...to Becoming a Mobile Developer!

Month: June 2011

Getting to grips with Blackberry

I mentioned previously that I’ve taken on an intern position with a company specialising in making child safety/security apps, and I’ve been given the role of developing the Blackberry version of the app. Well, after being in the job a few weeks now, theres some thing I’ve noticed.

The JRE version used to make Blackberry apps is JRE 1.3, which basically means no ArrayLists, no generics (the pointy braces , eg ArrayList) and no StringBuilder. The absence of StringBuilder isnt that big a deal since you can still use StringBuffer. There’s also no template classes, but I think thats more of a Java thing. Coming from a C++ background, I like to have Template classes instead of overloading where possible, but I suppose thats more of a preference, and not really a limitation.

I’ve also noticed that the simulators (not emulators ;)) for blackberry can be very slow and memory intensive. Much like that Android emulators, they take forever to load up, but unlike that Android emulators, you can’t skip the boot animation to slightly speed things up. My laptop has 1GB of RAM, but I’ve ordered another 1GB off eBay so hopefully that speeds things up a bit. From what I’m told, RAM is more important than CPU speed here.

Also, there are 2 IDEs that are commonly used for Blackberry. There’s the Eclipse plugin, and then there’s RIMs own Blackberry JDE, built in Java. Both work fine but the one thing its missing is the ability to filter the console. In Android, you can filter by a tag or app name. In blackberry there is no such option, so your console outputs get lost in a sea of scrolling lines! The best workaround I’ve found is to get a plugin for eclipse, called grep console that highlights lines in a specificed colour based on text matching. So if you output to the console something like: MyApp::Error with database then the plugin can match MyApp:: and highlight it red, or whatever colour you choose.

Anyway, that’s just my initial observations and a newbie to the Blackberry world. Will keep updating here as I find out more.

I got my results!

After a long year of basically learning a brand new (to me) technology, I’ve finally gotten my results back for this project, and my other subjects too.

In my last post, I had finished off the geolocation code on the backend, which was basically all that was left to do on that side. The rest of the work was done on the front-end.

The complete list of features are as follows:

    Get the nearest 3 Dublin Bikes stations, with live info
    Get the nearest 3 bicycle lockup areas in the city
    Get the nearest 3 LUAS stops, with live arrival times
    Add favourite bike/LUAS stations

Now that I list them out like that, it doesnt really seem like there is a lot to the app, but I can assure you, there was a lot of work put into it! Honest!

My intention now is to create an Android equivalent now. Also, I’ve managed to get my hands on the coordinates of every Dublin Bus station in the city, so I might add buses to the app as well, since I can get live info off the Dublin Bus website. Clicking on a bus stop would mean it will display live Bus times, which could come in really handy. I might even release it to the market after that.

OH ye, and in case you’re wondering what result I got for this…..

I got an A!! 😀

I now have my bachelor of science degree, which apparently makes me a scientist. My plan now is to go on and do the honours bachelors degree, and presumably become an “honours scientist”(?).

I’ve also a few projects I want to get done over the summer so I’ll continue with this blog, updating it with what I’ve learned from them.

See ya soon!

I got a job

So I started a new job on Monday. Its an intern role with a startup company based in Dublin. Obviously my intention is to go back to college in late September/early October so its really only a summer job.
Anyway, the company deals with making apps. They’re making a security app for keeping children safe. Basically the phone uploads their coordinates to a server and the parents can see where their children are, as well as who they’ve been in contact with via phone or text.

There are 2 versions of the app, the android version and the blackberry version. I have been given the responsibility of making the Blackberry app. There’s an existing codebase there with bits of functionality but I’ll have to add most of it myself.

I’ll keep you updated on how the job goes.