View Full Version : Our first impressions

6 Sep 2012, 3:23 AM
Hi everybody, I work in a company as software developer, and we're interested in app development (on both iOS and Android).
The most important elements for our customers are: user interface, graphics/animations and small databases.
We've tried several frameworks/tools, from native Java for Android to HTML/JS with PhoneGap and finally ST2, so I'd like to share our opinion.

In the last two months we've tried ST2, Architect and Animator, and we think that Sencha tools have a great potential in matter of:
- graphical impact
- visual tools
- code size and structure
- data modeling
- packaging tools

so we would like to spend more time on learning this framework.
But we've had also some troubles that disappointed our expectations:
- lack of documentation (we have been stuck on some apparently easy passages)
- sdk samples are not ready to be packaged with Architect or command line, and command line documentation is not updated
- most important: Android performance on some elements, such as lists or G. maps scrolling speed, is very poor (while the same components on other HTML5 fameworks are really fast).

We see you're updating your products very often. Are you planning to improve Android experience? Or maybe we've missed something on our tests, but we have tried kitchensink app from web and packaged too, and in iOS it really looks like native. Anyway we're really interested in Android development (that's why we looked for a cross-platform tool).

If you're interested in our case and could give us some support, we'll talk about our troubles more deeply in further posts.
Thank you.

7 Sep 2012, 12:13 AM
I take it you don't want to code native. i.e. code the same app multiple times because strictly if your after performance build a native app.
If your after write once run/deploy on multiple devices then ST2 is great, however it is running cutting edge - HTML 5 and CSS3.
Browser are still catching up (IE and the native android browser) not to mention device hardware.

Most perform well but a lot of android issues are related to hardware and the native android browser. Thank god for dolphin and chrome on the android.
We use ST2 and code to make the native android browser "usable" if its usable in the native browser then typically its runs well on ios and chrome on android.

Our app is a large scale financial app - we have started coding for tablet and will move to mobile shortly. Best thing we have found so far is animations and the charts.

No major issues thus far - just usual android native browser issues with CSS3 use etc...

8 Sep 2012, 6:23 AM
Furthermore, ST 2.1.0 is having much better performance for Android due to layout and infinite list.

Are you guys familiar with web development or is this the first time you are coding for the web?

10 Sep 2012, 8:25 AM
We're quite familiar with web development, at least in PHP, JS, some jQuery... we developed a demo app with HTML + PhoneGap and it worked smooth on Android. Of course we had the usual CSS3 problems (in a complex animation taken from the web, to implement a coverflow animating menu, which doesn't work).
Anyway, today we just completed another demo app with ST2 and Architect, and we're very satisfied to see how fast it runs on iPhone!
We have just a very small bug in a quiz test: the answers are displayed in a list, and a normal button to confirm them. If I try to confirm without select any answer, we alert "you must select an answer". After the alert, if we click an answer to select it, the alert appears again. Only the second time I can select an answer. Maybe it's because I used a pure alert, not a Sencha dialog?
Anyway, that bug is not present in Android. We tested on an LG Optimus 3X.

On Android we have two bigger problems: the video we embedded doesn't work (Ext.Video class), and as far as I know it's a browser limit (we made it work in the other app with PhoneGap and a plug-in, and anyway I see it's a workaround which calls a system player). The other problem, which can't be a browser or hardware limit (it's a quad core!), is the reaction when we scroll a list. If we drag the list slowly, it scrolls at about 3-4 FPS. The strange clue, that makes me guess it's not an HW limit, is that if I scroll it very fast, like a swipe gesture, it performs good FPS (surely the 40 FPS decleared in ST2 website presentation). The same with carousels, page transitions...
So what's happening in "normal" list scrolling? This glitch is not only in our app, but in Kitchen Sink too.