Steep learning curve - have I misunderstood something?
I must say, after having used a lot of different tools, languages and development environments over the years, getting started with Sencha Ext Js 4 is unexpectedly tricky.
What is the best way? I am unfortunately unable to travel abroad to take classroom courses, so it will have to be a book or something I can watch on line. I have looked at the "Getting started" part of the Secha Ext Js 4 documentation, but find it confusing at best, and with a very steep learning curve.
Please help anyone!
Iver Erling Arva, Oslo, Norway
Yes, the learning curve is steep and while the docs have got better over the years it's still pretty daunting for the first few weeks. The Getting Started guide isn't quite what the name suggests, I wouldn't dwell too much on that if you found it all a bit unhelpful.
Personally I wouldn't go anywhere near the MVC stuff until you're happy with the basic components, it's trying to run before you can walk. If at all possible try to avoid starting work on any real applications until after you've played with the library a little.
A common mantra is 'don't be afraid of the source code'. The sooner you get comfortable jumping into the library source the better. Don't expect to understand it every time, some sections of the library are pretty hardcore. There are links from the docs to the source over on the right-hand side of each entry.
Make sure you've browsed through all of the official demos, and I mean all of them. You don't need to read any of the code in the first pass but it'll save you a lot of time in the long run just knowing what the demos show. Jump in and take a look at the code to a few that look like they might be easy to understand. Keep in mind that they are just demos, many of them are trying to show the versatility of the library and that often means the demos are showing slightly perverse cases. They also shouldn't be treated as gospel for best coding practices. Just try to understand how they work and look up the relevant options in the docs.
Beware of the trial-and-error approach to writing ExtJS. It's fine as a technique but make sure you understand the end result. Read the docs for every config option and method you're using. Beginners often spend a while throwing guesses at the config and then leaving dozens of unnecessary options on their components. Once you get it working, cut the config back to the options you actually need.
If something isn't working, be very careful to check spelling and case-sensitivity. You can get yourself in a total muddle trying to find a workaround just because you've convinced yourself the 'right way' didn't work due to a spelling mistake.
Even if you find old material for v3, the overall approach is still very relevant if you're just starting out (and for some stuff has barely changed). Just search the Books section for "Ext JS" in whatever your local Amazon store is and there should be some good stuff in there.
ExtJs 4 is very simple to learn for simple projects. Hard for real-world projects.
My opinion is:
1. Mixture of ExtJs v.3 and v.4 examples thru internet
2. Incredible open architecture: you can do the same thing in billions of different ways ...
4. A good examples shoudl be "Desktop" but it is not MVC
5. Most of documentation/forum/examples that you can find around are single pieces of a this big puzzle
6. What is missing? A real world application (like payroll for example) with a complete login/registration system, MVC based, php/MySql backend, desktop like, MDI interfaces, CVS and PDF exporting, printing etc. etc. etc. ...
7. UML diagrams; for examples, it'is a pain knowing the exact sequence of events of a component
8. Best practice guide: absolutely needed ...
there is nothing to do: ExtJs 4 is very powerful but real difficult to learn