Abhi's Experiments

Its a place to write about my professional experience and experiments

Blackberry app using phonegap and jquery mobile

Last week I was working on a cross mobile application, which is developed to work on all the mobile platforms including Android, Blackberry, iPhone and Windows mobile. We developed the app using phonegap and jquery mobile, and it worked well in Android mobile. Then I moved on to Blackberry. In Blackberry it took sometime to setup the environment and run the application. Here I am going to explain the issues I faced and the steps I taken to fix the issues.

  1. Setting up environment

    We were using eclipse for developing Android application. So I thought to install eclipse plugin for Blackberry by following the instructions given in the phonegap wiki. And that didn’t work. Then I tried this link which is for BlackBerry OS 5.0 and higher. Here the instructions under the heading ‘Install the BlackBerry Web and WebWorks SDK Plug-ins for Eclipse’ won’t work because there is a small message in italics ‘End Of Life Notice: The BlackBerry WebWorks Plug-in will no longer be available for download as of Oct. 18, 2011. Support for the plug-in will be discontinued on Dec. 31, 2011’.

    So I stopped searching for an Eclipse plugin. I started setting up environment for the console. I setup Ant by following the instructions from the phonegap wiki. Then I downloaded and installed the webworks sdk from this link. So at last the Environment setup for console is ready.

  2. The commands to build, load simulator and load device

    In phonegap doc the commands to build the blackberry phonegap app from console is given as ‘ant build’. But this won’t work. Because for phonegap 1.3.0 it is ‘ant blackberry build’. Similarly for load the app in simulator ‘ant blackberry load-simulator’ and load app in device ‘ant blackberry load-device’.

  3. Code signing

    To load the app in device you have to sign the code using the key provided by Blackberry. You can order the keys from this link. It will take around 2 hours to process the request and get the keys. Now you have to install/register the keys using your webworks sdk. After installing the signing keys you can run ‘ant blackberry load-device’ to install the app in the device.

  4. Testing app in the device

    In the phonegap doc it is mentioned that the installed app will be available in the Downloads section of Blackberry. But I couldn’t find the installed app there. So I opened the app by searching in blackberry search.

  5. Back button in Blackberry exits the application

    In Android the back button loads the previous screen of the app. But in Blackberry if you press the back button it exits the app even if you have visited multiple pages. I fixed this issue by overriding the back button event click from the phonegap. The phonegap code for listening the back button click and show the history is given below:

      blackberry.system.event.onHardwareKey(blackberry.system.event.KEY_BACK, 
         function() { 
             history.back();
             return false;
         }); 
    
  6. jquery loading message breaks in blackberry

    We are showing the jquery mobile loading message while loading the data using ajax. But it is breaking in Blackberry. And I found this link which saying “It is apparently known and won’t be fixed on the current devices”. This one we didn’t fix. But we will do some work around like showing our own message or something else.

So this is the Blackberry phonegap experience I got from the last week. Hope this will help you to setup an environment for your Blackberry webworks app.

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