Keeping it pithy: Toasts in Cascades

What is a toast? Well according to BlackBerry...

"A SystemToast displays a small message that expires and disappears after a predefined amount of time. This message provides users with information and allows them to continue with the application after the toast expires."

You've seen toasts when you clear your browser history or delete an attachment from a BBM and in many other places throughout BlackBerry 10. When dealing with toasts and any other user prompts, developers need to be cognizant of the user experience and of the fact that users typically do not want to be interrupted (at least not too frequently).

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Backing Up Your Data

Normally here on OpenSourceBB we focus more on the How To of coding; this article is more a How To on not having the worst day ever: backing up your data.

It seems like every few weeks I talk to someone who had some sort of catastrophic data loss regardng their app development - anywhere from losing a few hours of coding work (which sucks, but can be redone), to losing their BlackBerry signing keys and being unable to ever update their apps again (BlackBerry seeks to prevent that with their new signing tokens, but that's no excuse to not be safe).

Now, there's no wrong way to back up your apps, signing keys, and other personal data that has nothing to do with coding. But I'm listing here a couple that I personally use. If you have a few tips or tricks of your own, we'd love to here about it at http://forums.crackberry.com/opensourcebb-f402/how-your-development-pc-set-up-836667/.

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Simple BBM Integration in WebWorks

Jeremy wrote up a great article about integrating BBM into Cascades, and a few people mentioned they wanted to see an article about getting BBM integrated with WebWorks. I've been kind of off the radar lately, but figured this was a good topic for me to do a quick writeup on.

Now, to contnue with some friendly teasing I directed at Jeremy eariler: integrating BBM into Cascades may be easy, but integrating it into WebWorks makes integrating it into Cascades look like rocket science. Yes, it really is that easy.

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Simple BBM Integration in Cascades

Did I say simple? I meant very simple. In the following sample app I started with the standard empty cascades project and added a total of ~55 lines of code to the applicationui.cpp and applicationui.app files. In addition the UI is very plain as to not take away from the core purpose of a sample application which is to demonstrate how to do something, right?

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Collaborate on Awesome: Start an Official BlackBerry Developer Group in Your Area!

If you are a BlackBerry developer and know other developers and or designers in your area, you should definitely consider starting an official developer group. Developer groups allow developers to collaborate, network, and create mobile experiences with other developers and designers in their area. As we all know, the life of a coder can get lonely at times if you get lost in your code and forget about the outside world*, so why not reach out in your local area and find some other devs with which to share, collaborate, and create?

*50% sarcasm

Some Benefits

Official Developer groups...

1receive regular updates and information directly from BlackBerry regarding program information and developer information

2get exclusive discounts and opportunities relevant to BlackBerry mobile app developers

3gain access to regional and global developer events and conferences where developers can network and improve their craft

4receive BlackBerry 'swag' such as T-shirts and other accessories given out at the discretion of BlackBerry and/or the group managers

Get Started

For all the details regarding how to start a developer group in your area, head over to the BlackBerry website at the link below and complete the Developer Groups form.

http://developer.blackberry.com/jamcommunity/groups

Happy Coding!

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