6hoek.com, a showcase for renderSnake

For the past month, I have been working on a new iPad Web application that recently was launched at 6hoek.com. This application provides easy access to the complete product catalog of the Dutch online webshop bol.com.

Because it is targeted to owners of tablet devices such as the Apple iPad, I decided to embrace the upcoming JQuery Mobile framework (JQM), an open-source Javascript library that provides an unified UI to various mobile devices. For producing the HTML markup, I (obviously) choose renderSnake, an open-source HTML component library that promotes writing UI components in Java instead of templates.

[caption id=“attachment_501” align=“alignnone” width=“300” caption=“6hoek.com on the iPad”]6hoek.com on the iPad[/caption]

Looking back at the development process with respect to these frameworks, I see that:

  • Even though JQM is still beta, it is mature enough to start depending on it
  • Most issues with JQM were easily resolved by reading the excellent JQ forum discussions
  • Writing Java component classes instead of JSP/templates turned out to be very productive
    • Small reusable components that encapsulate complex HTML and Javascript constructions
    • Debugging and refactoring (rename,extract) support from the IDE
    • Presentation logic in plain Java
  • CSS is still a magic beast to tame
  • Javascript debugging (I use Google Chrome) is a big time saver
Of course by creating a real application using these frameworks, one better realizes what features are missing or need to be changed. The upcoming 1.2 release of renderSnake will include all of them.

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