Exploring the mobile landscape ... And finding it confusing
By Adam Green -- Adam Green is an independent consultant working with Alpha Software to manage its Twitter account. We asked Adam to explore the mobile development market and record his impressions. This is an excerpt of his adventures.
I just finished skimming a fat book on AngularJs. I like fat programming books, and I like Angular. It obviously was intended to incorporate what people do with HTML/CSS/JS/PHP, and it brings a lot of the PHP page/form processing into the browser.
The problem is that the more I look, the more moving parts I find.
OMG! Do I have to learn all of these too? I just want to build apps. This isn't a stack, it's a warehouse.
I've built a very simple model for web application programming over the last 5 years: The Aptana editor, an SSH client, PHPMyAdmin, HTML/CSS/jQuery on the front-end, and PHP/SQL/MySQL on the back-end. It's fast to build and execute, and basically reduces the problem to web pages executing SQL through Ajax. Some of my best code is just a PHP switch statement with a large variety of SQL queries. Why do I need to learn all these other packages?
More importantly, this huge array of tools I see being described still doesn't get me to an actual database app.
The AngularJS book is about 400 pages, and it uses an order entry example, but it never got to actually connecting to a database. So if I add Bootstrap or Backbone to tie all this other stuff together, then will they let me finally talk to a database to store and retrieve my stuff?
And once I assemble all these pieces, do I need to customize them for every device, or do I need another dozen or so frameworks and libraries? The good part is that I get to order a whole bunch of books from Amazon.
I understand that this is the problem Alpha Anywhere and its competitors are also trying to solve. I now see that both sides of the problem need to be understood and explained: the "complete" solutions, which is where Alpha Anywhere sits, and the conglomeration of a whole bunch of moving parts from separate teams churning out oddly named pieces (Thorax? Really?) at a rapid clip.