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Start Here! Build Windows 8 Apps with HTML5 and JavaScript

Author: Dino Esposito, Francesco Esposito

Publisher: Microsoft Press


Publish Date: June 6, 2013

ISBN-10: 735675945

Pages: 388

File Type: EPUB, PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

For years, programming has been the nearly exclusive domain of people that others typically thought of as super-experts, gurus, or geniuses. The advent of mobile programming, however, changed things a bit because the idea of programming for these devices regained its appeal for youngsters. Today, a teenager appearing suddenly in the spotlight due to his or her ability to build a cool Android or iPhone app is not uncommon. There are a few reasons why this is happening, and why it’s happening now.

One reason is certainly that today’s teenagers are the first generation of digital natives. You’re far more likely to find a few programmers among this group than among the members of previous generations. Another reason is that mobile apps are much easier to write than any other type of modern software. Mobile apps are small pieces of code built around a smart idea. It’s one thing to build a mobile app, and quite another to plan and maintain a multitiered enterprise system.

Being mobile added a new dimension to software development. In this context, Windows Phone is not simply yet another mobile platform to code for; It is by far the simplest (and even most pleasant) platform to code for, regardless of background. This makes coding for Windows Phone an excellent way to get started with programming. This is particularly true for the smart kids who constantly hunger after new technology and seek emotional gratification in that technology. I’ve seen this happen with my 14-year-old son, Francesco—who is the effective coauthor of this book.

Microsoft Windows 8 takes the “programming with pleasure” approach one step further. With Windows 8, you can not only build mobile apps for tablets, but also build standalone applications for yourself, either for fun or to help automate some of the repetitive tasks of everyday life. Windows 8, with its overall simplicity, brings back a dimension of craftsmanship in applications that went missing as the complexity of software architectures and websites increased over the past decade or so. On one hand, Windows 8 is a powerful client front end for rich and sophisticated middleware; on the other, it is simple enough for nearly everybody to program via HTML5 and JavaScript.

This book is intended as a quick (but juicy) beginner’s guide for getting started crafting Windows 8 applications, and how to publish and sell them through the Windows Store. The key point of this book is to make it clear that if you have a good idea and are a quick learner, you can create a Windows 8 app regardless of your age or programming background. You’ll see how to write functional applications for the new Microsoft operating system and have them run on desktop computers, as well as tablets. As evidence, consider that Francesco is a teenager—and he wrote most of the examples and a few chapters of this book.

After completing the book, you won’t be a super-expert, but you’ll surely know enough to start writing your own apps, at least for fun.

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