Thursday, October 18, 2012

Windows 8 Store App with JavaScript - First Look

I have a great fondness for JavaScript. When Microsoft announced that it was possible to build Windows 8 Store (formerly Metro) apps with JavaScript, HTML, and CSS3, I had to check it out for myself. 

Microsoft has made a large number of resources available for developers wishing to learn Windows 8. There are websites, videos, books, and hands on labs. All of this material is being offered for free. 

I chose the book, Programming Windows 8 Apps with HTML, and CSS, and JavaScript by Kraig Brockschmidt. The book is available for free at:

The book is chocked full of information, perhaps a little too much. I was looking for the general information about the differences between normal web programming  and programming a Windows 8, but I got a lot more than that. I am not sure what to make of it. I am not into step by step tutorials. Give me some theory, some example snippets, and then leave me alone. But there are a lot of people who like that style and it is at the right price. The book has  12 chapters. They cover lots of ground including: app anatomy, page navigation, controls, data binding, collections, layout, files, input and sensors, and media. 

To help me get my head around Win 8 coding I decided to port a game I am working on. It was surprisingly easy. In just a few hours I was able to get the game to the same state it was in as a web app, then easily add some cool built in animations to it. It went so well that I've decided to bring the app out for Windows 8 first. 

Overall Microsoft has done an amazing job of making it easy to build Win 8 apps in JavaScript. If you haven't tried it yet, I highly recommend that you do.