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Enterprise HTML5: Desktop and Mobile

Talking to Publisher About New Book

I’ve contacted a publisher regarding possible publication of our new book. We’ve been working with these publishers in the past and they seem to be interested, which means the publisher started asking certain questions to see if such a book will have a market value. This blog is our response to these questions.

The question was caused by the proposed book title: “Enterprise HTML5: Desktop and Mobile”. What the word enterprise means in this title and is this book about HTML5? The title of the book can be changed to “Enterprise Web Development. From Desktop to Mobile”. IMO, HTML5 became a buzzword meaning a lot more than HTML. This book is more about Web development than HTML. The targeted audience is intermediate developers and the knowledge of HTML basics is assumed.

This book is mostly about developing for desktop and mobile in JavaScript and related technologies.

Many enterprise development managers are facing (or will be soon) the need to make their applications or Web sites available on the plethora of devices used for accessing Internet. They need some kind of a roadmap for going mobile. There are different approaches for doing this. One approach is to create separate teams developing native applications for popular operational environments (e.g. iOS, Android, etc.) This approach can produce good results as long as they can afford creating and maintaining several versions of the same application. Another approach is to create an HTML5 application, which is will use modern versions of HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. This approach has different flavors though. One is to have the same codebase for both mobile and desktop version (this approach is also known as Responsive Design). Another – have two versions of the HTML5 code – one for desktops and the other for mobile devices. If you go with the latter approach, the next question arises – which JavaScript framework to use that will allow reusing as much of the code as possible and to minimize the learning curve. This book will allow you to compare JQuery and Ext JS – popular JavaScript frameworks for desktop development, and their mobile versions: JQuery Mobile and Sencha Touch. Is this an intermediate to advanced book? Which other books will compete with this one?

So let’s profile the books that are currently available on the Web market.

Most of the available books on the HTML/JavaScript market can be divided by three categories:

1. Tutorials on HTML, JavaScript, CSS or particular JavaScript frameworks. For example, Larry Ullman’s “Modern JavaScript. Develop and Design” or “JavaScript 24-hour trainer” are good JavaScript tutorials.

2. Cookbooks or design patterns. These books show code fragments helping to accomplish certain isolated tasks. O’Reilly’s “HTML5 Cookbook” or “JavaScript Cookbook” are good representatives in this category.

3. Advanced books. These cover advanced topics of a programming language (e.g. “Secrets of the JavaScript Ninja” by John Resig) or explain a certain aspect of development, for example “High Performance JavaScript” by Nicholas Zakas.

These are definitely useful books. But our book won’t perfectly fit into any of these categories cause it’ll have a little bit of everything. We’ll structure the materials around designing, developing, and re-developing a sample Web site using HTML, JavaScript, CSS, and popular frameworks. While working on this Web site the reader will learn the language/tools and compare different approaches to cross-platform development. Of course, if you didn’t work with JavaScript before, a chapter on JavaScript will be quite useful for you. But it’s an advanced introduction to JavaScript – we assume that you know what the loops are about and won’t give you a coverage of all types of loops in JavaScript. If you know JavaScript already – just skip this chapter.

On the other hand, such advanced concepts as callbacks or closures deserve better coverage, so we’ll spend some time explaining them. While developing a mobile version of the sample Web site in jQuery Mobile (and then in Sencha Touch), we’ll explain a bare minimum of this framework – just so you can complete this Web application. We are also planning to compare these JavaScript frameworks and highlight the issues that will allow larger Web sites to be written in an efficient and modular fashion.

So we assume that a reader of our new book has some background in programming, but it won’t be overly complicated to be included in the category of advanced books. I’d say that we’d like to write a practical book that will cover the entire cycle of the Web application development using the modern tools and techniques. This book will be written by software engineers from Farata Systems all of which work on real world Web projects.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Yakov Fain

Yakov Fain is a co-founder of two software companies: Farata Systems and SuranceBay. He authored several technical books and lots of articles on software development. Yakov is Java Champion ( He leads leads Princeton Java Users Group. Two of Yakov's books will go in print this year: "Enterprise Web Development" (O'Reilly) and "Java For Kids" (No Starch Press).

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