1. Hirazi Blue's Avatar
    Its probably the oldest question in the (developers) book. The developer site for Blackberry quite clearly (and rightly) states, that if you have experience with AIR you should consider the AIR SDK, while prior knowledge of HTML5 and Javascript should convince you to consider Webworks API for Playbook development. I, however, know neither. I know my way around programming in general and have recently have done quite a bit of coding in Python within the confines of a 3D application (okay: Autodesk Softimage). But the obvious question would be, as I hardly even have the time and energy to learn a new set of tools at all, which one should I choose? At the moment the Webworks side of things looks most tempting as it seems to have more practical applications in the not so mobile world, should my love with the Playbook ever sour. But Im at that wonderful state, where my mind isnt yet fully made up and I am willing to be proven wrong. So what are the pros and cons of these two approaches. And BTW, I most definitely wont be going native, C and C++ are not my cup of tea, so to speak
    05-22-13 04:18 AM
  2. jrohland's Avatar
    HTML5 is the future. Flash is the past. Just one man's opinion. I know AIR and Flash are different things but what is Adobe's future in the post Flash world?
    05-22-13 05:32 AM
  3. uncle_numpty's Avatar
    The thing with any programming language is : choose the best one for solving the problem that you have.

    A lot of people get comfortable with a particular language and never deviate from it, and whilst they can make it do what they want it may take longer to accomplish and be a slower/clunkier solution.

    That being said - i've never used either AIR or WEBWORKS so can't offer comments on either, however as jrohland stated HTML5 is the future so i'd go down that road if you don't want to use c/c++.
    Innovatology likes this.
    05-22-13 05:42 AM
  4. Innovatology's Avatar
    I use both, and many others too. They have different advantages and disadvantages. I choose whichever is more suitable for the project. It also depends on personal preference.

    Don't discount Cascades too quickly. You can do a lot in QML and JavaScript with hardly any C++.

    If you're an OOP-kind of programmer coming from Java, C#, Delphi, Python et al, then you'll like AIR, ActionScript and Flash Builder/FDT/FlashDevelop. It offers a structured language, compile-time validation, robust code completion, excellent and mature development tools and cross-platform support. The ability to run & debug your app on either your desktop or your device is extremely productive. But AIR is a dwindling platform since Adobe shot themselves in the foot.

    If you're more at home with dynamic scripting languages, then HTML5/CSS/JS might be the way to go. Though it's still not (IMO) at the same level as other platforms, it has been advancing rapidly over the past years. Initiatives like TypeScript, CoffeeScript and DART are starting to make up for the missing language features. But you'll often be relying on beta-quality, badly documented libraries to plug holes in the language, which often do not interoperate with each-other very well. For debugging, you'll have to rely on the (rather buggy) Ripple on the desktop, or Remote Web Inspector on the device. Neither can match the IDE-integrated debugging of the AIR or Cascades tools.

    Many programmers will advocate "their own" platform without having done large-scale projects on other platforms. So take all opinions (including mine) with a grain of salt, and take all your options for a test-drive to see which is most comfortable for you.
    uncle_numpty likes this.
    05-22-13 07:09 AM
  5. SifJar's Avatar
    You might like to look into this option: BlackBerry-Py Project

    Lets you code apps for PlayBook (and BB10) in Python. [Proper, full apps; I don't just mean scripts running in a terminal ]

    I haven't fiddled with it too much, but I did compile one of the sample apps, and it worked pretty nicely and was fairly straight forward from memory. Once you've got the workflow figured out, I imagine it wouldn't be any more tedious than any other development path.

    For the record, I feel should state that most of my work on PB has been WebWorks, for a couple of reasons;
    (i) I know a bit of HTML and JS (and only more recently learnt a bit of C and Python)
    (ii) everything I've done has been quite simple [most too simple to ever see public release], so some quick HTML & JS suffices
    (iii) it's quicker for testing stuff because you can just transfer the HTML files (and JS and CSS files, if present) to the PB and load them in the browser to get a decent feel for how they'll work. With the PB's WiFi file sharing, you can even edit the files while they're on the device, and then just reload the page in the browser to see changes nearly instantly.

    Another plus for WebWorks is the existence of "BBUI.js" which lets you create a "Cascades-like" interface with HTML and JS.
    05-22-13 01:02 PM
  6. Hirazi Blue's Avatar
    @all - Thanks for all your replies.
    @SifJar - Yes I have seen blackberry-py and blackberry-tart, but the lack of documentation, especially where installing the beast is concerned put me off ever so slightly...
    05-22-13 01:20 PM
  7. SifJar's Avatar
    @all - Thanks for all your replies.
    @SifJar - Yes I have seen blackberry-py and blackberry-tart, but the lack of documentation, especially where installing the beast is concerned put me off ever so slightly...
    In terms of installing, it's not all that difficult. Basically what you want to do is install the latest version of the Native SDK from here: Download for Windows - Native SDK for BB10 and PlayBook - BlackBerry Developer

    Then grab the pre-built PySide package from here: http://blackberry-py.microcode.ca/do...latest.tar.bz2

    After that, you can just follow the build guide here to get Hello World up and running: microcode / blackberry-py / wiki / Building HelloWorld — Bitbucket - this part is well documented, I think.

    Once you've done that, you now have everything set up to build apps, and you can grab some of the sample apps to use as a sort of "template" for creating apps.

    EDIT: OK, so on returning to play a bit more, maybe it requires a little more fiddling than what I previously thought...I guess the documentation could be a bit better after all.
    Last edited by SifJar; 05-22-13 at 02:45 PM.
    05-22-13 02:13 PM
  8. Hirazi Blue's Avatar
    maybe it requires a little more fiddling than what I previously thought...I guess the documentation could be a bit better after all.
    I was afraid of that. But as a general pointer in the right direction this is much appreciated...
    05-23-13 03:37 AM

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