04-14-2012 06:07 AM
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-upda
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,
04-14-2012 08:32 AM
See here for the links to the Qt-bb windows SDK for the playbook: http://openbbnews.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/qt-upda
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-
Though the symbian components will not be needed for long as the cascades qml components should be released next month...
04-14-2012 08:43 AM
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.
04-14-2012 10:39 AM
.... 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/ses
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.
04-14-2012 02:19 PM
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.
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!
04-14-2012 02:30 PM
05-04-2012 04:20 PM
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.
05-04-2012 04:48 PM
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...
05-04-2012 05:57 PM
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.