Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Zakia Bouachraoui, Yeshim Deniz, Jason Bloomberg

Related Topics: Java IoT, Mobile IoT

Java IoT: Blog Post

JavaScript Cross-Compilation Mobile App Development

Guest Post from Mobility Expert Peter Rogers

If you are a mobile geek or are dreaming of being one, then here is your opportunity to indulge with Cognizant's mobility expert, Peter Rogers ([email protected]).

Recently Famo.us made a big announcement around offering their own PhoneGap alternative using a WebView that could use Chrome instead of the Stock Android Browser. Android 4.4 (KitKat) actually offers this out of the box now but it is actually Chrome 30 which isn't quite up to the same feature set of Chrome 33. That means no WebGL or WebRTC, which is a real loss. There are also no plans to roll ChromeView to older versions of Android and the open source project with this intention has considerable issues at this stage, which is a shame.

Famo.us plan therefore to bundle Blink (Chrome 33) with Apps in order to offer WebGL and other improvements to Wrapped Web Apps. The downside is of course the size of Blink which is somewhere between 10M and 30M depending on which tech forum you follow. Famo.us plan to get round this by offering a one-off download of a shared library, of course this would need to be updated when the next version of Chrome is released. They have a neat demo showing Chrome 33 features including WebGL running through a WebView on Android KitKat.

There is of course another option and that is actually converting HTML 5 and JavaScript into native code. I was very excited to see that CocoonJS are moving from Games into Apps. They offer a Cloud based compilation solution for converting HTML 5 content into a Native App for a dedicated mobile operating system. The conversion of HTML 5 Canvas to OpenGL (ES) native code has been a technique used in the game industry for a while now and it is often referred to as Accelerated Canvas. AppMobi were one of the pioneers of this technology and recently they sold all their client-side software to Intel and it became part of their XDK - which also offers an alternative to PhoneGap - although it is more of a superset as opposed to an alternative. The difference between converting an HTML 5 Canvas and a whole HTML 5 Web App is quite large though and it starts to bring it into the realms of Apps as opposed to pure Games, which is an exciting prospect. Indeed a lot of hopes rest with CocoonJS Beta for how they can move away from a pure Accelerated Canvas.

CoffeeScript was a marmite solution where some people loved it and others hated it. The basic premise was sound though in that you could write in a higher level more powerful language and then compile it into a highly optimised JavaScript output. Emscripten is a type of compiler which is termed a source-to-source compiler or a transcompiler. You compile from C / C++ into LLVM bitcode which is translated into a highly optimised JavaScript, furthermore it can take advantage of asm.js. An asm.js program will behave identically whether it is run in an existing JavaScript engine or an ahead-of-time (AOT) compiling engine that recognizes and optimizes asm.js. It is early days but preliminary benchmarks of C programs compiled to asm.js are usually within a factor of 2 slowdown over native compilation with clang.

Hyperloop is one of the latest initiatives and it offers the ability to cross-compile JavaScript into native code. It is an open source project and the first implementation of this is being used by Appcelerator in order to power their portable native solution called Titanium. This moves it from a JavaScript VM solution into a cross-compiler solution and the benefits will be massive in terms of performance. I would love to see Hyperloop move to the cloud and have 100% native API coverage for each mobile platform but it is obviously early days. Hyperloop is currently available as developer previews for both iOS and Windows.

When I look at CocoonJS, Hyperloop and Intel XDK then I see a real future for developers who want to write in JavaScript but who want native level performance. JavaScript isn't a great language but it is the most accessible language and this has given rise to a vast number of libraries in both the game and Apps space. Just the other day I wrote Tetris in HTML 5 using the Quintus API and it only took me the evening. There is no other language that comes close in terms of supporting libraries and frameworks. If somebody can build a Cloud based system that works with any JavaScript framework or library, game or application, and spits out native code for all the main systems then I would suggest that would revolutionise the mobile universe.

*************************************************************

Kevin Benedict Senior Analyst, Digital Transformation Cognizant View my profile on LinkedIn Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict Browse the Mobile Solution Directory Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

More Stories By Kevin Benedict

Kevin Benedict serves as the Senior Vice President, Solutions Strategy, at Regalix, a Silicon Valley based company, focused on bringing the best strategies, digital technologies, processes and people together to deliver improved customer experiences, journeys and success through the combination of intelligent solutions, analytics, automation and services. He is a popular writer, speaker and futurist, and in the past 8 years he has taught workshops for large enterprises and government agencies in 18 different countries. He has over 32 years of experience working with strategic enterprise IT solutions and business processes, and he is also a veteran executive working with both solution and services companies. He has written dozens of technology and strategy reports, over a thousand articles, interviewed hundreds of technology experts, and produced videos on the future of digital technologies and their impact on industries.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Big Data Federation to Exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO, colocated with DevOpsSUMMIT and DXWorldEXPO, November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Big Data Federation, Inc. develops and applies artificial intelligence to predict financial and economic events that matter. The company uncovers patterns and precise drivers of performance and outcomes with the aid of machine-learning algorithms, big data, and fundamental analysis. Their products are deployed...
All in Mobile is a place where we continually maximize their impact by fostering understanding, empathy, insights, creativity and joy. They believe that a truly useful and desirable mobile app doesn't need the brightest idea or the most advanced technology. A great product begins with understanding people. It's easy to think that customers will love your app, but can you justify it? They make sure your final app is something that users truly want and need. The only way to do this is by ...
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
The challenges of aggregating data from consumer-oriented devices, such as wearable technologies and smart thermostats, are fairly well-understood. However, there are a new set of challenges for IoT devices that generate megabytes or gigabytes of data per second. Certainly, the infrastructure will have to change, as those volumes of data will likely overwhelm the available bandwidth for aggregating the data into a central repository. Ochandarena discusses a whole new way to think about your next...
Cell networks have the advantage of long-range communications, reaching an estimated 90% of the world. But cell networks such as 2G, 3G and LTE consume lots of power and were designed for connecting people. They are not optimized for low- or battery-powered devices or for IoT applications with infrequently transmitted data. Cell IoT modules that support narrow-band IoT and 4G cell networks will enable cell connectivity, device management, and app enablement for low-power wide-area network IoT. B...
The hierarchical architecture that distributes "compute" within the network specially at the edge can enable new services by harnessing emerging technologies. But Edge-Compute comes at increased cost that needs to be managed and potentially augmented by creative architecture solutions as there will always a catching-up with the capacity demands. Processing power in smartphones has enhanced YoY and there is increasingly spare compute capacity that can be potentially pooled. Uber has successfully ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...