Touchkit: Plan for Native Application Support?

The other day, I was browsing through the details of Tabris
Its server side technology is Eclipse RAP (quite similar to Vaadin). A Tabris style client for Vaadin (on Android. iOS etc.) will enable us to utilize full native client capabilities at the client side.

I faintly remember reading somewhere about Vaadin’s earlier philosophy to have the Terminal component at the server side and support for different types of client devices (one of them, of course, is the browser). And, later it was decided to consider only Browser at the client side.

I know, with Touchkit, Vaadin is currently addressing the mobile application space. Other than doing some simple testing, I haven’t started using it seriously so far. I had gone through the ‘bird watching’ sample application a couple of times and was really impressed with the UI part. However, what is the feedback from those who have developed native mobile client applications?

Currently, without trying it out anything serious by myself, I feel that we can not use Vaadin Touchkit, if want to use some of the native APIs like NFC in Android.

Vaadin’s R&D - Any future plans on this?

We have decided to focus on HTML5 based UI for mobile instead of building “native” adapters. We believe that HTML5 is powerful enough already today as a platform and all mobile vendors use tremendous effort in optimizing their devices to support the platform. At the same time processing power in mobile devices is growing rapidly. In the future there should be even less reasons for building native UI.

That said - there are couple of important cases for native UI: access to native platform APIs and real-time graphics (gaming). The native APIs can be easily added with app wrappers (like PhoneGap). Games should be mostly built in native.

Thanks for the reply.

Games may be an exception because of the responsiveness required in the application and tight integration with other features of the device. Otherwise, it will be nice if future versions of Touchkit can provide wrappers to native stuff that are not possible with HTML5. (I really don’t know whether it should be via plugins or some other means).