HTML5, Drupal 8 And Android Development

Nov 21, 2011

HTML5, Drupal 8 And Android Development

Article by Dave F Hudson

When android apps are made using the Android Native Development kit (NDK) or the Android Software Development kit (SDK), they will not work on an iPhone, BlackBerry or Windows Mobile, (these have their own software development kits). Each is coded independently, this means that an application designed to operate on 4 mobile internet operating systems will normally require 4 times the work and therefore 4 times the expense.A clever new approach is to use HTML5 (Hyper Text Markup Language) and a compiler (e.g. phonegap or; the app can be cross compiled to operate on other operating systems.

HTML5 Initially Web pages were pages of information written in HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language); this can be described as the original language of the WorldWideWeb. As web pages became more interactive with buttons and graphics, newer verions of HTML were needed. This is the latest version of HTML works on all mobile Internet devices and is a common language. For this reason HTML5 and compilers can be used for ‘app development’ for mobile devices. Companies at the cutting edge of writing applications for iphone, blackberry,android and Windows Mobile iPad now use HTML5 with compilers increasing efficiency and reducing cost/time of application development.

HTML was written for desktop browsers and had gaps which needed to be patched, e.g. Adobe Flash. HTML5 was written to be a complete package. A significant and unexpected bonus is that it can be used with a compiler to allow apps compiled for the iPhone to work on Androids, BlackBerry’s and the Windows Mobile operating system.It is now about to shake up the world of Drupal and is being incorprated into Drupal8, giving a better user experience on both mobile devices and desktop browsers. It could lead to a convergence between mobile web and native applications; this is one reason why it is one of 5 initiatives for Drupal8.Compilers were used by programmers of early home computers, each had it own unique operating system. Examples are the ZX81, Vic 20, Commodore 64, Acorn Atom the Apple. Even children using these early computers knew about programming in ‘Basic’; these computers did very little, unless the user knew how to enter commands. They often learned about machine code so they could Code games to run faster, and then learned about compilers, so that a game/program made for one operating system (e.g. a sinclair) could work on another (e.g. a cbm). Some of these early programmers are (some thirty years later ), still using compilers and writing code. They are understandably the best, phonegap and adAPPt have been coded by developers of this ilk.

ConclusionHTML5 has taken mobile application development by storm, allowing significant price reductions as a direct result of being more efficient. An application for 4 different operating systems needs only to be coded with HTML5 once and can then be cross-compiled. Not only is this very cost effective in the short term, it also substantially reduces maintenance costs in the future. Companies like AeonDada who are at the cutting edge of both Drupal Web Design and Android Development are in an excellent position for growth; mobile internet is set to overtake desktop browsers in 2013.

About the Author

The Author is David Hudson, who is very involved with Drupal web design, HTML5 and android development and gives technical advice to AeonDada.