Migrating a Google GWT Project to JQuery Mobile/PhoneGap application

We’ve developed a desktop-based web application, OurCount.com,  built on Google Web Toolkits (GWT) and a MySQL database hosted on Amazon Web Services.  While working well, the mobile version could be cleaner and packaged as a native app.  This we decided to use as a vehicle to learn the jQuery Mobile framework and phonegap packaging.

Basically, we’re still using the java back-end classes but have the data exchange to the new web app via json (javascript object notation).

One of us is using Eclipse/Android SDK and adding the necessary PhoneGap files and using that to compile the android sdk.  The other one is using the standard web app file structure with the jquery libraries and some custom javascript files and uploading those to the build.phonegap.com site via the latest Adobe Dreamweaver CC PhoneGap integration.  Since Adobe now owns PhoneGap, the integration is okay but not without a few bugs.  Eventually, we just found it simpler to go directly to build.phonegap.com and rebuild from there.

Hints for phonegap build – if things seem a little slow for the build or it’s not working, check their Twitter page for the most up-to-date information.  We struggled with a build for half a day one time only to find out that their iOS builds were on the fritz!  With a little patience and work on other projects, we were able to wait them out.

Their buid.phonegap.com site is by far the simplest but for more deep down builds and being able to maintain a local debugging environment, try the Eclipse or XCode SDK’s even though we found the PhoneGap documentation a little misleading and hard to follow.  Their approach is to use command line tools to get all the files in the right places but we had limited success.  Will of course keep trying though.

Trying to build a mobile-friendly site without using a mobile framework such as jQuery Mobile is difficult because of so many cross browser issues.  Thank goodness for this robust and user-friendly library and we’ve only just started scratching the surface.

We would love to hear your comments!