Archive for July, 2009
“Knowing is half the battle”
In a previous post I described how to install and configure the Blackberry development environment. I was quite excited when I got it working and could work on the first hello world application. However, it soon became evident that if I wanted to take advantage of any cool touch features or target the widely distributed pearl handsets I had to update my JDE components.
Again, I spent several days trying to figure out how to update the Eclipse plug-in. It was fairly straight-forward in downloading and updating the components for the Blackberry JDE but what was not so self-evident was updating the Eclipse plugin.
Updating Blackberry JDE Plugin for Eclipse
There is an automated method for updating the plugin that takes advantage of eclipse’s self-updater. However, I was unable to get this working and by perusing other posts and boards it became evident that others had similar problems.
I’m hoping that these steps will work (however, RIM has a nasty habit of moving pages around so I’m hoping these links stay constant for a reasonable period of time).
- Download and save the zip file for the Appropriate JDE component from http://na.blackberry.com/eng/developers/javaappdev/javaeclipseplug.jsp. Note: you will want to scroll down to the bottom of the page.
- Remember where you save the Zip file. You won’t have to un-zip as Eclipse likes reading directly from the zip archive.
- Start up eclipse
- Select Help->Software Updates
- Click ‘Add Site’
- Click ‘archive’, browse and select the newly downloaded zip file.
- Wait for eclipse to import.
Updating Blackberry workspace to use different JDE Component
Once you have downloaded and installed the appropriate JDE, you will need to change the target of your blackberry workspace.
- Start up eclipse and load your workspace (should be default unless you are working on multiple projects).
- Choose Blackberry->Configure Blackberry Workspace
- Select, on the LHS, Blackberry JDE –> Installed Components
- Choose the target component and hit ‘OK’
- Wait till eclipse finishes thinking and you are good to go.
“The best defense is a good offense.”
I have decided to leave out the rant (well, perhaps some will slip in) and just stick to the facts. As mentioned earlier, I have spent the better part of a week trying to get my development environment setup and running. I have been frustrated by the inaccurate information, moved information and knowledge assumptions that have been made on various sites and discussion boards. I am trying to lay out the base steps so that even a trained monkey can get things working.
The original set of tutorials that I tried to follow can be found here.
The first part is to install the necessary java files on your computer. These files install the virtual machine, libraries and associated files that everything else depends on.
There are many different options to download; skip over the ‘bundles’ and look at the second section. You only need to download the ‘Java SE Development Kit (JDK)’
- Download the Java SE Development Kit (JDK). The most recent version is fine (I installed JDK6u14).
- The direct link is here
- Once the download has completed, install the package. I took the default options.
Set-up Development IDE
You have two choices when it comes down to development IDE: the blackberry IDE and eclipse. I understand that there are some advanced features that will be unavailable in eclipse that are available in the blackberry IDE. However, eclipse is much more friendly and usable and so you have a classic trade-off. The good news is that the two are compatible (or so everyone claims).
Since I’m new to this whole endeavour and I favour having a modern IDE with built-in help and context sensitive menus, I chose to go with eclipse. The caveat with eclipse is that you must go with an OLDER version of eclipse. The newest version DOES NOT WORK with the blackberry software.
The supported version of eclipse is 3.4.1 (also known as Ganymede SR1). Thou shalt not use 3.3, 3.4.2 (Ganymede SR2) nor 3.5 Galileo, and Pulsar (mobile eclipse) is right out. Thou shalt use version 3.4.1 and thou shall only use version 3.4.1.
I only belabour this point as I learned this the hard way over the course of a long, frustrating day. Oh, as usual, there are many different versions and options: Eclipse Classic 3.4.1
- Download Eclipse Classic 3.4.1 from here.
- The download should be a zip file that you can extract to its final resting place.
- I must say that eclipse is nice in that once you have unzipped it, it should just work. If it doesn’t then I think you are up the creek without a paddle.
Once eclipse has been unzipped and you’ve started it, you are almost there. Just need to download the eclipse plugin that will allow you to develop for the Blackberry.
- Download the BlackBerry JDE Plug-in for Eclipse here. You can install the ‘Full Installer’ or scroll down to ‘Download the BlackBerry JDE Plug-in for Eclipse v1.0 with the BlackBerry® Java® Development Environment (BlackBerry JDE) v4.5 Component Pack’
- Once the download completes, run the executable and follow the instructions.
Congratulations. You have now installed your environment for developing for version 4.5 of the Blackberry.
Next: Installing other versions of the JDE.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )
Well, I have decided to venture into the world of mobile phones and mobile development. You are probably asking why I chose to pursue blackberry smartphones over the ever-popular and uber-sexy device known as the iPhone. So am I, perhaps I’ll talk a bit later about my rationale behind starting with Blackberry over the Apple system.
What I do know is that it has been a very steep learning curve to even get started. Before I venture into my rant, let me give a brief background on my technical skills.
I have been developing software for over 15 years and have a wide range of experience in all things windows and web related (at least as envisioned and presented by Microsoft). As part of this time, I have spent several years doing embedded development and a couple of J2E projects. I thought that I was a pretty smart guy and able to understand and figure things out fairly quickly.
As such, my initial thoughts were that I would be able to sit down, install the IDE and API and get coding in a matter of a day, maybe two at the most. Well, here I am at the end of the week and I have just managed to install the components necessary to develop for the Blackberry Storm. I have struggled with just about every step of the process.
It has been a very humbling experience and feel that I need to have a big piece of pie. I have felt like the man banging his head against the wall just so that he can feel what it is like when he stops. The past couple days have developed so much character that I’m giving it away free with every comment.
So without any further adieu, I’d like to dedicate the subsequent posts to all those people out there that feel that installation and setup of development environments is a useless waste of time that keeps you from the real job of producing quality and timely software.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )