Using JavaScript Promises with Cordova

JavaScript Promises

JavaScript Promises could make asynchronous programming a bit easier. Most of the APIs of Cordova are asynchronous. So when you want to call one asynchronous API after the other, you have to nest API in the callback functions of the previous API. Many APIs also take error handler as one of the parameter to API function. At some point the whole code could become very difficult to read and maintain.

JS Promises  could make this a bit simpler. Promise is an object, which takes a function callback with two arguments, resolve and reject. Promise represent a value that would be resolved sometime in future, it is is not already resolved or rejected. The promise can be rejected explicitly or when any JavaScript exception is thrown. See and Promises on MDN for details on JS Promises. Advantages of Promises is realized when you need to chain multiple asynchronous calls. Promises can also be useful if you want to guarantee then a piece of code is executed only once. Promises are executed only once. Continue reading “Using JavaScript Promises with Cordova”

CFMobile Example – Record and playback audio using ColdFusion Splendor

In this post I am going to show how easy it is to record audio and play it back in a mobile application using ColdFusion Splendor. If you haven’t already, you can download it from Adobe Labs.

I have tried to keep the application simple. There are two buttons, Record and Play. When you click Record button, the recording starts and the Stop button is displayed. Speak into the phone microphone to record your voice. When done, click Stop button. You can play back the audio by clicking Play button. You can also stop playback any time by clicking Stop button.

Here are the screen shots –

2013_03_18_screen1 2014_03_18_screen2

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CFMobile Example – Taking picture and uploading to ColdFusion server

In this post I am going to show you how to create a mobile application using ColdFusion Splendor that can take a picture and upload the picture to CF server. This application uses Camera and File APIs.

The application is very simple – it has two buttons, one to take picture and the other one to set URL where pictures are to be uploaded. You can set URL of the server before taking a picture or after, just before it is to be uploaded. Once the URL is set, it is stored in the localStorage and will be remembered.  There is a messages div where the application displays messages about different operations it is performing.

2014_03_04_image1 2014_03_04_image2 2014_03_04_image3

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CFMobile Example – Using Geolocation APIs in ColdFusion Splendor

I was going to cover a use-case of taking picture in a mobile app and uploading it to ColdFusion Server in this post, but I found some issues in packaging an app that used Geolocation APIs when helping someone and thought that I would cover geolocation first.

This sample application is very simple – it gets your current location and displays a marker at that location on the Goole Map APIs. Here is how the application looks – Continue reading “CFMobile Example – Using Geolocation APIs in ColdFusion Splendor”

PhoneGap 3 – My initial experience

PhoneGap 3.0 was released this year in July, but I hadn’t given it a try till a few days back.     I had to start a new PhoneGap project using the latest version (PhoneGap 3.3).
There have been significant changes in the way PhoneGap is installed and project created since PhoneGap 3.0. These changes have been very well documented in the official PhoneGap documentation and various blogs. So installing and PhoneGap 3.3 and creating the first project was a smooth experience.

The problem for me started after the bare minimum project was created. One of the important changes in PhoneGap 3.0 is that every device feature API is a plugin (e.g. contacts, camera etc.) and none of the device APIs are automatically included when you create a project using CLI. You have to add then after you created the project. I was aware of this change and added plugins that I needed using CLI. I then expected to have these APIs available in the application (I created iOS and Android Apps). But they were not. Continue reading “PhoneGap 3 – My initial experience”

Using iOS Native Views in PhoneGap Projects

I am working on an iOS application where I want to use PhoneGap as well as a native iOS View. I want iOS view to be the first page from which user can navigate to a view created by PhoneGap. I have developed iOS applications either completely using PhoneGap or native APIs, but never tried to use both in the same application. So figuring out how to do that took some time and I thought I would share that here.

By the way, if you want to embed PhoneGap WebView into existing iOS project then follow instructions at Embedding WebViews. In this post I am going to explain how to embed native iOS view into a PhoneGap project and set it as the initial page.

First you create a PhoneGap project. I created the project using Command Line Interface of PhoneGap 3.1. Go to the folder where you want to create the project and run following command (I am assuming project name to be iOSPhoneGapProject here)

$ phonegap create iOSPhoneGapProject ram.kulkarni.iOSPhoneGapProject iOSPhoneGapApp

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My Experience of building UI of CFSummit2013 mobile app

I am back to writing blog after a gap of nearly two months. Past few weeks had been very busy working on new features of ColdFusion and creating a mobile app for CFSummit2013 . I along with my colleagues Asha and Rakshith had been working on this app for nearly a month, though not necessarily full time. There were two main reasons for building the app 1. to use mobile features of next ColdFusion releases to provide feedback and catch bugs 2. to create a useful app for the attendees of CFSummit.

I don’t know if attendees would find the app useful (I certainly hope so), but we were able to provide a lot of valuable feedback on ColdFusion mobile features and catch many bugs. The application took more time than it should have, because the mobile features of ColdFusion were still under developement. We would hit a bug and would have to wait (if it was a blocking issue) till it got fixed. In many case we did try to work around issues. But the whole process took a lot more time.

But this post is not about mobile features of ColdFusion and how they were used in the CFSummit app. I am going to talk about my experience in creating HTML5 UI for this app, the issues we faced and lessons learnt. Some of the UI issues are still unresolved.

Along with new mobile features of ColdFusion, this app is developed using JQuery, Bootstrap3, PathJS, JQuery Raty, Cordova (PhoneGap) and PhoneGap Build.

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Creating PhoneGap aware Web Browser

I wanted to create an application which I could use to run my other PhoneGap applications for testing, a kind of wrapper or shell application. When you are developing a PG application, you are changing you code frequently and running the application again and again in the emulator could be time consuming (actually it is very slow for Android, but iOS is quite fast).

So this week I create a PhoneGap application which can take a URL of my PhoneGap application hosted on my development server and run it. The shell application is like a regular web browser where you enter the URL to open the page. However you cannot execute PhoneGap applications in a regular mobile browser (such as Safari and Chrome) because PhoneGap specific native libraries are not available.

So I can now create my PhoneGap applications, deploy it on a web server and open the link in my PhoneGap shell application. If I modify the application, I just refresh the page in the shell application. So testing is faster.

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Using PhoneGap Media APIs

Last week I blogged about a problem I was facing when recording audio on iOS, using PhoneGap Media APIs. I was seeing following error in the debug console –

ERROR: Method ‘create:withDict:’ not defined in Plugin ‘Media’

and audio was not recorded.

I logged a bug for this in the PhoneGap’s bug tracker, and it turned out that it was not really a bug in PhoneGap. The PhoneGap team responded quickly (thanks Filip and Shazron) and guided me to the solution.
The solution is in fact documented on the PhoneGap API Reference site, but it is easy to miss.This is what I learnt –

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My Experiment with iOS Development

Last week I decided to experiment with iOS development. When I had started out learning Android development, it was not very difficult. Android programs are written in Java, which I have been using for many years and IDE used for Android development is Eclipse, which I have been using for many years now. All I had to get familiar was Android APIs.

However iOS development is very different for me. Applications are written in Objective-C, IDE is Xcode and they have to be developed on Mac platform using Cocoa framework. I have no experience with Objective-C, Xcode and Cocoa framework and have used Mac very little, only when I had to debug ColdFusion Builder issues specific to Mac. So I was not expecting smooth sailing; and I was not disappointed.
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