Click here to close now.


Java IoT Authors: AppDynamics Blog, Brad Thies, Flint Brenton, Liz McMillan, Deep Bhattacharjee

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 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. 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. 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 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 is the Senior Analyst for Digital Transformation at Cognizant, a writer, speaker and SAP Mentor Alumnus. Follow him on Twitter @krbenedict. He is a popular speaker around the world on the topic of digital transformation and enterprise mobility. He maintains a busy schedule researching, writing and speaking at events in North America, Asia and Europe. He has over 25 years of experience working in the enterprise IT solutions industry.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningful and actionable insights. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Paul Turner, Chief Marketing Officer at...
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, demonstrated examples of com...
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessions, I wanted to share some of my observations on emerging trends. As cyber security serves as a fou...
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.
Continuous processes around the development and deployment of applications are both impacted by -- and a benefit to -- the Internet of Things trend. To help better understand the relationship between DevOps and a plethora of new end-devices and data please welcome Gary Gruver, consultant, author and a former IT executive who has led many large-scale IT transformation projects, and John Jeremiah, Technology Evangelist at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), on Twitter at @j_jeremiah. The discussion is moderated by me, Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound effect on the world, and what should we expect to see over the next couple of years.
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now all corporate assets – people, objects, and spaces – can share information about themselves and thei...
PubNub has announced the release of BLOCKS, a set of customizable microservices that give developers a simple way to add code and deploy features for realtime apps.PubNub BLOCKS executes business logic directly on the data streaming through PubNub’s network without splitting it off to an intermediary server controlled by the customer. This revolutionary approach streamlines app development, reduces endpoint-to-endpoint latency, and allows apps to better leverage the enormous scalability of PubNub’s Data Stream Network.
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user experience, both offline and online. The focus of this talk was on IBM Cloudant, Apache CouchDB, and ...
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" in this scenario: microservice A (releases daily) depends on a couple of additions to backend B (re...
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true change and transformation possible.
There are over 120 breakout sessions in all, with Keynotes, General Sessions, and Power Panels adding to three days of incredibly rich presentations and content. Join @ThingsExpo conference chair Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040), June 7-9, 2016 in New York City, for three days of intense 'Internet of Things' discussion and focus, including Big Data's indespensable role in IoT, Smart Grids and Industrial Internet of Things, Wearables and Consumer IoT, as well as (new) IoT's use in Vertical Markets.
Container technology is shaping the future of DevOps and it’s also changing the way organizations think about application development. With the rise of mobile applications in the enterprise, businesses are abandoning year-long development cycles and embracing technologies that enable rapid development and continuous deployment of apps. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kurt Collins, Developer Evangelist at, examined how Docker has evolved into a highly effective tool for application delivery by allowing increasingly popular Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (mBaaS) platforms to quickly crea...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
The cloud. Like a comic book superhero, there seems to be no problem it can’t fix or cost it can’t slash. Yet making the transition is not always easy and production environments are still largely on premise. Taking some practical and sensible steps to reduce risk can also help provide a basis for a successful cloud transition. A plethora of surveys from the likes of IDG and Gartner show that more than 70 percent of enterprises have deployed at least one or more cloud application or workload. Yet a closer inspection at the data reveals less than half of these cloud projects involve production...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound cha...