Developing UI for Cordova Applications

improve this page | report issue

Overview

Designing and implementing the UI of an application is an important part of the development process. MobileFirst Eclipse plugin along with Thym plugin assists with the development of cordova applications. Writing custom CSS style for each component from scratch can deliver a high level of customization, but doing this also requires a large amount of resources. Sometimes it is better to use the existing JavaScript UI frameworks. This topic describes how to develop MobileFirst applications with two UI frameworks jQuery Mobile and a WYSIWYG editor provided in MobileFirst Studio’s Eclipse.

To develop UI for Cordova application using MobileFirst Eclipse plugin, do the following:

  1. Download Eclipse.
  2. Install Thym plugin from the Eclipse marketplace.
  3. Install MobileFirst platform plugin from the Eclipse marketplace.

WYSIWYG Editor

A WYSIWYG editor is provided with the MobileFirst Platform Eclipse plugin for HTML UI widgets for developer convenience. This editor provides the basic palette for the user to drag and drop UI widgets such as a button or a text box and other HTML widgets. This is a Rapid Mobile Application Development tool that enables the user to develop a Cordova application quickly.

WYSIWYG Editor

jQuery Mobile

jQuery is a fast and concise JavaScript framework that simplifies HTML document flow, event handling, animations, and Ajax interactions for rapid web development. jQuery Mobile is a touch-optimized web framework for smartphones and tablets. jQuery Mobile requires jQuery to run.

To add jQuery mobile to your application, do the following:

  1. Create a Thym project in eclipse by clicking File -> New -> new Hybrid Mobile (Cordova) application project.
  2. Download jQuery mobile package.
  3. Copy the downloaded jQuery Mobile package into the www directory of your hybrid application, as shown in the image below www directory
  4. Open the main index.html as shown in the screenshot and add the jQuery references (shown in the snippet) to the project: Add JQuery references

       <!DOCTYPE HTML>
       <html>
           	<head>
           		<meta charset="UTF-8">
           		<title>appName</title>
           		<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0, maximum-scale=1.0, minimum-scale=1.0, user-scalable=0">
           		<!--
           			<link rel="shortcut icon" href="images/favicon.png">
           			<link rel="apple-touch-icon" href="images/apple-touch-icon.png">
           		-->
           		<link href="jqueryMobile/jquery.mobile.structure-1.4.5.min.css" rel="stylesheet">
           		<link href="jqueryMobile/demos/css/jquery.mobile.structure-1.4.5.min.css" rel="stylesheet">
           		<link href="jqueryMobile/jquery.mobile-1.4.5.min.css" rel="stylesheet">
           		<link href="jqueryMobile/jquery.mobile.theme-1.4.5.css" rel="stylesheet">
           		<link href="jqueryMobile/jquery.mobile.theme-1.4.5.min.css" rel="stylesheet">
           		<link href="jqueryMobile/jquery.mobile.external-png-1.4.5.min.css" rel="stylesheet">
           		<link href="jqueryMobile/jquery.mobile.inline-png-1.4.5.css" rel="stylesheet">
           		<link href="jqueryMobile/demos/css/jquery.mobile.inline-svg-1.4.5.min.css" rel="stylesheet">
           		<link href="jqueryMobile/jquery.mobile-1.4.5.css" rel="stylesheet">
           		<link href="jqueryMobile/jquery.mobile.inline-png-1.4.5.min.css" rel="stylesheet">
           		<link href="jqueryMobile/jquery.mobile.external-png-1.4.5.css" rel="stylesheet">
           		<link href="jqueryMobile/demos/css/jquery.mobile.inline-png-1.4.5.min.css" rel="stylesheet">
           		<link href="jqueryMobile/demos/theme-classic.css" rel="stylesheet">
           		<link href="jqueryMobile/jquery.mobile.inline-svg-1.4.5.css" rel="stylesheet">
           		<link href="jqueryMobile/jquery.mobile.structure-1.4.5.css" rel="stylesheet">
           		<link href="jqueryMobile/demos/css/jquery.mobile-1.4.5.min.css" rel="stylesheet">
           		<link href="jqueryMobile/jquery.mobile.inline-svg-1.4.5.min.css" rel="stylesheet">
           		<link href="jqueryMobile/demos/css/jquery.mobile.theme-1.4.5.min.css" rel="stylesheet">
           		<link href="jqueryMobile/demos/css/jquery.mobile.external-png-1.4.5.min.css" rel="stylesheet">
           		<link rel="stylesheet" href="css/main.css">
           		<script>window.$ = window.jQuery = WLJQ;</script>
           		<script src="jqueryMobile/demos/jquery.js"></script>
           		<script src="jqueryMobile/demos/jquery.mobile-1.4.5.js"></script>
           	</head>
           	<body style="display: none;">
           		<div data-role="page" id="page">
           			<div data-role="content" style="padding: 15px">
           				<!--application UI goes here-->
           				Hello MobileFirst
           			</div>
           		</div>
           		<script src="js/initOptions.js"></script>
           		<script src="js/main.js"></script>
           		<script src="js/messages.js"></script>
           	</body>
       </html>
    

    Once you add the references to jQuery Mobile in your HTML file, close and reopen the file in Eclipse. You will now see jQuery Mobile widgets in the Palette view which you can drag on drop on to your HTML canvas.

Last modified on December 01, 2017