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17 June 2010, 17:01

Sencha Touch: HTML5 framework for mobile apps

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Sencha Logo Sencha, a start-up launched just this week, combines three open source projects – Ext JS, Raphaël and jQTouch – under one roof. The company's name comes from a variety of green tea. Shortly after its foundation, Sencha released an HTML5 framework for developing touch-based browser applications for mobile devices. Sencha Touch, as the framework is known, includes a library containing UI widgets and functions for managing touch events.

The technical basis is the Ext JS JavaScript framework, which provides browser-independent DOM (Document Object Model) traversal, event handling and asynchronous server communication (AJAX) functionality. Sencha Touch utilises HTML5 to perform functions such as generating offline programs and delivering video and audio files. It also uses CSS3 for plotting rounded corners, shadows and colour gradients. A beta version is available to download. Initially, it will officially support development for the iPhone / iPad and Android operating systems, with BlackBerry to follow. Sencha Touch is licensed under version 3 of the GNU GPL License (GPLv3). A commercial version will be released at a later date.

jQTouch is an extension of the popular jQuery JavaScript library for designing user interfaces for the iPhone. Raphaël is another JavaScript framework and uses the SVG standard or, for Internet Explorer, Microsoft's VML vector language, to display vector graphics. The direction of the three open source projects is not expected to change, and JQTouch and Raphaël will continue to be available under the MIT license.

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