Building Windows 8 Apps with JavaScript


Building Windows 8 Apps with JavaScript is the definitive guide for every experienced developer who wants to create, ship, and profit from Windows 8 apps built with HTML5 and JavaScript. Written by Chris Sells, former Visual Studio Principal Program Manager who led the team that built Microsoft’s official Windows 8 JavaScript app templates, and Brandon Satrom, expert web/mobile developer, this book covers every facet of development with Microsoft’s new JavaScript framework and ...

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Building Windows 8 Apps with JavaScript

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Building Windows 8 Apps with JavaScript is the definitive guide for every experienced developer who wants to create, ship, and profit from Windows 8 apps built with HTML5 and JavaScript. Written by Chris Sells, former Visual Studio Principal Program Manager who led the team that built Microsoft’s official Windows 8 JavaScript app templates, and Brandon Satrom, expert web/mobile developer, this book covers every facet of development with Microsoft’s new JavaScript framework and WinRT.

The authors guide you through building full-featured Windows Store apps that merge the best aspects of desktop, web, and mobile apps into a single user and developer experience. You’ll learn how to leverage the full power of the Windows 8 platform and integrate services ranging from client-side state to offline storage. Leveraging these techniques, you can deliver information to users faster, more clearly, and more concisely, on whatever devices they prefer.

Through complete example projects, Building Windows 8 Apps with JavaScript covers

  • Understanding powerful new improvements in Windows 8 developer experience
  • Using Windows 8’s more flexible binding to update the UI as underlying data changes
  • Creating layouts and typography that fit Windows 8 style and leverage its advantages
  • Working with audio, video, captured media, animation, and HTML5 graphics
  • Making your app “connectable” with PlayTo
  • Integrating WinJS navigation services to improve UI control
  • Maintaining app states built up over time, and sharing them across devices
  • Writing highly responsive async apps
  • Supporting true-touch metaphors and interactions, location data, and sensors
  • Designing apps for the Windows 8 design language
  • Extending JavaScript code to integrate existing C/C++ code or to access Windows capabilities that WinRT doesn’t expose
  • Discovering best practices for monetizing Windows Store apps

All of the downloadable examples can be created and run with Microsoft’s free Visual Studio 2012 Express for Windows 8, which includes all you need to build, package, and deploy your Windows Store apps.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“This is going to be the Windows 8 app book YOU MUST have in your library! It’s well written and expertly covers every aspect of how to build an HTML/JS app for Windows 8!”

—Jonathan Antoine, Infinite Square and Microsoft MVP

“Great introduction to app development for Windows 8. After so many years in the XAML space, this book made me want to consider the JavaScript/HTML route.”

—Shawn Wildermuth, Microsoft MVP (Data), author, trainer, and speaker,

“What you hold in your hands right now is an excellent walkthrough of how to build, ship, and profit from building apps using HTML and JavaScript for Windows 8. While I’ve been working on Windows 8 for the last two years, I can honestly say that I have learned about new parts of the platform from this book and can’t wait to build an app that uses them.”

—From the Foreword by Chris Anderson, Distinguished Engineer, Windows Libraries for JavaScript, Microsoft Corp.

“Chris and Brandon have gone to the heart of Windows 8 programming and produced a clear, concise, and easily understood tutorial that should be on every Windows 8 programmer’s bookshelf. If you are programming Windows 8 with HTML and JavaScript, this is the book you need.”

—Jesse Liberty, Windows 8 technical evangelist, Telerik

“I feel that this book will be the must-read reference for anyone who is dedicated to building a great Windows 8 app, and will be the book by which all others are compared. Yes, that’s a pretty bold statement, but considering that both of the authors have been deeply involved in Windows 8 app development for a LONG time, especially while they were at Microsoft, I feel confident in that statement.”

—From the Foreword by Rey Bango, Developer Relations, Microsoft Corp.

“This is easily the most well-written book on building Windows 8 apps with JavaScript that I have read. It has been an invaluable resource for helping me to transfer my experience with building large JavaScript applications and thick-client applications into a Windows 8 environment. Chris and Brandon do a masterful job of explaining that this is just HTML, JavaScript, and CSS, while at the same time distilling all of the intricate details and subtleties of running web technologies in a native Windows application environment, with the full power of WinRT and the JavaScript extensions for it.”

—Derick Bailey, independent consultant, screencaster, speaker, and author, and

“Chris and Brandon do a truly excellent job explaining how to create great Windows 8 applications. While reading this book I learned things about the platform.”

—Josh Williams, Principal Development Lead for WinJS, Microsoft Corp.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780321861283
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley
  • Publication date: 1/11/2013
  • Series: Microsoft Windows Development Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 585
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Chris Sells is the VP of the Developer Tools Division at Telerik. He's written several books, including Programming WPF, Windows Forms 2.0 Programming, and ATL Internals. In his free time, Chris makes a pest of himself on Microsoft forums and mailing lists. More information about Chris and his various projects is available at

Brandon Satrom (@BrandonSatrom) is Program Manager for Kendo UI at Telerik and is based in Austin, Texas. A longtime web developer, Brandon loves to talk about HTML, JavaScript, CSS, open source, and whatever new shiny tool or technology has distracted him from that other thing he was working on. Brandon speaks at events all around the world, and he loves hanging out with and learning from other passionate developers, both online and in person. He also loves writing and has had several articles featured in publications like MSDN Magazine, The Architecture Journal, and .net magazine. Brandon can be reached online at his blog

Don Box is a Distinguished Engineer at Microsoft. At Microsoft, Don has worked on platform and developer technologies for .NET, SQL, and most recently, Xbox. Prior to Microsoft, Don roamed the earth helping developers come to terms with COM, Including writing Essential COM for Addison-Wesley.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Chris Anderson xvii

Foreword by Rey Bango xix

Preface xxi

Acknowledgments xxvii

About the Authors xxxiii

Chapter 1: Hello, Windows 8! 1

Your First Windows Store App 2

Getting Started in Visual Studio 2012 6

Controls, Binding, and Styling in Blend 16

Navigation 24

Networking in WinJS and WinRT 29

Split App Template 34

The Rest 40

Where Are We? 40

Chapter 2: Binding and Controls 41

Binding 41

Initializers 51

Binding List 53

Sorting and Filtering 55

Grouping 58

Templates 60

Controls 63

Where Are We? 78

Chapter 3: Layout 79

Layouts: Taming the Device Matrix 79

Using CSS Layout Capabilities to Adapt Your App 99

Creating Adaptive UIs with CSS and WinJS 104

Where Are We? 116

Chapter 4: Typography 119

Typography in Windows Store Apps 119

Working with Platform Iconography 136

Using and Manipulating Icon Fonts in a Windows Store App 147

Where Are We? 153

Chapter 5: Media 155

Working with Audio and Video 155

Getting Started with Media in Windows 8 156

Styling Media and Creating Custom Controls 159

Adding Subtitles to Video 163

Adding Video Effects 167

Working with Audio in Windows Store Apps 170

Working with User Media Libraries via a File Picker 175

Selecting Multiple Files 180

Other File Picker Types 182

Working with Captured Media 185

Making Your App Connectable with Play To 189

Where Are We? 192

Chapter 6: Drawing and Animation 193

HTML5 Graphics with SVG and Canvas 193

Manipulating Pixels 206

Animation in Windows Store Apps 212

Where Are We? 224

Chapter 7: App State 225

Settings 226

Lifetime 238

Files 252

Libraries 256

Where Are We? 266

Chapter 8: Networking 267

Network Capabilities 267

Mobile Networking 269

XMLHttpRequest 273

Syndication 277

Background Data Transfer 280

Web Content 284

Where Are We? 292

Chapter 9: Shell Contracts 293

The Windows 8 Shell 294

Contracts 295

Search Contract 297

Share Contract 305

Contacts Contract 322

Debugging Contract Providers 331

Where Are We? 332

Chapter 10: Shell Integration 333

Live Tiles 333

Badges 348

Background Tasks 350

Toast Notifications 358

Where Are We? 363

Chapter 11: Device Interaction 365

An Introduction to Touch 366

Working with Device Capabilities 380

Working with Location Data 387

Working with Sensors 394

Where Are We? 403

Chapter 12: Native Extensibility 405

Multiple Languages, One App 406

Getting Started 407

WinRT and the JavaScript Environment 411

WinRT Classes 413

WinRT Objects 421

WinRT Types in C++/CX and JavaScript 424

Delegates and Functions 435

Events 440

Concurrency and Asynchrony 443

Where Are We? 451

Chapter 13: Making Money 453

Preparing for Submission 454

Submitting Your App to the Windows Store 463

Working with Ads 476

Enabling Trial Mode in Your App 483

Working with In-App Purchases 488

Design for Monetization 495

Marketing and Managing Your App 496

Where Are We? 499

Appendix A: JavaScript for C-Family Programmers 501

Hello, World 502

Values and Types 507

Operators 508

Objects 510

Dates 511

Regular Expressions 511

Arrays 512

Object Prototypes (“Classes”) 514

Functions 520

Debug Output 525

Scoping 526

Strict 529

Serialization 531

Appendix B: Presentation and Style at a Glance 533

Using HTML for App Content and Structure 534

Using CSS for App Layout and Style 541

CSS in Windows Store Apps 558

Index 565

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