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Old 06-07-2007, 01:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default BlackBerry Tables API (GridBagLayout)

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Hi all,

Javadocs can be found here
BBTablesAPI Documentation


I've developed a tables API that should work very much like HTML tables, or a GridBagLayout that is sorely lacking in the BlackBerry API.

Please download the demonstration application to see what the tables API can do.

I'd appreciate your feedback.

Those that provide useful suggestions for change/improvement will get a free copy when I go live with it.

Also, I'd be interested to know what you think a fair price might be.

Here's where you can see screenshots of the demonstration application.

: BBTablesAPI

Here's where you can download the demo application OTA.
The source code for these examples can be found in the javadoc page for BBTable

http://www.wheatoncs.com/blackberry/bbtablesapi/ota

Thanks in advance for your comments.

Sincerely,
Matthew Wheaton

Last edited by mdwheaton : 06-18-2007 at 05:00 PM.
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Old 06-07-2007, 09:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Based on the demo, the tables component looks really nice. I'd be curious as to what methods would be available in the API - is there javadocs available online?

Provided the component has a decent amount of events that get communicated to listener classes, I would buy this component. Its hard to say what type of price would be appropriate - It's a single component, so it may be hard to convince developers to pay more than $30 for the library. At the same time, BlackBerry development is pretty niche (no matter what the RIM developer site tries to tell you), so you may want to raise the price since there wouldn't be a large number of potential buyers initially.
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Old 06-07-2007, 10:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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the number of developers is very very small and a lot are enterprise developers who wouldn't buy 3rd part components, - i'm not sure how many will pay for it but good luck!
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Old 06-07-2007, 09:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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why does it let me scroll off the bottom of the table? is that supposed to happen?

an interactive demo where you can type in some text to see what happens.

also show that you can host arbitrary controls (buttons, checkboxes, whatever).
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Old 06-08-2007, 04:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdwheaton View Post
Hi all,

I've developed a tables API that should work very much like HTML tables, or a GridBagLayout that is sorely lacking in the BlackBerry API.

Please download the demonstration application to see what the tables API can do.

I'd appreciate your feedback.

Those that provide useful suggestions for change/improvement will get a free copy when I go live with it.

Also, I'd be interested to know what you think a fair price might be.

Here's where you can see screenshots of the demonstration application.

: BBTablesAPI

Here's where you can download the demo application OTA.

http://www.wheatoncs.com/blackberry/bbtablesapi/ota

Thanks in advance for your comments.

Sincerely,
Matthew Wheaton
Hi Matt,

Looks fantastic. I know I'd certainly be interested in using something like that. The BlackBerry is a horribly restrictive development environment and I myself have come up with a number of custom components & add-ins similar to this (but only suitable for my own purposes - nowhere near as comprehensive as yours). Check out the products page on my website linked in my signature to see a product that I am working on now which required developing quite a few custom layout components)

My main suggestions/questions:

1) Ensure that the javadoc is consistent with the actual API. RIM fails to do this way too much.
2) Be open to suggested enhancements to the API
3) How flexible is the underlying table model?
4) Are there any display issues with imbedding the table within other layout managers?
5) Is is possible to have columns/rows in the table which are not selectable? I suspect it is, if the same table API is powering the main screen on your demo. That would be very useful.

In short, great job . I would certainly use something like that. Price - hard to say as I'm not really sure what demand is like; And I'm biased too, because I want it Sure, I love it, but are there _that_ many developers out there for the BB?

Maybe $20 USD w/out support and $30 for with support. Plus, you can charge once-off fees for custom jobs too if you want

Cheers,
eZainny.
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Old 06-08-2007, 04:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Actually, one more question I just thought of then too - can the table automatically size itself based on the preferred width and height of the components within it (if it can handle components? Assuming it does...)
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Old 06-08-2007, 04:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thumbs up questions

First of all, your API looks great!!
I have 2 questions:
1-What kind of field can tu put in the cells? just Text or any Field(checks, radio, objectSelectGroup)?
2-You force a font thta is different to the device one's. Can your API use the same?

I wont tell you an amount of money, but if you sell the code today, and the amount to pay is 20-30 $ you will have the money tomorrow!!
I work for a company that develops software for BB and this will ease our designer's work a lot

you can contact me at [email address]
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Old 06-12-2007, 11:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josecsm View Post
First of all, your API looks great!!
I have 2 questions:
1-What kind of field can tu put in the cells? just Text or any Field(checks, radio, objectSelectGroup)?
2-You force a font thta is different to the device one's. Can your API use the same?

I wont tell you an amount of money, but if you sell the code today, and the amount to pay is 20-30 $ you will have the money tomorrow!!
I work for a company that develops software for BB and this will ease our designer's work a lot

you can contact me at [email address]

Joe,

The table API has no notion of "font". The fonts you set for the screen or the data you place in the cells determines the font.

The design of the table cells allow you to essentially put any kind of Object in the cell. If it does not extend Field, then a toString() is performed on the Object and only text is displayed. However, if Field is extended, you can dynamically change the values in the fields and they will update in the table. I've written an application called the BlackBerry QuickTipper that incorporates all this behavior, as well as a ColorPicker. Take a look over at Handango :

BlackBerry QuickTipper by WCS, Inc. - Handango BlackBerry Pearl Software

If the link does not work, just search for QuickTipper.

Take a look at the screenshots page to get an idea of what I mean.

Or, better yet, download the application and help me feed my kids !!!!

Last edited by mdwheaton : 06-12-2007 at 11:38 PM.
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Old 06-12-2007, 11:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CPO View Post
Based on the demo, the tables component looks really nice. I'd be curious as to what methods would be available in the API - is there javadocs available online?

Provided the component has a decent amount of events that get communicated to listener classes, I would buy this component. Its hard to say what type of price would be appropriate - It's a single component, so it may be hard to convince developers to pay more than $30 for the library. At the same time, BlackBerry development is pretty niche (no matter what the RIM developer site tries to tell you), so you may want to raise the price since there wouldn't be a large number of potential buyers initially.
I'm working on (more) thorough documentation for the API and should have it posted to my site by this weekend. I'll try to notify you personally when it's ready.

Sincerely,
Matthew Wheaton
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Old 06-12-2007, 11:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koedur View Post
why does it let me scroll off the bottom of the table? is that supposed to happen?

an interactive demo where you can type in some text to see what happens.

also show that you can host arbitrary controls (buttons, checkboxes, whatever).
Koedur,

You can host arbitrary controls in the table. I have an application on Handango called the BlackBerry QuickTipper (just search for QuickTipper), that shows what you're looking for.

As for allowing one to scroll past the table, there is a NullField below the table to allow the focus to go all the way to the bottom of the table if there are no Focusable fields. However, in retrospect, this is not a good idea. For instance, if the table is more than one screen high, the focus will jump from the top of the table all the way to the bottom. In actuality, this type of table is of zero value, because you MUST have focusable cells in order to scroll screen by screen. In this case it's up to the coder to ensure the data entered in the cells is focusable (with some exceptions, which you can see in the API (to be published soon))
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Old 06-12-2007, 11:36 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eZainny View Post
Hi Matt,

Looks fantastic. I know I'd certainly be interested in using something like that. The BlackBerry is a horribly restrictive development environment and I myself have come up with a number of custom components & add-ins similar to this (but only suitable for my own purposes - nowhere near as comprehensive as yours). Check out the products page on my website linked in my signature to see a product that I am working on now which required developing quite a few custom layout components)

My main suggestions/questions:

1) Ensure that the javadoc is consistent with the actual API. RIM fails to do this way too much.
2) Be open to suggested enhancements to the API
3) How flexible is the underlying table model?
4) Are there any display issues with imbedding the table within other layout managers?
5) Is is possible to have columns/rows in the table which are not selectable? I suspect it is, if the same table API is powering the main screen on your demo. That would be very useful.

In short, great job . I would certainly use something like that. Price - hard to say as I'm not really sure what demand is like; And I'm biased too, because I want it Sure, I love it, but are there _that_ many developers out there for the BB?

Maybe $20 USD w/out support and $30 for with support. Plus, you can charge once-off fees for custom jobs too if you want

Cheers,
eZainny.
> 1) Ensure that the javadoc is consistent with the actual API. RIM fails to do > this way too much.
It will be

>2) Be open to suggested enhancements to the API
I love suggestions

>3) How flexible is the underlying table model?
The table model is up to the coder. You essentially "put" an Object in a table cell. You'll still have a handle to your Object which will allow you to change it dynamically (provided the Object you place in the cell extends Field, non-Field objects get toString()'d).

>4) Are there any display issues with imbedding the table within other layout managers?
Not that I'm aware of, the table demo is embedded in a VerticalFieldManager.

>5) Is is possible to have columns/rows in the table which are not selectable?
>I suspect it is, if the same table API is powering the main screen on your
>demo. That would be very useful.
Your suspicion is correct, the entire demo is in fact using the API
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Old 06-12-2007, 11:37 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eZainny View Post
Actually, one more question I just thought of then too - can the table automatically size itself based on the preferred width and height of the components within it (if it can handle components? Assuming it does...)
Yes, the individual cells resize based on content, which in turn recalculates the whole table and adjust accordingly.
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Old 06-18-2007, 04:01 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default BBTables API Javadoc now available

I've posted the javadocs for this API here, and the demo version of the API will be available soon.

BBTablesAPI Javadoc
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Old 06-21-2007, 08:50 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Matthew,

First, good job. There aren't too many out there that will take on this sort of thing. We tackled much of this early and it certainly was not easy.

I have some things I would like to offer.

From a business perspective, you need to demonstrate value, and that it is much cheaper and safer to buy your SDK than build it. This implementation is difficult, so demonstrate all of the features clearly, which you have in the screenshots. Make it absolutely the best available, and charge a price that fits the product. Define your target market, which is enterprise developers. Your work is much more valuable than $20 or $30 a license. You can certainly get a higher number of purchases for that price, but your target market will buy one license, whether it is $30 or $300.

Your potential customers might ask:
Can you page through 2000 rows efficiently?
Can you add a standard RIM EditField etc to one of the cells?
Does it overflow properly and scroll right?
On scrolling horizontal/vertical, does it auto adjust to intelligently show the content in the cell?


Alleviate fears of your buyers. The are afraid of being locked in or that you will disappear. You are afraid of giving your work away. You will need to sell the source with it. Look at the Jira license at atlassian.com as an example of this model. They are extremely successful, and they give their source away. There isn't really a way around this since it is just an API and you are not selling an entire application. You may try and experiment with binary only, but my guess is that most will dismiss it outright. Remember, you may only get to present this to your potential customer once.


Last, if it doesn't work out for you, maybe your a good fit for our company. We hire only the best, and the best are hard to find. Feel free to send me your contact information so that we can stay in touch.
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