Aleksander is young developer who loves to play with the newest web technologies. In his free time, he reads about PHP, Firefox OS or experiments with a new language. Currently, his main interests are PHP design patterns, laravel, dart and cloud.
Intel XDK is a new tool for developing cross platform mobile applications. It attempts to keep the process simple by including all possible target platforms in one package and collecting several tools that may be familiar and useful to you.
In this article I will explain what Intel XDK is and prepare you to start building an app for every mobile platform using HTML5. The interface is easy but different from other IDEs. We will explore everything step by step.
You can find Intel XDK at the official web site. It is available for Windows, Linux and Mac. When you first start the Software you will need to create an account so that you can use the build features. With this service you can host your projects in the Cloud and build them from there. After creating an account, sign in and you are ready to start with it.
NOTE: . I occurred some problems when trying to install Intel XDK on Debian. On Ubuntu which is Debian based it performs well. I haven’t tried it yet with other Linux distros but leave a comment if you find any problems.
What I like the most about the XDK IDE is that it includes all the tools to fully develop an app from start to publishing. Development, Emulation, Testing, Debugging, Profiling and Building are all included. There is also a special feature for third party Services. All of this workflow is organized into 7 tabs that are in an appropriate order.
The development tab is where you are going to spend the most of your time. You can develop your app using the drag and drop tools (App Designer and App Starter) or the text editor. The text editor is based on Bracket editor which is an open source editor build using HTML5. Bracket is maintained by Adobe. For the drag and drop prototyping you can choose App Designer or App Starter. App Starter is a simple tool and is aimed for beginners. It only supports the App Framework. App Designer is a more complex tool than App Starter with more features. It supports App Framework, Bootstrap 3, JQuery Mobile and TopCoat. When developing with the drag and drop tools and the code editor, you can switch back and fourth. You can also use both of them side by side. I personally choose not to use the GUI building tools as they produce too much unnecessary code. I like to code everything from scratch as the whole project is more maintainable and your code is cleaner when you code from scratch. One feature that I love to play with is the live preview on device, you can easily code and preview live on a connected device.
Nowadays, everything is turning into a web application. Even simple websites have a mobile app relying on a REST Api. Web applications are accessible everywhere – on a laptop, desktop, tablet, mobile, and recently on wearable devices like smartwatches. Everything is becoming smaller and faster – front ends are becoming separated from back ends, and only communicate with the server through APIs.
What will we be building?
In these series, we are going to create a photo uploading app. For the front-end, we will use EmberJs and Foundation 5. EmberJs is a front-end framework featuring good integration with REST Apis. Foundation 5 will help us make a fast prototype of our front end. For hosting, we will use Heroku’s free tier (for more information about PHP on Heroku, see here). For the back-end, we will use Laravel. The source code will be available per-part, and in final shape in the final part of this series. You can download the code for part 1 here.
Let’s get started
A good way to start a new project in PHP is using Vagrant. Vagrant gives us the space to experiment a lot from project to project. I can have different PHP versions if I want with Apache for one project, Nginx for another. If something goes bad, I revert all my work and simply
vagrant upafter that – and I never pollute my host operating system with various other installations.
The easiest way to get started is by following this quick tip, which will take you through a fast installation process and show you a working Laravel app in a matter of minutes so you can start hacking away. If you’re still not convinced why you should use Homestead and Vagrant, see here.
Vagrant has changed the way I work. In this article I discuss how Vagrant, a tool for creating and managing virtual environments, helps me work more efficiently. I will then introduce Varying Vagrant Vagrants (VVV), an evolving Vagrant configuration purpose-built for WordPress developers.
Are You Still Using WAMP/MAMP?
If you’re reading this, there is a high chance that you have used local development in the past. We all have gone through this. WAMP/WampServer, LAMP or MAMP, we’ve all had nightmares developing with them. Most of the time I was developing using WAMP (Windows environment), then I changed my development environment to Linux. It was the best thing I have ever done.
If you’ve ever worked in a team, you have probably come across the scenario where someone says “It works on my machine”. Or perhaps you’ve lost time losing your development environment when you’ve switched computers or bought a new laptop.
Working on different projects, often requires different PHP versions, and different extensions. Sometimes there are conflicts with extensions. Things may break. Let’s not even talk about differences in the operating system, that’s another level of nightmare.
But what I hate the most, is messing with my primary system. I don’t want to my system to become dirty. I don’t want to install something and to forget that it is there. Projects finish but (usually) extensions and configurations stay there, and then you have to reconfigure everything.
But don’t worry, I think those days are over. I’ve been experimenting with Vagrant for a while and it has permanently changed the way I work.
What is Firefox OS? Firefox OS is a new mobile operating system created 2 years ago. Largely experimental until now, but in the last year it has been commercialized with the support of companies like LG and ZTE, who are the main producers of devices implementing Firefox OS. Firefox OS is created by Mozilla, who’s […]