So over the long weekend, I wanted to work on BiFission’s map generation code. I wasn’t at home so I couldn’t use my desktop that I usually work on. I have several devices at my disposal:
- My Blackberry Bold 9930
- A 3rd gen iPad
- A Nexus 7
- Dell mini 12
I didn’t want to break out the Mini, just seemed like so much effort, especially considering the battery isn’t doing so well.
So I wanted to use the iPad or the Nexus. Both have decent ssh programs (all my development is done on a server), but I find the virtual keyboards to be less than useful for development work. So I’ve found myself generally using my Blackberry to do lite development when I’m away from the computer, having a physical keyboard is just easier when I’m developing.
But here’s the real interesting part, doing HTML development exclusively on the iPad or the Nexus is near impossible. I’ve been spoiled working on web development by Firebug, it’s just that useful having at the very least a live console to work on. To access the developer tools on the iPad, you have to be connected to Safari. Not just Safari, Safari on a mac. I don’t own a mac, so forget that. The Nexus I have to install part of the Android SDK and connect the device to a USB cord. Not a bad solution, it’s possible, but too much to install.
The Blackberry, however, is dead simple. I select “Enable Web Inspector” and point a webkit based browser at it and I’ve got all the tools I normally have in Chrome. In fact, it’s so awesome, I can point another browser tab in the Blackberry browser to the web inspector on the same Blackberry and it works. And from the looks of it, this is a part of webkit, so I’m guessing this over-the-network web inspector is available to the iPad and Nexus, but Apple and Google just haven’t enabled it, instead tying you to their preferred workflow.
So, when I loaded up my BiFission development up in the iPad, and something was broken, I ended up using the Blackberry to not only develop, but ran the code on that so I could get the errors.
On the plus side, the iPad did make a nice console viewer.