//build/ today with open source frameworks on Windows Phone 8

Added support for Windows Phone 8 in Apache Cordova, Sencha Touch, Cocos2D, Ogre3D and other open source frameworks.

The cool news for developers keeps on rolling at //build/ 2012. We’re thrilled to relay the announcements from a broad range of open source communities that their support for Windows Phone 8 goes live on “Day 1” of the SDK availability, along with other partners. There are several open source frameworks to choose from today.

The Windows Phone team and Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. engaged early in the process with open source communities to enable Windows Phone 8 in these popular open source and cross platform frameworks. We provided technical support and information, gave early access to the tools and MS Open Tech contributed code to the Cocos 2D and Ogre3D projects.

The market opportunity just got bigger and easier for all developers with this news. We believe it is important that developers have choices and can reuse their skills and code to build Windows Phone 8 applications.

This added support for Windows Phone 8 in diverse open source and cross platform frameworks was made possible thanks to new features in Windows Phone 8: native C++ programming and Internet Explorer 10 expanded HTML5 support.

Developers who have applications based on these frameworks can publish them to the Windows Phone Store in record time. And this applies to various domains, like gaming with C++ or C# frameworks such as Cocos 2D, Ogre 3D and SharpDX, or cross platform development with HTML5 and JavaScript leveraging Apache Cordova, Trigger.io, Sencha Touch or jQuery Mobile. Developers using popular open source tools and frameworks such as SQLite or GalaSoft MVVM toolkit will also be able to reuse their code and skills.

“Nearly 50% of Sencha customers have expressed interest in building apps for Windows Phone 8 in the next 6-12 months. Supporting Windows Phone 8 is a natural choice for Sencha to enable our customers to build universal apps for mobile devices.” Abraham Elias, CTO Sencha Inc.

Jay Garcia, CTO at Modus Create, and his team are developing a mobile companion application for the game Diablo III:
Using Blizzard’s Diablo III web APIs in combination with PhoneGap and Sencha Touch, we were able to hugely increase the game’s fan base because we could build and publish our application to both iOS and Android with the same HTML5 and JavaScript code base. It literally took us a few days to get the same code to run on Windows Phone 8 thanks to this newly added support.”

You can read more about Modus Create work to migrate their application to Windows Phone 8 on their blog post.

Craig Walker, CTO at Xero commented on the new support for Windows Phone 8 in Sencha Touch:
Using web standards-based technologies such as Sencha Touch and Apache Cordova for our mobile accounting software application Xero Touch helped us target a wide range of platforms so our customers could focus on their business, not the underlying technology. Support for these technologies in Windows Phone 8 tools made it an easy Xero Touch build for our dev team, and a smart addition for our customers who need flexibility managing their business on the go.”

Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc., supported the jQuery Mobile and Sencha Touch communities to deliver themes that will allow developers to integrate their applications into the Windows Phone 8 user experience.

As Craig Walker from Xero stresses, it is crucial for developers to be able to deliver a seamless consumer experience integrated into the platform. You can see below a video demonstrating the Sencha Touch theme for Windows Phone 8.

Brett Nagy, Technical Director at Microgroove, and his team got a chance to try the Windows Phone 8 tools and the early Sencha Touch support for Windows Phone 8:
Our apps have been making companies more productive for well over a decade. Sencha Touch support for Windows Phone 8 has made our engineer team more productive by allowing us to easily re-use code from one mobile platform to another.
Within a couple of hours, we had the basic Windows Phone 8 themed version of an existing app without requiring any changes to its JavaScript codebase. Now that producing builds that run on Windows Phone 8 is part of our regular workflow, the next step is to build out functionality that really takes advantage of that platform. Knowing that we can do that in HTML + JS allows us to extend our reach beyond iOS and Android with minimal change to our projects timelines.

For developers using jQuery Mobile, Sergey Grebnov from Akvelon, who previously published a jQuery Mobile theme for Windows Phone 7.5 is releasing a new jQuery Mobile theme for Windows phone 8. You can see below a short demo of how to apply the theme to a Windows Phone 8 application.

This is the first time so many open source and cross platform frameworks are on board with Windows Phone on the first day of a new SDK version release. It is great to see how much communities are eager to work with Windows Phone.

And today is just the beginning. We want to continue this effort to help open source developers enable their frameworks on Windows Phone 8. It’s important for developers to reuse their skills, expand the market opportunity to make money on our devices, and build the next generation of apps. Imagine the possibilities.

Go check out the various frameworks and let us know if you think of other ones you would love to be able to use to build Windows Phone 8 applications.

Comments (9)

  1. Romain says:

    Are you kidding ? Silverlight video players ?

  2. @Romain, nope, I am using iFrames to embed Channel9 videos

  3. johnny says:

    Do you know how to build PhoneGap for WP8? official build takes too long… 🙂

  4. johnny says:

    trying this sample with latest cordova 2.3 RC2 and Install-Package jQMThemeForWindowsPhone8 -version 0.0.1 works but I can't navigate to different pages. It says "error loading page". what could be the issue here? Also, when will this package be fully available in NuGet?

  5. @johnny

    Update from the Cordova team… We are getting there!


  6. Update: you can now find Sencha Touch 2.2 with WP8 support over here: http://t.co/0YstdAcw


  7. Narendra says:

    PhoneGap now supports WP8. I can't wait to dive in. It is much needed and long awaited feature.




  8. loadedblood says:

    http://t.co/0YstdAcw is this link still active? I am unable to open it

  9. @LoadedBlood

    You are correct this short link is longer live. You can find the latest Sencha Touch bits here: http://www.sencha.com/…/download

    They are at version 2.2.1 now, which has full WP8 support.

    Thanks for point this out