Weekend Coder: Cascades roadmap wish list

By Brian Scheirer on 19 Jan 2014 03:59 pm EST

In the months leading up to every release of Cascades, BlackBerry provided a roadmap of what’s ahead. However, after the release of 10.2 there haven’t been any updates to that roadmap. I have reached out to my contacts at BlackBerry Dev Relations and they’ve assured me that there is still new tools being worked on, they just haven’t updated the roadmap for whatever reason.

So since there is no clear sign of what’s ahead, the next best thing to do is what we do best here at CrackBerry; wildly speculate and create a wish list! I’ve compiled a short list of ideas of my own as well as ones from talking with some fellow Cascades developers.

  1. Expand GestureHandler: Currently we have gestures such as single tap, double tap, and pinch but no “swiping” gesture. I know it is possible to create your own touch events that look for “swipe like behavior” but why not add this to core functionality? This expansion could be as simple as the four basic directions with minimal customization.
  2. ListView Improvements: Lists are everywhere in apps, from news feeds to chat messages. One idea that comes to mind is the ability to have the list loop. It is possible to have a Picker loop which follows the same general structure as a ListView but has a different use case and user experience. Another idea is to allow a ListView to have top down content but render bottom up. The idea here is for lists where the most recent event is at the bottom and a user would scroll up to see previous items, think message logs.
  3. More Headless Triggers: I’m not trying to beat a dead horse here but there are some obvious triggers missing from the few that are available. Long running headless is a bandaid solution to having so few triggers. The obvious missing events that come to mind are time/date, incoming call, call ended, and incoming message. I know there are many others but those are the ones I hear come up the most.
  4. Support Qt5: I don’t personally use much pure Qt but I know many others have been very vocal about only having Qt4.8. One of the biggest reasons is that Qt5 adds Qt Quick predefined controls as well as overall improvements throughout the framework.
  5. Finish the delayed items on the roadmap. There are four items, accent colors, simple grid layout, image from url, and list rearrange, on the current roadmap that are listed as delayed with no target release date. Honestly these were some of the things I was most looking forward to in 10.2. Accent colors is already available for WebWorks developers and allows for a nice pop of color without changing too much of the core BlackBerry 10 look and feel. And simple grid layout may be for selfish reasons because making the grid in Logic Puzzles was a huge pain.

I’ve heard other requests and have a few of my own but I think the ones listed above have a broad appeal to the community. However, feel free to add your own API improvements and requests in the comments below that you’d like to see added to the next Cascades release. Please keep these from a developer standpoint and not end user features.


Reader comments

Weekend Coder: Cascades roadmap wish list


Everyone that is suggesting features. Respond to my thread!!!

Thread title: Suggestion for a Sub-Forums under Blackberry 10 OS

Suggest your BB10 features!!

I've been thinking and I've been seeing these Future BB10 feature thread popping up every where. People are already all over with what they want from 10.3. Why not help out Blackberry and have all these features under 1 Sub-Forum under Blackberry 10 OS. (If the forum gets popular enough maybe start adding: Link, hardware, BES10, BBM and etc.)

Maybe make it have a Poll saying yes or no to the feature right away like Beta Zone has. Since not everyone on CB is on Beta Zone.

If it doesn't work out you can always delete the Sub-Forum but I 100% think then it's a good thing to do to show Blackberry 10 what we want.


Reply with Quote on this thread and reply to my thread to get the word out!!

The ideas on Crackberry are 10x better then Beta zone

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Petition for "New Wanted Features" Subforum under Blackberry 10 OS. Show your support!!

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Instead of in these forums, why not in the beta zone feature request forum?

Posted without the aid of AutoCorrect with my physical keyboard via CB10

Like in the post, there are more and better ideas on crackberry forums then there is in beta zone.

Most people don't have a beta zone account or never go on it.

Why not make it easier for BlackBerry and have 2 big places for features. On their Beta Zone Site and on Crackberry.

As you see on Crackberry, threads are popping up all over the place and mixed in with other threads. People will never stop posting features on Crackberry. Why not file all these future feature threads into 1 sub section?

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While I have no idea about most of the technical parts of what you're writing, but I never miss any of your articles :) one day I'll understand this stuff :D

Posted via CB10 on my Z10STL100-1/

I'll +1 to that. Always enjoying reading these articles, then I start researching the terms and methodology behind them to try to even better understand.

Posted from my CB10 via the power of "Q"

1. Base line alignment (make sure that 2 labels with different font sizes can be properly aligned)
2. Embed Quick 2 items to a Cascades page (of course, as soon as Qt5 is supported)
3. Better control of headset media buttons

One thing that really surprised me is that StandardListItem actually does #1. But its nearly impossible to do that in your own custom controls.

Well I think we're missing all the customization options we used to have in the OS7 (vibration, music options, etc) + the social feed application which was very handy for everyday use.
That's what i've been missing since I moved to bb10.
Of course a few native apps have disappeared but it's pretty obvious and the api system is just gonna be amazing.

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Definitely a few missing there that I want. After all these are phones, you'd think we'd have access to all the phone aspects, hehe.

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I don't like the fact that bb10 bridge to the playbook is so limited. Why can't i stream videos from my q10 to my playbook

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As someone who has been developing BlackBerry apps for about a year, I think the best thing they could do is apply some of their effort to the c++ side of things. Momentics rocks on the qml side but I still struggle on a daily basis when it comes to writing the business logic. And it doesn't feel like Momentics makes working with c++ any easier than it is with eclipse. Idk if that is outside of the scope of Momentics development or not. The lack of a road map bad worried me for some time too....

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With the app gap why isn't BlackBerry doing g everything it can to support the development community. If we can't get Netflix why not some amazing native apps from committed developers! Anyone? Anyone?

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As long as we are throwing out requests, how about a visible property on ActionItem components?

Yeah, that's one of those "How could they have forgotten about that?" items that's been forgotten for so long I suspect its not even on anyone's to-do list anymore.

I don't think they would do this because they've been on a push towards not changing object visibility, instead they would rather us dynamically create and destroy the actions so they're not using memory when not needed. Simply placing the action items inside a component definition, create the definition when you'll need the action items and then reference the action items through an alias. Then just add the action item to your action bar, menu or actionset with .add(actionItem) and remove them with .remove(actionItem)

I'd like to see a firewall API. One for the network interface (so an app could allow/deny data connections) and another for the phone interface (so an app could allow/deny phone calls)

Z10 STL100-2 DTAC 3G

Talking about accent colors, how come the Social Olympic app is able to make the action bar blue? Thought cascades wasn't that customizable.

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Was just playing with that app and it has to be WebWorks using something like bbUI.js but it is so damn smooth.

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Yeah I agree. No offense to Webworks developers, but the app is too smooth and fast to be Webworks. It's like cascades on steroids. The app even employs the floating action bar that's supposed to be present only in 10.2.1. Maybe they had early access to some cascades features and tools not available to developers now yet? Could that be possible?

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Or they just created their own controls, It's not very difficult and the benefit is it provides the developer unrestricted access to how they look, on the developers schedule, not BlackBerries.

It's not Webworks. It's most likely built using qt.

Developer of Corky Notes, Lazy Lists, and MAKE

They probably stopped posting the road map to keep things secret until the new CEO gives them a clear direction.

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Make a friggin' BB10 tablet for heaven's sake. Get on the bandwagon BlackBerry. It’s high time you smarten up!

Posted Via Z10

Am I the only one who wants it the full bridge to be restored on bb10 ? I have 2 PlayBook which now rarely use since i own the Z30

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I would love to see the Qt library QFont finally fixed and working at Native Cascades code. Just to be able to "draw" simple text into a QImage.

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From my understanding the only reason this isn't supported is because it's too deeply integrated into the qt core they must have come across some difficulty integrating it into the QNX core...
A working alternative (with its caveats) would be to use a textarea/textfield with a transparent background.
or you could go Hybrid and draw the text with html5 canvas or svg, both of these would allow you to add text to an image.

some articles on going hybrid

Oh, and a API to record and store the audio playback of the earspeaker would be awesome to get finally apps which are able to record a phone call. The users should have at least the option to break a local law by using a third party app or not. ;-)

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I have a few additions to the list!

1. Another thing that should be added to the roadmap is default EXIF orientation data support for imageviews, instead of making every developer process EXIF data just to properly display an image, they could easily just bake this in so an imageview displays by the default orientation and leave developers to decide if we want the images rotated.

2. Ability to customize bottom bar icons, weather programatically or even just allowing everyone to drag and drop their apps to the dock like iphone/android do. I personally don't use the cellular network so that icon is just wasting space on my screen, and I would much rather the camera button not be right there at the bottom of every page so it's easily clicked when I don't want it open.

3. More signals(not only headless needs them), They should re-evaluate all the controls and add much needed signals that are missing. For example a menu definition does not have a visibility signal. The only way to know if the swipe down menu has closed is to create your own swipe down menu. (a ton of work for such small of a notification) This signal's absence makes it very difficult to create an interactive tutorial that teaches users how to swipe down and access the applications menu. (without taking over the screen with a dialog) Also a webview's opacity cannot be changed (I personally have multiple use cases for this omitted signal) And I could go on but, really BlackBerry should go back, re-evaluate add minor improvements where they're needed.

4. This is more an end user wish but they should add a NEVER rotate option to the hub, I never want to use it in landscape mode but I do not want to turn orientation lock on because then you have to remember it before opening apps and it's just really nasty, a never rotate the hub option would solve the rotation attacks where the device likes to rotate this way and that before realizing it shouldn't have even rotated in the first place and all I want to do is send an e-mail... if I wasn't attacked by rotation while sending e-mail, I could 'keep moving' instead it requires stopping to sort things out.

Funny, I actually keep a log in my remember app!!:

• After taking a picture, allow for the side menu to offer instant naming.
• Ability to focus a part of a scene after taking a picture. 

• allow unfilled entries to move to other folders. 
• Allow unfilled entries to share.
• Auto save work if user closes Window accidentally.
• allow unfilled to sync to cloud or tasks.
• Set dual-time reminders. I.e. 1 day prior + 15mins prior. 

• sound for successfully sent email. 
• Addresses show as hyperlinks, that forward to the maps app when pressed.
• Setting for Auto-Show Bcc.

• User adjustable time for toast notifications. Currently too fast.
• Setting for Auto return to Main HUB when in any area, i.e. return to HUB after viewing a text msg. 

• Ability to backup SMS.
• Ability to sync texts.

• Hyperlink phone numbers from Web pages.

I think that this is possible with os 10.2 on Z30, I know the ability to interact with usb devices is only supported on the Z30, just need someone to develop an app that utilizes this ability

My suggestion is more customizing for the bb10's like font styles and themes and change chat views in bbm... I miss those a lot from my old 9900 ;)

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