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For my next foray into mobile development with Flex and AIR, I'm trying
an application with the default UI of the BlackBerry Tablet, the QNX api.
QNX is the company behind the BlackBerry Tablet OS. They provide an
ActionScript library for creating components for the BlackBerry tablet.
It's what most of the native apps use, and to get that native feel,
this is what you are going to use.
For me, coming to this from Flex, not having the framework to fall
back on was a little scary. Ultimately I did get it working. I did
suffer from the same disgust I had for the last remote project.
Encouraged by my success with that last project, I applied some of
the same techniques. I changed some of the colors, positions and
layouts. I'm still not happy with it, but the failings are mine, and not
Flex rocks. Not having to spend
time laying out stuff, add child objects to the stage, and generally
being able to style components directly through an attribute or CSS is a
huge productivity boost.
That being said, ActionScript only projects aren't terrible.
Performance is better, the file sizes are smaller. In the case of the
BlackBerry tablet, it's the native look and feel.
The PlayBook starts in landscape (and the emulator can't turn to
portrait yet). It forced me to really think about how I needed to lay
things out. In the end, I'm not happy with this one yet. I need to get
better at laying things out.
Finally I learned that by default when you run a QNX app on your system
you don't have the fonts to make it look good. Even if you install it,
it still won't look good. I had to manually add the font as a text
format to all of my controls. Annoying, but worth it. The text is listed
as something like BBSans, but it is actually called DejaVu and is
freely available. Thanks to Kevin Hoyt
for pointing that out.
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