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Building iPhone Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript: Making App Store Apps Without Objective-C or Cocoa 1st Edition

41 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0596805784
ISBN-10: 0596805780
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jonathan Stark is a mobile and web application consultant who the Wall Street Journal has called an expert on publishing desktop data to the web. He has written two books on web application programming, is a tech editor for both php|architect and Advisor magazines, and has been quoted in the media on internet and mobile lifestyle trends. Jonathan began his programming career more than 20 years ago on a Tandy TRS-80 and still thinks Zork was a sweet game.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 186 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (January 29, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596805780
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596805784
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #548,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jonathan Stark is a mobile software consultant who helps businesses thrive in a post-PC world.

Jonathan is the author of three books on mobile and web development, most notably O'Reilly's Building iPhone Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript which is available in seven languages.

His Jonathan's Card experiment made international headlines by combining mobile payments with social giving to create a "pay it forward" coffee movement at Starbucks locations all over the U.S.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

82 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Gary K. Evans on March 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
I am a developer, but I know nothing about the iPhone or iPhone app development, so this book sounded perfect for me. It's a very quick read: I read the whole book (< 160 pages) on a 3 hour flight to Boston. The prose is clear with very little fluff, but did I learn much about iPhone apps with HTML, CSS and Javascript? This raises the big question that was not clear to me when I started reading: who is this book for? It is clear that this book is not for someone who has no prior knowledge of HTML or CSS, or JavaScript. The tutelage on HTML and CSS is razor-thin. If you do not understand these languages, your head will swim very quickly. I have worked with both languages for a couple years, and yet I felt pretty unsatisfied with the skeletal explanations of some of the examples. The Javascript coverage was even more spartan. I am not a Javascript person; I know just enough to tweak simple code I have found on the Internet. I have no clue to some of the book's example code and what it means. Overall, I found this book was not written to be a tutorial at all. It is a bare introduction to the iPhone environment for a developer who has considerable experience in these languages. And to Stark's credit, he does does state in the Preface that this book is for people with "basic experience reading and writing HTML, CSS, and JavaScript (jQuery in particular)". I was not aware of this assumption, so be aware that you may have some rough going. On the up-side, however, there is some very interesting material in this book. I did learn something about the iPhone development environment, and the iPhone style of presentation. Now I know to look into Cocoa, jQuery and JQTouch.Read more ›
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33 of 39 people found the following review helpful By calvinnme HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 31, 2010
Format: Paperback
As an IPhone app developer you've probably found that Objective-C is difficult to learn, rather counter-intuitive in syntax, and not very useful outside of the Mac programming world. Also, trying to get an app into the App store is like dealing with airport security - byzantine rules unevenly enforced and guaranteed long waits. Updates also take long time periods, and if your updates are in response to bugs you can quickly get a bad rep as a developer. This book shows you how to use commonly and long-used web technologies to build your application as a web app, have it tested on the web where you can quickly make changes in response to bugs, and then when you are ready, the book shows you how to use PhoneGap to convert your web app to a native iPhone app.

This book assumes that you have basic experience reading and writing HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, SQL, and jQuery. The author has a very brief overview of these technologies in the book, but it isn't enough if you lack experience, and it is duplication of what you already know if you have experience. The book largely avoids the iPhone SDK but you will need access to a Mac for the material in Chapter 7 on PhoneGap. This is the chapter where the author shows you how to convert a web app into a native app that can be submitted to the App Store.

The book is short, but it is adequate and clearly written for the task at hand. I'd recommend it to anyone who is tired of dealing with Objective-C and is looking for an easier way to write and test IPhone apps.
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31 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Deats on July 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
The book starts with a general overview of HTML and CSS and then explains how to use CSS, HTML and JQuery to target some of WebKit's proprietary calls to make Web Apps mimic native iPhone app look and feel. It also covers using HTML5 local storage. The last chapter explains how to use a new third-party (open source) PhoneGap SDK to convert your iPhone app to a native application.

So why two stars? Well, there are a few problems with the book. For starters, the pre-face and getting starting portion is not going to prepare anyone. If you don't have a foundation in HTML, JavaScript, CSS, etc.. You're going to struggle with the content and the information in the first chapter is not going to be enough to help you. With the chapters that follow we get more step by step examples, far too much hand holding and NO SOURCE TO DOWNLOAD (this is unforgivable). Advanced developers will gladly pay for a book just to get their hands on the source and will learn quickly by reading the source code as opposed to reading the authors step-by-step instructions on how to write the source code. For all except beginner books, it's common with tech books that the source code is really what the reader is after and the book becomes a reference (as needed) for understanding the source code. This basic concept of tech book authorship seems to be missing here. This book is formatted as a beginners book but covers more advanced topic, this is a significant flaw in the approach.

Aside from my dislike of the authors approach, there are two other areas where I think this book should have been filled out a bit more. We get no information on using graphics.
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