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Mobile Web 2: Programming Web Applications

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Learn how to Write Great Web Applications for Mobile!

Why attend?

In the “Mobile Web 2: Programming Web Applications” course you will learn how to program great mobile Web applications that can ship both online and in application stores.

Please, check out sections “Who Should Attend?” and “What do I need?” below to find out about the target audience and pre-requesites for this course.

Moving beyond best practices, this course covers all techniques you need to know for programming successful mobile Web applications, including:

  • Progressive enhancement and feature detection
  • HTML5 for mobile
  • Javascript APIs for geolocation, device orientation, handling touch events, using local storage, accessing the camera
  • Taking applications offline


  • Understand the specifics of developing Web applications for the mobile environment.
  • Learn the latest HTML5 and Javascript APIs that are actually usable in real-world environments.
  • Discover how to use HTML5’s AppCache to make your applications work offline.
  • Be informed about what technologies are coming next so that you will be ready to use them when they become broadly available.

 How much time does this take?

You will need to spend around 6-8 hours per week on the course. Some weeks are busier than others and may require more time.

Course Outline

This course will run for 5 weeks. Each week a new chapter will be revealed together with an assignment, and you will get a chance to interact continuously with the teachers about the course’s content. Here is an outline of the overall course:

Week 1: Advantages of the Web for Mobile Application Development

We will look into the many pros and few cons of using Web technology for mobile applications, and work on a simple assignment that will help you become familiarized with the course system.

Week 2: HTML5 for Mobile Devices

After having gone through the steps of readying a basic Web application for mobile usage, let us turn towards the exciting technologies that form the basic building blocks for today’s Web applications. There is a lot to cover and going through them all will take several weeks’ worth of course. Here, we start with what recent evolutions in HTML and CSS bring to the table.

Week 3: JavaScript APIs

A large part of the exciting new features that are becoming available on the Web platform, especially on mobile devices, take the form of JavaScript APIs. So much so that we will be dedicating a whole week to this topic in order to cover enough of it that you may start writing useful apps. Such APIs include geolocation, device orientation, handling touch events, using local storage, accessing the camera, and quite a few others. We will also briefly discuss issues relating to the security model that operates in Web applications, and look at some common security pitfalls.

Week 4: More JavaScript APIs!

We continue last section’s exploration of the many APIs that are becoming available to Web applications.

Week 5: PhoneGap and a Look at the Future

In the previous sections, we have focused primarily on techniques that can be used today, or that will become usable inside of a very short time-frame. Here, we cast our gaze towards the slightly more distant future so that you can become aware of what’s brewing. 

This isn’t futurology though: pretty much everything that we cover in this book exists at least at the prototype stage and is being readied to ship rather soon. It is not the stuff of dreams but rather technology that you will likely find yourselves using (or at least able to use) inside of a couple years’ time.

There is so much innovation going on at the W3C that we won’t be able to deep-dive into specifics; and even if we did, the details we would provide would most likely have changed by the time these features ship. The general approach here is to ensure that you are aware of upcoming additions to your toolbox so that you can be ready when they become available, and if you feel so inclined tinker with early releases (something that’s highly recommended for any good Web developer!).

How do I get a certificate and a badge of completion?

The course includes 3 practical tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) that all need to be completed satisfactorily if you want to receive a certificate of completion and a badge*.

* What is a badge? A digital badge is an online representation of a skill you’ve earned. Using Mozilla’s Open Badges infrastructure, W3DevCampus issues badges backed by our own seal of approval. Learners can then collect badges from different W3C courses and display them across the Web — on their resumes, Web sites, social networking profiles, job sites and more. Create your backpack and start collecting badges from W3C Training.

Who should attend?

[Intermediate and advanced levels]

  • Mobile Web developers
  • Web developers and content authors ready to program great Web apps

The course is for you if:

  • you understand the basics of Web development and would like to understand the specifics of the mobile context;
  • you know how to create mobile Web sites and would like to move on to more advanced applications;
  • you wish to update your knowledge of Web technology with more recent additions from the HTML5 and Javascript world;
  • you want to learn how to package your Web applications so that they can work offline or as native applications.

What do I need?

This course covers the essentials of mobile Web application development, but it does rely on some prior knowledge. In general, the following basics are assumed:

  • HTML: you need to be comfortable putting together an HTML document, assigning IDs and classes, loading scripts, and other such basic tasks. And no need to be an expert in the latest improvements to HTML5.
  • CSS: in this course, minimal familiarity with CSS, if only knowing how to apply some simple properties to specific elements, will come in handy at times. But not need to be an able graphics designer.
  • DOM: extensive knowledge of the DOM is not necessary, but the ability to work with some of its more basic methods (getElementById, appendChild, etc.) is required.
  • JavaScript: Web applications are written in JavaScript, and therefore you need to be able to read and write reasonably correct code.
  • Mobile Web and Application Best Practices: those two W3C documents (MWBP and MWABP) are a recommended reading (over the running time of the whole course).

Ideally, as well as a desktop or laptop computer, you should have access to:

  • A smartphone with either a suitable data plan or support for wifi. In the absence of this, it is possible to rely on emulators. However, an actual mobile device is a better option*.
  • A text editor (for HTML, CSS, Javascript).
  • Facilities for putting documents online.

For more information, see How does this work?

Terms and Conditions

  • W3C will deliver the course in line with the published description for the advertised fee.
  • Payment must be made, in full, at the time of registration.
  • Payment is processed using either a credit card or a PayPal account.
  • Refunds will only be made if the participant withdraws up until the end of the first week of the online course.
  • W3C intends to continue to make the course material available to registered participants for at least 2 months after the course has ended.
  • All material, including that produced by participants, in assignments and correspondence is copyrighted property and cannot be copied, duplicated, posted on another Web site, or otherwise used without the original author’s consent. Conversations and posted messages are private and cannot be copied, duplicated, forwarded, or conveyed to anyone else without the original author’s permission.