PySide on the BlackBerry PlayBook

Thu 24 May 2012 by Xitij Ritesh Patel

Since BlackBerry 10 Jam, I’ve been spending a lot of time doing development on the BlackBerry platform. Most of it has been related to my efforts at taab, but this past week, I decided to tackle something new on the BlackBerry PlayBook.

If you’ve been keeping up with my tweets, you’ll know that I’ve been working on Desktop Bridge for the BlackBerry PlayBook. While it awaits approval for App World, I’ve been working hard at trying to make improvements to it. One task was the GUI, since it is pretty sparse in its current form. Moreover, I was hoping to leverage these efforts for the work I’m doing for taab. Ultimately, I’m hoping to get some sales of this app, and a prettier GUI would help.


To that end, Peter Hansen and I got to work on porting PySide for the BlackBerry PlayBook. He’s detailed our efforts and it’s a worthwhile read. Over the next few days, he and I will make efforts to submit our changes back to the PySide gitorious repository. Over the summer, we will do our best to start implementing PySide support for BlackBerry 10 Cascades, which would be tremendously useful for BlackBerry 10 development.

More immediately, you can look forward to me using this in Desktop Bridge, to implement a clean and functional GUI. Due to the requirement of packaging the libraries ourselves, the application will be quite hefty, especially for being so simple. However, until RIM can provide support for these libraries on the PlayBook, there is not much we can do.

Peter asked for feedback and help from the community, and I’m here to echo that request. Python support on the BlackBerry 10 platform would significantly reduce the barrier to entry for mobile app development. The ideas and possibilities are quite endless, and to be frank, allow for the creation of apps that would be impossible on other platforms. I only need to point to Desktop Bridge as an example.

If you want to help us out in the effort, all you have to do is blog or tweet about it. If you have development expertise, come join us on #BlackBerryDev on Freenode IRC.


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