JSFoo 2013

All about being creative with JavaScript

Priyank Gupta


Calatrava : Inventing hybrid mobile app framework with Javascript bridges

Submitted Jul 31, 2013

Share our learnings around creating a framework with light weight javascript bridges to build mobile apps that are native in UI and hybrid in logic. This architecture of mobile app is fresh and almost seems evolutionary. Existing frameworks either enforce complete native development or try to reuse everything for a mobile app.

By leveraging Javascript and web technologies, what we have created is a new architecture paradigm to create hybrid apps that inherits the best of both world. Good looks and reusability.

I intend to share, how did we go about doing this and some of our learnings.


In rapidly evolving mobile ecosystem, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for businesses to tap multiple platforms. Frameworks that promise the use of Javascript and Web technologies to build omnipresent apps, fall short of expectations on account of limitations that are posed by mobile hardware and Javascript’s performance on it.

Our approach to the problem is different. We think Javascript and web technologies are future in mobile devices however not for everything. Lets build light weight and non-intrusive javascript bridges to create an architecture that allows us to:

  1. Create native user interface and yet with elegant architecture have reusable controllers and logic behind the scenes.
  2. Build javascript bridges that creates a extendible framework to build apps across rapidly evolving mobile platforms. Including BB10, Firefox OS etc.
  3. Devise an architecture, that allows us to reuse and merge the code across digital channels like web, mobile, tablets etc to converge with elegant use of javascript bridges.

It’s a concept that stems from the strengths of web technologies and leverages the ubiquity of Javascript on all the target platforms.

I intend to share:

  1. A glimpse into this architecture.
  2. A proof of concept app across platforms that hight fidelity native UI and reusable in logic in Javascript/Coffeescript
  3. Possibilities around extension of the architecture to leverage it across multiple digital channel.
  4. And while building native apps for mobile platforms how to build a mobile web site that comes at much reduced cost.
  5. Single page architecture of mobile web app, that makes all the magic possible


I would assume a fair understanding of following concepts:

  1. Underlying concept of single page architecture
  2. Knowledge of MVC architecture pattern
  3. Capabilities of Javascript in context of mobile devices and some idea about integration of native code that mobile platforms allow with Javascript.

Speaker bio

My name is Priyank and I work for ThoughtWorks. I am a Developer at heart with close to 9 years of experience in technologies like Javascript, Java, Ruby, C# and Objective C. I picked up Android as a platform of choice in 2009. Since then I have been involved in delivering apps, that have been used by hundreds and thousands of people across the globe. As part of development of these apps, I have worked through a variety of native and cross platform frameworks.

I see and realize the value of Javascript and other web technologies in context of mobile ecosystem and hence I am a big proponent of pushing Javascript to extremes to revolutionize the way mobile app development happens.

I contribute to popular mobile development framework called Calatrava and maintain a bunch of open source project on my Github repository. I think I understand this domain and want to share all the learning thats I have garnered with my experience and insights.

I have been passionate about spreading my experiences and learning and have done so in past as events like Droidcon 2012 .


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