Mobl is a cool language that cross compiles to HTML5 and JavaScript.  The reason for using it as a developer is that it targets Android and iOS native feel web-apps from a beautiful source from.  It is not quite my ideal in that it cross compiles rather than being interpreted, but it is close.

There may well be some glass ceilings, but I'm willing to believe the lead Zef Hemel when he assures me that new controls are quite straight forward to those that understand the underlying technologies.

There's a small perception problem with Mobl in that it is more than a couple of clicks before you can play with it.  At least outside of Eclipse (for which there is a plugin).

Here's something that should work:

wget http://www.mobl-lang.org/moblc.jar
git clone https://github.com/mobl/mobl-lib.git
git clone https://github.com/mobl/mobl.git
cd mobl/samples/shopping/
java -jar ../../../moblc.jar -I ../../../mobl-lib -i shopping.mobl

Sadly it breaks right now with a low level exception 'STRSGLR_get_parse_error'.  Must be some incompatibility between moblc (the jar available for download) and the latest github versions.

Instead, here is an older version of Mobl that can be played with very quickly:

git clone git@github.com:paul-hammant/mobl-lang-in-thirty-seconds.git
cd mobl-lang-in-thirty-seconds
./mac.sh
# or ./linux.sh if so inclined

If your Safari, Firefox or Chrome can do HTML5 it should show a functioning shopping application.  Obviously your desktop window size is not the same as the iOS or Android size, but those are the intended targets.

See more demos here

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Published

April 3rd, 2011
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