Today our BlackBerry WebWorks development community comes out a winner with the release of the BlackBerry 10 WebWorks SDK 2.0. We took your Beta feedback to heart and worked hard to deliver the best WebWorks SDK yet, built with Apache Cordova at its core and enhanced with rich developer tooling and APIs.
You will notice a number of UI and User Experience (UX) improvements over the Beta. The left hand navigation menu is clearer and will focus on the currently active project. In general, small enhancements should lend a cleaner and more intuitive experience to the tool.
We have heard the cries, and we have delivered Linux support in this release. The official supported flavor of Linux is Ubuntu 12, both 32 and 64bit versions. So for all you lovers of the penguin OS, happy coding with WebWorks!
If you have played with the Beta release of WebWorks 2.0, you would have noticed that adding and removing plugins (APIs) from your project required you to drop to the command line out of the GUI tool. With this release, you are now able to add and remove plugins for your project from the GUI tool. To add a plugin, just input the plugin id in the edit box and hit “Add Plugin.” We even have an easy link to the http://plugins.cordova.io site to discover additional plugins not packaged in the BlackBerry WebWorks SDK.
This one is fairly self-explanatory. There is now a button beside the “New Project” button that allows you to open an existing project from your local disk and start managing it from the GUI tool.
Developer Signing Certificate
The beta version of the WebWorks SDK and the ability to produce and deploy release versions of your application relied upon registering and creating your developer signing certificate with the command line tools. With the Gold release, you will be able to do the signing certificate generation from the Certificates tab in the GUI tool as well.
From Beta to Gold, we have really rounded out the support for managing values in your config.xml file. You can now add icons and splashscreens, manage permissions, edit the application id and change your access elements. Advanced applications taking advantage of registering to be targets for invocation will still have to manually edit invocation target entries in config.xml.
Serve and Prepare
For the veteran web developers out there, we know that your typical development paradigm looks a bit like:
- Edit code in my editor of choice
- Fire up my favorite browser and admire my changes
- Go to step 1
WebWorks provides some nice features to assist with this development cycle. The first step when you want to begin testing is to run the “webworks serve” command and point your browser at the provided localhost address to test your code. When you want to make more changes, no need to close the browser; make your changes, then instead of running serve, run “webworks prepare” in a new terminal window. This does the steps of the build process required to reflect your new changes in your already running local server started by the first “webworks serve” command. Voila!
In future versions of the GUI tool, we will look to provide access to these commands so that you don’t need to use the command line to trigger them.
We have added a few new items to our documentation on invocation that I would like to draw attention to. These are not dependent on this version of the WebWorks SDK (i.e. you can use these invocation items in applications built with the beta, or even the previous 1.0 version of WebWorks). Maps and audio recording are areas that many people have been asking about, and the new documentation will help you integrate this functionality into your applications.
On March 25 at 11:00 AM EDT we would love to have you join us online for a webcast to go over everything you need to know to get started building cross-platform, portable apps with this all-new SDK. We will have BlackBerry experts standing by to answer your questions so we recommend you join in person. If you’re not able to attend, the session will be recorded and posted here on the BlackBerry Developer Blog.
We are extremely excited to deliver this release to our WebWorks development community. Built with open standards at its core and combined with enhanced developer tooling to increase developer efficiency, enterprise and cross-platform web application developers should be delighted with our latest SDK. Please download and give it a try, and provide feedback on what you would like to see in our next version!