martes, 8 de mayo de 2012

Review of “Beginning PhoneGap”

19:58 by Rafael Flores · 0 comentarios


Ok, the title says “Beginning…” but even so, not a book I’d buy


Beginning PhoneGapBeing interested for various reasons on all that HTML5 can bring to the mobile world, and in particular on the PhoneGap framework I had just discovered, I read this book with some expectations, looking for it to become my reference on the subject, for any attempts I might try out or any questions on the subject I could receive.

I found much more complete and accurate the proper PhoneGap’s (or Nitobi’s, or whoever) information available on the web. The examples there and the ones provided by the book are quite similar, but the ones on the web have the added benefit of being correct and up-to-date. That’s something that although I understand the book can’t accomplish I’d have least expected it not so have so many typos here and there. The code fails in some places, the explanation others… well, at least they have got assured that the reader pays close attention, otherwise she will be completely lost!

Ok, based on my notes here are some things that I found particularly weak:

  • PhoneGap for Android setup, not very clearly covered. I presume the one for iOS is ok, but this (the one I know about) seemed really poor.
  • The examples on events are very much the same repeated “n” times with some minor changes, not big differences between them. So, why not go through an example covering all (or a batch of) them altogether? Would have seemed logical.
  • The exercises on page 100 are a good point on the book’s side. +1 here
  • Typos here and there, incomplete code (some missing function calls), calls to wrongly named functions,…. Maybe  was I reading the “draft” version I wonder?
  • Missing or weak examples, for instance what could the magnetometer be used for? Or address access through the Contacts list. More info about FileTransfer, something that most developers will use one time or another. Or more valuable info added, such as links to where up-to-date information could be found.
  • Using “Final App listing” nowadays just seems like filling stuff, they don’t give any value since you can download the code from the book’s site (IMHO).
    Furthermore with the complete Phonegap.js listing… what for?
  • Wouldn’t it had been much more interesting to show a complete App creation process with PhoneGap? Basic implementation, event management, device capabilities, notifications… a 360% approach, much more valuable than a mere “show and tell” list of examples.

So, honestly I can’t recommend this book. I have been really disappointed with it and suppose will fall in my “not read again” stack. Sorry.


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