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New Developer
cherryaa
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎11-21-2009
My Device: Not Specified
Accepted Solution

Beginner questions!

[ Edited ]

Hello :smileyhappy:

 

I've just bought a BlackBerry Pearl 8120.

 

I got it because I'm a Web developer, and realised that my sites are rendering quite poorly on smart phones like the BlackBerry and iPhone. I'm finding it next to impossible to work out how to fix this!!

 

My first question, then, is: Where can I find a primer on the newest mobile OSs, and how to code for their browsers?

 

I have some other pressing queries, too:

 

  • Is it possible to code a site for, say, my BB Pearl, and find it will then render well on other smartphones? (I mean, is there a generic protocol that will work)
  • Does the BlackBerry have a problem with jQuery? Mine isn't running, but I thought it did work with mobile devices?
  • HOW did you do that excellent sideways-slide transition in Facebook for BB? I want that!!
  • ... Not unrelated: I can't get the viewport values returned from my Pearl. What's wrong?

My little test page is here: http://internetfocusuk.com/test.php

 

All criticisms, advice and pointers will be slavishly followed ...

 

Thanks!

Cherry.

 

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Developer
davidmccormack
Posts: 168
Registered: ‎11-01-2008
My Device: Galaxy S II
My Carrier: Meteor (Ireland)

Re: Beginner questions!

I'm not sufficiently experienced in web dev to answer your question about how to create pages that will render well on most of the popular mobile platforms. But I imagine that if you stick to HTML 4.01 'strict' and be cognisant of the tiny screens and very high dpi when choosing font sizes, this will get you a lot of the way. Using something like jQuery will also help as it smooths over differences between different browsers.

 

Whether or not jQuery actually works will most likely depend on the version of the BlackBerry OS running on your device. RIM have made very significant improvements to the browser in the three most recent OS versions (4.6, 4.7 and 5.0) with the latest of these handling jQuery very well. One thing to watch for if you use jQuery is that it is quite slow to parse - it takes about 3 seconds on my Bold 9000 and 7 seconds on my Storm 9500. The latter is running an early-ish beta build of OS 5.0 so this time might come down a bit in production builds.

 

The Facebook app is written in Java so I'm afraid it's not going to be very easy for you to achieve the sideways slide transition in a web app! In fact, even if you were to develop a Java app it wouldn't necessarily be easy for you to achieve that effect. The reason is that the Facebook app is written by RIM themselves and, as such, has access to APIs beyond those that the rest of us are limited to. I'm only sayin'... :smileyhappy:

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New Developer
cherryaa
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎11-21-2009
My Device: Not Specified

Re: Beginner questions!

Really helpful, David, thanks :smileyhappy:

 

I currently use a 'handheld' CSS that makes everything dead plain, but this isn't a workable solution with smart phones. I wanted to avoid doing separate treatments for mobiles - maybe it's necessary now, though, at least until their capabilities are more standardised.   

 

Mine's running OS 4.5, which is the latest version according to BlackBerry. That'll be why my jQuery isn't working ... and why I shouldn't use it. Darn.

 

I'm disappointed about the side-sliding pages - but you've saved me untold hours of trying to figure it out!!

 

Cheers.

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Developer
davidmccormack
Posts: 168
Registered: ‎11-01-2008
My Device: Galaxy S II
My Carrier: Meteor (Ireland)

Re: Beginner questions!

Yeah, OS 4.5 could very well be the latest available version you the Pearl 8120 and I'd be guessing that they won't be going any higher than that.

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Developer
davidmccormack
Posts: 168
Registered: ‎11-01-2008
My Device: Galaxy S II
My Carrier: Meteor (Ireland)

Re: Beginner questions!

I just came across page 12-13 in the following document. It is a series of tables detailing the capabilities of the BlackBerry browser from OS 3.7 right up to 5.0. As I was saying yesterday, a lot of stuff (including DOM manipulation and AJAX) didn't become available until 4.6.

 

http://docs.blackberry.com/en/developers/deliverables/11949/BlackBerry_Widget_SDK-Fundamentals_Guide...

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New Developer
MauiBoy
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎12-08-2009
My Device: Not Specified

Re: Beginner questions!

Wow -- that's a really useful table!  I never would have thought to look in the Widget SDK guide for web standards that are supported.  Good to know why I've been pulling my hair out trying to support 4.5.x.x devices now.  Ugh.

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New Developer
cherryaa
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎11-21-2009
My Device: Not Specified

Re: Beginner questions!

That really is helpful, David - thank you!

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