News Articles …

jQuery Mobile 1.0 Released

, the jQuery Mobile Team announced the official release of jQuery Mobile 1.0.

Having worked with jQuery Mobile since Alpha 1, in the time since, the framework has certainly evolved into a mature, premier platform on which Mobile Web Applications can be built.

On a personal note, as I am currently in the process of working towards the release of a multi form-factor Mobile Web Application built on jQuery Mobile, the 1.0 release couldn’t have come at a better time.

Be sure to check out the updated API Docs, especially the new Data Attributes section.

jQuery Mobile 1.0 represents a significant milestone in the Mobile Web Space. I am certainly excited to see what is on the roadmap next.

Map Remote in Charles

Of the many Network Debuggers available, for years I have, and continue to find, Charles to be a choice Web Debugging Proxy by all standards. This is largely due to its capabilities and many useful features, some of which are a bit less obvious than others.

One such example is the Map Remote feature which allows for the mapping of local URLs to remote URLs. This can be extremely useful as it allows for testing against many different environments without the need to change URLs or Endpoints in code.

Map Remote

As the name implies, Map Remote allows for mapping requests made to a local resource to be forwarded (transparently) to a Remote resource. So, for example, a local service at http://localhost:8080/some-app/some-service could be mapped to a remote service at http://dev.somedomain/some-app/some-service via a simple configuration using Map Remote. Moreover, Map Remote can be configured to map an individual resource (such as the previous example), all resources within a sub directory, all resources in a domain, all resources in a local subdirectory to a completely different remote subdirectory or all resources for a given suffix.

To configure the mapping of a local resource to a remote resource, in Charles, from the Main Menu select:

  • Tools
  • Map Remote
  • Click “Enable Map Remote” from the Map Remote Dialog
  • Paste the Local resource URL in the top “Map From” section (Charles will parse and auto-fill the protocol, port etc. from the host value provided)
  • Paste the Remote resource URL in the bottom “Map To” section

Once completed you will see the mapping in the resulting dialog and the mappings will be made when using Charles until they are removed or the “Enable Map Remote” setting is turned off. Additional Mappings can be added following the same steps and existing mappings can be removed or edited by double clicking on them. The only improvement I would like to see added is the ability to “clone” an existing mapping so as to quickly configure a slightly different mapping without the need to start from scratch.

There is also a Map Local Feature in Charles which is essentially the inverse operation of Map Remote and can be quite useful as well.

If you regularly test against different environments and use Charles then I highly suggest trying Map Remote. For more information, check out the Charles Documentation.

A Step Backwards In Usability?

I recently read a preview of a column which is to be published in the next addition of ACM CHI magazine, Interactions. This particular article is a rather interesting read in that it touches upon what the authors argue are the many short-comings in current Gestural Interfaces; stating that they pose a huge step backwards in terms of Usability.

This may not have raised many eyebrows if it were not for the expertise of the articles authors, Donald A. Norman and Jakob Nielsen; both of whom know quite a bit about HCI.

Experimentation in new technology and the process of learning what works and what does not can be challenging. This article raises some important, yet mostly overlooked, concerns surrounding new technologies which are built upon Gestural Interfaces; i.e. current touch screen devices such as iOS and Android. Certainly a good read for anyone interested in Touch Screen development. Gestural Interfaces: A Step Backwards In Usability

Put your Best People on Mobile

So first the biggest number – 5.2. That is in billions with a B. There are 1.2 billion personal computers in use worldwide including desktops, laptops and tablet PCs like the iPad. There are 1.1 billion fixed landline phones. There are 1.0 billion automobiles registered and in use. There are 1.6 billion television sets, 1.7 billion credit card users, 2.0 billion internet users, 2.2 billion people with a banking account, and 3.9 billion radio receivers in use worldwide. Mobile utterly dwarfs them all – with 5.2 billion currently active, ie fully paid mobile phone subscriptions. Active mobile phone accounts. 5.2 billion. yes, 4.5 times more mobile phone subscriptions than personal computers or landline phones. 2.5x more mobile accounts than all internet users. 3 times more mobile subscribers than the total number of television sets. Mobile is huge. – Tomi Ahonen

These numbers are simply staggering.

For sometime now Myself and pretty much everyone else for that matter have been speaking quite a bit about the significance of Mobile. And while it may seem quite obvious that Mobile is huge, understanding the sheer magnitude of Mobile is truly put into perspective when some real world comparisons are made.

To get an idea of just how big mobile is, consider the recent article published by Tomi Ahonen, (which I found thru Brian O’Connor) in which some rather astounding numbers are provided in his aptly titled post: All the Numbers, All the Facts on Mobile the Trillion-Dollar Industry. Why is Google saying: Put your Best People on Mobile?. Certainly a must read for anyone interested in Mobile Development.

Technological Innovations and the Arts

Successful innovators in sciences and technology are artistic people. Stimulate the arts and you stimulate innovation.

I have always maintained that any skill or talent acquired can be attributed in part to an innate creative impulse; be it to learn something new or build something new. I am sure many of you can relate to this: that never ending fascination and driving force which compels one to create. Ultimately, creativity is the driving force on which all software is based and, one could argue, on which everything is based.

Recently, I came across a rather interesting article on scienceblogs titled “The Art of Scientific and Technological Innovations”. The article describes numerous scientific and technological breakthroughs which are based on artistic concepts. These include breakthroughs in such fields as engineering, medicine, biology and more.

Certainly a good read for any UI Engineer. Also, for those who find the link between creativity and programming interesting, I highly recommend Pragmatic Thinking and Learning by Andy Hunt.