- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 2nd ed. edition (26 December 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1118673255
- ISBN-13: 978-1118673256
- Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 2.3 x 22.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #9,94,875 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Building Cross–Platform Apps using Titanium, Alloy, and Appcelerator Cloud Services Paperback – Import, 26 Dec 2014
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From the Back Cover
Build robust, native apps without learning Objective–C or Java
- Get acquainted with Appcelerator Titanium Alloy and the associated cloud services
- Capture and store photos and enable sharing between Facebook ®, e–mail, and Twitter ®
- Integrate user accounts, comments, reviews, Friends features, and location–based services
- Deploy your app to the App Store and Google Play to reach a customer base of millions
Appcelerator Titanium is an open–source, cross–platform mobile application development framework that allows you to get your app to market fast using existing skills and powerful tools. If you want to tap into the enormous global market, get started with this all–encompassing guide.
You can download the files and code from the companion website at www.wiley.com/go/appcelerator.
About the Author
Aaron Saunders is a former Platform Evangelist for Appcelerator Titanium, providing information and support for Titanium mobile developers. Aaron is the founder and CTO of Clearly Innovative Inc, a digital services agency with offices in Washington, D.C and New York City.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
So, that's sort of the info that you'll get from reading the Table of Contents. Let me emphasize that the real value of this book is showing you how to work with Alloy's Models and Collections, and sync adapters. These concepts are a huge stumbling block for a lot of Titanium developers. Developers either "roll their own" solutions or create messy, jumbled code rather than using the framework properly.
Aaron shows you the basics, like binding a model or collection to a view so that your UI updates automatically as your data changes. But he also shows you how you should be connecting to REST services by creating custom sync adapters. This is how you keep your code clean and DRY. He makes Backbone, sync adapters, and models/collections a whole lot less mysterious and difficult. Excellent stuff!
Not using ACS? The techniques he shows can be used with any REST endpoint. Make sure to check out Aaron's GitHub account. He posts lots of great sample code there, including apps that connect to other REST backends.
Books take a long time to write, edit, and publish. Titanium and Alloy (plus iOS and Android) have advanced since Aaron wrote some passages. But because he posts updated code and notes to GitHub, I don't think it's a serious problem for this book. I found nothing that would lead you down a dead end. Instead, there were a few small things I spotted, like Alloy supports data binding on more controls than the View and TableView as he wrote in one of the first chapters. Besides, the real value is seeing how he puts everything together and that doesn't change with a few new Titanium features here and there.
While it's obviously aimed at those new to Titanium, experienced developers will also learn something valuable from reading this book.
(Disclosure: I work for Appcelerator on the Tooling team maintaining the Alloy framework. I bought & paid for my copy of the book myself, read it on my own time, and got no compensation for reading or reviewing it.)
In my opinion, Titanium seemed like the most promising platform because of the Alloy Framework. It’s structure would make sense to any Junior or Senior Front-End developer. Alloy feels natural to me because it utilizes Backbone.js--which I use at work and on personal projects. I invested time learning Alloy with online resources such as Appcelerator forums, official documentation (which is NOT mobile-friendly! -- are you listening Appcelerator?), blog posts, and basic tutorials. It was hard to find in-depth information that made me think “IF I use Alloy *this way*, I WILL have an app with killer performance, design, and functionality”. I think scant information about Alloy was a product of its recent introduction to the world. I figured there were others like me-- Front-End developers who could benefit from better insight about Titanium, Alloy, and Appcelerator’s Cloud Services.
Fast forward to December 2014 and Aaron Saunders’ book appears. “Building Cross-Platform Apps using Titanium, Alloy, and Appcelerator Cloud Services” seemed like it would cover information I wanted to get smart on. Mr. Saunders’ great reputation within the Titanium community, along with useful information he shares on Clearly Innovative’s blog, convinced me to purchase a printed copy of this book. I read it several times over the holiday and was not disappointed. I finally discovered a book that tied everything together for me.
This book is concise, as it communicates technical information in a very clear way. Aaron’s ability to provide technical information with screenshots, relevant source code, and helpful tips to expand understanding of important concepts is worth the price of this book. I followed source code examples and was instantly rewarded with working examples on my screen.
In my opinion, the book reveals its strength from the very beginning. Chapters Two (‘Introducing Appcelerator Cloud Services’) and Three (‘Appcelerator Titanium Alloy Overview’) were definite eye openers. From the start of Chapter Two, I gained confidence using Appcelerator Cloud Services (ACS). Aaron shows you how to use a terminal, connect to your ACS test app, and make several API calls. I was able to manipulate database records using BASH on Mac and Cygwin on Windows. His examples opened my eyes to possibly using ACS independent of Titanium for production web applications. I investigated/tested ways to use ACS within a simple AngularJS client interface. Amazing stuff! I could envision building web apps with ACS as the backend service. Now throw in the “notes” and “tips” about ACS within this chapter and I was hooked. I enjoyed the way Aaron dropped a note about documentation to reinforce his point at certain times. When I did a deep dive into documentation to better understand his instruction, it always helped me connect the dots.
Chapter Three continued this book’s excellence. Quality information about models. collections, and sync adapters within Alloy and Backbone helped remove uncertainty on the model layer. Aaron provides useful tips that encourage proper MVC structure. He also explains how doing things a certain way will definitely improve your app’s performance. If you are not familiar with Backbone.js, you will benefit from its online documentation (which is well written) or reading Addy Osmani’s “Developing Backbone.js Applications”--which is on my bookshelf. My prior Backbone experience allowed me to move along quickly. I was very pleased with the progress I made with Titanium, Alloy, and ACS over a three-day span.
The book continues with source code and explanation on how to build more apps/features. All examples demonstrate the power you will have building apps with Titanium, Alloy, and ACS. I thought the only missing piece was a detailed chapter about structured unit tests. I’d recommend a “Unit Test” chapter for the book’s next iteration.
I’d recommend this book for any Front-End developer who wants to jump into the mobile space. I own printed and digital versions of this book. Well worth the price.
I'm looking forward to see a similar book soon, maybe explaining other Titanium APIs or features not already discussed in this book.