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Bio As a veteran of the mobile industry with over a decade at Palm, Enda leads the Developer Relations team at HP that supports both the Enyo and Open webOS product lines.
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3. So you mentioned that Enyo is, and it’s also mentioned on the project homepage that is optimized for mobile and you mentioned screen size constraints. What other additional concerns should the framework create or deal with when dealing with the mobile space?
Sure, well performance is the biggest issue and then going across platform as we are doing making sure the performance on each of the devices, is pretty similar and you are not going to hit a different performance on one device or another. So we worked really hard on optimizing the framework, to make sure that our scrolling lists work really well, so those were the main issues we’re dealing with and also on the size. We wanted to keep it small and lightweight so we didn’t become bulky and taking a lot of size on the mobile applications, because they are smaller devices.
Yes. So we want to make sure that developers have a simple easy platform. We want to take the headache out of building applications cross-platform, not just on mobile but also on the desktop, so you have one framework, you develop for one framework, and then it applies across mobile and desktop and the take away the browser worry, so that you don’t have to worry about the differences between Chrome, iOS, Safari, they all are different.
5. How has your experience been working with the HTML5 platform? Which do you think are its strongest points and what things would make your life easier, both as a framework developer and even as an application developer?
So I originally started off my career as a web developer, long ago, and to see HTML5 develop into a very usable cross-platform has been fantastic. Even when we started back on the Pre and HTML5 was kind in its infancy and new stuff was starting to come into to it, it was great to see, instead of having to go to low level, to do access to location services and APIs like that, that you could do it trough the browser, makes life a lot easier for developers. So looking forward as more APIs become available like the W3C one that was just put in for Push, I mean that a lot of developers asked for that particularly API, so when that’s implemented and part of the framework that we can use as app developers it will make life a lot easier. So I am really embracing it, I think as a cross-platform developer it will make your life a lot easier and then you don’t have to hit the lower level stuff for the services you really need.
8. What would be your advice to teams that are considering developing applications that work both on the desktop and the mobile? For example, what are some of the most common pitfalls that they should avoid?
So I think the biggest pitfall is designing for a particular screen size, and that’s the biggest strength we have on Enyo - we dynamically change the screen size depending on what screen you are in, even if that’s just rotating the screen form portrait to landscape. So I would recommend in not concentrate on a particular screen size, especially nowadays with phones going from the small to ridiculously big, to the large screen sizes, so yes, I think the biggest pitfall is trying to get it to work across all the different screen sizes and then programming it to change dynamically in their code, I would suggest to go to a framework that does that for you, takes the heavy-lifting out of it.
For the ones that are coming out I think obviously around the Push but the messaging is becoming a big part in everyone’s life.
Dio: Do you think that some device APIs like vibrations and… ?
The audio-video ones that are improving, it’s good to see those improving and as they get better, will make life a lot easier for sure and make your applications look richer. Yes, so I think that the device APIs, so you would have access to the hardware, so as I said before you have the geolocation now, and the browser, so having access to what other device APIs the device has so as the vibrator, as you said or the camera, all that kind of stuff, so it’s built straight into your apps, it’s nothing different you have to do between the different platforms. I mentioned PhoneGap before and I think what’s interesting is their mission is to not exist. So you do not have to wrap your HTML5 app in PhoneGap, that your application will work across platform. So I think for developers it’s great, it will make development a lot easier and time to market will be a lot quicker and the biggest expense for developers is having to test on different devices, you have to buy a smaller device, a bigger device, so you don’t have to worry about that and just create your app and put it in the catalog and it should work, it’s huge.
I think it’s going to get a lot easier, as these new tools come out that make it easier for developers, and not only developers but also designers, that you can drag-and-drop and create your default application really quickly, and then the designer can hand it off to a developer that would actually code it. I think that is going to be huge as more people see the power of what you can do with HTML5, create really rich, really native looking apps and then be able to put that in different stores is really important for developers. So I think it’s going to get easier as we get more tools, we standardize, it’s the web, so there are companies like your Firefox and your Chrome creating really good tools that developers can use, so I see it getting easier for developers and I am looking forward to see what can developers create using those tools in the future.
Dio: Thank you very much Enda!