Mobile App Development for Less - Page 2

Viewing a Project

The Gravity interface is anchored by a project explorer pane, in which we could view the pages and images that constituted our project, and a tools explorer pane, from which we could drag and drop page elements such as tables, links and scripts.

We did our work in an editing window, split into WYSIWYG and HTML coding panes. Changes we made in the WYSIWYG pane were duplicated in separate WAP and Palm OS pages (see screen).

We could view the results of our changes as we worked in any of 28 different Palm OS and WAP device emulators.

Gravity automatically adapted our pages for their mobile device targets. Our tables were rendered as lists for some of the WAP devices and standard tables for the Palm OS units, and Gravity converted images to appropriate formats for each device.

Working with such small displays, these adaptations cause fewer problems than they would with full-size Web content or applications.

With all these windows, we quickly found that screen space was at a premium, and wed like to see better use of right-click menus for operations such as editing page element properties.

We could drop scripts into our pages to send form data to our server or to connect pages to a back-end database.

After creating our pages, we could publish them to a Web server using an FTP facility within Gravity.

Because Gravity is not a server-based product, developers must write redirect scripts to send browsers to the page sets appropriate for their devices. Gravity does not generate these scripts itself, but the product ships with sample redirect scripts to help developers.

Technical Analyst Jason Brooks can be reached at [email protected]