Monday, February 8, 2016

Looks do matter

    jQuery Mobile is great, offers great features! With the new and upcoming version of this mobile web framework, we will have access to more out-of-the-box widgets and some brilliant features coming our way! With hammer.js and PEP integrations round the corner, we will have more gesture support in the upcoming versions. With so much great features, developers are still hesitant on choosing this mobile framework for the sole reason that the UI doesn't look great! Well, this is true and the default UI does look a little out of date and does not match up to the latest UI trends! As a result of this, we will take a look at some of the most popular themes that you can use on your jQuery Mobile project.
  1. Material design theme - NativeDroid
  2. Link:
  3. Flat UI theme
  4. Link:
  5. Graphite theme
  6. Link:
  7. jQuery Mobile RTL theme
  8. Link:
  9. jQuery Mobile Bootstrap theme
  10. Link:
    Hope you enjoy this collection of jQuery Mobile themes and this resolves the bad UI problem of your jQuery Mobile project. Do not forget to suggest more such themes if you have used any on you projects!

If this post has helped you, leave a comment or show your love by liking the Spatial Unlimited Facebook page. You could even consider buying me a coffe! Till next time; happy coding!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Stay Selfish, Stay Accessible

    A lot of you would have heard of Web Accessibility, Section 508, a11y, Aria and more of this jargon at your workplace and especially if you are on the UI/UX team in your organization. It might have sounded confusing, a burden and just unnecessary to implement. There would also be a huge number of organizations and developers who are completely unaware of this concept of web accessibility, and so in this article today, we will take a look at what web accessibility is, why it needs to be implemented and what it means for you.

Web Accessibility refers to the process of making the web accessible to people with different disabilities, thereby removing the barriers that prevent their interaction with or access to websites.

    Just bring up the topic of implementing web accessibility on your project and some of the immediate challenges/ questions that you will get apart from the "There are more pressing issues at hand! Focus on that!" looks are listed below!

  1. Will it impact business? (Hidden meaning - How many disabled people would actually be using our website?)
  2. How much would it cost? (Hidden meaning - Is it really worth the effort to implement web accessibility? We already have a huge backlog of features to be implemented!)
  3. And finally... Why should I as a developer or an organization do it at all?
    We will look at some statistics and data that will give us an answer to all of the above questions, but most importantly, I will try to answer, “Why should we implement web accessibility?

    You will find a whole range of different disabilities that inhibit people from accessing the web and these were considered by the WCAG when they laid out the standards for implementing web accessibility, and we should definitely make the web accessible for these differently abled users of our website. In the US alone - whose population is approximately 4.4% of the total world population,
  • 10.4% of the web users aged between 21-64 years
  • 25% aged between 65-74 years
  • 50% aged 75+ years
suffer from visual, hearing, mobility or cognitive disabilities.

    These statistics display the magnitude of users that can be targeted, but the numbers don't matter, until I provide some practical examples. So, let’s keep all of these stats and data aside for a minute, and think about you and me - supposedly the better-abled individuals, whose lives are driven by technology. We use the web, all throughout our day to socialize, navigate to different places and more importantly browse information.

Most of us wear far-sight corrective spectacles/ lenses throughout the day. Try reading the following line without your glasses on.

This small font size makes it extremely difficult to read the text.

You would have found it extremely difficult to read that text and some would not have been able to read it as well. This is because you just have a minor vision disability. Can you think of someone who just had a surgery in one eye and was complaining about not being able to browse your website with ease? Think about the frustration you would feel if you had to just read through a website that has such small text without your glasses on!

    Imagine a situation that you are in an accident and have fractured your mouse hand. How difficult would it become for you to use the mouse to navigate through a website. Leave alone navigate, you would not even be able to hold the mouse. Another situation would be, when you get partial deafness because of some bacterial infection. You would be able to view your favorite videos on Youtube but not be able to listen to what is going on. Imagine the amount of frustration you would go through.

    All these cases are of temporary, partial disabilities and these affect you and me – the currently abled users of the web. Think about the older you, when you have reached your late 60s and 70s, when you might suffer from multiple disabilities relating to your motor skills, hearing impairment and vision impairment among several others.

    Disabilities are not the only reason why web accessibility should be implemented. Think of a situation when you are eating your lunch at your desk and start navigating a website using the keyboard alone. This is a situational disability or impairment and you would be frustrated if you could not navigate through the website using just your keyboard.

    This is the main reason why you should implement and support web accessibility in your organization and on your projects. Supporting web accessibility now helps the injured you, the encumbered you and also the future older you. Investing in and implementing accessibility is not just for the disabled. It is for you and me; it’s for our future. Be selfish! Do it for yourself and noone else! Stay Selfish, Stay Accessible!

    This article is inspired by a talk given by Adrian Roselli (@aardrian) – a proponent of the theory of “Selfish Accessibility”.

If this post has helped you, leave a comment or show your love by liking the Spatial Unlimited Facebook page. You could even consider buying me a coffe! Till next time; happy coding!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Better Late, Than Never

    A huge announcement from the members of the jQuery Mobile development team came in late last week! Amongst huge speculations that the extremely popular jQuery Mobile project was not being worked upon and that there would be no more versions or updates, the jQuery Mobile team lead has announced that the project is pretty much alive and being worked on!

    What a huge sigh of relief for jQuery Mobile lovers like myself! They are working on the next version of jQuery Mobile - 1.5 and though they have not committed on a final date of release, it is pretty certain that the newest version of the popular mobile web framework will soon see the light of day. There are some pretty huge things happening on the jQuery Mobile project and you can read the original blog post on the jQuery Mobile website. If you want the highlights, continue to read on!

  1. jQuery UI and jQuery Mobile will now share components. jQuery Mobile now shares the new and improved jQuery UI core. This clearly means that, all the developers out there who wanted to consume the jQuery UI components or widgets into jQuery Mobile web applications, will now have it ready out of the box.
  2. The upcoming version v1.5 will not have all the jQuery UI widgets, but will eventually have complete integration.
  3. jQuery Mobile will finally have in-built support for draggable, droppable and sortable from jQuery UI.
  4. The work on auto-enhancement that began in 1.4 continues in the new version too, with data-role becoming it's own stand alone module.
  5. The love story with jQuery UI continues - The 2 projects are merging their testing infrastructure too.
  6. In the future, not in v1.5, the 2 projects will also merge their efforts to build a common theme and theme roller.
  7. jQuery Mobile is taking a huge step towards improving their touch support. To this end, they will be teaming up with the very popular Hammer,js library and also joining efforts with Pointer Events Polyfill (PEP).
  8. A huge step in browser support. The framework will no longer support the older browsers and older OS versions. The framework will now be supporting the recent and the latest browsers and mobile OS versions.
  9. In the upcoming version, no workarounds or bug fixes for these older browsers and older OS versions, would be removed, but moving towards v1.6 these things would be removed. This clearly means that jQuery Mobile will be losing some weight and will be getting much lean and healthier :)

    This gives us a clear idea that jQuery Mobile is working towards making huge improvements to the framework and we can expect to see huge changes in the upcoming versions. Keep your excitement up and following the jQuery Mobile framework.

If this post has helped you, leave a comment or show your love by liking the Spatial Unlimited Facebook page. You could even consider buying me a coffe! Till next time; happy coding!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Finally the question is answered!

    In today's post I will finally answer a burning question that I have been asked several times by several people over the last month. Most of you all are aware that my first technical book - Mastering jQuery Mobile got published last month. I received several questions from people asking me how I did it? How did I get a chance and so many more, but the question that almost everyone asked me was "Why do you have a picture of a tiger on your cover"?

The Tiger Cub Cover Image
    Initially, I just answered saying it was chosen by my publishers Packt, but then people started getting more serious about the issue. People started raising other questions like did you have any other options, was there any sort market survey involved, any behavioral analysis and so on and so forth. This really wasn't what I had expected!

    So, finally I decided to find an answer to this burning question and now here it is! Yes, we had 3 options other than the Tiger cub which you can see below. The image of the Tiger cub was picked by my co-author +Chip Lambert's sweet little daughter and so we stuck to it and I must say that she has a pretty good choice.

    I would also like to another question that I am sure some people will raise on this, which is, why were these 4 images shortlisted. This is because Packt has a set of images based on a series of books. So when the cover picture for our book was selected over a year back, these were the images that were available. If it were to be selected today, we would have some flower image as our cover picture.

    Hope this answers the big question about our book - "Why is there a Tiger cub on your book cover" and hope you have enjoyed the post. In case you wish to order discounted copies of our book please get in touch with me and I can arrange them for you.

If this post has helped you, leave a comment or show your love by liking the Spatial Unlimited Facebook page. You could even consider buying me a coffe! Till next time; happy coding!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

How I authored a technical book?

Here is the reason why I have not been writing over the last 6-8 months! I was busy writing my first technical book - Mastering jQuery Mobile with +Chip Lambert and what better subject to choose than jQuery Mobile. I have been extremely lucky to get the opportunity to author a book with Chip.

This project started off about a year back, when I was approached by Packt Publishing to review this book that was being written by Chip. I instantly grabbed this opportunity, as I was getting a chance to review some work on a framework that I totally love. Chip had about 4 chapters complete at this time and I had provided my comments on the content of these chapters to the best of my knowledge. I was waiting for the further chapters, when I fine morning, I received a mail from the content editor of the book...

I thought that it would be the next chapter for review. But nope! It was him asking me if I would like to author this book with Chip, to speed up the process as Chip had fallen ill. Now this was a big decision to make, so many unknowns, the original code was not written by me, I did not know what was going to be a part of the further chapters, so basically I would be completely shooting in the dark! I brought up these things with the publisher and I was assured that the on-boarding process would be made very smooth. I finally decided to take the plunge!

Over the next month, I received a whole lot of documents and the contract was signed between the publisher and myself. The work began. We split the pending work between Chip and myself and started working on our parts. The process went through several discussions and delays between managing our work and completing this project. However, we were able to complete the first drafts of all chapters of the book in the month of June.

This was followed by proof-readings and error checks and then a couple of rounds of reviews and then finally the book was uploaded to the printers. The book was finally published on July 31, 2015. The book is now available for purchase at Amazon. In case you wish to purchase your copy or copies in bulk, you can reach me and we can figure out some discount on the total price based on the number of copies needed. If you already have purchased a copy, please take a moment to give us a review on Amazon.

I also signed my first copy and that was such an awesome moment. Never in my life had I dreamt of writing a book, leave alone signing one as an author. But it happened when one of my colleague bought a copy and asked me to sign it for him.

Hope you enjoy the book and learn enough from it, as much as we enjoyed working on it and getting it out to you all...

If this post has helped you, leave a comment or show your love by liking the Spatial Unlimited Facebook page. You could even consider buying me a coffe! Till next time; happy coding!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Annual Retrospective - Welcome to the new year 2015!

    The curtains are about to fall and another year will have gone by. A brief interval, the curtains go up and we would be looking forward to the next year - 2015! This past year, I wrote comparatively few posts, but some really good ones. Though I have shared a few posts this year round, I have learned new things and techniques this year. I have upgraded my skills and am looking forward to put these to use in the new year and share new things with you all.

    I did a retrospective of what I shared during the last year and the data has revealed the top-shared and read posts over the last year. I present to you the top 5 posts of the last year.
  1. Exploring Jquery Mobile 1.4.0
  2. Material UI, Google Polymer & Web Components
  3. Difference between word-break: break-all versus word-wrap: break-word
  4. The bitter divorce of PSD and HTML
  5. Setting up a Sandbox for Google Polymer
    This year Spatial Unlimited crossed the 300K visits mark. All thanks to you readers and all of you who wanted to learn something new and liked what I shared. A heart felt thank you to all of you readers! Keep reading and giving your feedback. I also have set up a Facebook page for Spatial Unlimited and you can stay connected with me here as well. You can share new things on this page, ask questions and we can try to find solutions to some problems and issues in front-end web development together.

    So far I have been writing from India and now am writing from a new postal address in USA. It's a new year, new techniques, new skills and a new place. A perfect recipe to share some great techniques and articles with the community. Things are looking bright and I am hoping to write more this year! Hope you all had a great year too and wish you all a very happy new year 2015! Stay tuned for more updates and new things. See you in the new year!

If this post has helped you, leave a comment or show your love by liking the Spatial Unlimited Facebook page. You could even consider buying me a coffe! Till next time; happy coding!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Merry Christmas

    Hello everyone! Its been a long time since I last wrote. Got real busy with some exciting projects and exciting opportunities. It has been a crazy and really exciting and knowledgeable journey this year. Hope you all had a great year and are looking forward to the holiday season! I wanted to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy Christmas!

    As you all relish the goodies, decorate every nook and corner of your home and enjoy the get-togethers... May the joy and festivities continue to radiate in your lives, long after Christmas is gone! Stay safe, enjoy the holidays and get refreshed to join me on an enriching journey in the new year! I'll make sure that I write consistently and write about new things I learn.

    Signing off for the holiday season!

If this post has helped you, leave a comment or show your love by liking the Spatial Unlimited Facebook page. You could even consider buying me a coffe! Till next time; happy coding!