The last time I remember not being able to find a suitable framework from which to build a website off of was around 2000.
I find myself with that feeling again with mobile development. I have tried multiple libraries, each with their pros and cons. I recently decided to dive into Sencha touch to see if it could be my plug and play framework to create interesting effects.
While Sencha Touch has glimpses of genius, it still falls far behind where a viable mobile framework needs to be. Their own example site runs horribly on my iPhone 4 on a 3G connection. On the Sencha Touch demo page, not a SINGLE demo worked as expected 100% of the time.
And in all reality, not a single library performs well on a 3G connection. A compartmentalized version of jQuery is the only thing that I have found that is the proper file size and provides the proper user experience for all smart phone users.
The truth of the matter is, while the demos may work great in a native app, they just don’t work well in the real world. When you actually have to deploy something to tens of thousands of users on the mobile web, there really isn’t a framework that has the performance needed to give the visitors the experience they desire.
I have resorted to using a combination of CSS3 and jQuery on my projects because it is the only predictable solution that gives a great user experience every time.
As I look back at Sencha, they continue to approach their library as some sort of a comparison to everything that is out there and place the success of their company on constantly “one-upping” the competition. When in reality, if they just created a modularized framework that allowed the inclusion and exclusion of certain components with graceful degradation built in, they would have a framework that would not only work for a native app, but it would be the first that truly worked for the mobile web.