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Head First Mobile Web Paperback – Jan 1 2012
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About the Author
Lyza Danger Gardner (@lyzadanger) is a dev. She has built, broken and hacked web things since 1996. Curiously, Lyza was actually born and raised in Portland, Ore., the town where everyone wants to be but no one seems to be from.
Lyza started college early and cobbled together a motley education: a BA in Arts and Letters from Portland State University, followed by a master’s program in computer science at the University of Birmingham (UK).
Lyza has written a lot of web applications (server-side devs, represent!), defeated wily content management systems, optimized mobile web sites, pounded on various APIs, and worried a lot about databases. Fascinated by the way mobile technology has changed things, she now spends a lot of time thinking about the future of the web, mobile and otherwise.
Since co-founding Cloud Four, a Portland-based mobile web agency, in 2007, Lyza has voyaged further into the deep, untrammeled reaches of Device Land, exploring the foibles and chaos of mobile browsers and the mobile web. She has an odd set of anachronistic hobbies and it has been said she takes a fair number of photographs. She owns a four-letter .com domain. We’ll bet you can guess what it is and go visit her there.
After spending over a decade as a desktop web developer, Jason joined forces with the three smartest people he knew and started Cloud Four. Since co-founding Cloud Four, he has had the good fortune to work on many fantastic projects including the Obama ‘08 iPhone App.
He is founder and President of Mobile Portland, a non?profit dedicated to promotion and education of the mobile community in Portland, Oregon. Jason is a sought?after speaker and consultant on mobile technology.
You can find him blogging at http://cloudfour.com, his personal site http://userfirstweb.com and on Twitter as @grigs.Jason’s expertise includes information architecture, usability, and emerging technology like social media. He has been a featured speaker at various organizations on topics ranging from web analytics to web site performance.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
If you are just diving into mobile web development and want a well-rounded education on the topic, Head First Mobile Web is a great first book!
The book includes hands-on lessons with each chapter (including code you can download) and useful "case studies" to make it clear how each technique should be used. By covering the latest trends like Responsive Web Design and HTML5 APIs and some old school techniques like device detection and CSS-MP "Head First Mobile Web" makes a great resource for anyone looking to get into mobile web development or, like myself, looking to brush up on their skills.
What I think I appreciate most about the book, beyond the depth & practicality of the information, is Jason's and Lyza's frankness in the pros and cons of each solution and being clear how each can be useful. I was most struck by this in the WURFL section. A lot of time is spent talking device detection (one of my favorite mobile techniques) but they're very clear about some of the licensing downsides to the product. They don't just gloss over that very important issue.
It's a surprisingly quick read considering the thickness of the book. That's probably because, rather than being big blocks of text talking theory, it has a lot of examples, tips & tricks and uses a great conversational tone. This book really is designed to be, above all, practical and easy to learn from and it is. If you're at the start of a project and want to know what is available to you with mobile web or using web technologies (they also cover PhoneGap for making HTML-based apps) you should really pick this one up.
I was really impressed by Head First Mobile Web and would highly recommend it to anyone interested in getting a grounding in the increasingly important mobile web development arena.
I was really impressed with the coverage and focus of Head First Mobile Web by Lyza Danger Gardner & Jason Grigsby. As with other books in the Headfirst series, with the pictures & useful asides things can get a bit dense,-- and that happens here with sections on porting CMS sites to mobile, as well as with the coverage of making sure your website is compatible with a number of types of mobile devices: iOS/Android, as well as earlier WAP/XHTML "non-smart" phones.
This still matters as the US telcos move users, sometimes forcibly so, to tiered data plans that, IMHO, discourage the full use of smartphones.
Disclosures/biases: I received the eBook download(s) from O'Reilly for review purposes.
Also, as of this writing, AT&T has throttled my 3G "unlimited data" service for the past couple months. Not happy with them.
The issue is as they are putting together the Tartan Hunt app the code deviates from the prior text covering the chapter. On page 350, they even warn you that the code looks different than what was just discussed in the prior pages. The captureImage method is way different and that required me to spend a bit more time trying to make sure I understood it completely. The other issue is the book left out an important requirement - a feature to allow permission to store files. It took me a couple of hours of searching on the forums to find out that you must add a feature to the config.xml so that once you take the photo that pressing done or check takes you back to the tartan and you see your photo added. Otherwise, pressing done does nothing. I understand that typos are common in books but the source code from the main site doesn't include the changes, yet the apk file they say use as a last resort does work. Why not add an addendum or maybe a readme file to the root of the chapter source code giving this info? Remember, your audience is new to mobile development and may not know about all of the feature permissions.
Keep in mind, the frameworks used in the book are constantly updated. What you see in the book may not work as designed. It's a good book to get a taste of mobile computing but you may need to get separate books on the various topics covered (like HTML 5, jQuery Mobile, and docs). This might be daunting to the beginner who has never developed code for a mobile device. Keep that in mind that if something doesn't work, you will need to do some research. They do a decent job of providing the final code for each chapter so compare your code with theirs if you find your code doesn't work.
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