Almost a year ago I wrote a mobile web application for my iPhone. It was a simple aircraft weight-and-balance calculator. The nice part was it would work without an Internet connection and it remembered all the settings from the last time it was used.
I wrote it for my airplane. It worked for any pilots long as they were flying an RV-8.
Over the past week of evenings, I rewrote the application to support a wide range of airplanes. I also took the opportunity to try a new mobile web application framework – jqMobi
The author(s) of jqMobi claim they have built a leaner faster replacement for the widely used jQuery Mobile. I'm not sure they hit their mark.
My gut tells me they have good intentions but insufficient resources to get the job done. I know jQuery is getting fat and slow on older iOS devices. JqMobi is smaller but for my project, it was still slow on older hardware. More worrisome is that is it very unpredictable and buggy. Something as simple as running their own “kitchensink” test application and switching themes (a part of their test) shows spacing and layout bugs. Worse still, they have made code paths that are
totally unpredictable for tough events and form input. The lack of documentation and examples means you are debugging their code more often than your own.
Update 1: I was able to change my application's CSS and HTML to behave with the jqMobi parsing of the input fields withing the fieldset. The original markup worked fine for jqTouch and Dojo.
A google search shown low adoption for jqMobi and a fair amount of friction between jqMobi and the jQuery Mobile team. My guess is jqMobi was built by a team for their own use and the public release is secondary.
Update 2: The lack of online public usage and commentary means that most searches for “jqMobi” and a “question” will show jQuery results. There may be adoption going on but it is not public.
What does all of this mean ?
Simple – I don't trust jqMobi to get better and I don't trust it to be around and supported a year from now. There's no good reason to risk it.
Sadly, I have finished the weight-and-balance re-write using jqMobi. I finally have everything working. It took about 30 hours.
But, I'm not going to release it. Instead, I will rip out jqMobi and re-write everything to either Dojox Mobile or jQuery Mobile.
Chalk this one up to a “character building exercise”