and smart.

One framework with a web interface to create NATIVE applications on the fly; catering to all major mobile platforms was what we built. You may call it need for perfection; call it innovation.

But hey, that what we do in Correlation research. We build enterprise apps with human touch. Open-mouthed smile

author: subodhnpushpak | Posted On Wednesday, January 30, 2013 8:22 PM | Comments (8)

C#, .NET 4.5 and Visual Studio 2012


While I continue my affair with iOS / Android (which is now my bread / butter literally Open-mouthed smile); I also have managed to keep myself excited enough for all of new windows Stuff. Thanks to Priti Pushpak (my wife) for all the amazing Windows Phone 7 apps she is creating and uploading on appHub…

I kind of like refreshing feel of win8 and apps. I also have fair bit of exposure on iPhone / iPad; Mac apps and I do put my two cents for win8 as well. If not an instant hit; win8 apps surely grows on you. So eventually win8 platform is here to stay. (oh yes and I cannot tell you how much hope I have for WP8 platform as well).

Nevertheless; here is few topics I covered in a session on .Net 4.5  and on popular demand I am posting it all here…

Note that for the demo you must have Win8 installed along with VS2012. The Demo includes a ASP .NET Web API

The slide deck, demo and the session recording is at:

author: subodhnpushpak | Posted On Friday, August 31, 2012 7:24 PM | Comments (0)

Windows Azure with Windows Phone 7


I presented two talks on windows azure recently. One among them was focusing on Windows Phone 7 app  development. The other one was on MVC3 ASP .Net app. The idea was to introduce how Windows Azure can be leveraged in both these exciting platforms.

The talk was demo centric; below are the slides and the demo / webcasts recordings links for the same.

Talk one- Building Windows Phone Applications with Windows Azure Platform and Visual Studio 2010

Demo included:

  • Creating a Demo application from VS 2010 Azure template
  • Showcasing ASP .Net membership store
  • Demonstrating the Push notifications
  • Demonstrating the storage capabilities
  • Demonstrating the Queues
  • Showcasing ACS
  • Leveraging various providers like LiveId, Google, yahoo

Here are few of the snapshots of the session

Using the WP7 – Azure toolkit

image 

enabling Push notifications from Cloud (Even for Apple!!)

image

using the ASP .Net membership and the device emulator for WP7

image

Push notifications in action (toast, tile and raw)

image

Manage Blobs, Queues and azure table from WP7 !!

image

Using the windows Azure Access control Service to leverage LiveId, Yahoo, google as providers in WP7 app

image

Logging into WP7 app using google, live, yahoo etc…

image      image  image

Here is the slide deck and the webcast

    

Your comments are welcome

author: subodhnpushpak | Posted On Tuesday, January 3, 2012 7:25 PM | Comments (0)

Windows Azure with Windows Phone 7


I presented two talks on windows azure recently. One among them was focusing on Windows Phone 7 app  development. The other one was on MVC3 ASP .Net app. The idea was to introduce how Windows Azure can be leveraged in both these exciting platforms.

The talk was demo centric; below are the slides and the demo / webcasts recordings links for the same.

Talk one- Building Windows Phone Applications with Windows Azure Platform and Visual Studio 2010

Demo included:

  • Creating a Demo application from VS 2010 Azure template
  • Showcasing ASP .Net membership store
  • Demonstrating the Push notifications
  • Demonstrating the storage capabilities
  • Demonstrating the Queues
  • Showcasing ACS
  • Leveraging various providers like LiveId, Google, yahoo

Here are few of the snapshots of the session

Using the WP7 – Azure toolkit

image 

enabling Push notifications from Cloud (Even for Apple!!)

image

using the ASP .Net membership and the device emulator for WP7

image

Push notifications in action (toast, tile and raw)

image

Manage Blobs, Queues and azure table from WP7 !!

image

Using the windows Azure Access control Service to leverage LiveId, Yahoo, google as providers in WP7 app

image

Logging into WP7 app using google, live, yahoo etc…

image      image  image

Here is the slide deck and the webcast

image

author: subodhnpushpak | Posted On Tuesday, January 3, 2012 7:09 PM | Comments (0)

Is Silverlight dead?


As someone who works a lot on Silverlight and as someone who have  presented lots of trainings / talks over Silverlight; i am been getting a lot of questions based on future of Silverlight.

Is Silverlight dead?
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/microsoft/will-there-be-a-silverlight-6-and-does-it-matter/11180

These are often from end-clients, managers, architects or even consumers. Sometimes also from guys who have little exposure to Silverlight;  but still want to engage in the conversation as it is "happening" talk :D

Let me address that by admitting that i am a techie who view any technology as it is irrespective of whether it is from Open Source / MS/ Adobe etc. I have no stakes in the conversation except my view towards it.

But First:
Why change? Why Silverlight might not required?
Silverlight works as a plug in to browsers.
Plugin model works very well (think flash / Flex / Silverlight) on a desktop environment. Suddenly we are in a world of smart phones/ tab devices where plug-ins are evil. Well, at least IPad / IPhone consider these as evil. So as plugin Silverlight / Flash may not have bright future as it does not scale well to form factors like phones and tabbed devices.

Desktop v/s Tab devices / phones
Silverlight is supposed to be a cross browser / cross platform. It does works well on Windows / Mac machines; but that is related to desktops only. Now-a-days cross-platform have all together a different meaning. It not only means cross OS it also means across devices like IPad, IPhones, tabbed devices, etc.

There is a better alternative to plug-ins - HTML5 / CSS3
Html5 have changed the game. Its not only MS, who have changed the strategy, hugely successful plugins like Flash are also discontinues in favor of Html5. See this: Adobe to More Aggressively Contribute to HTML5 http://blogs.adobe.com/conversations/2011/11/flash-focus.html

The world now need "Apps", No programs, no suits, no installers.
The devices are smart with gyroscope, motion sensors, GPS etc. There is a need and a huge untapped market for Applications which can use these features for something useful. Application model have worked wonders for Apple.

Ok agreed, World needs a change, where is my Silver Bullet???

THE BIG QUESTION- Is Silverlight dead?
Silverlight as plugin in desktop is alive and kicking.
We now have a Silverlight 5. The investments done on this is safe as it continues to grow. The thing which changes is that before choosing Silverlight; consider Html5 very seriously. Silverlight works very well in scenarios where Rich Media is required or there is a need for 3D / or frictionless install(Silverlight can run out-of-browser)

Silverlight has out grown itself
Silverlight is used for developing rich web apps, out of browser apps (works very well for in-house intranet applications), SharePoint controls and it is the PLATFORM for developing applications on Windows Phone 7.

It may not be not Silverlight, but it’s Silverlight spirit survives and now is natively supported by the operating system to boot
All Principles of Silverlight, including the use of XAML as a markup language, C# and VB .NET as programming languages, a streamlined .NET CLR (Common Language Runtime) profile, XAP packaged deployment over HTTP and a sandboxed security environment, are fundamental to WinRT; the new runtime in windows 8.
XAML is “a first class citizen” and the native approach to developing Metro-style apps on Windows 8.
All my r&d and people who deeply work  on Silverlight have successfully compiled existing SL code against WinRT just by changing names of namespaces

Silverlight developers - Rejoice
The skills as SL developers can be used to develop app on Windows Phone.
It can be used to develop applications on web (desktop environment)
It can used to develop Metro apps on Windows8
Windows Phone 7 and Metro Apps works on Application platform methodology which provides very good monetization opportunities

Silverlight is far from dead. Trust me, If you are a Silverlight developer your hands are full; others have a big learning curve ahead before they catch up.

Update:

SL5 is now officially supported till Dec 2021. Here is the link...
http://support.microsoft.com/gp/lifean45#top
Silverlight 5 will support the browser versions listed on this page through 10 Dec 2021, or though the support lifecycle of the underlying browsers, whichever is shorter. As browsers evolve, the support page will be updated to reflect levels of compatibility with newer browser.”

author: subodhnpushpak | Posted On Friday, December 16, 2011 3:52 PM | Comments (5)

Is Silverlight dead?


As someone who works a lot on Silverlight and as someone who have  presented lots of trainings / talks over Silverlight; i am been getting a lot of questions based on future of Silverlight.

Is Silverlight dead?
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/microsoft/will-there-be-a-silverlight-6-and-does-it-matter/11180

These are often from end-clients, managers, architects or even consumers. Sometimes also from guys who have little exposure to Silverlight;  but still want to engage in the conversation as it is "happening" talk :D

Let me address that by admitting that i am a techie who view any technology as it is irrespective of whether it is from Open Source / MS/ Adobe etc. I have no stakes in the conversation except my view towards it.

But First:
Why change? Why Silverlight might not required?
Silverlight works as a plug in to browsers.
Plugin model works very well (think flash / Flex / Silverlight) on a desktop environment. Suddenly we are in a world of smart phones/ tab devices where plug-ins are evil. Well, at least IPad / IPhone consider these as evil. So as plugin Silverlight / Flash may not have bright future as it does not scale well to form factors like phones and tabbed devices.

Desktop v/s Tab devices / phones
Silverlight is supposed to be a cross browser / cross platform. It does works well on Windows / Mac machines; but that is related to desktops only. Now-a-days cross-platform have all together a different meaning. It not only means cross OS it also means across devices like IPad, IPhones, tabbed devices, etc.

There is a better alternative to plug-ins - HTML5 / CSS3
Html5 have changed the game. Its not only MS, who have changed the strategy, hugely successful plugins like Flash are also discontinues in favor of Html5. See this: Adobe to More Aggressively Contribute to HTML5 http://blogs.adobe.com/conversations/2011/11/flash-focus.html

The world now need "Apps", No programs, no suits, no installers.
The devices are smart with gyroscope, motion sensors, GPS etc. There is a need and a huge untapped market for Applications which can use these features for something useful. Application model have worked wonders for Apple.

Ok agreed, World needs a change, where is my Silver Bullet???

THE BIG QUESTION- Is Silverlight dead?
Silverlight as plugin in desktop is alive and kicking.
We now have a Silverlight 5. The investments done on this is safe as it continues to grow. The thing which changes is that before choosing Silverlight; consider Html5 very seriously. Silverlight works very well in scenarios where Rich Media is required or there is a need for 3D / or frictionless install(Silverlight can run out-of-browser)

Silverlight has out grown itself
Silverlight is used for developing rich web apps, out of browser apps (works very well for in-house intranet applications), SharePoint controls and it is the PLATFORM for developing applications on Windows Phone 7.

It may not be not Silverlight, but it’s Silverlight spirit survives and now is natively supported by the operating system to boot
All Principles of Silverlight, including the use of XAML as a markup language, C# and VB .NET as programming languages, a streamlined .NET CLR (Common Language Runtime) profile, XAP packaged deployment over HTTP and a sandboxed security environment, are fundamental to WinRT; the new runtime in windows 8.
XAML is “a first class citizen” and the native approach to developing Metro-style apps on Windows 8.
All my r&d and people who deeply work  on Silverlight have successfully compiled existing SL code against WinRT just by changing names of namespaces

Silverlight developers - Rejoice
The skills as SL developers can be used to develop app on Windows Phone.
It can be used to develop applications on web (desktop environment)
It can used to develop Metro apps on Windows8
Windows Phone 7 and Metro Apps works on Application platform methodology which provides very good monetization opportunities

Silverlight is far from dead. Trust me, If you are a Silverlight developer your hands are full; others have a big learning curve ahead before they catch up.

author: subodhnpushpak | Posted On Tuesday, December 13, 2011 4:49 PM | Comments (1)

MVC .Net, WebMatrix talk presentations and webinars


I presented sessions on MVC .Net and webmatrix. I covered stuff like what’s new in MVC .net and the architecture goodness of MVC pattern. I also demonstrated how MVC 3 / MVC 4 harness HTML 5 / mobile along with Jquery and Modernizr.  PHP coding using MVC and Webmatrix and other advanced stuff like hosting PHP on windows or porting MYSQL Db to MSSQL is also is also part of the demo in the sessions.

The slide decks are available at below link and all the demo is recorded and also shared at below link.

 

 

The recordings / Demo can be accessed at and

If you have any suggestions / ideas / comments; please do post.

author: subodhnpushpak | Posted On Monday, November 28, 2011 7:49 PM | Comments (0)

Windows Phone 7 Application development


A few days back I had the privilege to demonstrate the capabilities of WP7 at an event. I jointly presented the session with Bijoy Singhal, distinguished speaker with a knack of simplifying even the most complex technical stuff into something which audiences connect to immediately.

 

The idea of the session was to quickly build an application ON THE SPOT and hence the name “From idea to money”.

The session included the whole life cycle of an application from idea incubation to building it using tools available and then to monetize it.

The session was build on WP7 Mango build and I even deployed and demonstrated the application on my device which was running WP7 Mango beta.

Since, most of the audiences travelled to the venue from Delhi Metro; they suggested that we build an application based on Delhi Metro, which will not only guide them the best route along with the price but also provide the last mile connectivity by suggesting which is the nearest metro real-time based on the current GPS location. It will also suggest restaurant, places to visit, etc, from the current GPS location if required.

The Demo app  included Live Tiles, Bing Maps integration, GPS tracking and Bing search tasks.

 

I liked the idea so much that I will be releasing the app to marketplace soon; once I add more functionality to it…

if you have some more ideas around some cool apps; do share…

author: subodhnpushpak | Posted On Saturday, August 27, 2011 11:29 AM | Comments (0)

World Cup 2011 WP7 Application


I recently posted an Windows Phone Application on marketplace. Actually, the application is combination of two of things I like – Cricket and windows phone 7!!

Cricket world Cup 2011 is about to start and its going to be full of action. Just that I don’t miss (and you don’t miss) the excitement I decided to build a WP7 app. The app has schedule of all the 49 matches and it provides all important information about each match / venue / group and even team members along with their pics. See below pics for an understanding:

Capture1Capture2Capture3Capture4Capture5

The above pics shows the app in action in both dark and light modes!!!

The application is free to download from market place. Please do share your thoughts / ideas to make it better…

Let the game begin…..

author: subodhnpushpak | Posted On Friday, February 11, 2011 3:12 PM | Comments (7)

Windows Phone 7 Silverlight / XNA development talk


Hi,

I presented on Windows Phone 7 app development using Silverlight. Here are few pics from the event

 

I demonstrated the Visual studio, emulator capabilities/ features. An demo on Wp7 app communication with an OData Service, along with a demo on XNA app.

There was lot of curious questions; I am listing them here because these keep on popping up again and again:

1. What tools does it takes to develop Wp7 app? Are they free?

A typical WP7 app can be developed either using Silverlight or XNA. For developers, Visual Studio 2010 is a good choice as it provides an integrated development environment with lots of useful project templates; which makes the task really easy. For designers, Blend may be used to develop the UI in XAML. Both the tools are FREE (express version) to download and very intuitive to use.

2. What about the learning curve?

If you know C#, (or any other programming language), learning curve is really flat. XAML (used for UI) may be new for you, but trust me; its very intuitive. Also you can use Microsoft Blend to generate the UI (XAML) for you.

3. How can I develop /test app without using actual device? How can I be sure my app runs as expected on actual device?

The WP7 SDK comes along with an excellent emulator; which you can use for development/ testing on a computer. Later you can just change a setting and deploy the application on WP7. You will require Zune software for deploying the application on phone along with Developers key from WP7 marketplace. You can obtain key from marketplace by filling a form. The whole process for registering  is easy; just follow the steps on the site.

4. Which one should I use? Silverlight or XNA?

Use Silverlight for enterprise/ business / utility apps. Use XNA for Games app. While each platform is capable / strong and may be used in conjunction as well; The methodologies used for development in these platforms are very different. XNA works on typical Do..While loop where as Silverlight works on event based methodology.

5. Where are the learning resources? Are they free?

There is lots of stuff on WP7. Most of them are free. There is a excellent free book by Charles Petzold to download and http://www.microsoft.com/windowsphone is full of demos /todos / vidoes.

All the exciting stuff was captured live and you can view it here; in case you were not able to catch it live!! @ http://livestre.am/AUfx. My talk starts from 3:19:00 timeline in the video!!

Is there an app you miss on WP7? Do let me know about it and I may work on it for free !!!

Keep discovering. Keep is Simple. WP7.

Subodh

author: subodhnpushpak | Posted On Tuesday, February 1, 2011 2:16 PM | Comments (0)