JUniversal
JUniversal

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Web Starter Kit
Web Starter Kit

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136
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JUniversal vs Web Starter Kit: What are the differences?

Developers describe JUniversal as "A new, Java-based approach to cross-platform mobile apps (used by Google Inbox and Google Spreadsheets)". The vision of JUniversal came from some guys at Nokia who possess considerable expertise both in Java and in building cross-platform apps. They built this tool to provide an elegant way to translate source code and make it useful across multiple platforms. JUniversal offers you the freedom to write your shared code in Java and then translate it to C# (available now) or to C++/Objective C++ (coming soon). You can also combine JUniversal with Google’s j2objc translator to translate Java to Objective-C for iOS. On the other hand, Web Starter Kit is detailed as "Boilerplate & Tooling for Multi-Device Development". Web Starter Kit is a starting point for multi-screen web development. It encompasses opinionated recommendations on boilerplate and tooling for building an experience that works great across multiple devices. We help you stay productive and aligned with the best practices outlined in Google's Web Fundamentals.

JUniversal and Web Starter Kit can be categorized as "Cross-Platform Mobile Development" tools.

Some of the features offered by JUniversal are:

  • OAuth (based on Scribe)
  • JSON
  • Unit testing (JUnit)

On the other hand, Web Starter Kit provides the following key features:

  • Multi-device responsive boilerplate
  • Living component style guide
  • Cross-device Synchronization

JUniversal and Web Starter Kit are both open source tools. Web Starter Kit with 18.6K GitHub stars and 3.21K forks on GitHub appears to be more popular than JUniversal with 132 GitHub stars and 22 GitHub forks.

What is JUniversal?

The vision of JUniversal came from some guys at Nokia who possess considerable expertise both in Java and in building cross-platform apps. They built this tool to provide an elegant way to translate source code and make it useful across multiple platforms. JUniversal offers you the freedom to write your shared code in Java and then translate it to C# (available now) or to C++/Objective C++ (coming soon). You can also combine JUniversal with Google’s j2objc translator to translate Java to Objective-C for iOS.

What is Web Starter Kit?

Web Starter Kit is a starting point for multi-screen web development. It encompasses opinionated recommendations on boilerplate and tooling for building an experience that works great across multiple devices. We help you stay productive and aligned with the best practices outlined in Google's Web Fundamentals.

Want advice about which of these to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

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        What tools integrate with JUniversal?
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        What are some alternatives to JUniversal and Web Starter Kit?
        React Native
        React Native enables you to build world-class application experiences on native platforms using a consistent developer experience based on JavaScript and React. The focus of React Native is on developer efficiency across all the platforms you care about - learn once, write anywhere. Facebook uses React Native in multiple production apps and will continue investing in React Native.
        Ionic
        Free and open source, Ionic offers a library of mobile and desktop-optimized HTML, CSS and JS components for building highly interactive apps. Use with Angular, React, Vue, or plain JavaScript.
        Xamarin
        Xamarin’s Mono-based products enable .NET developers to use their existing code, libraries and tools (including Visual Studio*), as well as skills in .NET and the C# programming language, to create mobile applications for the industry’s most widely-used mobile devices, including Android-based smartphones and tablets, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
        Apache Cordova
        Apache Cordova is a set of device APIs that allow a mobile app developer to access native device function such as the camera or accelerometer from JavaScript. Combined with a UI framework such as jQuery Mobile or Dojo Mobile or Sencha Touch, this allows a smartphone app to be developed with just HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
        PhoneGap
        PhoneGap is a web platform that exposes native mobile device apis and data to JavaScript. PhoneGap is a distribution of Apache Cordova. PhoneGap allows you to use standard web technologies such as HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript for cross-platform development, avoiding each mobile platforms' native development language. Applications execute within wrappers targeted to each platform, and rely on standards-compliant API bindings to access each device's sensors, data, and network status.
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        Google uses JUniversalJUniversal

        Comment from HackerNews (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8998736)

        This is how Google Inbox and Google Spreadsheets works. See the slides from my recently produced GWT Create Session (http://t.co/ZvoaHxCoZT). J2ObjC slide deck here (https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1mW_Plm5jAygELf7qjVK7...) Videos of the conference will be online soon.

        Prior to that, some 20% Googlers also produced the PlayN library (https://github.com/threerings/playn) This was taken over by Michael Bayne who added an iOS backend by Bytecode -> IKVM -> Mono conversion. I beleive j2objc and RoboVM backends exist now as well.

        The major benefit of the j2objc approach is the avoidance of GC in favor of ARC, the conversion of message-sends into C-method calls when possible, and integration with existing iOS toolchain.

        When we started, it seemed like an iffy idea, but after developing a product delivered to millions of users on a high volume site (gmail) that has 70% code sharing, and being able to simultaneously develop, test, and deploy across the platforms reasonably efficiently, a lot of skeptics have become converts to the concept.

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