20.2. Considerations Regarding Mobile Browsing

When developing web applications that support mobile browsing, you need to consider various issues that are different from non-mobile use. TouchKit is designed to help with these issues.

20.2.1. Mobile Human Interface

Mobile devices use very different human interfaces than regular computers. For example, the screen can be rotated easily to switch between portrait and landscape views. This does not just change the dimensions of the display, but also affects the most useful layout.

The user interface is used with a finger instead of a mouse, so there are no features such as "right-finger-button". Double-tap is not normally used in mobile user interfaces, unlike the double-click with a mouse. Instead, a "long tap" usually has the same meaning as the double click. Finger gestures also play a large role, such as using a vertical swipe gesture for scrolling instead of a scroll bar.

There is normally no physical but a virtual keyboard, and the keyboard can change depending on the context. You also need to ensure that it does not hide the input field to which the user is trying to enter data when it pops up. This should be handled by the browser, but is among the issues that requires special testing.

20.2.2. Bandwidth and Performance

Mobile Internet connections are often significantly slower than with fixed lines. With a low-end mobile connection, such as 384 kbps, just loading the Vaadin client-side engine can take several seconds. This can be helped by compiling a widget set that includes only the widgets for the used components, as described in Section 20.10, “Building an Optimized Widget Set”.

Even with mobile broadband, the latency can be significant factor, especially with highly interactive rich applications. The latency is usually almost unnoticeable in fixed lines, typically less than 100 ms, while mobile Edge connections typically have latency around 500 ms, and sometimes much higher during hiccups. You may need to limit the use of the immediate mode, text change events, and polling.

Also the used components affect performance. The TouchKit components are designed to be light-weight. Of the other Vaadin components, some are more light-weight than others. Especially, most other layout components have a more deeper DOM structure and are slower to render than CssLayout. TouchKit also includes special styling for CssLayout.

20.2.3. Mobile Features

Phones and tablets have many integrated features that are often available in the browser interface as well. Location-awareness is one of the most recent features. And of course, you can also make phone calls.

20.2.4. Compatibility

The mobile browsing field is currently evolving at fast pace and the special conventions that are introduced by leading manufacturers may, in the next few years, stabilize as new web standards. The browser support in TouchKit concentrates on WebKit, which appears to be emerging as the leading mobile browser core. In addition to Apple's products, also the default browser in Android uses WebKit as the layout engine. Yet they have differences, as the Android's JavaScript engine, which is highly relevant for Vaadin, is the Google Chrome's V8 engine.

Vaadin TouchKit aims to follow the quickly evolving APIs of these major platforms, with the assumption that other browsers will follow their lead in standardization. Other platforms will be supported if they rise in popularity.

Back Button

Some mobile devices, especially Android devices, have a dedicated back button, while iOS devices in particular do not. TouchKit does not provide any particular support for the button, but as it is a regular browser back button, you can handle it with URI fragments, as described in Section 11.11, “Managing URI Fragments”. For iOS, the browser back button is hidden if the user adds the application to the home screen, in which case you need to implement application-specific logic for the back-navigation.

I. Introduction
1. Introduction
1.1. Overview
1.2. Example Application Walkthrough
1.3. Support for the Eclipse IDE
1.4. Goals and Philosophy
1.5. Background
2. Getting Started with Vaadin
2.1. Overview
2.2. Setting up the Development Environment
2.3. Overview of Vaadin Libraries
2.4. Installing Vaadin Plugin for Eclipse
2.5. Creating and Running a Project with Eclipse
2.6. Using Vaadin with Maven
2.7. Creating a Project with NetBeans IDE
2.8. Creating a Project with IntelliJ IDEA
2.9. Vaadin Installation Package
2.10. Using Vaadin with Scala
3. Architecture
3.1. Overview
3.2. Technological Background
3.3. Client-Side Engine
3.4. Events and Listeners
II. Server-Side Framework
4. Writing a Server-Side Web Application
4.1. Overview
4.2. Building the UI
4.3. Handling Events with Listeners
4.4. Images and Other Resources
4.5. Handling Errors
4.6. Notifications
4.7. Application Lifecycle
4.8. Deploying an Application
5. User Interface Components
5.1. Overview
5.2. Interfaces and Abstractions
5.3. Common Component Features
5.4. Field Components
5.5. Component Extensions
5.6. Label
5.7. Link
5.8. TextField
5.9. TextArea
5.10. PasswordField
5.11. RichTextArea
5.12. Date and Time Input with DateField
5.13. Button
5.14. CheckBox
5.15. Selecting Items
5.16. Table
5.17. Tree
5.18. MenuBar
5.19. Embedded Resources
5.20. Upload
5.21. ProgressBar
5.22. Slider
5.23. Calendar
5.24. Component Composition with CustomComponent
5.25. Composite Fields with CustomField
6. Managing Layout
6.1. Overview
6.2. UI, Window, and Panel Content
6.3. VerticalLayout and HorizontalLayout
6.4. GridLayout
6.5. FormLayout
6.6. Panel
6.7. Sub-Windows
6.8. HorizontalSplitPanel and VerticalSplitPanel
6.9. TabSheet
6.10. Accordion
6.11. AbsoluteLayout
6.12. CssLayout
6.13. Layout Formatting
6.14. Custom Layouts
7. Visual User Interface Design with Eclipse
7.1. Overview
7.2. Creating a New Composite
7.3. Using The Visual Editor
7.4. Structure of a Visually Editable Component
8. Themes
8.1. Overview
8.2. Introduction to Cascading Style Sheets
8.3. Syntactically Awesome Stylesheets (Sass)
8.4. Creating and Using Themes
8.5. Creating a Theme in Eclipse
8.6. Responsive Themes
9. Binding Components to Data
9.1. Overview
9.2. Properties
9.3. Holding properties in Items
9.4. Creating Forms by Binding Fields to Items
9.5. Collecting Items in Containers
10. Vaadin SQLContainer
10.1. Architecture
10.2. Getting Started with SQLContainer
10.3. Filtering and Sorting
10.4. Editing
10.5. Caching, Paging and Refreshing
10.6. Referencing Another SQLContainer
10.7. Using FreeformQuery and FreeformStatementDelegate
10.8. Non-implemented methods of Vaadin container interfaces
10.9. Known Issues and Limitations
11. Advanced Web Application Topics
11.1. Handling Browser Windows
11.2. Embedding UIs in Web Pages
11.3. Debug Mode and Window
11.4. Request Handlers
11.5. Shortcut Keys
11.6. Printing
11.7. Google App Engine Integration
11.8. Common Security Issues
11.9. Navigating in an Application
11.10. Advanced Application Architectures
11.11. Managing URI Fragments
11.12. Drag and Drop
11.13. Logging
11.14. JavaScript Interaction
11.15. Accessing Session-Global Data
11.16. Server Push
12. Portal Integration
12.1. Overview
12.2. Creating a Portlet Project in Eclipse
12.3. Portlet UI
12.4. Deploying to a Portal
12.5. Installing Vaadin in Liferay
12.6. Handling Portlet Requests
12.7. Handling Portlet Mode Changes
12.8. Non-Vaadin Portlet Modes
12.9. Vaadin IPC for Liferay
III. Client-Side Framework
13. Client-Side Vaadin Development
13.1. Overview
13.2. Installing the Client-Side Development Environment
13.3. Client-Side Module Descriptor
13.4. Compiling a Client-Side Module
13.5. Creating a Custom Widget
13.6. Debugging Client-Side Code
14. Client-Side Applications
14.1. Overview
14.2. Client-Side Module Entry-Point
14.3. Compiling and Running a Client-Side Application
14.4. Loading a Client-Side Application
15. Client-Side Widgets
15.1. Overview
15.2. GWT Widgets
15.3. Vaadin Widgets
16. Integrating with the Server-Side
16.1. Overview
16.2. Starting It Simple With Eclipse
16.3. Creating a Server-Side Component
16.4. Integrating the Two Sides with a Connector
16.5. Shared State
16.6. RPC Calls Between Client- and Server-Side
16.7. Component and UI Extensions
16.8. Styling a Widget
16.9. Component Containers
16.10. Creating Add-ons
16.11. Migrating from Vaadin 6
16.12. Integrating JavaScript Components and Extensions
IV. Vaadin Add-ons
17. Using Vaadin Add-ons
17.1. Overview
17.2. Downloading Add-ons from Vaadin Directory
17.3. Installing Add-ons in Eclipse with Ivy
17.4. Using Add-ons in a Maven Project
17.5. Troubleshooting
18. Vaadin Charts
18.1. Overview
18.2. Installing Vaadin Charts
18.3. Basic Use
18.4. Chart Types
18.5. Chart Configuration
18.6. Chart Data
18.7. Advanced Uses
18.8. Timeline
19. Vaadin JPAContainer
19.1. Overview
19.2. Installing
19.3. Defining a Domain Model
19.4. Basic Use of JPAContainer
19.5. Entity Providers
19.6. Filtering JPAContainer
19.7. Querying with the Criteria API
19.8. Automatic Form Generation
19.9. Using JPAContainer with Hibernate
20. Mobile Applications with TouchKit
20.1. Overview
20.2. Considerations Regarding Mobile Browsing
20.3. Installing Vaadin TouchKit
20.4. Importing the Vornitologist Demo
20.5. Creating a New TouchKit Project
20.6. Elements of a TouchKit Application
20.7. Mobile User Interface Components
20.8. Advanced Mobile Features
20.9. Offline Mode
20.10. Building an Optimized Widget Set
20.11. Testing and Debugging on Mobile Devices
21. Vaadin TestBench
21.1. Overview
21.2. Installing Vaadin TestBench
21.3. Preparing an Application for Testing
21.4. Using Vaadin TestBench Recorder
21.5. Developing JUnit Tests
21.6. Taking and Comparing Screenshots
21.7. Running Tests in a Distributed Environment
21.8. Headless Testing
21.9. Known Issues
A. Songs of Vaadin