Medical #webOS app programming: my first go at Enyo coding
Posted Sep 25 2011 5:11am
As some of you might know, webOS has transitioned to using the Enyo programming framework which is quite different from the original Mojo framework. Enyo is behind webOS 3.x which powers the HP Touchpad devices (and hopefully any newer webOS smartphones). Now that the Touchpad has arrived in the hands of many users as a result of the recent firesale by HP, it has become in a sense a rather serendipitous “tech hit” of 2011. Developers have begun to turn their attention once again on webOS and indeed some developers to their pleasant surprise have seen increase in sales and even ad revenue .
Now I have dabbled in coding some medical webOS apps but these have been exclusively using the older Mojo framework. I have managed to make some of them Touchpad compatible but so far haven’t converted any to Enyo yet. Until recently that is.
I decided to take the plunge and downloaded the latest webOS SDK and had a go at it. There are actually lots of sample code buried in the SDK if you explore the directory where the SDK is installed : in the case of Windows it is C:\Program Files (x86)\HP webOS\SDK\share\refcode\webos-framework\enyo\1.0\support where you’ll see Example, More-examples and Templates (goodness knows why the webOS engineers decided to bury them so deep!). Playing around with some samples, I thought it wouldn’t be too difficult to make a port of Drugview and come up with something for the Touchpad – thus Drug and Disease Search for webOS (DrugDz) was conceived. This is a Touchpad only app and takes advantage of the greater screen real-estate that a tablet device provides. The app is basically a quick way to let the user look up drug or disease information from sites which provide free medical information, namely drugs.com, medscape, epocrates and wikipedia (yeah, don’t knock wikipedia – it’s not all that bad and on the whole fairly reliable – indeed I sometimes find very current information there).
This demo video shows the features of DrugDz:
If you think the amount of coding is too daunting to contemplate – let me tell you the main source code for this project comprises less than 100 lines of code! Nevertheless it requires writing everything in a text editor (I used Notepad++) which is still not as friendly as it could be. I am more used to Ares which is a GUI browser based coding utility for webOS. In time, Ares (on which Enyo was based on in the first place) will move on to the Enyo framework and I look forward to that.
DrugDz is completely free and you can download it from the webOS App Catalog if you have a HP Touchpad. If you appreciate my work you can donate using the link found in the DrugDz homepage .