Introducing the WebWorks GUI Beta

Editors note: Below is a guest post by Rowell Cruz from the BlackBerry WebWorks team.
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One of the pain points for getting a new WebWorks project started is fiddling with the command line. It’s easy to get lost in a sea of parameters, which is why we have built a GUI utility to help streamline the developer experience.

As an alternative to the updated command line interface we discussed last week, the WebWorks GUI provides some basic functionality for managing and deploying WebWorks applications. The WebWorks GUI allows developers to create new WebWorks projects and configure the projects without dealing with XML. Additional features include the ability to build and deploy the applications to attached devices or running simulators. The utility is bundled right into the WebWorks SDK 2.0 Beta, so there are no additional pieces to download. Let’s take a closer look at the features in this Beta release of the tool.

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The sidebar controls the navigation between projects and their details. It is also the location of the New Project button. Clicking on the “+” will take you to a project creation page where you can specify application ID and folder location. Default values are provided based on an available location determined by the WebWorks command line. Hit the create button to set up a base project ready for configuration.
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The configuration page for each project is available from the sidebar. The options on the page can be set to whatever your heart desires. Most preferences are available for configuration on this page, but some are still in the works for the Gold release. Once all the settings are to your liking, the Save button at the bottom of the page will store your changes to the project files. You are now ready to build and deploy your application. Onwards to the build page!

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The build page is an additional section we’ve provided in the sidebar for each project. This section gives you a few options for configuring application builds. You can choose between debug and release builds, as well as device or simulator deployment. Passwords provided to the build page are use to sign applications and deploy them to attached devices. The devices attached to the development machine are automatically detected to avoid the need for entering IP addresses – It’s magical.

In summary, the WebWorks GUI supplies you with basic actions for application configuration and deployment. More features will be added for the Gold release, including plugin management and additional project configurations. Our goal is to make life easier for our developers.

Our usual channels are standing by to process your feedback on the new framework and tools we are delivering in this Beta, so we can ensure the Gold release is rock solid. Contact us in the forums, in the public issue tracker, and on Twitter at @BlackBerryDev.

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