Digging Deep: Using BlackBerry Theme Studio 6 to Build Themes for BlackBerry 7 – Part 2

Theme Development

In Part 1 of our “Understanding BlackBerry® Theme Builder” series, an overview of how BlackBerry Theme Builder works was provided. This blog post serves as the background to modifying BlackBerry® Theme Studio, which is what we’ll be doing today – read on!

1. The first thing we need to do is modify the device_profiles.properties file to include information for the BlackBerry® smartphone model/series for which we will be creating a theme.

Example:
plazmic.device<NUM>.name=BlackBerry <Model> [Series]
plazmic.device<NUM>.shortName=<Model>
plazmic.device<NUM>.modelName=<ModelName>
plazmic.device<NUM>.file=blackberry/BB<Model>.properties
plazmic.device<NUM>.thumbnail=blackberry/images/BB<Model>_thumbnail.png

<NUM> Each device listed in this file is incremented in this element. Any new element added should be exactly one higher than the previous listed.

<Model> The smartphone model you will be creating the theme for (ie. BlackBerry® Bold™ 9900 smartphone)

[Series] If there are multiple smartphones with the same UI characteristics (ie BlackBerry Bold 9900 smartphone and BlackBerry® Bold™ 9930 smartphone) you can include “Series”

<ModelName> The commercial name for the smartphone (ie. Bold™, Curve™ or Torch™)

2. Next we need to create the BB<Model>.properties file referenced by the device_profiles.properties file. The easiest way to do this would be to copy an existing BB<Model>.properties of a BlackBerry® 6 device, then simply rename the file to reflect the target model and update the resolution (screen.size) with the resolution of the target device.

3. We also need to create some files to let BlackBerry Theme Builder know which theme types are supported for our new device. To do this, copy an existing device’s .properties file:

Example:
<ThemeStudio>\resources\theme\BlackBerry6_480x360\9780BlackBerry6.properties

From there, rename it to suit the model of device being targeted but keep it in the same directory.

4. Finally, open this file in a text editor and change the following values:
theme.name = <Model> BlackBerry®6 Custom
theme.device = <Model>
theme.base = BlackBerry®7_<Resolution>_b
theme.alternateBase = //Remove this line entirely from the file, it is not needed
theme.supportedHandheldOs = 6.0,7.0
theme.preferredHandheldOs = 7.0

<Resolution> – The resolution of the target device’s display

After this is done, you should be able to launch BlackBerry Theme Builder and select the model of device you have just added as well as the theme layout. If this works, then you have successfully modified BlackBerry Theme Builder!

(Note: Functionalities such as previewing on device and/or simulator will not work. Test themes need to be loaded outside of BlackBerry Theme Builder for testing using methods such as JavaLoader or BlackBerry® Desktop Software.)

Exporting the theme file at this time and trying to load it onto a device will cause some usability issues, as the theme has been created for a device with a different resolution from the target device. There is a bit more work that will go into customizing the theme before it can look and function properly. This will be covered in Part 3 – Manipulating Themes. Watch for this blog post soon!

Let us know if you have any questions so far!

About garett

Garett is a member of the Developer Relations team and has been with BlackBerry since 2008. He specializes in app monetization (Payment, Advertising, Analytics SDKs) and Push development. He is one of the individuals involved with the forums (gbeukeboom), Issue Tracker and can be found tweeting from @BlackBerryDev with the ^GB signature.

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