Blackberry Webworks + Dojo Toolkit Dojox.Mobile:My Thoughts

January 19, 2015 •  dojo •  html5 •  js •  mobile



Incase you are not familiar with "Web-works", its a platform from RIM(Research in Motion), that allows you convert your existing website or HTML Application to a Blackberry application, this is a very useful tool especially for web developers looking forward to creating apps on the BlackBerry platform, its really easy to use, fun and of course lots of tools to use to create a webwork application with ease, but i'll limit this to the Dojo toolkit.

Let me say am no stranger to Blackberry Development, i started with the Java environment, though i had little java knowledge it was fun till a certain point, the UI aspect, building interface in the Java environment was torture for me, i could only see the changes after i had fired up the simulator, and the documentation was also not too straight forward, though lots of help came from the forum but i had already lost the interest, after coming across of articles on the Blackberry Webworks platform ,i was bit skeptical especially after my experience with RIM and the Java SDK, but the Web-works is a different ball game entirely; not only does it allow your website communicate with Blackberry API it also allows you to create custom extension that enhance your web application.

Webworks

Blackberry Webworks with Dojo

Building for Web-works, i started using the dojox.app, this module unlike dojox.mobile.app actually deals with pushing of history states, and it also adopted the Dojo MVC which can be found at sitepen however, i had issue with the non-scrolling devices as the dojox.app as i had no in-depth knowledge with the package and all views seemed to be wrapped in a scene, i decided to stick with the dojox.mobile.app which had a different approach each view had its own assistant which handles event when a view appears or is pushed from the stack, it felt easier using this as each view operation could stated in the assistants. Dojox.mobile comes with loads of features which really appealed to me especially the alert Dialog, another aspect i loved was the Global configuration appInfo which holds the whole information and could be used in the views, updating certain information was as easy as changing from the appInfo, and the changes would reflect instantly.

Blackberry Templating

Really when using the dojox.mobile, skinning is usually the last issue on your mind as the dojox.mobile has themes for blackberry, really saved me the stress of whipping out a Photoshop template, the only thing i had to do was just override some few css rules to give it a different feel.

Gotcha's

Obviously i had some few gotcha's on the way,

1. When building for the Blackberry to fit screen i never knew about the Screen Object that holds the screen size of width and height.

2. Limited JavaScript knowledge was another issue i had, as am no Chuck Norris of JavaScript, i had some issue especially dealing with Anonymous functions and context.

3. Loading unnecessary modules ,unless you are using AMD in Dojo, you will have to make sure you squeeze every free space you can get, i had a build of Dojo as high as 400kb making the app very large in size.

Tools

the following tools i used during my development

1. Firebug

2. Ripples Chrome and standalone

3. Blackberry Simulator

4. Eclipse IDE (Makes building real easy and signing) with nice tools

5. The DojoFirebug Extension really important especially when you inspecting dijit,dojox components

Final words

The Blackberry Web-works is really easy,fun and a good move though some would argue why i didn't use PhoneGap, well i had issues running PhoneGap but found running Webworks a lot easier and also in Nigeria where basically 80% of the population owes at least a Blackberry device, it would be a wrong move not to target that population.

Links

Webworks

Dojox Mobile


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Comments

  • Sangram

    Sangram 3 years ago 00

    I agree, JQuery is nice with Zend Framework, in my last blog post I posted about this. I find that I can rtruen views to multiple DIV's on the JQuery rtruen from ZF controller.I can rtruen Javascript data via JSON and also the HTML.. I think I will stick with JQuery and ZF.

  • Alberto

    Alberto 3 years ago 00

    Andrew: Yeah me too. I am so used to using jQuery that I find it hard (ahem almost ioilsspbme) to code using core Javascript. (*sigh* sad but true). In my spare time though, I plan to dabble around with Dojo.Have you tried using Dojo and jQuery at the same time? I wonder if there would be conflicts etc Just curious if someone has actually done this.BTW, checked your blog I love HongKong and I want to go there again!