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kknuth
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎10-08-2008
My Device: Not Specified
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Planning for 5.0: many questions, not enough answers!

We would like to begin planning for the 5.0 browser launch and have many questions.  Hopefully Tneil or others can help...

 

1. Has a release date been announced yet?

2. What devices will come with it standard?

3. What previous devices will be able to upgrade to it?

4. What will the upgrade process be?

5. Will a minimum OS level be required?

6. What device APIs will be accessible?

  a. Blackberry GPS (lat/long reading)?

  b. Blackberry Maps (location mapping, directions?

  c. Blackberry Address Book (read from & write to)?

  d. Blackberry Calendar (read from & write to)?

  e. Blackberry Email (write to, with custom subject, body, and attachments).

7. Will an announcement be made on the Blackberry Developer's Blog site when available?

8. Is it too late to get in on the Beta?

9. What new Javascript functions/classes will be supported?

 

Thanks for any and all info you can provide.  This will really help us plan for future development activity. :smileyhappy:

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New Developer
kknuth
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎10-08-2008
My Device: Not Specified

Re: Planning for 5.0: many questions, not enough answers!

FYI, this presentation from WES answered some of my questions around specific APIs:

http://www.wesconference.net/2009/published/sessions/WE12/WE12_RIM_Neil_May3.pdf

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BlackBerry Development Advisor
tneil
Posts: 3,708
Registered: ‎10-16-2008
My Device: Z10
My Carrier: Rogers

Re: Planning for 5.0: many questions, not enough answers!

Lots of questions... let me see what I can do to provide some answers.  Lots of the questions are around 5.0 and supported devices so I can't really comment on those until RIM makes that information public.  To be clear.. any new API's are in BlackBerry widgets and not in the general browser.

 

1. Has a release date been announced yet?

There hasn't been a release date for 5.0 or the BlackBerry widget tooling announced yet.  However, you can be sure that there will be lots of information at the BlackBerry Developer Conference around widgets, so you can draw your conclusions from there :smileyhappy:

 

2. What devices will come with it standard?

Sorry, I can't really comment on this one 

 

3. What previous devices will be able to upgrade to it?

Sorry, I can't really comment on this one 

 

4. What will the upgrade process be?

Sorry, I can't really comment on this one 

 

5. Will a minimum OS level be required?

For BlackBerry widgets, a minum OS version of 5.0 will be required

 

6. What device APIs will be accessible? 

  a. Blackberry GPS (lat/long reading)?
Yes, check out the Gears Geolocation API for specifics

  b. Blackberry Maps (location mapping, directions?
   Yes you will be able to launch BlackBerry Maps with location details

  c. Blackberry Address Book (read from & write to)?
Yes you will have Address Book functionality

  d. Blackberry Calendar (read from & write to)?
Yes you will have Calendar functionality

  e. Blackberry Email (write to, with custom subject, body, and attachments).
Yes you will have email functionality.. not sure if attachements will make the first release or not

 

7. Will an announcement be made on the Blackberry Developer's Blog site when available?

Yes there will be announcements made on the developers Blog as well as further details around API's and functionality
 

8. Is it too late to get in on the Beta?
If you are an ISV partner you should check with your BlackBerry representative to see if there are any early beta's available. 

9. What new Javascript functions/classes will be supported? 

Too many to mention in this post :smileyhappy:  We are hoping to get some of the API docs uploaded soon

Tim Neil
Director, Application Platform & Tools Product Management
Follow me on Twitter
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New Developer
kknuth
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎10-08-2008
My Device: Not Specified

Re: Planning for 5.0: many questions, not enough answers!

Thanks Tneil.  We'll try to be patient!

 

The details about how widgets will be run completely seperate from the browser was important to understand.

 

I am struggling to understand the value of widgets though.  It would seem that the value of developing Web Apps for mobile devices is the "write once, deploy to many platforms" idea.  However, with the widget approach I will have to write a platform specific Web Apps for Blackberry devices (that are later transformed into a widget) and another version of the same web app (without the Blackberry API calls) for other mobile devices.  How can I use the widget technology but still write one Web App for all mobile devices? 

This may need a separate thread! :smileysad:

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BlackBerry Development Advisor
tneil
Posts: 3,708
Registered: ‎10-16-2008
My Device: Z10
My Carrier: Rogers

Re: Planning for 5.0: many questions, not enough answers!

The concepts behind our BlackBerry widgets are about building two main scenarios:

 

1) A standalone client application for the device using HTML, CSS and JavaScript without having to go out and learn Java for BlackBerry.  Providing an alternative high-level familiar technology for building the same types of applications you would create in Java.  Of course, there is the 3D gaming world that is best served with Java.  But what we have available to widgets allows you to build most any other type of application.  The idea is that you can choose the technology that best suits your needs.  You can also write your own custom Java to extend your widget if you so desire.  So it isn't an either-or scenario.

 

2) A mashup of both client side and server side resources.  Again providing an application feel for your end user, but allowing you to leverage your server side assets you have already created and extending them to do some very integrated things on the BlackBerry.  As an example, instead of writing a search in your client app that would say return XML and then provide the user with a results interface based on the XML, you can instead pass the search to the server, and have the server return the renderd HTML back into the widget user interface with specific JavaScript markup that may provide interaction with local resources such as PIM.  Or make all of your application be local and link in your CSS from remote sites so you can still morph your UI dynamically from a server, but leave the application logic on the device.

 

It really opens up a variety of new possibilities for unique applications that have not been possible before. 

 

For any write once run anywhere functionality, you absolutely need to stick to standards oriented functionality.  And we realize that and support that in our standards based browser.  What we are doing with widgets is adding to this standards based browser by extending it in a BlackBerry widget.  Leaving the browser to be standards oriented, and extending functionality only in a targetted BlackBerry widget.

 

You can write a BlackBerry widget that pulls in all your resources from you web server (as long as your domains are listed in a whitelist). In a BlackBerry widget you can specify your own custom header that is passed down on every web request so that you know the request for the content is coming from your widget.  You can then have your server based web content react to this heeader and add functionality to the markup specific to the BlackBerry.  It would be the same type of approach if you wanted to provide one website but target certain specific browser capabilities that are available in browser A and not in browser B.

 

Clear as Mudd?  :smileyhappy: 

Tim Neil
Director, Application Platform & Tools Product Management
Follow me on Twitter
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