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  1. kmsoft's Avatar
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    Default New app: SiteBook (Browser Bookmarking App for PB)

    Hi Crackberrians...

    I wanted to challenge myself to write a mobile app, so I created a fairly simple app to manage, sort and edit website bookmarks. Along the way, I found myself using it to manage task lists a bit too, so I added some functionality for that as well. You basically can make a collection of items, such as website bookmarks, tasks or notes... and organize them by categories. You can view all items, or filter them by category.

    It takes advantage of the BBui framework, so if nothing else you can get a feel for what BB10 will look like on the PlayBook. I actually submitted it over two months ago, and have since gone on to learn much more by writing a vastly more complicated (unpublished) Twitter client. So I may revisit this app again and redo it with techniques I've learned since I originally wrote it.

    In any case, it's free, so give it a try if you'd like and maybe you'll find it useful until BB10 comes out for the PlayBook.

    BlackBerry World - SiteBook
    Last edited by kmsoft; 04-12-2013 at 01:45 PM.
    Thanked by 10:
    blue quill (04-06-2013),  chaosdivine (04-09-2013),  dmlis (04-06-2013),  gustavoorochi (07-19-2013),  Ozfork (04-05-2013),  Richard Kapp (04-06-2013),  rossjackson01 (04-10-2013),  rthonpm (05-07-2013),  wiredr (04-06-2013),  yetis_torch (04-05-2013) 
  2. kmsoft's Avatar
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    Bug: a comment mentioned that URLs are converted to lowercase. I see it. I know why. I'll fix it
  3. Paul_Ont's Avatar
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    I just downloaded it to give it a try. Good for you for taking this on and trying your hand at playbook coding.
  4. kmsoft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmsoft View Post
    Bug: a comment mentioned that URLs are converted to lowercase. I see it. I know why. I'll fix it
    Submitted 1.0.12 with a fix. Not sure how long before it shows up though, as I'm sure BlackBerry is (rightfully) very busy reviewing BB10 apps
  5. chaosdivine's Avatar
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    Thank you for doing this! I can't wait to try it out. Awesome.

    Kate, if it's alright with you, I am going to post a blurb and link to your thread here as well as the app in BBWorld about your app over at the official BlackBerry Help Forums as this would help a LOT of people since there is a lot of negative feedback about the lack of bookmarking feature of the stock browser. Is that alright with you? I won't do it until you give me permission to do so. FULL credit to you will be given - promise.

    I'll crosspost the link back here and update my post here when finished.
    Last edited by chaosdivine; 04-09-2013 at 03:06 PM.
  6. kmsoft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaosdivine View Post
    Kate, if it's alright with you, I am going to post a blurb and link to your thread here...
    Sure! I hope others find it useful

    (Twitter client coming soon too, by the way...)
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  7. chaosdivine's Avatar
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    Great! Thanks Kate! I'll get on that right now. I actually think Crackberry should do an expose on this too. I'll see if I can get someone to take a look at it and do a proper application write up. There are also some other BlackBerry centric websites that would be interested in this application. Your efforts are "kind of a big deal" in the usefulness of the web browser in my opinion. It's been a long time coming since this functionality has been tackled and tamed. It's a thorn in ALL PlayBook user's behinds and you deserve kudos for tackling this annoyance!

    I'll see what kind of fuss I can rouse up. Stay tuned.

    UPDATE 1) Kate, here is the post I created for you over on the BlackBerry PlayBook forums: http://supportforums.blackberry.com/...s/td-p/2297347


    UPDATE 2) I have fired off an email to Crackberry.com via their editorial email submission address as well as their tip email address. Hopefully someone will take a look at it and come to the same conclusion I have that it's worthy of a write-up and some face time. Hope you get contacted and good things come from it.

    UPDATE 3) Nerdberry.com has posted a write up for you. I hope Crackberry comes to their senses and does so too. http://nerdberry.net/2013/04/10/site...erry-playbook/ Except they spelled your last name wrong...whoopsie.
    Last edited by chaosdivine; 04-10-2013 at 11:35 PM. Reason: New Update
  8. kmsoft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmsoft View Post
    Submitted 1.0.12 with a fix. Not sure how long before it shows up though, as I'm sure BlackBerry is (rightfully) very busy reviewing BB10 apps
    Version 1.0.12 is now available, fixing the issue where URLs were being forced to lowercase: BlackBerry World - SiteBook
  9. kmsoft's Avatar
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  10. rthonpm's Avatar
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    After seeing your post, I've downloaded and tried the app: it's already taken the place of my Bookmarks page! I can potentially see a lot more use for this app as well. I'm looking forward to any updates you have coming, and after a week or so (I really like to dig around and play with an app) I can see a very positive review coming your way in BlackBerry World. Keep up the good work!

    As a second point, how difficult was it to develop overall? I'm becoming more and more interested in learning about mobile app development: I've done a few websites (nothing that complex of fancy) but I'd love to try my hand at something a little more challenging as well.
  11. kmsoft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rthonpm View Post
    After seeing your post, I've downloaded and tried the app: it's already taken the place of my Bookmarks page! I can potentially see a lot more use for this app as well. I'm looking forward to any updates you have coming, and after a week or so (I really like to dig around and play with an app) I can see a very positive review coming your way in BlackBerry World. Keep up the good work!

    As a second point, how difficult was it to develop overall? I'm becoming more and more interested in learning about mobile app development: I've done a few websites (nothing that complex of fancy) but I'd love to try my hand at something a little more challenging as well.
    Hey thanks, good to hear! I use SiteBook (and Willow) all the time, though these days more on the Z10... though I still use the PlayBook for it's bigger screen too.

    As for apps, sent you a PM The tricky part for me was just getting through the whole process once from getting signing keys through publishing an app. The initial set up, installation, approvals, uploading etc. can be more tedious than the actual coding, lol. But it's not too bad, so definately give it a try if it intrigues you. If you want to use WebWorks, you can start here: https://developer.blackberry.com/htm...845471_11.html
    Willow - Twitter client for BB10 and PlayBook
    SiteBook - Manage your bookmarks, tasks and notes on BB10 and PlayBook (PlayBook version free!)
  12. bob_tn's Avatar
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    Boy have I been waiting for an app like this. This is much easier to keep track of sites on my PB than the docs to go spreadsheet I've been using.
    I am going to look at the backup text file format to see if there is some way to convert them to import.

    I also have a question.
    I haven't tried yet but can I use a backup text file created on my PB on my Z10 if I transfer / replace one with the other? As long as I use the same name?


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  13. chaosdivine's Avatar
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    Hey Kate, long time no talk. Hope all is well. Say, I was wondering if you're open to some feedback and suggestions to improve your app a little bit now that I've had some time to really spend with it? Overall it's awesome and I love it. Two things that I think would be really helpful are: 1) To keep the Save (checkmark) and the Cancel (X) visible on screen at all times when adding/editing an item. It took me a while to figure out that you had to tap on the screen to bring up the save/cancel buttons. It wasn't intuitive at first, though once you get it the first time, you'll remember to do it always...but it would help avoid that initial "WTF" moment. 2) I realize the sorting of bookmarks is alphabetical within categories. Is it possible to implement a drag and drop type organization to order them in the way I would choose, rather than simply alphabetical? Think the icons on the desktop for example...when you long press on one, they jiggle and you can then move them around wherever you wish and/or delete them too (uninstalling the program). A similar functionality would be really cool to have in this app since I like to organize things according to how frequently I use that particular site.

    Overall, I really like what you've accomplished and it's really a great app. If these suggestions can not be accomplished then that's fine, it won't stop me from using it every single day...

    Thanks Kate!
  14. kmsoft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob_tn View Post
    I haven't tried yet but can I use a backup text file created on my PB on my Z10 if I transfer / replace one with the other? As long as I use the same name?
    Neat idea! I just tried it, and it worked for me. But I can't make any promises, try at your own risk Just be sure to make a backup of your Z10 backup file first so you can always go back.

    And keep in mind the PlayBook puts the backup file at documents\Sitebook\sitebook-backup.txt, while the Z10 is stored at documents\sitebook-backup.txt

    Great idea for anyone who wants to migrate their PlayBook settings over to their Z10!
    Willow - Twitter client for BB10 and PlayBook
    SiteBook - Manage your bookmarks, tasks and notes on BB10 and PlayBook (PlayBook version free!)
  15. kmsoft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaosdivine View Post
    1) To keep the Save (checkmark) and the Cancel (X) visible on screen at all times when adding/editing an item. It took me a while to figure out that you had to tap on the screen to bring up the save/cancel buttons. It wasn't intuitive at first, though once you get it the first time, you'll remember to do it always...but it would help avoid that initial "WTF" moment.
    I debated it. I'd read that the framework I was using planned to implement the "auto hide" as a standard action, so I was kinda just being proactive in doing it myself. It also saves space (on the phone especially) to keep the Action Bar hidden until needed. I also toyed with the idea of Cancel/Save buttons in the title bar, but I've always disliked that aesthetically (and they're difficult to reach).

    But I get your point I'll see what I can do...

    2) I realize the sorting of bookmarks is alphabetical within categories. Is it possible to implement a drag and drop type organization to order them in the way I would choose, rather than simply alphabetical?
    Neat idea. Should be do-able
    Willow - Twitter client for BB10 and PlayBook
    SiteBook - Manage your bookmarks, tasks and notes on BB10 and PlayBook (PlayBook version free!)
  16. chaosdivine's Avatar
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    Oh, one more small thing...all category names in the bookmark list are displayed in lowcase rather than how I entered them when they were first created in sentence case. Punctuation is also removed (& for example). I created a category named News & Info and it's displayed as news info.

    It's not a biggy but just something to point out. I do like the app very much and makes life much easier...it's fast too.
    Last edited by chaosdivine; 05-10-2013 at 10:57 AM. Reason: Added punctuation comment.
  17. chaosdivine's Avatar
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    Having spent a lot of time importing bookmarks into SiteBook (by hand - old fashioned copy/paste) I am wondering if there is an import feature? I have seen the Backup and Export features which are great but to make the migration from the stock browser or from a desktop easier it would be awesome if this was possible.

    On a usability front, when you swipe through a long list of bookmarks in a vertical direction and accidently highlight the bookmark under your fingertip, a right hand-most sidebar pops up too soon and momentarily "stops" your scroll, almost like a "speedbump". It causes you to have to reapply your finger and continue scrolling again until the next highlighted bookmark happens and the next "speedbump" occurs. Is there any way to increase the press state from milliseconds to a longpress of 2 seconds to activate the sidebar coming into view? It would greatly improve the user experience for eventually people will get long lists of bookmarks and scrolling will occur. Having the sidebar constantly interfere with things popping into view and hiding once more is distracting.

    I think that's all that comes to mind, promise. Still loving this app greatly...
  18. kmsoft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaosdivine View Post
    Having spent a lot of time importing bookmarks into SiteBook (by hand - old fashioned copy/paste) I am wondering if there is an import feature?
    No, not yet anyway. I did experiment with the idea early on, but set it aside to see if anyone would want it. And... you do, so I'll revisit it

    I'm also looking for a way to "share" a URL directly from the Browser to SiteBook, especially on the Z10. It looks like the "hooks" are there for the Z10 at least, but I haven't quite managed to make it work yet.

    On a usability front, when you swipe through a long list of bookmarks in a vertical direction and accidently highlight the bookmark under your fingertip, a right hand-most sidebar pops up too soon and momentarily "stops" your scrol
    Yup, it's a known oddity with the version of the framework I used. I'll probably upgrade it to the newer version, but I have to be sure that won't break other things if I do.

    All pretty soon, I just want to tie up a batch of changes to Willow (I need employees! lol), then I'll give SiteBook some attention again
    Willow - Twitter client for BB10 and PlayBook
    SiteBook - Manage your bookmarks, tasks and notes on BB10 and PlayBook (PlayBook version free!)
  19. bob_tn's Avatar
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    I have a thought for another use for SiteBook and wondering if it is able to be done and you will consider it?
    Bookmarking files. Actually doc, xls and pdf files in my case. I have a number of these on my Z10 (and PB) that I refer to on a regular basis. I know you can use the search feature in BB10 to locate files and it is very good. Just think it would be easier with SiteBook.


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  20. bob_tn's Avatar
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    A gentle bump if I may, and a question.
    I know you are busy with Willow but I'm wondering if there is a way to add a folder location and file name to the URL box in place of a website? So I can use SiteBook as a document manager of sorts.
    I've tried a couple of ways and get error codes or nothing. Have I not typed in the proper format yet or is it not doable?
  21. kmsoft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob_tn View Post
    A gentle bump if I may, and a question.
    I know you are busy with Willow but I'm wondering if there is a way to add a folder location and file name to the URL box in place of a website? So I can use SiteBook as a document manager of sorts.
    I've tried a couple of ways and get error codes or nothing. Have I not typed in the proper format yet or is it not doable?
    It's an interesting thought.... I'm just not sure how to tell the PlayBook to "open" a file. Or if it can... hmmm... I'm looking through the docs now...
    Willow - Twitter client for BB10 and PlayBook
    SiteBook - Manage your bookmarks, tasks and notes on BB10 and PlayBook (PlayBook version free!)
  22. bob_tn's Avatar
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    It's been a while and I know you're still busy with Willow. But I was wondering if you have had a chance to see if SiteBook would also be able to be used as a file bookmarker?

    Also have a new question.
    I have been reading about and looking at trying out OrigamiBrowser. One of the things that hasn't been added to it yet is organization of bookmarks.

    Is it possible to have SiteBook open saved links in OrigamiBrowser instead of the stock browser?

    Thanks


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  23. kmsoft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob_tn View Post
    It's been a while and I know you're still busy with Willow. But I was wondering if you have had a chance to see if SiteBook would also be able to be used as a file bookmarker?
    I haven't found a way, although it's possible I'm missing it. But so far I haven't seen any "open file" type of commands I could use to open the file you've bookmarked.

    Is it possible to have SiteBook open saved links in OrigamiBrowser instead of the stock browser?
    Not that I know of, at least not on the PlayBook. The PlayBook doesn't really have much in the way of "sharing" features. With BB10 on the other hand, it'd probably be possible since you can pass info from one app to another.
    Willow - Twitter client for BB10 and PlayBook
    SiteBook - Manage your bookmarks, tasks and notes on BB10 and PlayBook (PlayBook version free!)
  24. bob_tn's Avatar
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    Thanks for the answers.
    Since PB doesn't have the pass to I can just copy/paste the URL from SiteBook. Extra step but no biggie.
    Since the BB10 browser is already faster and SiteBook opens it, unless there's some other reason to add it I'd say it's good.

    I'll look at some of the file managers for my filename bookmarks. I see some have a favorites feature. Maybe they have categories too.


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  25. pacoman03's Avatar
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    You can bookmark certain files that are on your Playbook with the native web browser. These bookmarks can be saved to the desktop, allowing you to open these files directly from the desktop. The files that can be bookmarked are files that the browser can open, including audio files, video files, image files, html files, text files, and maybe some others. Trying to bookmark these same files in the SiteBook app returns an error message since their address does not begin with http or https but rather begin with "file:///" .
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