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    Default VoterUp: Campaign canvassing app for Webkit phones

    VoterUp: Campaign canvassing app for Webkit phones


    VoterUp (http://voterup.com) was created to allow campaign volunteers to use smart phones to fill out canvassing questions. Managers draw areas on a Google map using the related desktop web app, and then volunteers go out and find these voters by street.

    I started using Sencha Touch 2 when it was in Public Release. My favorite addition would have to be the navigation view.

    Screen Shot 2012-03-24 at 12.15.45 AM.pngScreen Shot 2012-03-24 at 12.17.01 AM.pngScreen Shot 2012-03-24 at 12.16.35 AM.pngScreen Shot 2012-03-24 at 12.15.29 AM.png

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    What do you think the biggest hurdle in creating this app was?

    What do you think would be the biggest tip to succeeding if you were talking to a new person coming to Sencha Touch 2?

    Little interview
    Mitchell Simoens @SenchaMitch
    Sencha Inc, Senior Forum Manager
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    One of the biggest hurdles would probably be making the design transition to MVC. While used to MVC while designing native Android and iOS apps, I grew accustomed to simple functional design while building simple web apps. While you can get away with functional design on smaller apps, larger, native-like apps require planning and a bit more structure. The way Sencha Touch allows you to write web apps in a similar way that you'd design and write native apps, with the added bonus of cross-platform compatibility. You also get to use the same client-side scripting language that you're used to.

    I've been working with Ext.JS for a couple of years now (I helped design a clinical trial web application for an Arkansas hospital using Ext 3.3).. In fact the administrative side of VoterUp is using the beta of Ext 4.1. I decided to follow the MVC standard during VoterUp (the clinical trial app was mostly functional, though they'll probably change that soon).

    The next obstacle was designing VoterUp during Sencha Touch's testing phase.. It wasn't too difficult in the long run, but there was a lot of re-writing between releases since the API wasn't stable (anyone who's designed an app with an alpha or beta API can relate). However I was on a deadline, and I loved the changes in version 2, so we decided it was worth designing our app with a beta framework.

    My advice for newcomers? If you're new to MVC, don't feel discouraged. It took a while for me to get the hang of it (first using Grails, then iOS and finally Sencha Touch), but once you get the concept, it's much smoother sailing:

    1. Check the Sencha Learn page for "your first sencha app" tutorials. They're a great place to start, and I've used them for new apps since VoterUp.
    2. Use the API documentation. I spend 80% of my time developing with a browser open to the docs page.
    3. Hit the forums (I usually skip google, they send me to the forums nearly every time). There are great designers and Sencha developers that can help you with any problems you are having.

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