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Web and WebWorks Development

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BlackBerry Development Advisor
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BlackBerry WebWorks Tooling Evolved

Web Standards and Embracing the Web

 

As we’ve been pushing forward with BlackBerry® WebWorks™ and embracing the web on the BlackBerry® platform, we’ve made some important moves. First, we brought WebKit to the BlackBerry platform, which now powers our browser on both the BlackBerry® Tablet OS and the BlackBerry smartphone OS with fantastic web standards support and wicked HTML5 capabilities.

 

<snip>

 Out with the Old and In with the New

In the spirit of openness, we want to let the community know that with our concentration on the new Ripple emulation environment we will be retiring the BlackBerry WebWorks plug-ins for Visual Studio and Eclipse.

 

This is just a small part of the post taken from the BlackBerry Developer Blog.  Read the entire post here:  http://devblog.blackberry.com/2011/06/blackberry-webworks-tooling-evolved/

Mark Sohm
BlackBerry Development Advisor

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Posts: 33
Registered: ‎02-24-2011
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Re: BlackBerry WebWorks Tooling Evolved

I've installed Ripple and tried to use it. The greatly improved load time, compared to the existing simulators, could speed up development immensely.

 

However, I would expect even the beta version to support something as fundamental as WebWorks Java/JS extensions. From what I can tell, it doesn't, and this obviously breaks any application more complicated than a Hello World. Even with the (known-good) extension JARs in the project's /ext folder, the JS namespaces that are supposed to be created by the extensions simply don't exist. Is this normal?

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Re: BlackBerry WebWorks Tooling Evolved

Was it with really only a HelloWorld or did you have some blackberry api's as well? Cause i am trying to execute an small app with only some menus and this kind of thing and i can't do it?
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Re: BlackBerry WebWorks Tooling Evolved

I didn't try using BlackBerry APIs, the problem I had was with my own JavaScript extensions that call Java code.

 

If Ripple supports JS/Java extensions, I'm assuming that there's some kind of extra compile step required to include my libraries, that isn't specified in the Ripple docs I've seen and that isn't managed by Ripple.

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Re: BlackBerry WebWorks Tooling Evolved

I don't get it. How the new enverionment will emulate my *.jar and run it on the page? Will it emulate a jvm to do it ?
The ripple is only to emulate, right? I'll need to develop the hole application in the notepad or eclipse or something, right?
How will i test and depurate a java code ?
Márcio Saeger - Software Engineer, Softwell Solutions
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Re: BlackBerry WebWorks Tooling Evolved

Ripple as it sits now does not support JavaScript extions.. This is one of the areas that we will be evolving in the tooling.  Providing you a way to emulate your extension in Ripple.

Tim Neil
Director, Application Platform & Tools Product Management
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Regular Contributor
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Re: BlackBerry WebWorks Tooling Evolved

So, for now, it's just an emulator... right?

It's not an environment to develop or anything like that...

Will we have an IDE for that? How can we develop java code and simulate that on ripple ? What about debug ?
Thanks
Márcio Saeger - Software Engineer, Softwell Solutions
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Re: BlackBerry WebWorks Tooling Evolved

Ok.. there seems to be some confusion on the forums about what Ripple is, what role it will play, and what IDE's people will be able to use for WebWorks development

 

Let me see if I can break it down Smiley Happy

 

JavaScript Extension Development

JavaScript extensions will continue to be developed using the Java Plug-in for Eclipse to build and debug your Java code.  Flash tooling can also be used for debugging your JavaScript extension code for Tablet OS.  You will continue to need a device Simulator to build and test out your JavaScript extension for both Smartphones and Tablet OS.

 

JavaScript Extension Emulation

After you have built your JavaScript extension and are happy with it you will want to be able to use it in the Ripple emulator in one of your apps.  You also will want to take advantage of Ripple's capability of not requiring compiling and re-launching the Device simulators everytime you make a change in your application.

 

Currently Ripple does not support a way for you to emulate your custom JavaScript extension.  This will be available in an upcoming version of the Ripple product.

 

One of the things that will make Ripple emulation easier is the fact that, while we will continue to support the pure ScriptableObject interfaces for JavaScript extensions, we will be migrating our extensions to be more like the Tablet OS JavaScript extension model.  In this model, you create the interface for your JavaScript extension in actual JavaScript and layer it over top of a local AJAX request to access local APIs via a RESTful interface.

 

You can see some examples of this API structure in the Tablet OS github repository.  We have this new architecture plumbing for the Smartphone currently scheduled for our Foxtrot Release. Again, your existing JavaScript extensions will continue to work.  This new model will allow you to share the same JavaScript interface code for Smartphones, Tablet OS, and the Ripple Emulator.  The underlying RESTful implementation will be coded in the desired language for the platform:

- Smartphone : Java

- Tablet OS : ActionScript

- Ripple : JavaScript

 

This is the way that Ripple is being re-architected so that you can simply swap out a layer in your JavaScript APIs and it will work in the Emulator.  Details on how this will fully work will be described as we get closer to releasing the extension functionality of Ripple.

 

What IDE do I use for building my WebWorks App?

You can use any IDE that you desire to build your WebWorks application.  Simply make a local website for your WebWorks app using your IDE or tool of choice (mine is Notepad++) and place a config.xml file at the root of your application's website.

 

Then you simply point Ripple to your local website and you are good to go.  Any time you make a change in your application's source code or config.xml, simply press the refresh button in Ripple.  No more need to compile/deploy to a simulator as you work through building your application.

 

What about Packaging and Launching on a Simulator?

Ripple will be enhanced to also support the packaging and building of your application when you want to do your final testing on a simulator or live device.  This will provide a similar experience to what you see in the Eclipse & Visual Studio products today where you can detect installed simulators, pick the one you want (likely the one you've been using as a profile in the Ripple Emulator) and then press run.

 

But what about the config.xml Editor?

We are working on different ways to enable a config.xml editor in Ripple.   We understand that this is a valuable feature especially to those using the existing WebWorks Plug-ins.

 

If I'm not running in the Simulator how will my app look like it does on the device?

This is where we are really adding additional investment in the Ripple tooling.  We will doing our absolute best to ensure that the view that see for your application is as accurate as possible compared to what you will see on a real device.  Today this is pretty tricky considering Ripple is using an <iframe> in Chrome's rendering engine that doesn't have the same characteristics as a mobile device browser.  

 

Will Ripple be remaining a Chrome Plug-in?

No, Ripple will become a standalone emulator to enable us to do some of the things that WebWorks allows that a standard browser will simply not provide capabilities for.  Also, we will be providing mobile webkit emulation in the tool.

 

But don't worry, Ripple will continue to be able to be updated frequently and minimize large downloads or upgrades.  We actually have plans to upgrade the tooling in the background to ensure you have the latest and greatest but still have the ability to work when you're not connected to the Internet.

 

Will Ripple continue to have cross platform support?

Yes, we will be continuing to provide cross platform support with the Ripple product.  We truely believe Ripple is a fantastic tool for any mobile web developer on any mobile platform.  

 

Summary

Hopefully that gives a little more insight into where we're going with our tooling.  We can't wait to get our updates out there so that you can start using them.  

 

 

Tim Neil
Director, Application Platform & Tools Product Management
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