Jeremy Duke

Jeremy Duke

Website URL: http://opensourcebb.com

Developers: Good news! The OSBBx bbUI.js Contest is being extended through October! International submissions now welcome!

Just a quick post to let developers know that, due to the response we have gotten, the OSBBx bbUI.js Developer Contest is being extended and will run through the end of October. We have also decided to open the contest up for app submissions from the international developer community!

We will announce details, and amend all contest documentation later this week. So, relax, take your time, and spread the word!

Register here and happy coding!

Win a BlackBerry PlayBook and other prizes in the OSBBx bbUI.js Challenge! (Registration now open!)

A couple of weeks ago, we announced the OSBBx bbUI.js app development contest.  Developers participating in this contest will have the entire month of September to create their best open source application built using the bbUI.js UI framework.

Participating developers can win some awesome OSBBx swag, gift cards, and a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet!

Prizes for each category are:

Grand Prize for Best Overall Application (Total approximate retail value for this prize package: $270) :

  • New 16GB BlackBerry PlayBook, donated by Research In Motion (approximate retail value $200)
  • OSBBx Hoodie (approximate retail value $50)
  • OSBBx T-Shirt (approximate retail value: $20). 

Best Implementation of bbUI:

First Place: a $100 Visa Gift card from BlackBerryUnlocking.US, courtesy of 312 Holdings, INC. (an OSBBx Partner). Approximate retail value: $100.

Second Place: An OSBBx T-Shirt (approximate retail value: $20).

Third Place: An OSBBx Keychain (approximate retail value: $15).

Best Application by a New Developer

First Place: 8 (eight) hours of consultation and coding help from Justin Tokarchuk, an author of the bbUI JavaScript framework (approximate retail value: $240).

Second Place: 4 (four) hours of consultation and coding help from Justin Tokarchuk (approximate retail value: $120).

Best Developer Alpha Port

First Place: a a $50 Gift Certificate courtesy of FileArchiveHaven (an OSBBx Partner). Approximate retail value: $50.

Second Place: An OSBBx T-Shirt (approximate retail value: $20).

Third Place: An OSBBx Keychain (approximate retail value: $15)

Note: Other prizes may be added at the discretion of the OSBBx Team.

To see official contest rules and register to participate, please visit the OSBBx bbUI.js Contest page!

We encourage all individual developers to participate to help ensure the BlackBerry 10 launch is an absolute success!

OSBBx Introduces App Centre for the BlackBerry PlayBook!

One of the challenges facing users on the BlackBerry PlayBook, is the difficulty in finding open source applications and ensuring you have the latest version.  OSBBx would like to present App Centre, a team application put together to allow users to downlaod the latest version of open source and free applications directly to the BlackBerry PlayBook or PC.

Features:

  •  PB Version:  Localbar 2 support built in for on-device installation
  • Win Version:  BAR installation tools built in allowing for download and immediate installation
  • Browse the latest emulators and open source applications right from your PlayBook

Where to get it:

.BAR Download link for the BlackBerry PlayBook:  Download  icon-button-download-48

.EXE Download link for Windows:   Download  icon-button-download-48

Mobile Version:  http://www.filearchivehaven.com/data/barworldlite/

How to submit apps:

Please note: We are only accepting Open Source submissions, and some applications when submitted directly by owners themselves. In an effort to prevent piracy we are not accepting Android ports at this time.

Submit apps online:  http://www.filearchivehaven.com/data/barworldlite/mail/appSubmit.html

FAQ:

Q:  I want to submit an Android application

A:  Sorry, we are only accepting Open Source applications built for the PlayBook at this time

Q:  How can I install apps directly from my PlayBook to my PlayBook?

A:  You need to use the instructions below.

  1. Download and install LocalBar Proxy from www.yohan.es on your BlackBerry Phone
  2. Connect your PlayBook and Phone to the same wifi router in your home
  3. Open the LocalBar Proxy application on your phone
  4. Place your Playbook in developer mode under Options > Security > Development Mode
  5. Run App Centre on your PlayBook and configure it to use your Phone as a proxy
  6. Download any application and use App Centre to install it using your Phone

See also:  http://www.berryreview.com/2012/05/18/tip-sideload-playbook-apps-using-localbar2-without-a-proxy/

Space TV for BlackBerry PlayBook

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Space TV for PlayBook[/caption]

 

With NASA's recent success with landing the Curiosity rover (Mars Science Laboratory) on the surface of Mars, many individuals have become more interested in NASA, and by extension space. Space TV, the app, was created to provide users with a simple and responsive interface in which to display the NASA TV live video stream.

The version of Space TV currently available in appworld uses the UStream flash video interface for both the main NASA TV stream and the ISS live stream. However, in the version now pending approval in App World, I have removed the UStream version of the main stream and replaced it with video streamed using the PlayBook's native media player. This greatly improved the reliability and performance of the app.

Additionally, users can choose between 3 connection speeds to optimize the video stream based on the connection being used by the PlayBook (See image above). Having the ability to select connection speed allows users to stream super high quality HD with high speed wifi, but also gives the user the ability to stream slightly lower quality video via the BlackBerry Bridge connection when out and about.

Check it out in App World!

Attention Developers: Announcing OSBBx!

As you know, OSBB is commited to BlackBerry and to BlackBerry developers. In keeping with that commitment, we announced OSBBx a few weeks ago. OSBBx is a new division of OSBB for BlackBerry developers featuring many resources to help facilitate BlackBerry application development.
We have been hard at work prepping OSBBx for launch, and today we are excited to publicly launch this exciting new addition to the OSBB brand! With OSBBx, we are seeking to empower new and veteran BlackBerry developers with useful information, tutorials, developer wiki, discussion forums, and open source projects, all aimed at assisting the development of quality BlackBerry applications.

So, head over to OSBBx and help us grow! We have loads more content and contributions in the pipeline, so visit us often to see what's new!

Creating Crochet Buddy HD for BlackBerry PlayBook using bbUI.js

[caption id="attachment_4204" align="aligncenter" width="540" caption="Crochet Buddy HD for the BlackBerry PlayBook"][/caption]

Recently, my first ever attempt at app development (Crochet Buddy HD) launched in App World for the BlackBerry PlayBook. Given my level of app development experience prior to embarking creating Crochet Buddy HD (zero), I thought other aspiring developers might benefit from reading a little bit about my experiences along the way—from concept to version 1.0 of my app.

The Inspiration

On May 1, 2012, the annual BlackBerry World Conference (BBWC) kicked off in Orlando, Florida. BBWC is an annual occurrence in Orlando, but this year it was different—much different.  This year, the BlackBerry Jam developer conference ran alongside BBWC, and I was fortunate enough to be in attendance. Although I have been building websites for myself and clients for several years, I never considered myself a web developer, but rather I considered myself to be a “website guy.” I utilized the available content managements systems, software, and other tools that are freely available and created or improved websites for clients.

The previous withstanding, I have always wanted to make the jump from website guy to web developer, so when I was told I would be able to attend BlackBerry Jam in Orlando (thank you RIM), I was ecstatic. BlackBerry Jam in Orlando was the first major BlackBerry conference I have been able to attend, and it was amazing.

I attended several sessions covering topics pertinent to web development while at the conference, and one session in particular was very beneficial to me—the “Create Outstanding HTML5 User Interfaces Using Easy, Available Toolkits” session.  Given my background, having a readily available UI framework in which to run my content really interested me. In short, I attended this session and immediately decided this was the framework on which my first BlackBerry app would be based.

The Concept

After deciding to use bbUI.js as the UI framework for my first app, I was now faced with deciding on the subject matter of the app. Honestly, I was approaching the development of my first app as a learning experience and really did not care what the subject matter was, but I at least wanted the app to be useful to someone.  Conveniently, my wife had recently begun crocheting on a regular basis, so the idea of a crochet helper app was born.  Now that these three decisions had been made it was time to actually make the app.

Creating Crochet Buddy HD

bbUI.js is hosted on GitHub and is freely available to anyone interested. Once I had the source downloaded, I uploaded to my server and began reading the code and tinkering. Right away I was surprised to see the very straight-forward and (dare I say) simple structure of the code in the bbUI.js sample app.  Originally, I had planned to develop this app for the DevAlpha first because I thought it would take me several months to figure everything out. However, I was quickly able edit down the sample application and replace the existing, sample code with my own content resulting in my first prototype app!

Feeling comfortable with the structure and function of bbUI.js, I made the decision to optimize for PlayBook first, and decided I would optimize for BlackBerry 10 prior to the official launch of the new platform.

I have seen lots of success with Crochet Buddy HD. Crochet Buddy HD has been used by RIM developer relations for bbUI.js demonstration purposes and it is also featured in App World starting today!

If I can have this much success using bbUI.js, any new or veteran developer can too!

bbUI.js Features Used

Essentially, I only used action bar, lists, and buttons in the creation of Crochet Buddy HD.

The Action Bar

[caption id="attachment_4207" align="aligncenter" width="413" caption="The Action Bar in bbUI.js"][/caption]

The action bar is the main navigation bar for a bbUI.js app. It can contain buttons and tabs which can trigger various actions and/or display tabs. When developing my app, the action bar was very simple to use and it's implementation is straightforward. 

Sample Action Bar code:

[sourcecode language="html"]

<div data-bb-type="screen" data-bb-scroll-effect="on">

[Page HTML code goes here]

<div data-bb-type="action-bar"></pre></pre>
<div data-bb-type="action" data-bb-style="button" data-bb-img="images/<span class=">actionBar/cog_dark_theme.png" onclick="bb.pushScreen('HTML_File.htm');" data-bb-title="Action Title">Text Under Button</div>
<pre>
<pre>

</div>

[/sourcecode]

Lists

Within bbUI, Arrow Lists, Image Lists, and Grid lists are available.  When calling a list (in this case an Arrow-List), the following code is used:

[sourcecode language="html"]
<div data-bb-type="text-arrow-list">
<div data-bb-type="item" onclick="alert('click')">Sleepy</div>
<div data-bb-type="item" onclick="alert('click')">Sneezy</div>
<div data-bb-type="item" onclick="alert('click')">Dopey</div>
<div data-bb-type="item" onclick="alert('click')">Grumpy</div>
<div data-bb-type="item" onclick="alert('click')">Doc</div>
<div data-bb-type="item" onclick="alert('click')">Bashful</div>
<div data-bb-type="item" onclick="alert('click')">Happy</div>

</div>

[/sourcecode]

The action bar serves as my navigation framework, and the lists serve as my embedded menus within my app.
Now that the app had navigation and list elements, all that was left for me to do was to add my contents for the individuals sections of my app, and I was well on my way to having a working app!

Overall, I was very impressed with the amount of effort going into the development of bbUI.js, and I was blown away by how easy the framework is to use.  Any web developer that is interested in getting into app development would have no problem creating killer apps with bbUI.js.

For the purposes of this article, I briefly cover the steps that went into creating Crochet Buddy HD. For a detailed tutorial on building a sample bbUI.js sample application make sure you check out my full tutorial on OSBBx here

  • Published in News

A BIG congratulations to @AgentBlackBerry: this month's BlackBerry Fan of the Month!

Here at OSBB, we generally do not post the same old news that other BlackBerry blogs push out, rather we try to only post information that anyone who happens to visit us might find useful.  Normally we would not blog about the BlackBerry Fan of the Month (FOTM) winner (after all, that's usually something most of the major BlackBerry news blogs would blog about). Unfortunately, many of the major BlackBerry blogs simply did not take the time to congratulate the latest, and truly deserving, BlackBerry FOTM.  In keeping with our commitment to the ENTIRE Blackberry community, and in keeping with our policy of reporting the information that other blogs do not, we would like to congratulate this month's winner!

The entire OSBB team would like to extend a big congratulatory message to JT (@AgentBlackberry) from BBOS.  Of course with the name 'BBOS' being so similar to 'OSBB', how could we not say congrats? But in all seriousness, I would like to add a personal note here...

In the months leading up to BBWC/BB10 Jam in Orlando, I added at least 40 new BBM contacts, and most of those contacts were fellow bloggers, developers, and RIM employees. Joe from BlackBerryOS.com and JT, also from BlackBerryOS.com, were two of those new BBM contacts. I can honestly say, of all of my recently added contacts, JT is one of the most dedicated and passionate members of #TeamBlackBerry. So, we say again, congratulations JT! You deserve it man!

Make sure you read all about JT on the official Inside BlackBerry blog post announcing this month's FOTM.

Announcing OSBBx for Developers

In a matter of a few months Research In Motion (RIM) will be pushing out what many industry experts and media outlets consider to be the company’s last-ditch effort to succeed in the rapidly changing mobile computing market – the BlackBerry 10 operating system.  BlackBerry 10 promises to combine RIM’s proven security, email, and PIM into a cohesive and revolutionary platform capable of overcoming the shortfalls of current mobile operating systems.  

Since the introduction of the new BlackBerry 10 platform, OSBB has been hard at work preparing for the new BlackBerry paradigm. We are making several important changes to continue bringing our readers the best and most relevant BlackBerry information and resources as the evolution of RIM reaches its highest point yet.  Even before OSBB was called as such, we were a group of like minded BlackBerry enthusiasts very committed to the BlackBerry community.  When OSBB was officially formed and launched, we reaffirmed our commitment to support the efforts of the BlackBerry developer community and to promote BlackBerry application development.  Like RIM, we know developers can make or break a platform. Today’s announcement goes a long way in keeping with that original commitment.

We are excited ecstatic to announce a partnership with many incredibly talented developers, and the entire crew of the BNXtreme Team to launch a new developer-driven community under the OSBB banner. This partnership combines what you already know and trust from OSBB with a diverse and established team of developers who are committed to the BlackBerry platform.  Not only is the BNXtreme Team joining the OSBB family, they have also decided to adopt and operate under the OSBBx brand. Today’s announcement marks the synthesis of OSBB and BNXtreme and the genesis of OSBBx.

Why “X”?  

So, why would we give the new division an “X” designation? Well, originally the "X" was simply an agreed upon designation, but later it evolved into having different meanings for each team member. Later when we asked those involved with the creation of the name, here's some of the responses that were given:

“ X marks the spot.”
“ We plan on being the X factor in BlackBerry development.”
“ X;  lazy way for a busy person or entity to sign their name.  i.e. its a bunch of developers, that don’t care what they are called, so let’s just sign the paper with an x and get back to coding already.”
“ We are BlackBerry eXperts.”
“ X in math is an unknown variable.”

[Note: If you have an idea what the “X” should stand for, leave it in the comments below. If we like it, we just might use it.]

As a result of this partnership, OSBBx is creating a centralized community with some of the best and most talented and active BlackBerry and PlayBook developers.  Together, we will offer a treasure trove of reference material regarding BlackBerry 10 and QNX development, along with the best, most relevant information, and OSBBx will serve as a springboard for developers wishing to get involved in BlackBerry 10 development.  In short, OSBBx is a division of OSBB whose members have always been, and will continue to be, 100% dedicated to the developing everything BlackBerry.

Our new developer partners are not only well versed in a variety of programming languages, including AIR, HTML5, C, C++, C#, Python, (and more!). These developers have already delivered  amazing applications for the PlayBook such as:

SecureBrowser

Simple Browser

Tablet TV

iTunes Sync

Gee Reader

Flix

SNES9x-PB
(gaming emulator)

PCSX-reARMed-pb
(gaming emulator)

FCEUXpb
(gaming emulator)

Unlock App®

 CraigsFeed

...just to name a few

 

Overview of OSBBx Features

While building OSBBx, an emphasis has been placed on structure, design, and functionality to ensure it is well suited for developers; after all, OSBBx is being built for developers, by developers. Some features that will be implemented include:

A rich and up-to-date developer wiki to nurture app development Active discussion forums for help and support questions
Our own GitHub to host and distribute open-sourced code Up-to-date external resources from RIM and other sources

While the OSBBx site will run separate from the main OSBB blog, the main OSBB blog will keep readers up to date regarding the projects on which the OSBBx team are working, and it will serve as a platform for our developers to show off their creations.  We will also post any useful BlackBerry 10 development tips and tricks to the main OSBB blog. OSBBx will also  feature an all-new design filled with well-organized reference goodness for your consumption!

For those of our readers who either currently develop for BlackBerry, or intend to develop for BlackBerry in the future, keep an eye out for the OSBBx section! For those of you who aren’t interested in development, keep your eyes on the main OSBB blog here, for breaking updates on the releases pushed out by the OSBBx development team!

As a reward for reading this post in its entirety, here is a sneak peek of just one of our soon to be released projects :)

Change is coming. Are you ready? We are.

  • Published in News

Developers: RIM needs your feedback prior to the first Dev Alpha OS update

If you attended BlackBerry 10 Jam in Orlando earlier this month (like I did), you are probably still buzzing with excitement over the BlackBerry 10 platform and eagerly awaiting to hear (and see) more info. I can vouch for the fact that the excitement and enthusiasm from developers at BB10 Jam was indeed palpable, and RIM wants to keep the level of excitement high as the official launch of BlackBerry 10 draws closer.

So, in preparation for an upcoming OS update for the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device that developers attending BB10 Jam received, RIM needs your feedback, because afterall, the tools released at BB10 Jam were created for developers and developers only. Developers are the ones using the tools, so feedback from said developers is undoubtedly critical.

So, how can you help?? Keep reading...

RIM wants your feedback pertaining to two key topics:

1. RIM wants to hear your developer story! Tell RIM...

  •  your thoughts on the BlackBerry 10 developer tools 
  • what applications you are working on 
  • anything else you feel the need to tell them regarding your experiences developing for the upcoming BlackBerry 10 platform.

Contact Victoria Berry by sending her an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2. RIM wants your feedback to be logged using the issue tracker on the BlackBerry developer website.

The issue tracker is one of the tools RIM uses to determine what issues need to be addressed and when an update is needed. RIM relies on the feedback from this tool to help facilitate getting updates to market sooner rather than later.

IMPORTANT:For the issue tracker, devs should submit issues against the BlackBerry 10 project (BBTEN)

The issue tracker is located at: http://us.blackberry.com/developers/resources/issuetracker/

The issue tracker user guide is located at: http://us.blackberry.com/developers/resources/issuetracker/userguide.jsp

 

Get excited because the first OS update for the Dev Alpha is almost here! If there is a request or bug that you want to be addressed, make sure you tell RIM using the methods outlined above before the update is issued!

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