Skip to content

Building Great #WinApps: Introduction

by Brandon on January 22nd, 2014

Recently I’ve had a few requests to share my experiences building Tweetium, Newseen, Cattergories, and 4th at Square. I’ve decided to jump back into the world of blogging with a series I’m going to not-so-humbly title “Building great #WinApps.” This post serves as an introduction to the series.

What will I cover?

A bit of everything. Here’s a sampling of topics I have planned:

  • Overview of the programming language and UI platform options
    • What factors should you consider?
    • Why did I choose WinJS?
  • The Win8 JS app model (or, “What the heck *is* WinJS anyway?”)
  • Building a multi-threaded JS app
  • Nailing start-up performance
  • Architecture overview for Newseen and/or Tweetium
  • Designing the UX for Newseen and Tweetium
  • Building Tweetium’s flexbox-based grid view
  • Running a WinJS app on the web or other platforms
  • Workarounds for platform bugs and idiosyncrasies I’ve encountered
  • Debugging tricks and tips

Those are just some of the topics I’ve been thinking of writing about. There will certainly be others, and some of those may get merged or reframed a bit along the way.

Will there be code?

You betcha! I plan to post examples as well as some utilities I’ve created along the way. I expect this to be a beneficial exercise for me as I absolutely have things I want to refactor, and nothing motivates that like having other eyes on your code 🙂

Is this only applicable to Windows apps?

Nope! Or at least, some of the content will apply anywhere. Some posts will apply to any JavaScript app, others I expect will apply to any app at all. But for now the focus will be on the apps I’ve developed for Windows, and that’s the perspective from which I’ll be writing for the time being. Hence the #WinApps tag.

What about other aspects like design?

I’ve been doing the end-to-end design, development, and marketing of these apps, and I plan to share some of my experiences in each of these areas. That said, I’m not trained as a designer (or marketer, PR person, etc) and mostly picked up bits and pieces from working alongside some greats during my time at Microsoft. And of course learning by doing and iterating over the last several months.

I am proud to say my recent app designs have received a lot of praise, so I have some hope that my insights here will be helpful to some. At the very least I can hope to spark conversations with some actual designers!

How often will you post?

I’m going to try and share something every few days over the next several weeks. After I hit publish on this introduction I’m going to jump right into my first topic, which seems to be a popular one to discuss this afternoon 🙂

How do I follow along?

If you subscribe to this blog, you’re set! I’ll also tweet links to my posts so you can follow @BrandonLive. I’ll use the hashtag #WinApps which we used for a tweet-up a couple months ago (and which I hope we’ll be using for future events soon), so you can also watch for that.

Please be sure to comment! Questions, feedback, corrections, other perspectives… all are welcome and encouraged!

Now I’m off to write the first real post…

Leave a Reply

Note: XHTML is allowed. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS