My latest book, Apache Cordova 4 Programming (www.cordova4programming.com), is now available in stores. This is my 7th book overall and my 4th book on Apache Cordova/Adobe PhoneGap.
The book is written for mobile developers who want to learn about Apache Cordova 4. If you’re brand new to Cordova, then this book will be just what you need to get started. If you’re experienced with an older version of Cordova, this book can act as a refresher plus will show you in detail how to use all of the new stuff that’s in Cordova 4. You will need to have at least some experience with mobile development to directly benefit from this book. The target audience could be existing web developers who want to get into mobile development, but much of the needed native mobile development background just isn’t in here. Sorry!
What you’ll find in the book:
- Lots of detailed information about Apache Cordova, what it does, how it works and how to use the available tools and APIs
- Lots of examples and code; for even more code, be sure to check out my Apache Cordova API Cookbook (www.cordovacookbook.com)
What you won’t find in this book:
- Mobile web development and mobile development topics; this is a book about Apache Cordova, not mobile development
- Expressions or phrases in languages other than English (I hate it when authors include expressions from Latin or French)
- Obscure references to pop- culture topics (although there is an overt reference to Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and one obscure reference to Monty Python)
- Pictures of my children or my pets
This book is not a book for experienced Cordova 4 developers – if you consider yourself an experienced Cordova 4 developer, then you probably should not buy this book.
Herein I tried to provide complete coverage of Apache Cordova 4; covering enough detail that readers will leave with a complete understanding of what Cordova is, what it does, how it works and how to use it for their mobile application projects. There’s a whole lot more to Cordova, many advance topics and more detailed coverage of the Cordova APIs which is covered in the Cordova documentation or in blogs.
This book started many years ago as a book called PhoneGap Essentials (www.phonegapessentials.com); the book was all about PhoneGap 2.0 and was published right about the time the project name changed to Apache Cordova. The book weighed in at about 300 pages long. The book’s first 150 pages covered the available tools and everything a developer needed to know to configure a development environment then create, write, build and test PhoneGap applications. The second half of the book provided a detailed deep dive into each of the (at the time) PhoneGap APIs. The cool part of this second half was that it included, for each API, at least one complete, functional sample application that demonstrated each aspect of the API. The framework’s documentation was pretty useful in demonstrating how the API worked overall, but PhoneGap Essentials provided much more thorough examples.
The book went on to become the bestselling book on the topic and it was used in university courses around the world. According to Amazon.com, people are still purchasing this book today.
With the release of Apache Cordova 3, I reworked the manuscript and published Apache Cordova 3 Programming (www.cordovaprogramming.com). This book also weighed in at 300 pages, but was essentially a rewrite of just the first half of PhoneGap Essentials with only cursory coverage of the Cordova APIs provided. This allowed me to go into much more details on the tools and development process.
Unfortunately, the book was only available as an ebook, so most readers didn’t even know it existed. This was exacerbated by Amazon’s refusal to link a printed book to an updated version in a different format; I could point people interested in the ebook version of PhoneGap Essentials to the ebook version of Apache Cordova 3 Programming, but I could not do the same for the printed version. The side effect of this was that people continued to buy PhoneGap Essentials even though it covered an older version of the framework.
In order to accommodate those readers who were more interested in the Cordova APIs, I reworked the second half of PhoneGap Essentials into another 300 pages called Apache Cordova API Cookbook (www.cordovacookbook.com). In this book, the complete example applications from PhoneGap Essentials were enhanced and expanded and all of the book’s content updated for the newer version of Cordova. I’d not covered some topics as well as I would have liked in the first book, so this update allowed me to really expand the coverage of some topics and include even more complete sample applications (32 I think it was).
Between Apache Cordova 3 Programming and Apache Cordova API Cookbook, I had written more than 600 pages of coverage of Apache Cordova 3. That’s more than twice the size of the original book and a lot of good information for developers.
With this book, I’ve updated Apache Cordova 3 Programming for Apache Cordova 4 plus included new content on a bunch of topics. In my previous books, I focused primarily on PhoneGap and Apache Cordova; I didn’t cover many third-party tools and left many mobile development topics uncovered as well. For this book, there were a bunch of additional tools available and some hybrid-focused HTML frameworks so I decided to cover as many of them as I could in the space available to me. Where this book’s predecessor was 300 pages, this one should top out at over 500 pages, so there’s a lot of really good information here for all types of Cordova developers. When bundled with Apache Cordova API Cookbook, you’ll have more than 800 pages of information about Apache Cordova.
Herein you’ll find most of the same topics as were covered in Apache Cordova 3 Programming, the only missing topic is coverage of the BlackBerry platform. I wrote the first book on BlackBerry development and had pretty much always carried a BlackBerry device, but between books BlackBerry experienced a dramatic drop in market share and I started carrying an Android device as my primary device. Additionally, in previous books I had the enthusiastic support of my former colleagues at BlackBerry, but when it came time to get feedback on the BlackBerry chapter in Apache Cordova 3 Programming, the development team stopped responding to my inquiries. Because of those two things I decided to drop support for BlackBerry from this book.
So, what new stuff have I added in this book? Coverage of:
- Plugman and the PhoneGap CLI
- Cordova’s support for Firefox OS and Ubuntu devices
- Automation (Grunt and Gulp) and Cordova CLI Hooks
- Microsoft’s hybrid toolkit for Visual Studio
- Third-party tools such as AppGyver, GapDebug, THym and more
- Third-party HTML frameworks such as Bootstrap, OpenUI5, Ionic, Onsen UI
There’s a lot more, but that’s just the highlights.
The one thing I cover in the book, but not in tremendous detail is how to build custom Cordova plugins. I cover the topic and show you how to create two complete plugins, but this isn’t a native mobile development book and that’s a native mobile development topic. I’ve learned from my readers that the material I do provide is enough to help a lot of people get started with plugins and create their own plugins; I’ll leave it up to another author to write a book dedicated to plugin development so it can get the attention it deserves.