How to use Ripple instead of the BlackBerry WebWorks Plug-ins for Eclipse and Visual Studio

by Retired on ‎06-14-2011 01:56 PM - edited on ‎10-03-2012 12:28 PM by Retired (22,832 Views)




The BlackBerry® Web Plug-in for Eclipse® and the BlackBerry® Web Plug-in for Microsoft® Visual Studio® have received their end-of-life announcement.  Developers are encouraged to use the Ripple emulator and the BlackBerry WebWorks SDK for testing and previewing their web content.






The purpose of this article is to provide a feature overview of the Ripple™ emulator tool and explain how it can be used to assist with your BlackBerry® WebWorks™ development.  The Ripple emulator tool has been introduced as the next evolution of BlackBerry WebWorks tooling in place of the BlackBerry Web Plug-in for Eclipse and the BlackBerry Web Plug-in for Microsoft Visual Studio, which are no longer in service.  This article describes a migration plan that developers can follow to transition from using these plug-ins to the Ripple emulator.



What is the Ripple emulator tool?


The Ripple emulator tool is a multi-platform mobile environment emulator that is custom-tailored to mobile HTML5 application development and testing. The Ripple emulator aims to reduce the challenges being faced by mobile developers caused by today's platform fragmentation in the marketplace.

The Ripple emulator tool is targeted towards BlackBerry WebWorks, PhoneGap™ and mobile web development and testing!

The Ripple emulator tool offers the ability to look under the hood of your mobile application, giving you full visibility into what it is doing. It also allows for the use of existing tools to perform JavaScript® debugging, HTML DOM inspection, automated testing, as well as multiple device and screen resolution emulation in real-time without having to redeploy the mobile application or restart the emulator.





An installer for the Ripple emulator is available for both Windows® and Mac OS environments:



Getting started with the Ripple emulator tool


After you have finished installing the Ripple emulator tool,  the first time it is opened you will be prompted to select a development framework (e.g. WebWorks, WebWorks-TabletOS, PhoneGap).  If you are building a BlackBerry WebWorks application for Smartphone or for Tablet OS, choose 'WebWorks' or 'WebWorks-TabletOS' respectively.  If you are building standard HTML5 content for a mobile browser or PhoneGap, choose 'Mobile Web' or 'PhoneGap' respectively.  


The Ripple emulator remembers your selection and automatically loads itself the next time you reload your application’s URL. You can change your platform at any time by expanding the platform panel (on the left hand side) and selecting the appropriate option.



Running the Ripple emulator with a local web server


The Ripple emulator tool, by default, is configured to allow you to test mobile HTML5 applications that are hosted on a local or remote web server. Ensure that you have a local web server (e.g. Microsoft® IIS, Apache, or even ) setup to test Web content running on your local machine.



Ripple emulator features


The Ripple emulator offers a rich set of control panels to allow you to interact with your applications as if you were manipulating a mobile device. You can simulate your GPS location, actuate the accelerometer, and much more. A detailed explanation for each of the panels can be found below.


Panel Description Supported frameworks
Information This panel provides you with information about your application as well as the platform and device that is currently used for emulation.


WebWorks-TabletOS, PhoneGap, MobileWeb

Settings The settings panel is used for changing Ripple specific settings, like changing your theme and enabling/disabling tool tips.


WebWorks-TabletOS, PhoneGap, MobileWeb

Devices The devices panel allows you to very easily and quickly switch between the devices that are supported for the selected platform.  In this panel, you can also switch the devices orientation from portrait to landscape (for devices that support this functionality).This allows you to validate that your layout will work for the various screen sizes and orientations.


WebWorks-TabletOS, PhoneGap, MobileWeb

Platforms The platforms panel lets you switch between platforms so that you can easily get to the correct environment for you application.


WebWorks-TabletOS, PhoneGap, MobileWeb

Accelerometer The Accelerometer panel lets you manipulate a three dimensional phone model to simulate device rotation as well as shaking.



PhoneGap, MobileWeb

Messaging The messaging panel gives you the ability to simulate sending SMS messages to the phone. WebWorks
Push The push panel allows you to interact with the BlackBerry WebWorks Push API. WebWorks
Device & Network Settings This panel is specific to the platform that you are working with. It displays device and network settings that can be manipulated. These values can be accessed inside your mobile application by taking advantage of the various APIs provided by the platform in question.


WebWorks-TabletOS, PhoneGap

Geolocation The geo location panel gives you the ability to change your device’s physical location and other GPS values, simulating slow GPS response times, simulating GPS failure, as well as changing your heading for platforms that support that feature.


WebWorks-TabletOS, PhoneGap, MobileWeb

Events The events panel allows you to fire system level events that are supported by the platform you are currently testing on.


WebWorks, TabletOS, PhoneGap

Config The config panel is an informational panel.  The Ripple emulator inspects your config.xml file and will warn you if there are any errors or omissions in it. WebWorks, WebWorks-TabletOS PhoneGap








How do I create a new BlackBerry WebWorks application?


The Ripple emulator is a mobile emulator that can be used emulate a BlackBerry smartphone or BlackBerry tablet environment and allows developers to preview and test their web application content.  It is not used for authoring application content. In order to create and develop application content, developers can choose to use whatever IDE or text editors they are most comfortable with.


As explained in the BlackBerry WebWorks SDK documentation, developers will need to manually create all application folders and files used within their BlackBerry WebWorks application.  This can be done from within any favorite IDE (e.g. Eclipse™, Microsoft® Visual Studio®, Adobe® Dreamweaver®, etc.) or by using a text editor (e.g. NotePad++, TextMate, vi, etc) and file explorer.


See Creating a WebWorks app for an explanation on how to complete the following steps:


  • How to create the files used by your WebWorks application;
  • How to configure the Ripple emulator to package your application assets into a standalone application
  • How to sign your BlackBerry WebWorks application


How do I register for code signing keys?


Applying code signatures to a compiled BlackBerry WebWorks application is also done using the Ripple emulator tool through the "package & sign" build step.


You can register for code signing keys online and learn more about  how to sign your BlackBerry WebWorks applications, in the getting started documentation.



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