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Lester_Burnham
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎04-14-2012
My Device: Playbook
My Carrier: O2

Eclipse? Qt Creator? Where to start?! I'm confused!

Hello everybody! I'm new here, so I'll quickly introduce myself. My name's Pete and although I'm not a software developer, I do have to do some C++ coding as part of my engineering job (and use the Eclipse IDE! Hooray!) Last month I bought a PlayBook and noticing that there weren't many free apps targetting the PlayBook, I thought it would be nice to try and boost the library!

 

So, last week I downloaded the NDK after reading some of the documentation. After some initial confusion and a lot of reading, I discovered that when you program for the PlayBook, you really are programming it "raw" so to speak. There are no "built-in" widgets to call via APIs... This can be a blessing or a curse depending on what you are trying to acheive!

 

So I read some more and discover that Qt should fill this gap. "Great!" I thought, but now I've downloaded and installed Qt from the link on this page:http://openbbnews.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/qt-update/ and I have no idea how to get started...

 

I have read the instructions here: http://wiki.qt-project.org/QNX - but they refer to using the command line in Linux. I wouldn't rule this out, but I was hoping to do the development on my laptop which currently runs Windows 7 and I don't want to install Linux just to develop for the Playbook.

 

The bigger confusion for me is what IDE (if any) I should be using?

 

The instructions I've linked to above show you how to build a project entirely from the command line without using an IDE. This is nice to know, but I'm sure it would be better to use an IDE. Should I be learning a new IDE (Qt Creator) or can I call in the libraries using Eclipse (my preferred solution), or do I really have to go back to basics and use the command line?

 

Any guidance would be gratefully received as I'm quite excited by the potential power within the Playbook, but as of right now I feel ill-equipped to tap into it. :-(

 

Thanks in advance,
Pete

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Developer
jheron
Posts: 188
Registered: ‎01-27-2012
My Device: playbook
My Carrier: ...

Re: Eclipse? Qt Creator? Where to start?! I'm confused!

Hi Pete,

See here for the links to the Qt-bb windows SDK for the playbook: http://openbbnews.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/qt-update-2/

With that you can deploy and debug on your pb or on your desktop.

You could also use the standard Qt SDK or creator to develop your apps and then just deploy them to your pb via the command line. The nice thing about the standard Qt SDK is you can use the speedy nokia simulator to test and debug your app until your at the the point where you want to deploy it.

The Qt SDK comes with lots of examples and tutorials to get you started.

If you want to use qml, I ported over the symbian components for playbook, I put up some instructions and the files for them here: http://supportforums.blackberry.com/t5/Native-SDK-for-BlackBerry-Tablet/QML-symbian-qt-components-fo...

Though the symbian components will not be needed for long as the cascades qml components should be released next month...

Good luck!

Jon

 

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Developer
BikeAtor
Posts: 62
Registered: ‎03-31-2012
My Device: Playbook
My Carrier: None

Re: Eclipse? Qt Creator? Where to start?! I'm confused!

I'm using QtCreator for Qt-development and eclipse for Java. Qt-Creator is a good tool for c++.

 

It's possible to use Qt-Creator under Windows. I use Windows XP in a Virtualbox. So I don't mess up my Windows 7.

 

You can develop for Windows first. Then test it and compile it for thr Playbook. Qt-Mobility is not supported on Playbook yet, so have to stick to Qt-Core at the moment and use NDK features for the mobile things.

 

I hope I find some time to write an Howto the next few days how to set up the things for a simple project.

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Developer
peter9477
Posts: 6,473
Registered: ‎12-08-2010
My Device: PlayBook, Z10
My Carrier: none

Re: Eclipse? Qt Creator? Where to start?! I'm confused!


Lester_Burnham wrote:
.... After some initial confusion and a lot of reading, I discovered that when you program for the PlayBook, you really are programming it "raw" so to speak. There are no "built-in" widgets to call via APIs...
...

The bigger confusion for me is what IDE (if any) I should be using?

...
can I call in the libraries using Eclipse (my preferred solution), ...?

My short answer for this is to wait until after the first week of May, when the BlackBerry 10 Jam Conference will take place in Orlando. 

 

After that we should have a beta Cascades SDK available, usable from Momentics (i.e. your preferred solution of Eclipse), and it will provide native UI widgets rather than making you roll your own as you'd still have to do if you wanted to "make it look like a PlayBook app" using raw Qt or QML.

 

You can see a fair bit of detail in what's listed already in the Session Catalog here http://www.blackberryjamconference.com/content/sessions

 

Or you could just arrange to go to the conference! It is probably a must attend event for anyone seriously interested in the future of BB10 development, especially those planning to use the Native SDK and Qt/Cascades.


Peter Hansen -- (BB10 and dev-related blog posts at http://peterhansen.ca.)
Author of White Noise and Battery Guru for BB10 and for PlayBook | Get more from your battery!
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New Contributor
Lester_Burnham
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎04-14-2012
My Device: Playbook
My Carrier: O2

Re: Eclipse? Qt Creator? Where to start?! I'm confused!

Hi guys,

 

Thank you for the fast and helpful responses! So from what I can tell, Qt is the way to go and I should just ignore Momentics (Eclipse) for now. Reading between the lines in the Session Catalog (thanks for the link Peter) it sounds like Qt is going to be sticking around, and that Cascades is going to be "Qt-like" (or does it actually incorporate Qt?)

 

I did consider the "sit-and-wait" option, but I'm thinking that I would rather be working on something than waiting 3/4 weeks for a potential beta of Cascades. If I sit around waiting, I may end up getting sucked back into Android development and may never return to BB!

 

I'm surprised at how complicated it is to develop for the PB when it's been around for over a year. I've never programmed Java before, and yet I had a "Mickey Mouse" program up and running within hours using the Android NDK last year.

 

It's a shame that the NDK for PB has taken so long to appear and that the documentation is so disjointed. I really hope BlackBerry 10 brings some sort of cohesion. I think that by focusing on the native development and not trying to be all things to all men, Google have made the path to Android development a much clearer one.

 

Anyway, I'm rambling now. :Offtopic:

 

I guess I'll delve into Qt some more and see if I can learn something.

 

BikeAtor - I'd be really interested in reading a simple how-to if you get around to writing one! :smileyhappy:

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Developer
peter9477
Posts: 6,473
Registered: ‎12-08-2010
My Device: PlayBook, Z10
My Carrier: none

Re: Eclipse? Qt Creator? Where to start?! I'm confused!

Cascades will be a package consisting of at least several things, with details still sketchy.

One is a Momentics plugin, which apparently includes some UI designer stuff similar to what you can see in QtCreator.

Another part of the package is the UI widgets, which likely a crudely simplistic label for the set of UI elements, animations, and other features which Cascades will be bringing as native Qt components. I suppose you could say "Cascades incorporates Qt". I'm expecting to think of it as "Cascades builds on top of Qt" or just "Cascades includes a widget-set and other stuff for Qt". You'll be able to use either QML or C++ classes, so that implies it's very tightly integrated. As I understand it, where other Qt component libraries provide conventional buttons, checkboxes, text fields, and so on, we'll have exactly those elements (and more), with compatible APIs (or a superset), allowing many existing Qt apps to be migrated over and immediately sport a "PlayBook look and feel" to the extent that kind of thing is possible.

Point taken about not wanting to sit and wait, so just keep an eye on the overall direction and in the meantime absorb as much of Qt and related stuff as you can, think about how this will all likely work together with the NDK etc, and probably watch the BB10 Jam action as closely as possible at all times.

One caveat about the Jam stuff: developers who attend will be receiving a "BB10 Dev Alpha" device, which will have some phone-like form factor, probably running a beta OS which will bundle binaries for all the Qt and Cascades stuff. Whether or not the same beta will be available in simulator form, or for PlayBook owners to install (similar to how we could have our PINs whitelisted for the 2.0 beta) is still unclear. It's possible there will be some period during which on-device binaries will be available only to those who get an Alpha, though for the sake of those who can't attend I really hope not.

Peter Hansen -- (BB10 and dev-related blog posts at http://peterhansen.ca.)
Author of White Noise and Battery Guru for BB10 and for PlayBook | Get more from your battery!
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Trusted Contributor
georg22
Posts: 245
Registered: ‎11-22-2011
My Device: Blackberry Playbook
My Carrier: vodafone

Re: Eclipse? Qt Creator? Where to start?! I'm confused!

Are there any plans to integrate cascades into qt creator?

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Developer
rcmaniac25
Posts: 1,804
Registered: ‎04-28-2009
My Device: Z10 (STL100-4)-10.2.1.2174, Z10 (STL100-3)-10.3.0.700 Dev OS, Z30 (STA100-5)-10.3.0.700 Dev OS, PlayBook (16GB)-2.1.0.1917
My Carrier: Verizon

Re: Eclipse? Qt Creator? Where to start?! I'm confused!

I doubt it. Read the response I got on the Visual Studio plugin (see comments, I have the same username as here).

 

They don't have anything official for QT Creator.

 

If they don't bring over Cascades to an official plugin that isn't Momentics, I don't think they will bring it over to an unoffical one.

 

If the community builds one, that's a different story.

---Spends time in #blackberrydev on freenode (IRC)----
Three simple rules:
1. Please use the search bar before making new posts.
2. "Like" posts that you find helpful.
3. If a solution has been found for your post, mark it as solved.
--I code too much. Well, too bad.
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Developer
jheron
Posts: 188
Registered: ‎01-27-2012
My Device: playbook
My Carrier: ...

Re: Eclipse? Qt Creator? Where to start?! I'm confused!

Cascades is built on top of the QtCore framework, so I would say there will be no need for a plugin its just going to work in creator by selecting the cascades libs. Qt creator is likely where it has been developed too.

This is just speculation on my part, but considering what cascades is there is no doubt in my mind...

Cheers,

Jon

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Trusted Contributor
georg22
Posts: 245
Registered: ‎11-22-2011
My Device: Blackberry Playbook
My Carrier: vodafone

Re: Eclipse? Qt Creator? Where to start?! I'm confused!

@rcmaniac

thanks for the link. I see now, that the current sdk was made for java and c++ developer who are very familiar with eclipse. But i thought, that QML is so easy to use, that even web developer could/should use it, especially to get best performance. 

AFAIK  it will be possible in Qt 5 to make apps without c++, because there are QML wrapper for everthing.  But now i dont think, that RIM will bring Cascades to this level. So it will be something only for the c++ guys.

By the way, I tried to install the Momentics IDE and run a sample app on the simulator with no success after days. I never had Problems with FlashBuilder (also Eclipse) and the WP7 tools. They just worked.




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