New Tools for Web and Mobile Application Development

I recently started investigating new tools available for mobile web development and I ran into a plethora of tools. From JS MVC frameworks to js templating engines, and css extensions. I thought it would be a good idea to share the list I’ve discovered so far. Please add a comment for any js library I’ve missed. Thx

JS Tools

Backbone.js gives structure to web applications by providing models with key-value binding and custom events, collections with a rich API of enumerable functions,views with declarative event handling, and connects it all to your existing API over a RESTful JSON interface.

Underscore is a utility-belt library for JavaScript that provides a lot of the functional programming support that you would expect in Prototype.js (or Ruby), but without extending any of the built-in JavaScript objects. It’s the tie to go along with jQuery’s tux, and Backbone.js’s suspenders.

Thorax, An opinionated Backbone application framework providing a filesystem structure, on demand module loading, model and collection view binding, inheritable view and DOM events, data loading helpers, form serialization / population and validation. Built using Backbone,Underscore, Zepto, Handlebars, Stylus and Lumbar.

Sugar is a Javascript library that extends native objects with helpful methods. It is designed to be intuitive, unobtrusive, and let you do more with less code.

Zepto is a minimalist JavaScript library for modern browsers with a largely jQuery-compatible API. If you use jQuery, you already know how to use Zepto.

Scroll 4 is a complete rewrite of the original iScroll code. The script development began because mobile webkit (on iPhone, iPad, Android) does not provide a native way to scroll content inside a fixed width/height element. This unfortunate situation prevents any web-app to have a position:absolute header and/or footer and a scrolling central area for contents.

Lumbar is a js-build tool that takes a general codebase and list of platforms to generate modular platform specific applications.

JS Templates

Mustache, Logic-less templates.

Handlebars provides the power necessary to let you build semantic templates effectively with no frustration.
Mustache templates are compatible with Handlebars, so you can take a Mustache template, import it into Handlebars, and start taking advantage of the extra Handlebars features.

CSS Extensions

Sass makes CSS fun again. Sass is an extension of CSS3, adding nested rules, variables, mixins,selector inheritance, and more. It’s translated to well-formatted, standard CSS using the command line tool or a web-framework plugin.

Stylus, Expressive, dynamic, robust CSS

LESS extends CSS with dynamic behavior such asvariables, mixins, operations and functions. LESS runs on both the client-side (Chrome, Safari, Firefox) and server-side, with Node.js and Rhino.


From Zero to Alpha

Seems I’ve been living in a bubble and time has been flying. Fortunately I learnt a lot while in that bubble and I’m looking forward to sharing some of the stuff I’ve learnt or I’m reminded of. From trying my hands out with Android development to pitching to VCs, I’ve begun to realize how important it is to not delay in implementing your ideas. Yes they are a dime a dozen but there a few ones that get you excited. Surfing on that exciting is something I enjoy a lot and I’m longing for more. 

I’ve learnt you really don’t need to figure everything out before you start working on your idea apart from if it meets real people’s needs. Does it meet your needs? Is it just you or do you see 10s, 100s or 1000s or even 1Ms of people out there you’ll be meeting the needs of. If you can see some people enjoying your solution and you’ve got the time I’ll most definitely suggest you give it a shot but keep your day job. Create your prototype and see how it goes. And most importantly, enjoy your solution!