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  • 1 Post By peter9477
  1. jtokarchuk's Avatar
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    Default To the playbook app developers out there.

    Where did you begin? I have the simulator and NDK running, but if I am making a utility based app, am I better off using Flash Designer and AIR?

    I have 5+ years experience in C, C++, python, and the .NETs. I will be able to pick whatever up no problem.

    That being said -- are there any app teams looking for a hand? I would like to get more involved in the community.
  2. peter9477's Avatar
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    You might want to start by exploring the developer support forums since there's really a lot more developers hanging out there and available to help than there are here. The traffic is lighter in most cases, but that's because there's less idle chatter, gossip-mongering, and trolling, among other things (in spite of the admirable efforts of people here to clean things up).

    I wouldn't suggest ignoring either venue, however, which is why I hang out here.

    If you've got lots of experience using C/C++ you should consider the NDK rather than the AIR stuff, though if you think you'd be comfortable with ActionScript3 (much like Javascript with static typing) it's a pretty good environment. As usual, the learning for an experienced dev is mostly in the libraries and tools, not the language.

    The problem for now with the NDK is that it's lacking any UI framework, though efforts to port Qt are underway (and largely successful, as far as I know). For now, the NDK has to focus on games or other apps where they can supply the entire UI themselves. The Cascades UI framework is close to entering beta (closed at first, then open, same as NDK had) but not quite there yet. Probably in early January.

    If you like Python, you'd be well advised to get familiar with "BBX Python" (name subject to change, for obvious reasons): BBX-Python Read that and all my past posts on the topic (linked from that page). It's not ready for prime time, but mostly it's waiting on the release of the Cascades UI framework stuff, which is the same holdup I just mentioned for the NDK.

    There's also the #playbook-dev IRC channel on Freenode. And #bbx-python there as well, though much less active for now.
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  3. Innovatology's Avatar
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    I agree, mostly, with what Peter posted above. Actionscript 3 can be similar to JS with type safety, but I think it is more akin to C# as it has namespaces, access modifiers and proper inheritance.

    Consider what you want to write, what low-level performance you require, and what libraries are available for that SDK:

    • For computationally heavy stuff you may want to go for C/C++.
    • For UI-heavy apps perhaps AIR (possibly with Flex) is a better solution.
    • You can also mix and match: AIR allows you to call C/C++ extensions to offload some operations to low-level code.
    • Then again, if you're comfortable building large scale apps in JS, have a look at WebWorks (which uses AIR behind the scenes).
    Whichever you choose, learning to design for mobile will probably be your biggest hurdle.
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  4. app_Developer's Avatar
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    We've been looking at this also. There is no native UI framework yet. So you either have a GL ES context if your bringing a game or citrix or something over. Or you have Air or Webworks.

    The middle piece, which is what most business and utility apps need, is not finished yet. I know we're eagerly awaiting that UI framework.
    Last edited by app_Developer; 12-22-2011 at 08:59 PM.
  5. jtokarchuk's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replys. I am giving flex a go, the syntax is alright,but the ui design system seems odd to me. For example , trying to do something like changing the background color is something I can't find. Oh well, will make a few apps.
  6. Snyder81's Avatar
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    Sorry to inject myself into the conversation, but is the lack of the native UI framework the reason PlayBook does not have a native RDP client? I know Citrix has a client now, but I can't believe there is no RDP application for sale or included with the PlayBook natively.

    P.S. I am not a developer, but I did take a couple years of computer science classes.
  7. meltbox360's Avatar
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    I guess BBXteam is looking for devs but things seem a little idle on the website. I believe they mostly dev air apps. I would be interested in undertaking a project with you. The place where I'm weak is graphics and inout handling. Currently learning sdl and I will probably procede to learn opengl. I don't know what your looking for but if you have an idea and need help just pm me.

    Edit: Not that I don't have ideas but I'm not sure what exactly you would be interested in.

    The last time I tried making an air app was before launch and it sucked then. I don't know about how it is now. The NDK is nicely done though. I have had trouble with the built in signing so I signed an app from the command line.

    Note: The reason I'm not sure about bbxteam is because it seems to be a group founded on coverting android apps and not so much writing apps from scratch although some of that is going on too.
    Last edited by Meltbox360; 12-23-2011 at 10:47 AM.

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