Book Image

jQuery Mobile Web Development Essentials - Third Edition

By : Raymond Camden, Andy Matthews
Book Image

jQuery Mobile Web Development Essentials - Third Edition

By: Raymond Camden, Andy Matthews

Overview of this book

jQuery Mobile is a HTML5-based touch-optimized web framework. jQuery Mobile can be used to build responsive cross-platform websites and apps for a wide range of smartphones, tablets, and desktop devices. The jQuery Mobile framework can be integrated with other mobile app frameworks such as PhoneGap, IBM Worklight, and more. Introduction to jQuery Mobile explains how to add the framework to your HTML pages to create rich, mobile-optimized web pages with minimal effort. You’ll learn how to use jQuery Mobile’s automatic enhancements and configure the framework for customized, powerful mobile-friendly websites. We then dig into forms, events, and styling. You'll see how jQuery Mobile automatically enhances content, and will find out how to use the JavaScript API to build complex sites. We’ll introduce you to how jQuery Mobile can be themed as well looking into how JavaScript can be used for deep sets of customizations. The examples are ready to run and can be used to help kick-start your own site. Along the way, you will leverage all the concepts you learn to build three sample mobile applications.
Table of Contents (20 chapters)
jQuery Mobile Web Development Essentials Third Edition
About the Authors
About the Reviewer


What is jQuery Mobile?

On August 11, 2010, nearly six years ago, John Resig (creator of jQuery) announced the jQuery Mobile project. While it focused on the UI framework, it was also a recognition of jQuery itself as a tool for mobile websites and that work would be done to the core framework itself to make it work better on devices. Release after release, the jQuery Mobile project evolved into a powerful framework, encompassing more platforms, more features, and better performance with every update.

But what do we mean when we say a UI framework? What does it mean for developers and designers? jQuery Mobile provides a way to turn regular HTML (and CSS) into mobile-friendly websites. As you will see soon in the first chapter, you can take a regular HTML page, add the required bits for jQuery Mobile (essentially, lines of HTML), and your page is transformed into a mobile-friendly version instantly.

Unlike other frameworks, jQuery Mobile is focused on HTML. In fact, for a framework tied to jQuery, you can do a heck of a lot of work without writing one line of JavaScript. It's a powerful, practical way of creating mobile websites that any existing HTML developer can pick up and adapt within a few hours. Compare this to other frameworks, such as Sencha Touch. Sencha Touch is also a powerful framework, but its approach is radically different, using JavaScript to help define and layout pages. jQuery Mobile is much friendlier to people who are more familiar with HTML as opposed to JavaScript. jQuery Mobile is touch-friendly, which will make sense to anyone who has used a smartphone and struggled to click the exact spot on a website with tiny text and hard-to-spot links. It will make sense to anyone who has accidentally clicked on a Reset button instead of Submit. jQuery Mobile will enhance your content to help solve these issues. Regular buttons become large, fat, and easy-to-hit buttons. Links can be turned into list-based navigation systems. Content can be split into virtual pages with smooth transitions. You will be surprised just how jQuery Mobile works without writing much code at all.

What's the cost?

Ah, the million dollar question. Luckily, this one is easy to answer: nothing. jQuery Mobile, like jQuery itself, is completely free to use for any purpose. Not only that, it's open source. Don't like how something works? You can change it. Want something not supported by the framework? You can add it. To be fair, digging deep into the code base is probably something most folks will not be comfortable doing. However, the fact that you can if you need to, and the fact that other people can, will lead to a product that will be open to development by the community at large.

What do you need to know?

Finally, along with not paying a dime to get, and work with, jQuery Mobile, the best thing is that you probably already have all the skills necessary to work with the framework. As you will see in the upcoming chapters, jQuery Mobile is an HTML-based framework. If you know HTML, even just simple HTML, you can use the jQuery Mobile framework. Knowledge of CSS and JavaScript is a plus, but not entirely required (while jQuery Mobile uses a lot of CSS and JavaScript behind the scenes, you don't actually have to write any of this yourself!).

What about native apps?

jQuery Mobile does not create native applications. You'll see later in the book how you can combine jQuery Mobile with hybrid mobile technologies, such as Apache Cordova, to create native apps; but in general, jQuery Mobile is for building websites. The question on whether to develop a website or a mobile app is not something this book can answer. You need to look at your business needs and see what will satisfy them. Because we are not building mobile apps themselves, you do not have to worry about setting up any accounts with Google or Apple, or paying any fees for the marketplace. Any user with a mobile device that includes a browser will be able to view your mobile-optimized websites.

Again, if you want to develop true mobile apps with jQuery Mobile, it's definitely an option.


While we'd like to think that this book will cover every single possible topic you would need for all your jQuery Mobile needs, most likely there will be things we can't cover. If you need help, there are a couple of places you can try.

First, the jQuery Mobile docs ( cover syntax, features, and development in general, much like this book. While the material may cover some of the same ground, if you find something confusing here, try the official docs. Sometimes, a second explanation can really help.

Second, the jQuery Mobile forum ( is an open-ended discussion list for jQuery Mobile topics. This is the perfect place to ask questions. Also, it's a good place to learn about problems other people are having. You may even be able to help them. One of the best ways to learn a new topic is by helping others.

What this book covers

Chapter 1, Preparing Your First jQuery Mobile Project, works you through your first jQuery Mobile project. It details what must be added to your project's directory and source code.

Chapter 2, Working with jQuery Mobile Pages, continues the work in the previous chapter and introduces the concept of jQuery Mobile pages.

Chapter 3, Enhancing Pages with Headers, Footers, and Toolbars, explains how to enhance your pages with nicely formatted headers and footers.

Chapter 4, Working with Lists, describes how to create jQuery Mobile list views. These are mobile-optimized lists, which are especially great for navigation.

Chapter 5, Getting Practical – Building a Simple Hotel Mobile Website, walks you through creating your first real (albeit simple) jQuery Mobile application.

Chapter 6, Working with Forms and jQuery Mobile, explains the process of using jQuery Mobile-optimized forms. Layout and special form features are covered in detail.

Chapter 7, Creating Grids, Panels, and Other Widgets, walks you through special jQuery Mobile UI items for creating grid-based layouts and other common UI elements.

Chapter 8, Moving Further with the Notekeeper Mobile Application, walks you through the process of creating another website, an HTML5-enhanced note-taking application.

Chapter 9, jQuery Mobile Configuration, Utilities, and JavaScript Methods, describes the various JavaScript-based utilities your code may have need of.

Chapter 10, Working with Events, details the events thrown by various jQuery Mobile-related features, like pages loading and unloading.

Chapter 11, Enhancing jQuery Mobile, demonstrates how to change the default appearance of your jQuery Mobile websites by selecting and creating unique themes.

Chapter 12, Creating Native Applications, takes what you've learned previously and shows how to use the open source PhoneGap project to create real native applications.

Chapter 13, Becoming an Expert – Building an RSS Reader Application, expands upon the previous chapter by creating an application that lets you add and read RSS feeds on mobile devices.

What you need for this book

Nothing! Technically, you need a computer and a browser as well, but jQuery Mobile is built with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. No Integrated Development Environment (IDE) or special tool will be required to work with the framework. If you've got any editor on your system (and all operating systems include a free editor of some sort), you can develop with jQuery Mobile.

Who this book is for

This book is for anyone looking to embrace mobile development and expand their skill set beyond the desktop.


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Listing 1-1: test1.html
    <title>First Mobile Example</title>
    Welcome to our first mobile web site. It's going to be the best site you've ever seen. Once we get some content. And a business plan. But the hard part is done!
    <i>Copyright Megacorp &copy; 2015</i>

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