- Leveraged QNX®-based Native Development Kit (NDK) to port app to BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet.
- Developed using Eclipse-based QNX Momentics® Tool Suite.
- Benefited from POSIX-compliant QNX platform and availability of open-source libraries.
- Within days published for BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha users.
BlackBerry Developer Success Story - Pop Corny
Longtime software engineer Charilaos ('Harry') Kalogirou has been pursuing his true interest, native mobile application development, for more than two years. With experience across multiple platforms, Kalogirou recently decided to try porting his popular 'Pop Corny' app to the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. After just two days of working with the QNX Momentics Tool Suite and the BlackBerry NDK, the Greek developer was not only able to port the game, but also have it run faster than on its original platform.
Kalogirou talked to us about the complete solution offered by the BlackBerry NDK, the importance of open source libraries and working with QNX Momentics.
Q: Describe the benefits of working with the RIM NDK?
Harry: The BlackBerry NDK is a complete solution for developing on the platform. My first impression after downloading the NDK was that it was a clean interface for native code applications and I felt like I was on very common ground when I entered the platform. On another platform, the NDK is an unpolished version of its native build system that supports minimal functionality and requires Java™ calls for most functions. With the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, however, the NDK provides C-level APIs for everything you're going to need.
Q: How important is RIM's wide support of open frameworks?
Harry: I really enjoyed working on RIM's platform because of its logical software design decisions. The POSIX-compliant platform supports many of the open frameworks that game developers use. With another platform I've worked with, you can't directly use the deposit area and if you're writing a native application you have to create interfaces to Java and then call into it with JNI. Unlike most platforms that require you to bundle all the libraries you use, the NDK for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet has a native API with a C-interface that does everything you need. You can use the QNX platform the way you know with POSIX, which is the logical and simple way of doing things. That's why this was the easiest platform I've ever ported to.
Q: Why are the open source libraries so useful?
Harry: The QNX platform either provides most of the major open-source libraries that I usually use or RIM has already done the porting for you and provided a gate directory that you can use to find everything that just compiles to the platform. The availability of open source libraries is a huge plus to the platform because some of the libraries are usually very big and hard to compile. For example, it took me more than one week to properly compile the Boost Library when working with another platform, but RIM has a repository where Boost has already been ported. All you have to do is download it and it's done.
Q: What was your experience working with the QNX Momentics Tool Suite?
Harry: I chose Momentics because it is very well set up for native C/C++ development and I had no problem with it at all. Since Momentics was used by QNX to produce native applications to begin with, it was very clean and straightforward to use. Everything that needed to be set up ahead of time had been taken care of and I did not miss the command line once. Based on my overall development experience, I'm considering releasing my next application solely for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.
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