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Web and WebWorks Development

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BlackBerry Development Advisor (Retired)
astanley
Posts: 1,382
Registered: ‎07-02-2009
My Device: BlackBerry Bold 9900
My Carrier: Bell

BlackBerry HTML5/WebWorks Experience Review - your feedback welcome

Hello community!

 

As you'll see on the Developers Blog shortly, we are running an experience review today for the BlackBerry HTML5/WebWorks platform.

 

The goal is to put the Web dev platform under a microscope and find any cracks. What we're doing is uninstalling our SDKs and starting fresh.  We want to live the life of a developer approaching the BlackBerry platform for the first time:

 

  • How did you first get started?
  • In terms of setting up your environment and building your first app, did you ever encounter a point where you said "what's next?" and didn't know the answer?  Where/what?
  • What needs to be improved to make developing for BlackBerry HTML5 / WebWorks easier
  • etc.

 

Feedback from our community is always welcome.

 

Feel free to post on twitter #bbdevxp or add your reply to this tread.

 

Cheers,

Adam

 

Follow me on Twitter: @n_adam_stanley
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New Contributor
mpetrynka
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-03-2012
My Device: Playbook
My Carrier: Rogers

Re: BlackBerry HTML5/WebWorks Experience Review - your feedback welcome

I may have missed it in the docs and if I have, please point me to the right resources.

 

1. I assumed there would be a javascript library to include in the HTML5 pages.

2. Documentation for the SDK command line tools for debug token, package, and deploy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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poc
Contributor
poc
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎09-18-2011
My Device: Z10 LE
My Carrier: Movistar

Re: BlackBerry HTML5/WebWorks Experience Review - your feedback welcome

The part where I stayed the first time not knowing how to proceed was when once developed the app had to compile it and send it to the device and it was not clear how.
Currently happends when Im going to compile for BB10, my bat file that performs the compilation and deploy the app is canceled and not follow and I have to do it in parts

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Developer
ignites
Posts: 466
Registered: ‎04-11-2012
My Device: Bold 9900
My Carrier: Rogers

Re: BlackBerry HTML5/WebWorks Experience Review - your feedback welcome

Hi Adam thanks for giving us a chance to provide feed back . A lot of people ask me in other forums how do I get started in making an app. Of course I would assume they would know how to go to https://developer.blackberry.com/ but from a noob's perspective they dont know what is Native/HTML5/AIR/Cascades/Java , this is a bit overwhelming for someone starting out. My suggestion would be to have a BIG 'get started now!' banner on that website and direct people to the appropriate set of instructions to get started. My suggestion would be that the 'get started banner' would direct people to a page that has 2 sections: 1) I've never done programming before or I am a web programmer (this would direct people to the sample apps in the webworks section and 2) I am a seasoned C++/Java/Oops/other programmer (which would direct to cascades/native sample apps).

 

I think a lot of beginners would really apprecaite the simplicity of knowing what language they should use to get started with.

 

Hope this helps.!


Developer for easyDial for BlackBerry Bold & inLink for BlackBerry PlayBook
Find me online via twitter, or on the techfruits.com webpage. Please hit the like button below if what I said helped!
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Contributor
virtualscribe
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎05-04-2011
My Device: PlayBook, Z10, Dev Alpha B, Dev Alpha C
My Carrier: Sprint; wifi only for testing

Re: BlackBerry HTML5/WebWorks Experience Review - your feedback welcome

mpetrynka,

 

I was at the Blackberry Jam in Santa Clara just last week. 

 

The latest info I got:

 

1) BBUI.js (introduced around June of this year) is the javascript library which makes html5 function for both BB10 and PlayBook to create a native look and feel. It also works for bb7 scroll buttons, but mostly I am looking to develop for PlayBook and BB10.

 

Bbui, just like HP's webOS, is about creating a main index.html file, then simply inserting snippets of html code to speed up the process of showing the requested data. These snippets are called screens, the Action Bar holds your navigation, a very nice Back button function, and a few other key elements to create your app. This is one of the clearest introductions to the bbui.js framework.

 

http://opensourcebb.com/osbbx/index.php/tutorials/25-webworks-tutorials/bbui-js-tutorials/16-getting...

 

The Blackberry Github repository Wiki contains a good amount of reference material:

 

https://github.com/blackberry/bbUI.js/wiki

 

2) Documentation for WebWorks is listed at https://developer.blackberry.com/html5 

 

This lists the expected dates in an airline lookup table, for the WebWorks beta roadmap:

 

https://developer.blackberry.com/html5/download/roadmap

 

This section should give you all info for debug token, packaging, signing, and deploying.

 

https://developer.blackberry.com/html5/documentation

 

I'm not from BB, so my info may be outdated since last week. :smileywink:

===============

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Contributor
arnoldc
Posts: 35
Registered: ‎08-29-2012
My Device: Blackberry 10 Alpha Device
My Carrier: None

Re: BlackBerry HTML5/WebWorks Experience Review - your feedback welcome

There are many Mac developers out there and I can't believe Blackberry simulator isn't available natively on OS-X.  This is one big stumbling block, in my opinion.  Yes, I know I can install Fusion but I try to keep my laptop lean, not to mention there is a cost for it.    And Ripple emulator isn't quite there yet.   So I end up testing Playbook app solely on a real device.

 

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Developer
ignites
Posts: 466
Registered: ‎04-11-2012
My Device: Bold 9900
My Carrier: Rogers

Re: BlackBerry HTML5/WebWorks Experience Review - your feedback welcome

Me again,

 

Just naming other things that I hear from this (and other forums online) regarding Webworks. 

 

A lot of people install webworks expecting an icon or something to appear but to no avail lol. So my suggestion is to have a UI where people can type in the file locations, version etc (i know ripple does this but it does it really slowly) and have it package / run like that.

 

I am not sure if this is the solution or if it could be more clear on the site (regarding no UI), personally i've never had an issue (since I write my own batch files to package ww apps) but I read this as a common question via twitter or on forums.

 

Thanks again!


Developer for easyDial for BlackBerry Bold & inLink for BlackBerry PlayBook
Find me online via twitter, or on the techfruits.com webpage. Please hit the like button below if what I said helped!
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Developer
studiochris
Posts: 165
Registered: ‎10-26-2010
My Device: BlackBerry® PlayBook™
My Carrier: .

Re: BlackBerry HTML5/WebWorks Experience Review - your feedback welcome

[ Edited ]

One of my pain points with WebWorks is having to edit bbwp.properties with the debug token info. That step could be removed with adding -debugToken to the command line tools as in the AIR SDK or by asking for the debug token location (optionally) during setup and filling the file automatically.

 

This isn't a HUGE thing, just a small detail, but it is a minor annoyance and an extra step that has to be done with each new SDK setup. My preference would be for the SDK setup to be done and immediately ready for use once the installer has finished, especially with the more rapid updates as of late.

 

For packaging and deployment, while I haven't tested specifically with BB10 yet (I'm coming in from PlayBook... should have a Dev Alpha shortly), I tried to use Ripple a couple of times. The first time it didn't like that my OS username has a space in it and would cut paths off before the first space which caused everything that required the SDK to fail. I think that has been addressed in more recent updates though. I've also had problems with it not starting the packaging service required which I had to start manually from the command line, which partially removes the advantage of using Ripple.

 

In the end, I just worked the WebWorks SDK into my AIR app packaging solution, FruitBat,  and use that instead to bypass any Ripple packaging and deployment issues. I just drop in the config.xml file from my project folder, click a button and it's done with no aggravation, having to change settings per project or making sure something else is running outside of the browser extension. (Of note, it hasn't been updated for BB10 specifically at this point, but if the BB10 WebWorks SDK uses the same commands as the PlayBook WebWorks SDK... and I believe it does from the docs, it should work just the same with no changes required. Will investigate more when I have a device in hand for testing.)

 

I still use Ripple occasionally for simulation purposes, but mostly, I just use a plain Chrome tab.

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Developer
The_Anomaly
Posts: 322
Registered: ‎08-06-2012
My Device: Dev Alpha / Playbook / Curve 9300

Re: BlackBerry HTML5/WebWorks Experience Review - your feedback welcome

I learnt pretty much everything from the developer.blackberry site.

 

Recently I had a friend eager to develop ask where should he start.  I showed him where to look.  My experience is then this:

 

1.  The developer.blackberry is the coolest place to learn as it is so step by step you can't go wrong.

2.  Ripple is always the biggest hole in your chain mail so to speak!  Lousy releases with lots of bugs.  Why is the default release on the dev site always a beta release?  While teaching someone how to develop for blackberry I always have to work around ripple issues.  The issues posted almost all point to config, settings, or testing problems which again point to ripple.  While I really like ripple and how simple it is, it needs to work better.  Its the forefront to BB development.

3.  I recently discovered the Jam community - I also discovered I have an account there and lots of rewards points which have come from my assisting others.  I decided to use it more, but for developers it's really just a dashboard right now.  When you click on the forum posts it takes you aout of jam and into the forum where you need to login again. Weird.  It would be great if you could unify these sites somehow.

 

The development forums are definitely a key to learning, the docs and apis are awesome for learning, google picks up the forums and always places results tops and recent posts are there straight away (thats a plus).

If it helped you, click like. :smileyhappy:
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Trusted Contributor
usr501
Posts: 222
Registered: ‎03-03-2012
My Device: Ripple, LE Z10, Dev Alpha _C, Playbook, Bold 9900
My Carrier: rogers

Re: BlackBerry HTML5/WebWorks Experience Review - your feedback welcome

I come from a web development  background.

My scenario:

i watched the forums for a few months. then I selected JqueryMobile. Since the group of apps I was working on was considerable and would take several months putting together the story board of all information, scripts,css, etc. I had the luxury of continuing to watch the message boards.

I then selected Ant/Phonegap as my build platform. Still required Blackberry SDK's. I develop for OS6+, Playbook and now BB10.

OS6+ and playbook are built with Ant/phonegap/JqueryMobile.

BB10 uses the same Html5 ingredient/the same CSS, same Javascript for formulas plus  Blackberry SDK and it's own scripts with jquerymobile again as my choice.

Once I had property files setup for the environment. Ant/phonegap backend works like a charm to build. Jquerymobile provides a consistent look and feel for the front end.

I find that the RIM/Blackberry SDK setup is well thought out and works just as well. My learning curve for packaging /signing using WebWorks is excellent. I learned something new just the other day from Eric Johnzon regarding packaging.

Support from RIM is first class.

The help files in The SDK's are first class.

all in all It works very well. So well in fact that in 6 weeeks I have compiled 12 apps  to AppWorld. for the OS6+ and Playbook market and have  2 Apps ready for BB10 environment.

AppWorld Team is fast to approve and helped me with new keys to continue with a previous build and keys without having to start over .

I see the well thought out logic brought forth by the development team at Blackberry.

The forum community is extremely helpful with seasoned veterans helping beginners.

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