Sep 17 2010 · webOS
I originally conceived hotspotdot as a smartphone app, as its utility meshes perfectly with a smartphone’s GPS receiver, but the contest I was entering (Microsoft’s My App is Better Challenge) required a web app. The web app is useful but when it comes to adding a hot spot it’s hard to beat hitting a button and pulling in your global position instantly.
Anyways, the bottom line is I went ahead and built the mobile app anyway. I have a Palm Pixi, so I built it for webOS.
The app was approved and published in the app catalog a few hours ago, so anyone with a Palm Pre or a Palm Pixi should be able to get it soon. It’s free. Also, you’ll need an account at my.hotspotdot.net to use it (sorry, I didn’t add support for account creation within the app).
This if my first webOS app and my first mobile app!
- I ran into some annoyances due to nothing more than flaky documentation. I should say 99% of the documentation is very good and thorough, but small bits of missing info, like needing the .mojo prefix for method calls, can drive you up the wall.
- A intermediate-level tutorial would have been very much appreciated. Palm has the Getting Started tutorial followed by the fairly advanced Client-Server tutorial.
- At various point in the documentation (e.g. here) there are examples of declaring buttons in a simpler way, entirely within the DOM (no setupWidget call necessary) and no x-mojo-element attribute on the div. This shortcut should probably be avoided; you have to understand that all you can do with these elements is respond to the Mojo.Event.tap event – you can’t change the underlying model, label, etc.
- To manipulate/update widgets, you need to modify the widget’s underlying model (an array of properties). This was somewhat surprising to me. I would have figured, in keeping with the JS + HTML scheme and how things are done in an AJAX web app, you would modify the DOM of the view to change things.
- Mojo uses the Prototype framework. Prototype is okay… AJAX calls are simple enough, but XML parsing was a bit more difficult compared to jQuery, which is more powerful for traversing and pulling elements out of an XMLDocument.
- You have to work in Eclipse for an integrated IDE experience. I would have much preferred a Netbeans plug-in.
Overall, I’m still pretty happy with the Mojo framework and I was able to code, test, and deploy an app fairly quickly (~2 weeks, working on this on and off; probably less than 72 hours total).