Metro Revealed: Building Windows 8 apps with HTML5 and JavaScript

Author: Adam Freeman
Publisher: Apress
Pages: 90
ISBN: 978-1430244882
Audience: JavaScript programmers
Rating: 3
Reviewer: Mike James

With the bits being only just dry on the new WinRT JavaScript API you could do with a book to help, but can a book with only 80 pages be worth the effort?

It is a very difficult time for publishers. With Microsoft changing things very rapidly, the rush to be first carries even more risk than usual. In this case even the title of the book is out of date as Microsoft has indicated that using the title Metro for WinRT apps is no longer a good idea and there have been fairly large changes to the WinJS libraries and templates  since the first beta.

The good news is that the programs in the book are fairly up-to-date with the current release of Windows 8, but who knows if Microsoft will change things much before the final version.

There are two versions of this book. Here we've looked at the one with the subtitle "Building Windows 8 Apps with HTML5 and JavaScript" but the companion volume subtitled, "Building Windows 8 Apps with HTML5 and JavaScript" has  equivalent content.




The book starts off with an overview of WinJS and the whole approach to building JavaScript/HTML apps. From here we move on to a simple example with markup and no code. Then we dive in with a look at the very limited forms of databinding that WinJS supports. This probably isn't the best place to start because we haven't met the WinJS control as yet and this is the main user of data binding.

Chapter 3 deals with the UI controls - specifically the AppBar and building multipage apps. Chapter 4 discusses layout in general and how to use tiles and badges. Chapter 5 explains the lifecycle of a WinRT app and this ends the book - all too soon.

The list of topics left out of this short book is very long. There is no mention of toast, no mention of how to use the many utility functions, no mention of custom controls. Indeed, many of the standard controls are simply ignored. Other topics are mentioned in passing and in not enough depth - promises in particular - and the whole idea of asynchronous programming is just skimmed over.

There are some good parts of the book - the explanations of databinding are clear and concise, for example, but this only makes you wish that there was a bit more to the book. It also lacks any real explanation of the overall organization of a WinRT app although it does go briefly into the MVVC approach.

Overall this book really doesn't cover the ground and reads more like a few introductory articles on the subject. Let's hope that the book gets expanded into a real book after Windows 8 has been released.

Further Reading

Metro Revealed: Building Windows 8 apps with XAML and C#

Microsoft Drops Metro Name

WinRT JavaScript - ebook



Getting Started with .NET Gadgeteer

Author:Simon Monk
Publisher: Make (O'Reilly)
Pages: 90
ISBN: 978-1449328238
Audience: Enthusiasts and education
Rating: 4
Reviewer: Harry Fairhead

.NET Gadgeteer isn't as well known as the Arduino system, but in many ways it is easier to use and more powerful.
Can a 90-page book make you an expert?

Biztalk Server 2010 Unleashed

Author: Brian Loesgen et. al.
Publisher: Sams, 2012
Pages: 864
ISBN: 978-0672331183
Aimed at: Developers
Rating: 4
Pros: Detailed coverage of rules-based programming
Cons: Skimpy on some aspects such as WCF extensibility
Reviewed by: Kay Ewbank

Good salaries can be expected by for developers who know how t [ ... ]

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 13 October 2012 )

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