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Posts: 38
Registered: ‎12-06-2011
My Device: Playbook 64GB, Curve 9360, BB Z10 LE
My Carrier: Koodo
Accepted Solution

Signed app crashes on launch



I completed developing my application today and am finally ready to build a signed version and submit it. I followed these exact instructions : http://supportforums.blackberry.com/t5/Cascades-Development-Knowledge/How-to-generate-a-BAR-file-to-... However when I installed my app using DDPB Installer, the app crashes on launch. This never happened and still doesn't happen if I launch an unsigned but release version of the app. (also installed using DDPB) Any ideas what is causing this issue? I can provide the broken bar file if that will help.





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

Re: Signed app crashes on launch

Define "crash".

Also, does your app by any chance assume that it can write to the app/ folder where the code and assets are stored? In true release mode, that is not possible as the folder is read-only.

You mentioned "unsigned but release version"... if it's really a release version, which means the "Application-Development-Mode" setting in the MANIFEST.MF file is either not present, or set to False, then you *cannot* install it unsigned, so you must be doing something wrong, or are misunderstanding or misusing whatever "release mode" feature you're trying to use.

You can check the actual status of your .bar file by unzipping it with any zip program (since it's just a zip file with a different file extension) and inspecting the META-INF/MANIFEST.MF text file that you'll find inside. Look for that Application-Development-Mode thing and if it's there and set to True, then you've got another problem... (Note that you can't sign apps that have that set true either, so you couldn't actually submit such a .bar to the vendor portal.)

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!
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎12-06-2011
My Device: Playbook 64GB, Curve 9360, BB Z10 LE
My Carrier: Koodo

Re: Signed app crashes on launch

Thanks for the reply Peter,


Apologies for the misuse of terms here. By crash I mean - immediately when I open the app it closes, so that I never even see the splash screen. Note the first time I opened it the application permissions dialog did show, but as soon as I pressed ok, that app closed.

By release build I meant I had built it using the "device-release" configuration, but after checking the MANIFEST.MF file I can see : "Application-Development-Mode: true", so I definitely misunderstood what that was doing. I also checked the signed build and have pasted a copy below.

Also, as far as I know I am not assuming I have access to the assets folder. I used the quotes sample app and can confirm the database I am using in my app is being copied to the data folder. Other than that I am not using files in the file system.






Archive-Manifest-Version: 1.5
Archive-Created-By: BlackBerry Cascades BAR Packager 1.8

Package-Type: application
Package-Author: Gerry Moerkerken
Package-Name: moerkerkenBert.ExpenseTracker
Package-Architecture: armle-v7
Package-Author-Certificate-Hash: Sk7793vziRJP7GOZm5eWlIgSbn4F3PTZvOUdFMUjP_FCsYli9L4XKHXPZwLdFveLYvZHdKb7N93tPXa8iOeE-w
Package-Author-Id: gYAAgGSSkDphPRunwOjjSOnmHNk
Package-Id: gYABgAHBhrPkh00OK86MLk-xSaE
Package-Version-Id: gYACgKCtMio5Kt_-IeK-yHIgsBE
Package-Issue-Date: 2012-12-31T23:21:18Z

Application-Name: Expense Tracker
Application-Description: This application helps you keep track of where your money is going, who owes you money, and who you owe money to.
Application-Category: core.media
Application-Requires-System: BlackBerry 10/
Application-Development-Mode: false
Application-Id: gYADgIbLfEbB-q1p3GN-OGyhy3A
Application-Version-Id: gYAEgCo1KJe-NAlm83DF8Wj_Atc

Entry-Point-Name: Expense Tracker
Entry-Point-Key: e1
Entry-Point: LD_LIBRARY_PATH=app/native/lib:/usr/lib/qt4/lib app/native/ExpenseTracker
Entry-Point-Type: Qnx/Cascades
Entry-Point-Icon: native/icon.png
Entry-Point-Orientation: portrait
Entry-Point-User-Actions: bbm_connect
Entry-Point-System-Actions: run_native

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

Re: Signed app crashes on launch

It's a bit tricky to troubleshoot such problems, because you can't see into the sandbox area for the signed app, including its log file.  Note that Device-Debug and Device-Release differ only in terms of having debugging stuff enabled, but both do have that development-mode flag set true. With Momentics, only the "export release build" feature would generate a .bar that has that turned to false, and sign the app.  (From the command line, the key difference is whether the -devMode flag has been specified.)


One thing you can do is unzip the signed .bar file, remove the files in META-INF other than MANIFEST.MF, edit MANIFEST.MF to make that development mode flag read "true", and zip the whole set of files back up again.  You've now "unsigned" the .bar file, and should be able to install it via the usual debug-token route and see logs/log this time.


If you do that and run the app again, you may see some additional sign of the problem (e.g. in logs/log) and can make some progress at tracking it down.


If you do that and the app suddenly works, then check very carefully for the thing I described above where it assumes it has write access to the app/ area, since there are almost no other relevant differences between a signed and an unsigned (devmode) app.


Depending on how things go, you may also need to instrument your app with additional logging output and/or modify the startup so that it's more robust in the face of certain failures. Sometimes I have the app create a secondary log file in shared/misc (giving it the access_shared permission in the bar-descriptor file, of course), and append to that as the very first thing in the main() code. If you don't see that appear after the crash, you know for certain the problem isn't in your own code but in the way the package was built or such things.


What about missing libraries?  Does app/native/ExpenseTracker want some extra .so file or something which you're somehow not bundling in the signed release build?  Compare the contents of the two .bar files to check for differences in the files present (aside from the extra four you'll see in META-INF for the signed app.. those aren't likely relevant here).

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!
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎12-06-2011
My Device: Playbook 64GB, Curve 9360, BB Z10 LE
My Carrier: Koodo

Re: Signed app crashes on launch

Thanks again Peter,


I've been trying to solve this for way too long, and all seems of no avail. First I did a compare of the bar files (by extracting to zip) - they are, other than the 4 files in META-INF, identical. Then I tried to make an unsigned bar out of a signed, as you described, and that bar file will not install onto the device. My next step was to try creating a signed app from another project (I used the sample cookbook app). This app installs and works without issue, so I know its not my method of signing or my signing keys. Then I created a brand new project and copied my source from the old to the new project (in case some configurations or something have broken since I created the project back in October). The new project aso works fine in debug mode, but the signed app again fails. I went through the code looking for any code that might be causing the issue. First I removed the BBM registration, then I removed all the database code temporarily, but the app still refuses to launch. My final step was to uninstall ndk, and reinstall it, but again no luck.

Anything else you can think of that might be worth trying. After all this time and effort, it would really suck to see my first attempt at an app-world app fail because of a signing issue. (I need it done by Jan 11)





Posts: 38
Registered: ‎12-06-2011
My Device: Playbook 64GB, Curve 9360, BB Z10 LE
My Carrier: Koodo

Re: Signed app crashes on launch

I tried one more thing that you mentioned and that is to write to a "log" file in the shared folder of the device so I can see if I ever get into main. Here's the code I used :


int main(int argc, char **argv)
QString newFileName = QDir::currentPath() + "/shared/documents/log.txt";
QFile newFile(newFileName);
newFile.write(QString("I got here!").toStdString().c_str());
Application app(argc, argv);
const QString uuid(QLatin1String("e5e9b6a8-a8ac-43e3-892a-4aa7eaa518fa"));
RegistrationHandler *registrationHandler = new RegistrationHandler(uuid,
// initiate fixit app
ExpenseTracker *expenseTracker = new ExpenseTracker(registrationHandler->context(), &app);
// wait for bbm registered signal to be emitted before starting the app.
QObject::connect(registrationHandler, SIGNAL(registered()), expenseTracker,
// we complete the transaction started in the app constructor and start the client event loop here
return Application::exec();
// when loop is exited the Application deletes the scene which deletes all its children (per qt rules for children)

 When I run the debug version of the app it launches fine and I see the log file created in the shared/documents folder with the text. However, when I built another signed build, and ran it, the log file is not created. Would this be convincing proof that I have a nasty build issue somewhere? (I've never been too good at solving those compared to coding issues)





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

Re: Signed app crashes on launch

That code is basically the first stuff that's run, and it doesn't work, so then you likely do have a weird build problem. Only thing I can suggest is checking how you do with a simple "Hello World" app that does basically nothing. If that works, then gradually add pieces from your own setup until it either fails, or you've got it all in and working (at which point you'd probably have resolved the issue).

You might also try to figure out why the "unsigning" doesn't work. When I do that to signed bars from others (when helping them find problems), I change only three things: 1. remove the four "signing" files, 2. change/add the "application-development-mode: true" entry, and 3. change package author and authorid to match those I use in my debug token.

One other thing with that: if your method of re-zipping might add separate entries for folders, I think it fails. I use a command line zip program, inside the original unzip .bar top-level folder (after making my changes), with "zip -rD * ../app-unsigned.bar" as the command. The -D option says "do not add directory entries". Depending on the approach you used, this issue might explain it.

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!
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎12-06-2011
My Device: Playbook 64GB, Curve 9360, BB Z10 LE
My Carrier: Koodo

Re: Signed app crashes on launch

Thanks for the help Peter,


Starting with a working app and slowly adding my pieces fixed the issue! Now I can submit to app world. I strongly feel the issue was due to me copying complete source files into the project, rather than creating the source files and then copying the code, but I can't be sure, and at this point it doesn't matter since the issue is solved. 


Thanks again,