Developing Hybrid Apps Still Requires Actual Software Engineering
Today in the #phonegap IRC channel, a frustrated developer showed me the cartoon below:
It’s funny, of course, and closer to the truth in some cases than some of us would like… but it’s still a massive over-simplification. It reminds me of my lightning talk: "PhoneGap doesn’t suck, YOU suck" and the great blog post by Brock Whitten (@sintaxi) that inspired it - "You half assed it. That is why your PhoneGap application sucks".
I can’t draw cool cartoons, so I can’t make a pretty rebuttal. However, I would posit that developing a PhoneGap app properly is more like following Google maps to a beautiful suburban home. Is it Neuschwanstein? Maybe not, though it depends greatly on what kind of app, and the developer(s) making it. There are certainly areas where hybrid app development shines, and some where it struggles. But, I would further suggest that a quick perusal of the various app stores would clearly show that merely being “native” does not instantly bestow taste in design, lightning speed, or the ability to make a useful and useable app that users actually enjoy. The castle on the left is probably as much of a fairy tale as it looks.
As the wise Eion Robb said in response to my wanting to write this post:
"the real argument is time [leads to] quality, regardless of language, platform, [or] technology. There are no shortcuts"