I'm going to have an intro class of about 5 hours with jQuery Mobile. My students have worked with html and css, but no programming at all yet.
Do you guys have any good tutorials or so that would be good to start with? I need to find a simple project that I can do with them. I'd like to do something that feels kind of app-ish but that doesn't involve a lot of scripting.
I wish you wouldn't. The developers and (more pointedly) sponsors of JQM already do enough to foster the fanciful idea that one can create a JQM site with no programming background.
I don't think that JQM is appropriate for those with no programming experience at all. It would be difficult to impossible to explain many of the fundamental concepts without programming experience or training.
If you must, you can show them how to create pages for JQM, and give them a set of rules (some of which will go against the documentation) and tell them "just do it this way, and don't ask why".
(One would be "do not create multi-page documents, because they will eventually bite you." Another would be "don't try to make it work with random scripts not designed for JQM". IMO, it takes more programming experience to pick a good and appropriate script than it does to actually write one. So, with no programming experience.. )
Since they do have some HTML and CSS experience, it's a good opportunity to give them some REAL HTML and CSS experience. Any kind of CSS overrides will give them plenty of that. I'd think some coverage of HTML/CSS inspection tools would be essential.
Thank you for your input. You do have several points (even though I think jQuery is superb for people that doesn't know how to code - but still need to sue it). But we're going to have lectures on JQuery - it's in their curriculum. Also, they will study programming next year. Now they're going to start getting a feel for using libraries and responsive design.
So what I'm really looking for is input on good and simple beginners project that will have them poke around at the surface of it.
I hope you teach them some programming before you try to teach them jQuery...
I would stick to a very small static site that does some sort of drill-down using lists. So, you can use listviews and collapsibles and nice page transitions.
I would keep it small.
If you can find a static site generator that is easily understood without programming background (dubious) that would be a good element to introduce. It really is not practical to build a JQM site of any substantial size without either a static site generator or some server-side help - at least server-side includes, but preferably a good template-based backend - which could range from a CMS to a framework like ROR or Django.
This is because of the requirement that all pages have the same <head> content, and the repetitive nature of JQM widget patterns.
Otherwise, you wind-up editing 100 files to make one small change. Maybe you can do it with an editor if you are really, really good with regular expressions. But it will be a horrible experience.
Of course, this is an issue with any web design, but JQM makes it even more incumbent.
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