A closer look at bbUI.js - RIM's open source UI toolkit designed to help create applications with native-like capabilities

BlackBerry 10 Jam
By Bla1ze on 15 May 2012 01:17 am EDT

During BlackBerry World 2012 and BlackBerry 10 Jam there was a lot of information released for BlackBerry developers. The highlight of the event was of course the BlackBerry 10 Native SDK with Cascades which, allows developers to create graphically rich, high performance native applications in C/C++ or Qt but in that mix, was the BlackBerry 10 WebWorks SDK which allows developers to create native-like applications using common web programming technologies.

During BlackBerry 10 Jam, Tim Neil took the stage to demo a lot of this in action but unless you attended the event, you may have missed some of the examples of bbUI.js that were shown off. Perhaps, one of the more interesting take-aways is the fact that it supports older devices in some cases considering there has been a lot of attention given to the fact that previous BlackBerry devices for example: the BlackBerry Bold 9900 will not be upgraded to BlackBerry 10. The power of bbUI.js allows for some design influences from BlackBerry 10 to make their way to older BlackBerry devices and that's a good thing. It also explains why a lot of attention to HTML5 was given to BlackBerry 7 previously as well.

Many of the examples were available for preview ahead of BlackBerry 10 Jam but with that event now wrapped up, you can have a look at what was shown off there and have glimpse of what will be coming to future BlackBerry devices. All in all, bbUI.js is yet-another great option for developers to build apps for BlackBerry devices and quite frankly, add some new polish to older ones, which will still be supported for quite a while yet. Jump below for a closer look at some of the bbUI.js design elements and hit the source link below to learn more about bbUI.js.

BlackBerry 10 Grid Layouts

BlackBerry 10 Grid Layouts
BlackBerry 10 Grid Layouts

BlackBerry 10 Action Bar

BlackBerry 10 Action Bar

BlackBerry 10 Context Menu

BlackBerry 10 Context Menu

Buttons and Dropdowns

Buttons and Dropdowns

If you're a BlackBerry developer looking to learn more about bbUI.js, you can hit up the Github repo for the full details and usage case scenarios. Needless to say, bbUI.js packs a lot of punch for creating visually appealing and powerful applications using open standards

Learn more about bbUI.js via Github

Reader comments

A closer look at bbUI.js - RIM's open source UI toolkit designed to help create applications with native-like capabilities


What spec are you hoping it beats? That quad-core cpu? Because that's kinda the only thing relevant on the SGS III and even then not all variations will be getting the better processor being Samsung's Exynos.

Well, hardware majorly (larger battery, graphically powerful enough to run heavy android apps and be thin). Blackberry currently is under user who love its messaging service and efficiency. Not all users out there are looking for that. If blackberry wants people to switch from other brand and come to blackberry, blackberry needs to over come those brands.
I love my 9900, only if i could have widgets, life would be beautiful.

Widgets? Really? That's the one thing in life you need? Can I suggest tighter app integration, better predictive & adaptive keyboard, simpler method to accurately positioning the cursor for full touch screens, front facing cam with Skype, option to route calls via VoIP over WiFi, easy way to manage running apps (kill, pause, auto-pause in background, prioritize/de-prioritize), etc., etc. Lots more I can think of. Widgets is just a "me-too" response to Android. RIM can do a lot better.

Straight up reply even myself being in the market for a new phone...

I recently quit RIM and need to give back my device. I looked at all the devices on the market and settled on a Blackberry 9860...whhuuuuuu

(keep in mind a lot of new hardware coming out)
iPhone 4S - $650 Cdn for a phone - are you insane?
Android's - I am not blind, I don't play games..for me 4" and bigger is too big. Played with the Razr, Galaxy SII (SII is going to be bigger!!!) HTC One X. I remembered a tv show I always watched after school...Saved by the Bell. I like to be mobile, and I don't carry a purse.

Now find a phone on the market with decent hardware and a decent screen, but most importantly FORM FACTOR. That's where BB10 needs to slide in. With phones becoming tablets, someone needs to draw a line...a compact car nowadays are the size of family sedans of the past.

Blackberry 9860...Galaxy S Glide...in the end the BB won because I still have my RIM friends / family discount

It is hard to imagine how Apple can rack up $100 billion in cash without people willing to pay $650 CDN for an iPhone 4S.

Hey, a buddy! I too love my 9860. I was being pushed to get the "better" Galaxy SII, but I would have missed my BBM and all things BlackBerry! :) Only BlackBerry fans really know what that is ;)

I am just wondering if the OS runs smoothly with all the features that match or outmatch the competition, are the specs really that important?

For the market that they are going after, I don't think specs are going to be important. If you are someone who is all about efficiency and getting things done, are you going to be worried about what kind of processor it has or are you going to worried about how much time it saves you?

...specs aren't as important anymore (well except for Samsung I guess)..if your OS is efficient, then you don't need 4 cores etc..hardware specs haven't really been relevant in years..way back when AMD stopped using clock speeds and went to model numbers..it's about software/hardware efficiency...like in the PlayBook for example...

BlackBerry Torch 9860
BlackBerry PlayBook O/S 1.xx.xxxx

A quad core CPU would really make QNX shine above all others! QNX is a core junkie OS. With it's RTE (real-time engine, sorry!), it will kick some serious butt! RIM has to make BB10 sparkle and sub-par hardware will be deemed a weakness in the platform. Don't forget, we're already seeing quad-core hardware out there, and BB10 isn't due for another 6 months. By then, there will be plenty more quad core Androids everywhere. RIM cannot be playing catch up with BB10. They must lead or at least be in the race.

Specs mean nothing to most people. Such high expectations result in big disappointments. Don't get your hopes up tooooo high.

If the Dev Alpha is any preview to specs to come...we can assume that the screen on the first BB10 phone will blow the SGS3 away! I have to assume BB10 will not be running quad-core, but dual-core is absolutely fine and will function with complete fluidity! BB10 will Blow Samsung out of the water...now its all about the Apps included at launch which will determine if people come to the OS or not

You made a lot of assumptions. I really hope you are not disappointed when BB10 comes out.

Porsche Carrera S 997.2
Porsche Carrera S 991 (Coming soon)

Exactly what I thought BB10 will be a combination of BBOS and QNX, glad to know the classic font system we're all fond of will be available!

heck no!!! 5.3" is just way too big! 4.3 is good enough as it can still fit in your pocket with out being to bulky.

The Galaxy Note is terrible as a phone! Something that huge is stupid as a phone and completely impractical.
But on a brighter note, with everything that RIM are putting into the BB Bridge (we should soon be able to send text messages from the Playbook via Bridge), and a fairly easy continuation of that, you may be able to use the Playbook as an extension of the phone.


Have you used the phone? I doubt it. I say...don't knock something until you've actually tried it.

Porsche Carrera S 997.2
Porsche Carrera S 991 (Coming soon)

Yeah, I've tried it...boo, awful...
Might as well stick your PlayBook in your pocket, little bit bigger, whole lot better...

Yes. Any other questions?

Please try to not over-estimate your knowledge of others without knowing them.


I have to agree with the others.

For me a 5" or even a bigger 4" is out of the question.

Even if the device is great (and it is, G Note is great!) I don't buy a mobile/smartphone which I can't carring with me all the time.

I do have a 7"/Playbook and a Bold 9900.

The Bold 9900 is for me the absolut maximum of how large a device can be to (for me) carring it around.

In work it is no problem as I can put it in my jacket pocket but in summer and not in work I could not transport a 5" device without using a bag or one of these 80' man purse ;p or keeping it in my hands all the time...

The Playbook is with me in my bag but I don't need it all the time and still have my phone with me when I don't have a bag with me or a jacket pocket or just doesn't want to carring it around.

Why are these devices selling so good? It's something I don't really get. I mean the devices went from 3,5 to 4 to 4,3 etc. to up to 5,3". Main products like Galaxy Nexus or the new Galaxy 3 are now also over 4.5"... So a lot of consumers are interessted in such devices.

Or is it just the fact that bigger devices are cheaper to produce? At least I read one article about it that this may also be a reason for it as well as the dpi (and resolution ) run like the Ghz-run a few years back from Intel and AMD ;)

For me I won't buy a device so big. At least I know that I'm not alone - here in the forum but also a lot of my friends thinking these devices are too big.

One is using a Nexus with it's 4.6" and does not complain about it but he is over 2 meters tall and shouldn't have problems with his pockets in this case ;)

My guess is that only very tall guys and females (purse) have no probs carrying such large devices around ;)

Opinions? :)

Very disrespectful! Who the hell cares about grammar in a blog? If yuo undrsnd wht is maent tht is all tht mattrs... Ooops, I need to watch my spelling....I am registered for a spelling bee this afternoon. I guess I am screwed.

There is always at-least one of you in the comments... It's difficult to spit out all of your ideas onto a page with regards to proper grammar at all times... Would we rather have a half-ass blog that "sounds perfect" or a phenominal blog that is 100% understandable either way? I think you should re-read this post as I'm SURE you didn't get from it what you should have as you were instead focused on the words rather than their meaning.

So sad that people feel the need to even open their mouth about this kind of stuff.. If someone finds a "their" that should instead be a "there" they go absolutely apeshit. For what reason? To try and impress others by attempting to embaress someone who is spending their own time to educate us instead of doing something else that may be more enjoyable? Thanks, really.. We are ALL very glad that you wasted our time posting such a useful comment.. Now please when you next have the urge, just keep your mouth shut?


The CrackBerry Nation

Well to be fair, if writing is your profession you should have an exemplary grasp of the language in which you are writing. Grammar may not always impact the content of the article but it does detract from the credibility of the author.

I am a professional geologist, if I were to put out an analysis that was technically correct but scribbled on a piece of loose-leaf I would be judged poorly. In this same way a professional writer must always present themselves as such or be prepared to accept criticism.

Is apeshit one word or two? Or a hyphenate? lol

But seriously, this stuff is no worse than my local newspaper, and they ARE professional writers...

I agree with bla1ze. If you want to be a critic and be taken seriously spelling things right helps your credibility.

I don't, I wouldn't do that just to make it seem like someone is uneducated or anything like that. JUST ENJOY THE ARTICLE AND BLOG FOR DAMN FUCKLESSES SAKE!!

Wow look at the fan base. So much support for the new platform. I can't wait for it to come out. I still want you guys to do a servey on how many people at this point anticipate changing over to all touch because of the new keyboard or is it still keyboard all the way.

So some people say anything under 5.3" is a fail, and some people say anything over 4" is a fail. Those are called outliers. If they made it it to either it would probably alienate the majority. My guess is it will be 4.2" or close to it just like the Dev Alpha. They need a successful mainstream device, then they can look to cater to the fringes IMHO.

And as for the specs, it will be dual core, but a dual core superior to the quad of the Samsung GS3.

I'm okay with 4.2. It's really good. My 9860 is 3.7" and a tad too narrow, so a 4" or 4.2" would be ideal!

As a person that has many years in the IT field I'd like to add that people shouldn't get so hung up on "specs". (particularly this fixation on quad core processors.) Better specs alone don't make a better phone/product.

How efficient the OS is (as well as the particular processor) can be just as important as the "specs" themselves. So it is possible to have a dual core processor with an efficient OS outperform a quad core on a less efficient OS. (just a light example.)

A single processor. Since that OS is very efficient, I don't think it would need a dual-core processor, but who am I to say that? :P

Dual core would be nice, but heck, if it outperforms, it's really not that important. Efficiency, stability and speed.

3.06 GHz, 1GB RAM (compaq is screwey, it won't accept anything else BUT the 1GB), Win7, WinXP SP3, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS + Gnome Shell, Classic, Cinnamon Desktop (offered that choice between reboots). That outperforms a dual-core, and it's my desktop! ;)

Why do people want higher specs? The need for higher spec means sloppier code and less battery power, while lower spec means optimized software and longer battery life. Hardware degrades, code doesn't. Have you people learned nothing from trying to use your first generation iphones and android devices?!