I've built an app that uses the <ul> data-filter="true" and it does a great job of client-side search. I generate my list items with a $.getJSON call to a PHP/MySQL server. All good - the search works when the list is small.
The problem is my app may have a very long list, in the many thousands of <li> results. I only need to display ~50 results, but I'll need then to search server-side.
Can someone point me to a technique to integrate the current data-filter in jquery mobile and/or add an ajax server-side search with it?
I wouldn't bother. It wasn't designed for that, and is probably more trouble to retrofit than it is worth.
If you want it incremental, then it gets fun. You have to get each change from the text input, and have some means to throttle the requests so that they don't overwhelm your connection, server, or updates of the display.
I wouldn't be surprised if somebody has written a plugin for this, and so you ought to search for one.