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Posted by admin_pnp | about 7 years ago

Jiong received the Sencha prize for the best App at the AT&T Hackathon on 6 August 2011.

Below is what you need to know about him, his app and his experience using the Pearson APIs, Over to you, Jiong. 

About Me

I'm a java developer of 7 years, I turned my interest to mobile at the end of 2009 starting with Android and developed a few apps on my own. Then earlier this year I started to get exposed to Sencha Touch to develop mobile web apps and using phonegap to convert them into native iOS apps. Mobile development was a hobby and now I'm turning it into a career. I love going to the various hackathons to try new APIs and develop on new ideas.

Here's my linkedin page as well as personal site

The app

This is a quick app that I put together at the ATT hackathon in August. We only had about 8 hrs and I implemented a simple dictionary using Pearson's Longman Dictionary API. It's not very complex, provides search feature and a list of catalogs via JSON calls to the API and connecting it with backend Sencha Touch's datastore, but it shows how the technology integrates and how someone can build a pretty basic functional app in a relatively short time.

What does the App look like?
Search for "Word"
Search Results
Search by Category


Sencha Touch's datastore works well with JSON arrays. However, I was having trouble parsing some Longman Dictionary API's returned data because they are not arrays (most results are array of entries, but single entry query returned single item, not array of one). So I had to use jQuery to manually bind a record to Sencha. I could have done a lot more work if there's more time, but had to hack it quick. Also, a suggestion for Pearson is to have a doc on the different elements in the JSON return value (ie, what's HEAD) and have a more standardized prefix to some properties (instead of using $ sometimes and # other times).


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