How to Build Mobile Applications Easily and Cost-Effectively

Adam Blum

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Our open source framework Rhodes contains the first implementation of Ruby for every major smartphone operating system: iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and Symbian. The primary benefits of the Rhodes framework are: the productivity and portability enabled by writing interfaces in HTML once (and compiling to native smartphone apps), access to device capabilities from a common library used on all smartphone devices and the ability to easily incorporate synchronized data for offline use. But that said, we may have been underestimating the benefits that Ruby has for mobile development irrespective of the Rhodes framework which uses it. Ruby has compelling advantages for building smartphone apps that are worth describing in their own right: scripting language. Everything from implied (duck) typing to easier creation of classes and functions to built in suppor... (more)

UDDI as an Extended Web Services Registry

As enterprises build a critical mass of Web services, they need some way of keeping track of those services. UDDI is an ideal store for such information. Using UDDI's built-in abstractions of business services, binding templates, and tModels referring to interface specifications, UDDI can be used to manage all of the addresses and protocols and formats of those services. This information can be used for several purposes, including providing location independence and identification of common supported interfaces among those services. But the amount of information tracked on each W... (more)

Beyond Point to Point

Web services have emerged as an excellent method of integrating pairs of applications. Free and cheap Web services development tools from many different vendors make it easy to expose one application's capabilities to other applications that wish to invoke them. But, given recent trends and innovations in Web service standards for more complex integrations of multiple applications from many parties, integrating applications two-by-two with tightly coupled simple Web services may not be the best approach. In this article, I'll take a look at a reasonably complex integration scena... (more)

RhoHub: GPL and Dual Licensing

We’ve had over a thousand customers sign up to the RhoHub service over the last month since we launched on November 4th at the iPhone Developer Summit. They are now asking “ok I’ve built my app really quickly. Now what do I need to do to distribute it on the App Store or elsewhere?” We ask that you either open source your app by making the source public and putting a GPLv3 license on it (we’ll automate this latter step soon). Or purchase a commercial license if you want to keep your source private. Some people say “oh, you’re dual licensing like MySQL. So does that mean that I g... (more)

“but isn’t HTML5 enough?” – why mobile usage will always be about native, not web, apps

I’m here at RailsConf 2010. What a great place to talk to current and prospective Rhodes developers! Rails developers all get why its important to have a full Model View Controller framework. They also get pretty excited about the presence of the first mobile Ruby on every smartphone device. Rails developers get the value of Rhodes deeper than any audience I’ve encountered. A couple of the other talks, from otherwise insightful web framework developers, who apparently have “smartphone envy”, were disturbing. One speaker talked about his efforts to make Rails a little better for ... (more)