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HTML 5 Web Apps

It's amazing what you can do with HTML / JavaScript / CSS across many platforms these days. SmartPhones, Tablets, PC's, etc... all provide browsers that can do more or less the same things. Local datastorage, animation, scripting, AJAX, and other technologies are becomming almost consistant over a wide range of devices. ChromOS is a logic extension of this idea, but even on other platforms, there is a drive for web apps to "just work".

By using the manifest="file.appcache" parm in the <HTML> tag (e.g. <HTML manifest="/js/taps.appcache"> ), files needed by a web page including scripts, images, css, etc... can be stored locally in the device, removing the need to access the server. The page becomes a local app. The .appcache format can be as simple as


For example, the tap and die calculator web app has this manifest:


Which causes it's main page, taps.asp, (or rather the HTML generated by that .asp page) to be saved locally, along with a special .css file which re-formats the page to better fit smaller cell phone screens and appear more "app like".

Problems / Solutions

Hardware Access to hardware is difficult on many systems. On the SmartPhones, some hardware is accessable as a sub-object of the navigator object in the browser. On PC's, other drivers must be installed to allow access to anything outside the browsers "sandbox". The most common example of this is access to web cams via Adobe FLASH.

Hardware access drivers:

Cross browser Basically, it boils down to this: Internet Explorer sucks. Most other browers do most things the same; IE is in it's own world. JQuery and other libraries may help to remove the differences.


See also:

"Intro to Automation - Living beyond yourself." by James Newton. Writing HTML and publishing Web Pages to automate answers, Forms automated with JavaScript made into Apps, and Automating the Real World

Input and Output to Physical Devices from JavaScript +


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