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Web and WebWorks Development

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Developer
Posts: 669
Registered: ‎02-19-2011
My Device: BlackBerry PlayBook 32GB
My Carrier: Sprint

Idea for RIM: on-device development

I was just walking my dog and i had a small brainfart I figured I'd share.

 

Since WebWorks apps are really just a bunch of HTML, JavaScript and CSS files I figured it should be possible to do on-device or on-simulator development without having to keep repackaging and deploying the app to the device or simulator.

 

I imagined how awesome it would be if there could be some small system service that would allow access to some sandboxed directory structure through SFTP in which we could edit application files on the fly. Ideally even with a text editor on the device itself. Just edit a file, save and then relaunch the app to see the changes.

 

It would be something kind of revolutionary that no other vendor has. It would speed up development enormously. RIM folks, what do you think?

 

I'd totally LOVE this.

 

Staff UI Prototyper (read: full-time hacker)


My BB10 apps: Screamager | Scientific RPN Calculator | The Last Weather App

Developer
Posts: 84
Registered: ‎06-26-2008
My Device: Not Specified

Re: Idea for RIM: on-device development

I do it every day. And you have some info on BB knowledge base about how you could develop webworks application without redeploy it.

Retired
Posts: 1,382
Registered: ‎07-02-2009
My Device: BlackBerry Bold 9900
My Carrier: Bell

Re: Idea for RIM: on-device development

Hey Marco,

 

Yes this is definitely a good idea, are you looking to simplify your development/deployment process?  If so here's how you do it:

 

1) Deploy you WebWorks resources to your test Web server: http://mytestdomain.com/index.html

 

2) Create and deploy a WebWorks application to your sim / device, based on the following config.xml document:

 

 

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<widget xmlns=" http://www.w3.org/ns/widgets"
		xmlns:rim="http://www.blackberry.com/ns/widgets" 
		version="1.0.0.1">

	<name>My App</name>
	<icon src="icon.png"/>
	<content src="http://mytestdomain.com/index.html"/>
	
	<access uri="http://mytestdomain.com/" subdomains="true">
		<feature id="blackberry.app" required="true" version="1.0.0.0"/>
		<feature id="blackberry.invoke" required="true" version="1.0.0.0"/>
		<feature id="blackberry.system" required="true" version="1.0.0.0"/>
		<!-- Add any necessary feature elements here -->
	</access>
	
</widget>

 

 

3) Now you only need to deploy the app once.  Since the content exists in a remote location, you can simply make changes to your Web assets on your live Web server, and test from your sim / device.

 

 

However it sounds like you are looking for a way to develop *from* the PlayBook?  Interesting idea Smiley Wink  Your proposed solution does sound doable, and I'd love to see the results of a prototype.  Do you think coding from the device is an effective way to develop apps (or would it be too slow to interact w the virtual keyboard)?

 

Best,

Adam

Follow me on Twitter: @n_adam_stanley
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Developer
Posts: 669
Registered: ‎02-19-2011
My Device: BlackBerry PlayBook 32GB
My Carrier: Sprint

Re: Idea for RIM: on-device development

Thanks astanley that's really cool. I didn't know that was possible. I'll definitely start working like that from now on.

 

As for the on-device editing: I don't think it would be useful to do huge chunks of development in that way but it would definitely be great for tweaking/tinkering I think. And the whole aspect of being able to continue some development while sitting on a commuter train / bus etc. sounds pretty awesome to me as well.

Staff UI Prototyper (read: full-time hacker)


My BB10 apps: Screamager | Scientific RPN Calculator | The Last Weather App

Developer
Posts: 1,229
Registered: ‎03-20-2011
My Device: Playbook, Z10 LE, Dev Alpha B, 2x Dev Alpha C
My Carrier: 3, Orange, Vodafone

Re: Idea for RIM: on-device development

The on-device development platform occurred to me a week or so ago as well.

 

The essentials of such a project are fairly simple as you device-hosted mini-IDE doens't need much more than a text editor and a control menu at the most basic level.

 

We've already got the ability to read and write files within our own app's workspace so saving files from a JavaScript-based editor to the local filesystem appears easy enough.

 

Loading the resources you may want for an on-device developed app could be a little more tricky but not greatly so as long as you've got a server you can 'download' the stuff from

 

I mean, you can link from one page to another within an app so what's to stop your main index being the mini-IDE which then loads the app you're developing on the device?

 

You'd obviously need to have an 'Exit' function on the app under development which, rather than existing, returned back to your mini-IDE.

 

OK - it's not going to be Eclipse but it'd be fine while commuting to work or whatever

 

No worries about virtual keyboards or whatnot - just buy a bluetooth one

 

I like the thought on the other way of doing this (via a web server). The Simulator it rather a resoure hog so it, like me, your kit is a few years old then running the Simulator all by itself on one machine whilst developing on anpther nicely eradicates the slowdown that offurs when Eclipse and the Simulator are both running (on my PC)

 

My laptop won't even think of starting the Simulator up Smiley Sad




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Developer
Posts: 482
Registered: ‎10-24-2008
My Device: 9300
My Carrier: AT&T

Re: Idea for RIM: on-device development

Great idea Marcos. I would definitely use on device tools to test and tweak an app. Writing an entire app on the device is probably not something I would be interested in though.

_________________________________________
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Developer
Posts: 1,229
Registered: ‎03-20-2011
My Device: Playbook, Z10 LE, Dev Alpha B, 2x Dev Alpha C
My Carrier: 3, Orange, Vodafone

Re: Idea for RIM: on-device development

If  you like I'll put some code together after the PB launch to explore the concept

 

Simply a proof of concept

 

I'll GPL it all if we get anything past that

 

WebOS is on the way so I have to get into that, albeit briefly, in the next month (I still haven't read the 3b2 stuff as I've been so busy on PB projects)




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Retired
Posts: 3,708
Registered: ‎10-16-2008
My Device: Z10
My Carrier: Rogers

Re: Idea for RIM: on-device development

You'll like the Web Inspector features then Smiley Happy

 

With the RTM SDK you'll be able to use Web Inspector for both the Browser and WebWorks applications.  Within Web Inspector you can actually live edit the DOM, CSS and evaluate JavaScript among many other features.

 

This can be done on a live device or in the simulator.....

 

I see that Berry Review has uncovered the features on their pre-release PlayBook Smiley Happy

 

http://www.berryreview.com/2011/04/15/hot-webkit-web-inspector-on-the-blackberry-playbook-for-web-de...

Tim Neil
Director, Application Platform & Tools Product Management
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Developer
Posts: 669
Registered: ‎02-19-2011
My Device: BlackBerry PlayBook 32GB
My Carrier: Sprint

Re: Idea for RIM: on-device development

AWESOME!

Staff UI Prototyper (read: full-time hacker)


My BB10 apps: Screamager | Scientific RPN Calculator | The Last Weather App

Developer
Posts: 327
Registered: ‎12-13-2010
My Device: Bold 9900/Z10 Special Edition
My Carrier: Rogers

Re: Idea for RIM: on-device development

I'd definitely love to Develop AIR apps on the PB! but I like the idea of developing either WebWorks or AIR!!

 

I spend over 2 hours a day riding transit in commuting to work, it could be time well spent if I could develop on-device!!

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