Monday 12 December 2011

Sencha touch - wow!

You might have heard about Sencha touch and you might be thinking: is that something for me? Good question. The other day I was asked to build a prototype very quickly in order to sell a new app to a client. I had 2 days and I didn't know how to get this done so quickly. Well, I had a look at the frameworks available and I picked up Sencha touch. In my views, Sencha touch is a very good framework for prototyping:
  • It's easy to pick up
  • It's all front-end and runs nicely without an app server or a servlet container, etc.
  • It's phonegap compatible
  • You get all the nice components and the native feeling out of the box
  • You can easily hardcode everything - which is what you'd expect when you are prototyping
  • It's very slick on iPhone and iPad
Though, it's got a fair few drawbacks which makes me think it might not be the right framework for a full-blown complex application: 
  • It's all Javascript and Javascript is a pain
  • Customisation could be painful as you've got loads of styling going on already
  • It seems quite CPU heavy for the phone
  • It's far from being slick on Android and Blackberry
  • The code can get messy if you don't put safeguards straightaway
  • The code is not compiled which means you need more QA - and they will bump into low-level bugs as developers might not spot them straightaway
So, in my views, Sencha touch is the way to go if:
  • Your app is iOS only
  • Your app hasn't got dozens of screens
  • Your app requires native feeling
  • Your app doesn't need a lot of customisation
OR if you only need to prototype a few pages.

Where do you stand? Did you develop a full-blown complex app with Sencha touch? With hindsight, what's your opinion?

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